Aidan is included in the general education classroom for science and literacy. His general ed teacher loves projects. This is a perfect fit for Aidan for two reasons – projects are generally complex and time consuming. This means there is some part of the project that Aidan can be successful at and he will have plenty of time to do that. The first project was a characterization report. The students had to read a book, write a paper about the main character, create a pumpkin having to do with the main character, and do an oral report. No problem.
We chose the book Mudball by Matt Tavares. He’s a local author/illustrator and we’ve enjoyed his baseball books for awhile now. This book is about a real life underdog who makes the winning hit. Who doesn’t love that? Aidan had a buddy read the book to him over and over for several weeks. He would then answer questions such as:
He was given a choice of two pictures and he would reach for the correct answer. Now here’s the thing. What’s the book about? Well, we know it’s about baseball but his other choice was rain and there certainly is rain in the book. My concern was that those answers didn’t give an obvious wrong choice, or, it made the right choice a deeper thinking kind of question. I didn’t think Aidan would figure that out. Why did I ever doubt him? Of course Aidan knew the book was about baseball. He proved himself over and over by answering correctly. Shame on me.
And this is obviously Andy Oyler, the main character. What did Aidan do here, you ask? Well, he hand-over-hand (HOH) painted the white uniform, he chose the colors for the bat and ball, HOH taped the cap. Pretty impressive, eh?
Then on to the oral report. He used two buttons on his ipad to verbally share what the book was about and how he made the pumpkin. I’m so excited about this project because it’s inclusion at it’s best. Aidan didn’t read a chapter book, nor write a one-page descriptive essay, nor did he complete the pumpkin independently. This project gave him the opportunity to work on his fine and gross motor skills, reading comprehension, and listening to his peers, because that’s what Aidan needed out of this project.
And here’s what he rated Matt’s book:
It wasn’t three stars out of five, but rather, how many stars do you feel like cutting and pasting? So, each star was hard work in and of itself. I’d give inclusion three stars for this project, and Aidan as well!