Inclusive Schools Week is: the first full week of December

December 6-12, 2021 is Inclusive Schools Week. Yes... right during the holidays! If you can see a way to fit it into your home life or holiday routine, consider trying one or two of the below activities with your child during this week. (And if you can't... try again when life slows down!)

 

Adapt an activity for your classroom if you're a teacher, or for your home if you're a parent or caregiver. These could also be used in scout troops, sports teams, church groups, or any other community group you or your child participates in. For an extended list of activities, go to the Celebration Activities document from Inclusive Schools.

 

At-school idea: Establish a “Five Minutes for Friendship” ritual each day. Have students pair up with classmates on a rotating basis. Provide a topic for the pair to discuss for five minutes. Ask a few pairs to share their conversation with the class.
At-home hack: try this with siblings, extended family members, or visiting friends. You could even have this conversation on FaceTime or Zoom.
 
At-school idea: Ask students to write about a time that they didn't feel included in a group. Talk about how it made them feel. Ask them how their experiences relate to anyone who is perceived as different and what challenges they might face in a school setting.
At-home hack: Make this a dinner conversation topic: share your own experience to kick it off.
 
At-school idea: Encourage students to write to Congress or a local elected official about inclusive education issues that concern them. 
At-home hack: Decide on an issue that matters to your family, and write a letter together with your child. *Not an education issue, but kids might enjoy this vintage video about 11-year-old Meghan Markle, who wrote to the president of Procter & Gamble to protest a sexist TV commercial in 1993.
 
At-school idea: Involve support staff (e.g., counselors, nurses, office staff, janitors, and related service staff) in classroom-based activities to create an awareness of their roles in the school community.
At-home hack: Ask your child or ask at the front office for the names of the support staff at Mosaic. Send in thank-you notes or a small gift.
 
At-school idea: Assign older students to explore websites dedicated to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in order to come up with ideas to improve access to information for themselves and others. For instance, this article could be helpful to get kids' ideas going: Five Examples for Universal Design in the Classroom
At-home hack: Consider the differing needs of the people who live in your home. Differences in age, skill level, physical size, etc. mean that we may use rooms or furniture differently, or may need to be deliberate about which movies to watch so a younger child can participate, etc. Talk about how you can improve your space at home to make it more comfortable for everyone. Check out this article: Three Ways I'm Trying out Universal Design for Learning at Home with My Kids.
 
 
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