Thesis

Using song-experience-games to build inclusion in a first grade classroom

One of the challenges facing teachers is building an inclusive classroom community to facilitate a positive learning environment. When a classroom is not inclusive students who have been excluded do not learn effectively and become a distraction to the entire class. Sources of Data This study was conducted over the 2005-2006 school year in a first grade classroom at Mission Avenue Open Elementary School. Data were collected from the students, parents, and the teacher through the use of journals, observations, photographs, and interviews. Case studies were conducted on five students who were selected to represent a diverse cross-section of the class. Conclusions Reached The use of the Education Through Music program in my classroom helped to build an inclusive classroom community. The building of this classroom community is reflected in the changes that occurred in the level of participation, emotions, andinclusion of all students as the school year progressed. These changes can be seen in the journaling of the parents and students, the faces of the students in the classroom photographs, and my notes as the school year progressed. I would recommend the use of Education Through Music’s song-experience-games to build inclusion in a first grade classroom.

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