Teacher and Parent Considerations for a Successful Learning Environment

Teacher and Parent Considerations for a Successful Inclusionary Environment

Angelina Strum, M.Ed., M.A., NBCT


• Are visuals used to communicate expectations
• Is there a consistent schedule and how is it communicated (pictures, written, verbal, etc.)
• How are changes in the schedule communicated to the student?
• How are assignments given? Throughout the day or at the end of the day?
• How often during the week is homework given? What is the expectation for turning in homework? Does a specific plan for your child need to be created?
• Do students use an assignment notebook? How does your child stay organized?
• Are there opportunities for breaks or calming time? How are sensory issues managed?
• Are the child’s interests being considered for projects/assignments?
• How are group activities structured? What type of instruction do you use the most (lecture, cooperative learning groups, hands on experiences, etc.)
• Do you differentiate your instruction to meet the needs of all the students?
• Are you familiar with multiple intelligences?
• Do you use multiple modalities to increase student learning?
• Are there any distraction free work areas?
• Is there a buddy system in place?
• Are areas of the classroom clear (computer area, book area, calm area, play area, etc.)?
• Are structured teaching methods (i.e. TEACCH) incorporated into the classroom environment?
• What are the seating arrangements? Is your child set up for success, failure, or alienation?
• Has a student interest inventory or profile been done as a way to better understand the child?


• Is there a classroom behavior plan?
• How is the child’s disability considered with developing an appropriate behavior plan?
• Is there a reward system in place?
• How are expectations for appropriate behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior communicated?
• Are social stories being used to teach appropriate behavior and/or social skills?
• Are you familiar with functional behavior assessments (FBA) or behavior intervention plan (BIP)?
• Are choices given whenever possible?
• Are strategies used proactive versus reactive?
• Is there an emphasis on prevention versus intervention?


• Have you read and do you truly understand what is written in the child’s IEP?
• How are his goals being addressed in the classroom?
• How are support services (ex. Speech, OT, etc.) being incorporated into his day? What are the services minutes and are they being met?
• Are the SLP and OT actively providing support within the classroom setting?
• What are the accommodations and/or modifications that your child should receive? How and when are those supports to be given?
• Does your child require and Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) or a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
• Do you have to wait until the child’s annual review date to have an IEP meeting for any reason?
• How often are goals updated, and how often is progress on goals communicated to you?
• Are the child’s communication, sensory, and behavior needs incorporated into the development of IEP goals, accommodations/modifications, behavior plan, etc.)


• Typing vs. hand writing
• Power point vs. written report
• Use of technology to access learning activities and display skills
• Study corral or private place to do work assignments
• Assignments with decreased visual clutter
• Amount of time given to complete a task
• Help with taking notes (buddy system, tape recorder, outline, etc.)
• Repeating instructions, highlighting instructions, writing instructions, etc.
• Writing important notes on the board vs. verbally stating
• Modified or differentiated classroom and homework assignments
• Utilizing the child’s strengths and interests to illicit active learning and participation
• How are tests given (T/F, fill in the blank, essay, oral, etc.)?


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