Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher


Many teachers in regular classrooms feel unprepared to teach students with learning disabilities. Fortunately, brain research has confirmed that strategies benefiting learners with special challenges are suited for engaging and stimulating all learners. In this book, neurologist and classroom teacher Judy Willis explains that we can best help students by putting in place strategies, accommodations, and interventions that provide developmentally and academically appropriate challenges to suit the needs, gifts, and...
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Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom

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Many teachers in regular classrooms feel unprepared to teach students with learning disabilities. Fortunately, brain research has confirmed that strategies benefiting learners with special challenges are suited for engaging and stimulating all learners. In this book, neurologist and classroom teacher Judy Willis explains that we can best help students by putting in place strategies, accommodations, and interventions that provide developmentally and academically appropriate challenges to suit the needs, gifts, and goals of each student. Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom will help teachers
• Understand how the brain learns and the technologies that reveal this process.
• Implement strategies that are compatible with students' individual learning styles and honor their multiple intelligences.
• Improve the focus of students with attention disorders and help them gain the confidence and skills they need to develop goal-oriented behaviors.
• Create an enriching learning environment by incorporating student-centered activities, discovery and hands-on learning experiences, cross-curricular learning, and multi-sensory lessons.
• Implement strategic review, study, and test preparation strategies that will allow students to retain information and connect it with future learning.
• Build safe, supportive classroom communities and raise class awareness and empathy for students with learning disabilities.

It's time for teachers to lower the barriers, not the bar. Using strategies that align with research on how people's brains function, teachers can engage all students as individuals and help them reach their maximumpotential with joy and confidence.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416605393
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 227
  • Sales rank: 575,681
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Success for All Students in Inclusion Classes
2. Looking into Multiple Intelligence Brains
3. Teaching Students with Attention Disorders
4. Enriching the Inclusive Learning Environment
5. Review and Test Preparation Strategies for Diverse Learners
Afterword: What the Future Holds
Appendix: Sample Lesson Plans for Inclusion Class Activities
About the Author
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007

    An invaluable resource for anyone who cares about students

    I just finished reading Dr. Willis's book and it is as if she heard my prayers when she wrote it. The demands on teachers are increasing because classes are becoming more inclusive, with greater diversity of student abilities. Reading her book was faster, easier and less expensive than taking courses for inclusion skills, and a lot more convenient. With this book I feel so much more comfortable about my abilities to make my classroom a place of learning and joy for all my students. The explanations of how the brain processes information are so clearly presented I feel as if I've been to a complete seminar. The strategies are well described and can be applied throughout the K-8 years. I've been looking for a book that describes inclusion class intervention strategies that are both classroom-based and validated by research, and with Dr. Willis' training and experience as both a neurologist and a classroom teacher, I finally have that book. Each strategy is extended with step-by-step descriptions about how to incorporate the strategy into classroom teaching to fit the diversity of students I teach. I highly recommend this excellent and very readable resource for both general ed and special ed teachers who advise them. It is filled with helpful information written in a positive and motivational format, and gives us back ways to implement quality instruction in the face of the increasing restrictions of NCLB. I know I'll continue to refer to this book as I implement more and more of the strategies, and I will be telling my colleagues that this is the book they have been waiting for. Thank you, Dr. Willis, for putting so much thought and passion into what will surely become a classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2007

    Fills the void that connects brain research to teaching

    With the diversity of students increasing in our classrooms today, Dr. Willis's book fills knowledge void that connects brain research to classroom instruction. It is critical for teachers to meet the educational needs of students of all ability levels, including students with a variety of leaning disabilities and gifts. This is the first book I've found that explains what works and why from a comprehensive, brain-friendly perspective. The technical terms were so effectively explained that you will gain a deep understanding about the complex neural function of the brain and how this new knowledge can lead to classroom success. Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom gives educators the neuroscience research background and specific classroom strategies to build on all students' strengths and facilitate their growth and engagement. I particularly appreciated Dr. Willis's style of writing and reader-friendly approach that clearly reflects her background in neuroscience and education. The strategies and specific unit lessons, offered as detailed examples, are easy to follow and ready to bring right into the classroom. Today with the pressure of standardized testing and the resulting overly regimented curriculum, educators need help to adapt curriculum so all students can succeed and truly not be left behind. If you are ready to use neuro-logical strategies to effectively and joyfully engage students with a range of abilities, challenges, and gifts in your general education classroom, but don't have time to read all the books that are out there, this is the one to read! Lawrence May, MD

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2007

    A reviewer

    that successfully merges the best of the brain sciences with educational practice. She not only speaks from an extensive background in neurology, but also as a practicing educator. In this work, she has generated solid suggestions with an abundant array of strategies and ideas that are well grounded in both research and practice. This well articulated book is an easy read and enormously useful to the classroom practitioner of today. Complete with examples and lesson plan layouts, this book is a must-read for those in education ~ whether they be involved in inclusion classrooms or not!! Her approach to integrating learning is refreshing, insightful and easily put into use! Bob Greenleaf, Greenleaf Learning, August 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2007

    Brain Friendly Strategies bring success to my students

    As a resource teacher for LD students in inclusion elementary school classes for 25 years I am so grateful for Dr. Willis's new book, Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom. She has keen insight into the problems faced by teachers of inclusion classes as well as the benefits to all served by inclusion classes. The strategies she suggests include specifics of differentiated instruction to benefit the wide range of talents, interests, and abilities for children in these classes, and are well-supported by the neurological research and neuroimaging studies she describes. Dr. Willis ¿explains the brain¿ in reader-friendly, yet academically appropriate, terminology. I am excited to have a book just like this that I could recommend to the teachers whose students I work with. Dr. Willis's book shows how these students can be seamlessly incorporated into the learning activities of the whole class when teachers incorporate multisensory learning, learning style differentiation, and set appropriately high but achievable challenge for all students. Implementation of Dr. Willis's suggestions would help all teachers to build students' confidence and competence as they reach for their highest potentials, take supported risks, and thrive in a positive classroom environment where students respect and appreciate one another's differences. It is to the benefit of inclusion class teachers that Dr. Willis does not get bogged down in the technical differences of each specific category of learning difficulty, but rather gives differentiated strategies for teachers to use based on student abilities and performance, with the guidance she suggests from resource specialists. This is exactly the way I am able to do the best for these students and guide their teachers. With this book, Dr. Willis has added the neuroscientific research to help all teachers and administrators support the variety of learners in their classes (almost all classes now are in fact inclusion classes). Dr. Willis's compassion is evident, the book is a pleasure to read, and I hope we hear more from her.

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