Paula Kluth
November 14, 2011
Paula’s random thoughts on Inclusion:
Pay attention to what’s already working
When problems occur, look at the context, the when and where and why something is happening,
Notice when the child is thriving
Teacher’s skill depends on whether they can look over, under, around, or through, find a way or make a way
Providing only the real estate of inclusion not enough; look at all supports that benefit
Assuming that all students engage, perform, participate in the same way with the same materials and with the same targeted outcomes is a mistake
“The Birthday Party Test” If you read a cum file of a student and can’t think of something to buy for their birthday then this information is not enough
Communication and Socialization Helps
Use communication that is less direct (puppets, funny voice, and microphone)
Be clear and precise (open your math book and complete problems 1-5 instead of get started on your work)
Include visual supports (write assignment or direction on board)
Speech instruction needs to be in the classroom
Practice social communication with all students~harder to bully someone you know better
What is Autism
DSM definition lists it as a deficit model
We don’t tell people that there are gifts and abilities associated with autism
When student is engaging in a repetitive movement (hitting self) figure out what is bothersome. Think; how do we help? Is he okay? Student’s movements are because of a fragile body~pay attention to this!
Many times children with autism are not as rigid as their teachers; accommodations might be needed for teachers instead; it is really two cultures meeting
Paula feels that inclusion is a never ending process and that we must always include 100% of the time; there’s a way, there’s a way!!
We participated in some brain breaks today. Brain breaks are a wonderful way to get all students involved in learning in an active way.
The Great Wind Blows
Teacher says when the great wind blows who knows……(fill in with a question from current curriculum) Students are instructed to stand up and find a different chair to sit in if they know. Keep asking different questions and then eventually start repeating. More students will be moving around as they relearn or remember the material.
Stand and Deliver
Give the students a question where they need to give an open ended answer (today we had to describe the training in one word). Everyone stands up. The teacher calls on a student and all who have the same answer sit down. Keep going until all are seated.
The Whip
Students come up with one sentence about something they learned today. Stand in a line and let them know they can repeat someone else’s if they can’t think of one. This is a way to review the days material.
I have a book called Joyful Learning. It has active and collaborative learning ideas for the inclusive classroom.
I also have a book called From Tutor Scripts to Talking Sticks. It has 100 ways to differentiate instruction in the classroom.
We also discussed today about using our student’s fascinations. So much of that is used as rewards when really fascinations need to be used in the curriculum as a stepping stone to get kids where they need to be.
I have a book called Just Give Him the Whale. It has ways to use fascinations, areas of expertise and strengths to support students with autism.
There were several websites given to us today that can be useful:
First of all There are several articles here under readings and my favorite is the blog.
Paula’s new blog called is great. Paula posts a differentiation idea every weekday.
My most favorite way to use Paula’s ideas is through facebook. Friend her page and you will see something almost daily. Paula has a question of the week where others write in their ideas. There are great websites talked about on Website Wednesday. And….in April which is Autism Awareness month there is a tip each day. Go back to the last three Aprils and get all the tips!!! I have participated in some discussion boards on her facebook page!
We talked about the use of teaching assistants and the problems related to their proximity to our students: separation from classmates, dependence on adults, impacts peer interactions, loss of personal control. The use of TA’s needs to always change and adjust with needs. Work towards independence for all students.
The last area we talked about was video modeling. This is a method that can be used with any students who might need the following:
Help with a routine
Help with participation in classroom activities
Help to learn a new skill (interviewing)
Help with speech and communication
The best way is to have the student himself be in the video doing the activity correctly. If not use peers they know and trust. There are also some websites that have good videos to use:
Students can watch the videos repeatedly or as needed for a reminder.

Ellen Main