Saturday, November 21, 2015

Merited praise helps special needs students

Teacher Chris Ulmer has found a way to improve performance among students with special needs at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville, FL. He uses videos and original songs to help his kids learn, but that's not all. Before each day begins, he calls the students forward one at a time and has them stand in front of him. He praises each one personally with remarks like "I'm glad you're in this class because you're brave and funny and always tell the truth," with a high five as an exclamation point.
                                                                                           Special Books by Special Kids / Facebook
He also posts videos of class activity on a "Special Books by Special Kids" Facebook page he and his students started, to teach everyone outside his classroom about the kids inside. One of his videos has been viewed 36 MILLION times. Ulmer says, "I have students with a variety of conditions, but they all share one common element, they are pure. They represent love and everything that is right in the world. Our desire is to spread love, empathy and acceptance (yes, acceptance, awareness is not good enough) for individuals with special needs. We are all different, but we are all in this together. Please share this."

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