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Social and Emotional Supports in an Inclusive Classroom Community

An Inclusive Classroom

The stories, strategies and systems you will read about were developed in an inclusive kindergarten classroom at a dual language school in Manhattan during the 2010-2011 school year. Although this year we implemented many new ideas, others we have experimented with and developed during other school years as well.
During the 2010-2011 school year, we had 24 children in our classroom. Six of our children had an IEP, five of them received special education services under the "speech and language impairment" category, and one under the "autism" category. Twelve of our children are considered ELLs according to their performance in the LAB-R and took the NYSESLAT in May. Most of our children are 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic, and others are Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian, Mexican and Haitian.

Who is WE?

Even though only one of us is writing this inquiry, we are a co-teaching team and everything you will read about we developed together. We are Margaret Blachly and Andrea Fonseca, special education bilingual teachers. We have both been teaching for about 10 years each, and we have co-taught kindergarten together during three different school years. We strongly believe in the importance of social-emotional development in the early childhood classroom and throughout children's educational lives. In our classroom we want to make sure ALL children feel safe and welcomed. In order to support all our children's social and emotional development, we have established whole class systems and routines. Every year a few children need modifications and individual supports and we do our best to provide that too.