This is the last part of our six-part Inclusion Series with Katie Adams, speech-language pathologist at McNeil High School in Round Rock ISD. We have learned about how to address social skills, language comprehension and expression, choice-making and emotional regulation. Check out the lessons:
Let’s take a look at Relax, the sixth, and final, component of this hour-long, inclusive class lesson:
What’s the Goal? The purpose of Relax is to allow opportunity for students to reflect on the previous five lessons. This is also an opportunity to gather data obtained by the educational assistants. Brief dialogue for planning purposes can also take place during this time. Remember, using a few seconds here-and-there to communicate with educational team members is useful. In a school setting, on occasion, it is more effective and efficient to have short conversations to plan than to set aside a lengthier meeting.
Do students relax in the same manner? Students have a chance relax and absorb the information in a manner that is most conducive to their learning style. Some students may put their head down. Other students may sit and close their eyes. This is also an opportunity for students to have autonomy over how they want to take a break.
Is this functional? Research states that we need to have rest periods when learning. This mental break results in better retention of information.
Our mental load increases when at school. It is important to understand that for students (and teachers) to continually be effective, we need to give opportunity for rest. Katie is giving this purposeful opportunity to her students. She is also teaching students to self-advocate when they need a break. In other words, students can self-determine when a break is needed based on personal fatigue and overload, make the request and carry out the necessary energy recoupment strategies.
Thank you for participating in our Inclusion Series. And, thank you to Katie Adams, McNeil High School and Round Rock ISD for their resources. Katie will also be presenting this series at Beat the Heat, Region 13’s three-day professional development opportunity for educators who work with children ages 3-5 and children with significant disabilities ages 6-21. Click on the following link for details: Beat the Heat