40 Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom: Grades K-5
Publication Year: 2011
“An excellent tool to help teachers help students, this book would be particularly useful within a professional learning community or in a mentoring setting.”
—Jim Hoogheem, Retired Principal
Fernbrook Elementary School, Maple Grove, MN
“This book got me excited to teach in an inclusive setting! The tips and directions will work with every child and will ensure that ALL students can learn in the same environment.”
—Rachel Aherns, Instructional Strategist I
Westridge Elementary School, West Des Moines, IA
Engage all learners with research-based strategies from acclaimed educators
Research indicates that students of all ages and demographics benefit from active learning strategies. The challenge is translating what we know into what we do. Award-winning educators Linda Schwartz Green and Diane Casale-Giannola build that bridge with more than 40 easy-to-implement strategies for today's inclusive ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Chapter 1: Engaging Students in the Inclusive Classroom: Research and Theoretical Underpinning
- The Blueberry Story: The Teacher Gives the Businessman a Lesson
- Inclusion: Definition and Research
- Students in the Inclusive Classroom: Who Are We Teaching?
- Helping Teachers Meet the Inclusion Challenge
- What Is Active Learning?
- Brain-Based Learning
- Information Processing
- Connections to Differentiated Instruction
- Supporting State Standards and Assessments
- Motivating Learners with Active Learning Strategies
- Access Is Not Enough: The Critical Need to Address Diverse Student Populations
- The Beginning
- Chapter 2: Selecting and Implementing Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom
- Classifications and Characteristics
- Other Diverse Populations
- Assessing Students and Identifying Learning Characteristics
- Using Strategies: Before, During, and After
- How to Choose a Strategy to Meet Individual Student Needs
- Learner Characteristics Described
- How to Choose a Strategy to Meet Individual Teacher Needs
- Learning Communities
- And Now, the Next Step on Our Journey
- Chapter 3: Grouping for Instruction: Who Goes Where with Whom to Do What?
- How Do I Manage Everyone?
- Whole Group Instruction
- Small Group Instruction
- Different Ways to Form Groups
- Tips for Choosing and Using Instructional Groups in the Inclusive Classroom
- And Now (Drum Roll, Please) … the Strategies
- Chapter 4: Active Learning Strategies
- 1. Acrostic Topics (Using a concept name to create acrostic poems)
- 2. Baggie Stories (Students produce a visual story of specific content)
- 3. Ball Toss (The game of catch facilitates Q & A)
- 4. Barometer (Students take a stand on controversial issues by voting with their feet)
- 5. Chain Reaction (A variation of the old word game Telephone using academic concepts or phrases)
- 6. Classification Capers (Students develop criteria to sort and classify objects, pictures, or word cards)
- 7. Classroom Box Bingo (Completing a Bingo grid by walking around the class to get the information)
- 8. Exit Cards (End of lesson questions or comments to identify student progress or process)
- 9. Fishbowl (One group observes another in role play and shares feedback)
- 10. Four Corners (Students respond to questions by choosing one of four choices in each classroom corner)
- 11. Howdy Partner! (Students find a partner with the same topic by sharing descriptors)
- 12. If I Were … (A student completes a sentence stem based on a given topic, and another student makes a related comment)
- 13. Information Rings (Constructing connected flash cards of data)
- 14. Job Wanted Poster (Students construct a job wanted advertisement using their knowledge of a particular character or historical figure)
- 15. Line Up! (Students line up in order based on sequential content—particularly facts that students need to know to automaticity)
- 16. Listening Teams (Each group is given one question or issue to report on after a lecture or other direct instruction)
- 17. Outline Plus (A detailed outline with strategic blank spaces to support video instruction)
- 18. Paper Pass (Sharing and commenting on peer perspectives)
- 19. People Movers (Students move around the room to create visual representations of a concept)
- 20. Play Dough Construction (Using play dough to create concept representations)
- 21. Puzzle Pieces (Students walk around the class with Q & A cards to find matches)
- 22. Quick Questions (Students are given answers and have to come up with the questions)
- 23. Rainbow Ball (A paper ball that students toss and catch, with a question on each layer that students answer)
- 24. Round Robin (Students participate in group rotations responding to a topic or question)
- 25. Sentence Starter Poster Session (Using sentence starters to create posters that summarize key points of a given topic)
- 26. Snowball Fight (Students create questions on paper balls and throw them to each other for answers)
- 27. The Spider Web (Class stands in a circle using a ball of yarn to create a spider web while responding to a statement or question)
- 28. Think, Pair, Share (Student pairs share information, reflect, and comment)
- 29. Timeline (Student groups research sequential content and create a visual timeline)
- 30. Two Truths and a Lie (with variations) (Students state three facts about a topic, and peers identify which one is not true)
- 31. Venn Hoops (Constructing Venn diagrams with hula hoops)
- 32. Walking in Their Shoes (Students consider a given situation from the point of view of a character, animal, or historical figure)
- 33. What's in the Bag? (Students collect objects to share information about a common theme)
- 34. What Up? (Using signs and signals for each student to respond to a query)
- 35. What Would It Say? (Students match phrases that inanimate objects might have said if these objects could talk)
- 36. Who Am I? What Am I? (Students provide clues to concepts and peers guess what they are)
- 37. 52 Things to Do (The number on a playing card indicates how much information students share on a topic)
- Participation Prompts
- 38. Conversation Cues: Talking Tickets and Talking Circles
- 39. Conversation Cards
- 40. The Whip
- Chapter 5: The Journey Continues
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Green, Linda Schwartz, author.
