Creating the Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Success

Creating the Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Success

Understand how to reach the diverse mix of students you face every day with strategies that turn diversity into opportunity. This course provides creative, low-budget strategies for making your inclusive classroom a nurturing, supportive learning environment that helps every student.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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Get the training you need to reach the diverse mix of students you face every day. You will learn proven strategies for inclusion that turn diversity into opportunity. With a mix of students who have learning disabilities, neurobiological disorders, and physical challenges, the modern classroom requires an efficient and effective teacher who can prioritize under tight deadlines and be creative on demand.

In this course, you will discover how students with special needs can become a part of the mainstream. You will learn to see the inclusive classroom as a home for these students, exploring how all students can benefit from an adaptive learning environment. You will examine how each child learns and what you can do to help them develop new strengths. You'll gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities offered by inclusion and how to build collaborative partnerships with the special educator and classroom aides. Above all, you'll discover creative, low-budget strategies for turning your inclusive classroom into a nurturing, supportive learning environment that helps every student!


Have you ever wondered how you're supposed to teach a simple lesson with so many different student needs to take into account? Welcome to the modern classroom! Today, every teacher works with up to six kids with special needs, and this can feel a bit overwhelming. In the first lesson, you'll learn how your classroom came to be inclusive, what this environment looks like, and how it will benefit you and your students.

A lot of teachers think the inclusive classroom looks much different from the room they teach in every day. But guess what? Your classroom is already inclusive! The adaptations you make to promote inclusion are ones that every student can benefit from—and they're simple changes. In this lesson, you'll learn about the décor, rules, and communication that make the inclusive classroom as effective as possible.

Just who are the special needs students in your room? Believe it or not, they're not that different from you. These kids have some extra challenges, yes, but that just means they have even more opportunities to grow. In this lesson, you'll learn about the common learning disabilities, neurobiological disorders, and physical disabilities that you may see in your students.

Classroom management is about the right techniques at the right time. You want to give students the ownership over their own success, the structure to make good choices, and the motivation to keep them coming back for more. You'll learn about these lifesaving management techniques in this lesson.

You may know a little something about multiple intelligence theory and how it relates to the classroom, but do you understand how to help your kids identify their own smart parts and cognitive strengths? You will after this exciting lesson!

Once you understand students' cognitive strengths, it's helpful to do a strength-based interview to help kids focus on the ways they learn best. Once you've got interview data, you can help students formulate appropriate goals and meaningful learning strategies. It doesn't take a lot of time, but the results are impressive!

Now that you know more about students' strengths and how to turn them into goals and learning strategies, you need to stop and think about how you can help this process along. Making the right lesson modifications is the key to giving students equal access to learning opportunities. In this lesson, you'll follow a very interesting social studies lesson to see how technology and creativity can help you modify and adapt with ease.

As you go through the year, it's pretty common to see at least one or two students falling into common learning traps. This lesson will talk about learned helplessness, tunnel vision, and isolationist thinking, three obstacles to student success. As you explore each trap, you'll also discover ways to turn it into an opportunity so that students can maximize their learning potential.

The previous lessons have already talked a lot about your classroom and your students, but they haven't spent much time on you! Teachers are the glue that holds the classroom together, so this lesson will spend some time talking about your own learning style and how it affects the classroom dynamic.

As you may know from experience, the inclusive classroom can't function without productive collaboration—between you, your students, aides, volunteers, school support professionals, and the like. In this lesson, you'll learn the joys (and common pitfalls) of collaboration so that you can start every relationship on solid footing.

Along with collaboration comes co-teaching, where more than one teacher works to serve the needs of all students. While this can turn into a sticky situation or a fight for territory, there's no need to make co-teaching adversarial! In fact, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the benefits of this very adaptable teaching style. Learn how to make this relationship work for you in this lesson.

It's easy to get so busy teaching that you forget to stop and see how things are going. This final lesson will talk about the best ways to reflect on an inclusive classroom and its successes and shortcomings. As you discover what works and what doesn't, you'll also look at some simple solutions for overcoming common obstacles.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Ellen Arnold

Ellen Arnold has been a reading specialist at the primary level, a social studies and reading teacher at the middle school level, and a special educator at the high school level. A veteran instructor, Arnold has taught hundreds of teachers the secrets to creating highly effective classrooms. She holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education and a master's degree in special education.


This was an excellent course. Although I have no co-teacher or aide, I will be able to adapt the ideas given. As compared to the other classes I've taken, I would rate this as the one that I could benefit from the most.

Great stuff! Today I did a student self-assessment of modality strengths and the kids loved finding out about themselves as far as how they learn best. I like the idea of calling it "smarts" because my seventh graders were a little confused by the more elaborate terms.

Great course! The knowledge that I gained will be of tremendous value during the school year.

I always had inclusion students, now I have a toolbox to open and use with them! Thank you! I appreciate all of the knowledge you have shared with me in the last few months. This is my third class with you and I am reccomending you strongly to other teachers who are struggling with these same issues.

Thank you for a wonderful course! I wish I had taken this course before I started teaching. I feel this course has help me have a better understanding of how to meet each and every students' need in the classroom. I will definitely make more of an effort to be sensitive to ones smarts and how it can effect their learning.

I enjoyed the course and all it had to offer! I feel confident knowing that I have been successfully implementing some the strategies taught to support my special needs students and I look forward to using other strategies as well. I really like the strength based interview, and will be more aware of the MI I use to deliver my lessons/activities.

You have given so many good tips, tools, and processes that I will use when I get back into a classroom. I like the strength based interview idea a lot (had never seen that before) and I love all the different types of assessments that you gave examples of (and the templates for!) in this lesson...I have learned a lot of different ideas from this course and will be more than willing to establish these in the classroom for success.

I have learned so much from all the lessons. I am excited to use them in my classroom. I have done some of it, but not to the depth I plan too. Thanks for all the time spent putting all the material together and allowing us to copy them.

Thanks for the delightful journey! I really enjoyed this class and could relate from many viewpoints; having been a parent, classroom teacher, SPED teacher, and currently a school counselor. This information, the creative ideas, and additional resources have been very helpful...I also appreciate you including and reminding us about the importance of self-reflection as well...Thanks again, you did a great job presenting this information in an inspiring way, I will definitely use it!

This course opened my mind to the fact that every student learns in a different way, and I should consistently modify my approach to teaching the material to meet the learning needs of all students.

Self-Guided Course Code: T9678
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: 4ic