Those words are words that have been spoken by Jacob Barnett. Jacob is a young man who was labeled with Autism when he was two years old. He wasn’t supposed to talk, or even learn to tie his shoes. Now, he has been recognized world-wide for his work within the field of science, in particular within the field of astrophysics (and wears flip-flops). He is 14 now, teaching at a research university, working on his PhD, and in line to be rewarded a Nobel Prize someday. Watch this TedxTeen talk to get an idea of who this incredible young man is.
Jacob is also currently writing a book about how to make math more approachable for kids his age. Additionally he runs a non-profit that benefits kids who are on the autism spectrum by focusing on social skills and coaching them on thinking in their own unique ways. His mom has written a book titled The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius. And more than that, he loves basketball and root beer floats.
In my introductory post, I gave an overview of why you need this curriculum. In my last post, I detailed a few more specifics about how we put it together for your successful use.
In this post, and the next one, I will go over the four instructional parts that make up the curriculum in greater detail, and hopefully answer some questions about how to individualize it to your specific needs at your school. Please don’t forget to comment, as you will be entered into the drawing to receive a copy I am giving away at the end of my next post! Continue reading →
Lately I have been working with a number of parents and schools during this busy time of year, when IEPs are needing to be revisited and plans for next year put in place for kids with disabilities (take a minute to read my posts about IEPs for some ideas of where to begin and important things to think about during this very necessary, and hopefully meaningful, process).
During the conversations I have been having lately, it dawned on me that when people are planning for next year and thinking about what did or didn’t work well this year, the use of paraprofessionals to support kids with disabilities is a central issue that can make or break a student’s success. IEPs that include paraprofessionals must consider quality professional development and the time to do that development effectively for paraprofessionals. Now is the time to start thinking about how that can look, and planning when it will happen. I have a great resource to offer. Continue reading →
It is the New Year, and with that comes a gift in schools. I posted previously about what I call the “prime instructional real estate” that exists in schools, and suggested strategies for teachers to take advantage of this gift of time in students’ learning that exists at this point of the year.
The time of rest and relaxation that has just occurred for students, parents, and school professionals allows for a fresh start and new beginnings for all. The remaining part of the school year will increasingly become busy and harried, tests and high stakes standards will push harder towards the end of the year – but now, a naturally occurring time for enriched learning and focus exists for teachers and students alike…a true gift. It is my belief that this gift comes with choices. Continue reading →
Another recent reflection of mine...Mirror Lake at Yosemite National Park. Inspirational!
It has been a busy couple of months for me. I have been in circles of people that are my academic superheroes, and if you will allow me to – I would love to drop a few names before reflecting about my learning in this post.
Linda Darling-Hammond spoke at a PTA event that I attended, where she talked about her book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future. An incredible evening where she spoke about what she knows about the US and how our education is being impacted by the high stakes assessment and funding streams that exist, which create not only an achievement gap as we typically would define it, but an experiences gap that affects kids around the country. In places like Palo Alto, California, where I heard her speak and she is a local, the difference in per pupil spending dwarfs that of neighboring schools in nearby San Jose. Her data was hard to hear about how this affects the kids in schools, and how many places throughout the US experience much the same gap. Continue reading →
I am happy to announce that I will be speaking about inclusive IEPs on November 4th, at 9 am EST with Nicole Eredics from The Inclusive Class, on Special Needs Talk Radio. More details as to how you can tune in that day, or listen to the show after the recording will be available soon on the Special Needs Talk Radio website, and on my events page, so check back for that information.
After connecting with Nicole, a blogger, independent consultant, and seasoned general education teacher in inclusive classes, she has asked me to be on her show to talk about the many ways IEPs can be written to foster and support inclusive education. This is an exciting new radio show, to spread the word, share our practice, and continue the good work and energy around creating inclusive places for students with disabilities. She has many distinguished professionals in the field lined up to discuss an array of important topics, so please check out the schedule and see if there is something that you might find of interest or in support of the work you are doing to create inclusive schools. Continue reading →
Image from Including Samuel Documentary by Dan Habib
My last post talked about how to balance the playing field between the parents and the professionals at IEP meetings, so that the team can come to decisions together about students with disabilities and the supports and services they require to succeed in school settings.
As important as it is to have the balance as I described, the even more important piece of creating an IEP that is what I call a “working IEP”, is writing the paperwork that supports the whole person in way that is useful and positive. Continue reading →