40 active learning strategies for the inclusive classroom, grades K-5 / Linda Schwartz Green, Diane Casale-Giannola; Foreword by Toby J. Karten.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 978-1-4129-8170-5 (pbk.)
1. Active learning. 2. Activity programs in education. 3. Education (Elementary). 4. Inclusive education. I. Casale-Giannola, Diane, author. II. Title. III. Title: Forty active learning strategies for the inclusive classroom, grades K-5.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
11 12 13 14 15 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquisitions Editor: Jessica Allan
Associate Editor: Allison Scott
Editorial Assistant: Lisa Whitney
Production Editor: Veronica Stapleton
Copy Editor: Diana Breti
Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.
Proofreader: Dennis W. Webb
Cover Designer: Michael Dubowe
Permissions Editor: Karen Ehrmann
Educators must ensure that students who enter classroom environments are welcomed with appropriate pedagogical approaches that match their diverse needs. We have, thankfully, entered a new century of learning in which classrooms include students of all abilities. Inclusion is not a fad; it is an ongoing philosophy that invites and prepares children to prosper beyond classroom walls into accepting societies. It is obvious from the contents of this book, 40 Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom, Grades K-5, that our authors, Dr. Linda Schwartz Green and Dr. Diane Casale-Giannola, are firm believers in the application of effective inclusive classroom practices.
Their book outlines ways for teachers to creatively deliver the curriculum. As the pages unfold, you will discover palatable strategies that allow students to enthusiastically ingest the educational experiences while being active learners. The authors have addressed learners’ emotional and academic characteristics with quality-leveled differentiated instruction. Terms such as brain-based learning, differentiated instruction, and information processing come alive through the vignettes, step-by-step directions, activities, and reflections. The text steers students and teachers in the direction of learning for retention with active strategies that connect to both the concepts and individual learners.
Creating inclusive classrooms can be an undertaking fit for Sisyphus if you allow yourself to be dissuaded by the enormity of the goal. However, the authors have simplified this task for educators of primary grade students. During their years of experience in the field of special education, they have accumulated an array of active learning strategies that support the unique needs of learners in inclusive environments. The applicable strategies convey the curriculum to students minds by engaging the children with fun learning experiences to solidify the knowledge. At the same time, educators are then equipped with motivating ways to teach. This active engagement translates to higher retention and, ultimately, achievements across the curriculum for students in inclusive classrooms.
Education was never a one-size-fits-all approach because learners have always exhibited diversity in prior knowledge, abilities, motivation, and preferred styles of learning. However, resources such as this text were not always readily available. Differentiation of instruction requires that teachers have strategies such as these at their fingertips. In this fast-paced world, we as educators need to honor students learning characteristics and, at the same time, make them smile while they learn. 40 Active Learning Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom, Grades K-5, accomplishes just that!
The writing of this book was an equal partnership, and we acknowledge one another for our devotion, patience, expertise, and humor. We realize how lucky we are to work so well together on such a meaningful project.
We acknowledge Dr. Michele Wilson Kamens, true friend and colleague, for her support and collaborative spirit that brought us together. We recognize Dr. James Patterson, a true magician, for making things reappear. A major thank you to Sandra Genduso, for going above and beyond.
We would like to acknowledge Centenary College and Rider University for their support in our professional and creative endeavors, not the least of which was the opportunity to write this book. It is most important to recognize our students throughout the years, from pre-K through college, whose enthusiastic participation has inspired us to write this book. We gratefully acknowledge our current and former students, the undergraduate and graduate students from Rider University and Centenary College. To all of you, thanks for the enthusiasm with which you participated, the energy you brought to our classes, and the feedback you shared with us; we are so glad that you tried out our strategies with your own students, during practicum or student teaching or in your own classrooms.
We thank Corwin for giving us the opportunity to share our contributions with so many. We truly appreciate our editor, Jessica Allan, for her enthusiasm and encouragement. She has been a tremendous asset throughout this process. Allison Scott answered question after question after question with patience and grace; we thank you.
The purpose of this book is to reach out to the educators in today's classroom, those of you who will take our ideas and go forth and meet the needs of all your students; we appreciate your willingness to try new things and your dedication to your students.
Finally, we thank our families for their love, support, and patience throughout this process; we couldn't have done it without you!Publisher's Acknowledgments
Corwin wishes to acknowledge the following peer reviewers for their editorial insight and guidance.[Page ix]
- Donna Adkins
- Perritt Primary
- Arkadelphia, AR
- Rachel Aherns
- Instructional Strategist I
- Westridge Elementary
- West Des Moines, IA
- Jim Hoogheem
- Retired Principal
- Osseo Area Schools
- Maple Grove, MN
- Rui Kang
- Assistant Professor
- Georgia College & State University
- Milledgeville, GA
- Cheryl Moss
- Special Education Teacher
- Gilbert Middle School
- Ames, IA
- Patti Palmer
- Sixth Grade Language Arts Teacher
- Wynford School
- Bucyrus, OH
- Amanda M. Rudolph
- Associate Professor
- Stephen F. Austin State University
- Nacogdoches, TX
About the Authors
This book is dedicated to the most important people in my life: to my husband and fellow traveler, Marc, for always believing in me and making me laugh. You seem to know what I can accomplish before I do. Our adventure continues! to Jessica and Adam: being your Mom made me a better educator, and to Nia: so glad to have you as part of the family. Thanks to all three of you for your support throughout this project and for always helping me to remember what is really important.Linda Schwartz Green
This book is dedicated to my three wonderful children, Victoria, Christian, and Francesca; when asked who is their favorite teacher, they respond, “Mommy!” You all make me proud and keep life interesting! And to my mother, Ann Casale, for her love and support.Diane Casale-Giannola
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