Do you think an inclusive classroom will also benefit typical students? Please very briefly explain.
In your response to other learners, compare their understandings of the term developmentally appropriate instructional strategies to yours. What differences do you see?
Based on previous readings and my own experience, a developmentally appropriate curriculum addresses the multiple development needs of each individual student. This process requires various methods and strategy planning, as well as individual lesson planning for students.
Allen states that a “teacher’s role is to help children observe, ask, and find out about things that interest them” (2014, 450). While teaching students to read, write, and do math is important, it is also important for them to develop interests and curiosity on their own. It is the “responsibility of early childhood teachers to make convincing arguments on behalf of these important embedded learning practices” (Allen, 2014, 450).
Assessments are great tools to track a student’s academic progress, however not all assessment formats are compatible with each individual student. No Child Left Behind Act and other forms of school accountability (Klein, 2018) are important to track, but there could be other ways than formal pencil-paper, multiple choice assessments. For some students, test taking becomes an anxiety driven time, causing them to preform poorly on these standard assessments. Giving opportunities for other demonstrations of knowledge could better these assessment results for students.
Students with disabilities tend to preform poorly on standard assessments, which could lead to further discouragement from school environments. Utilizing developmentally appropriate materials, such as assistive technology, also helps bridge this gap for students with disabilities. Assistive technology, when properly used, could enable a student to read, hear, or see better, thus improving their knowledge. My question for you would be, have you utilized any other forms of assessment in your classroom to assess a student’s development?
Based on my readings and my personal experiences, the term developmentally appropriate instructional strategies means a variety of things. Personally, I feel that developmentally appropriate instructional strategies means that all students are learning in ways that are appropriate to their developmental needs, whether they are typically developing or have exceptional needs. If a child is not being taught through developmentally appropriate instruction, they will not be able to learn to the best of their ability. For example, if we are expecting kindergarten students to sit down and write for one hour, that is not developmentally appropriate. By providing young students with hands-on activities that allow them to explore on their own, we are ensuring that they will learn to the best of their ability. According to the readings presented by Allen and Cowdery, “Six general principles are used to identify the best practices for working with children who have special needs; these practices apply equally to early care programs for all children (Odom & McLean, 1996). To be considered a recommended best practice, a strategy must be (1) research-based or value-based, (2) family-centered, (3) multicultural in emphasis, (4) cross-disciplinary, (5) developmentally/chronologically age-appropriate, and (6) normalized” (p. 60).
My understanding of this term corresponds to the No Child Left Behind Act because it demands appropriate education for all students. If there are exceptional students in a classroom that require services that cannot be provided by the general education teacher, they must be provided to the student regardless. This ensures that all children, regardless of disabilities, receive the same opportunities for developmentally appropriate instruction. The teacher and school are held accountable for this child’s success and are expected to advocate for the child when they are in need of something else. Students with disabilities should be provided the same opportunities as all other students, however, I have worked in a district in the past that promised parents things on the child’s IEP, but did not follow through with the promised services because there was not enough staff to work with the child. Students who receive services such as speech, physical therapy, or occupational therapy may need modifications in the classroom to make sure the instruction is developmentally appropriate for them, as well as all the other students.
Question: How do you make sure students are receiving everything they need when dealing with a lack of funding from the district? How can you make your practice developmentally appropriate if you require certain materials that cannot be purchased?
What works of literature and what authors have influenced your views of the relationship between literature and today’s society? How have they done so? How do we become critical readers and create meaning from text, and what strategies do you use as an active and responsive reader?