Sarah is a friendly 9-year-old student in grade 3 with Down syndrome. She likes to participate in most classroom activities. She communicates with her teachers and classmates using gestures, body language and vocalizations. There have been several occasions when Sarah has pointed to objects, pictures, and even some words to communicate with her peers and classmates. She receives the following related services: Speech, Occupational Therapy, and modified P.E. One of her favorite activities is looking at and reading books. She likes to point to pictures and words in books and pretends to read them to classmates. Her reading, writing, and math skills are below grade level.
During the read-aloud activity, all students sit in small groups of 3 or 4 students after one of them has selected a book with short stories. The student who has selected the book reads it aloud to the peers in the group and then asks questions. Every participant in the group gets a chance to ask questions. The questions are answered by the other students in the group. All students in the class get a chance to select a book and be the lead in the story group session. During group read- out, Sarah sits with her paraprofessional, who selects a “simple” book for her and reads it to her. She then asks her questions (mainly what and who) that she knows Sarah can answer by pointing to the pictures in the book that is being read. You, the teacher, have noticed that Sarah has recently wanted to sit with a group of students and be part of the group rather than sit and read with an adult.
· How will you make the read-aloud time more inclusive for Sarah?
· What specific instructional and behavior strategies will you use with her?
· What challenges do you anticipate you will face?
· How will you collaborate with the Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) to improve Sarah’s participation in class?
· How will you make sure that your classroom is a safe and welcoming space for her?
· How will you ensure that Sarah has positive social interactions with her peers?
· How will you collaborate with her family?
· What will you do to make your classroom more inclusive for all your ESE students?
· How has your learning in this class helped you be better prepared to work with students like Sarah?