I am a current second grade inclusion teacher in a school district with students that have goals in academics; however, they have limited resources in grasping them. Families in our community typically struggle to make ends meet. More than seventy-five percent of our students receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch daily, which is calculated based on income.
I continue to work with many students coming from environments of lower socio-economic status, limited prior knowledge, and accessibility to resources.
These students struggle with learning the way other students in the classroom may learn. Visual and hands-on materials as well as a flexible classroom space can assist in academic improvement and in forming connections. I try to encourage the students in nontraditional ways to also encourage the building of vocabulary and about topics they have limited knowledge about due to not having opportunities to experience them.
Along with students of a lower socio-economic environment, I also work regularly with students of increased academic and social needs. These students can be on specialized plans that are set to meet their academic needs (IEPs). These students usually require special assistance and additional needs.
Second graders have a lot of bottled up energy when in the classroom and unfortunately don’t get enough time for outdoor breaks or gym time through the school day. I would like to encourage their movement while they learned by using flexible seating options. This option will allow them a time to still focus on what they need to accomplish in the classroom but also allows them an option on how to get out the “wiggles”. They could sit on the ball or stretch out on the ball while still reading or listening to instruction.
The use of flexible options can really make a positive impact on their personal confidence as well.
Typically I see the children who cannot sit still looked at with dirty looks or students make comments under their breath. Instead, they should be looked at just the same as others who could sit in a regular chair for multiple hours without moving. I try to create this feeling and encourage unique qualities, and with the use of flexible options everyone can enjoy what many essentially truly need for focusing
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