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EDCE 6360

Helping Students Needing Learning Support in a Literacy-Rich Inclusive Classroom

Experts encourage the education of at-risk students within the least restrictive environment. This inclusive approach results in classroom communities of learners with a range of learning styles and needs, many of whom are diagnosed with special needs or are thought to be exceptional. The purpose of this course is to demystify the special learner; to understand what the special learner goes through in his quest to learn. Teachers understand, accommodate, modify and reach out to their special needs students from the moment they enter the classroom. Teachers learn highly adaptable strategies they can plug into their curriculum across grades and ages to foster student engagement. Application of PLN pedagogy to immediate practice empowers teachers and students from the first to the final class. In this course, participants learn how to address the language, literacy, behavior and learning needs of at-risk learners in their classrooms. To inform practice, journal articles and texts draw on research-based frameworks from the special education field and the PLN literacy frameworks. Teachers explore modifications and accommodations relevant to their students' learning needs, allowing them to reach all learners in their classroom.

Course participants weave the PLN philosophy with a variety of easy to use interactive learning strategies that can be immediately applied. Educators have the opportunity to share their adaptations with peers in order to facilitate understanding of best practices for all learners. To ensure that teachers understand the laws that surround special learners, the special education process will be addressed from the time a student is identified as at-risk to meeting the requirements of a protected handicapped student.

To allow for ecologically sound practice, a LMS is utilized in this course where articles and strategies are stored for downloading and a discussion board is provided for posting and responding to journals. Final projects provide a way for participants to pull together their understanding and application of their course learning and experiences.