Hands-On Activities to Keep Students With Disabilities Engaged in K-12 Classrooms

Hands-On Activities to Keep Students With Disabilities Engaged in K-12 Classrooms

Pankaj Khazanchi (Liberty University, USA & Cobb County School District, USA) and Rashmi Khazanchi (North Mitchell Elementary School, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6240-5.ch008

Abstract

The central aim of this chapter is to identify the best practices in hands-on activities to keep students with disabilities engaged in K-12 classrooms. With diversity being a key component in today's classroom, teachers struggle in devising strategies to keep students with disabilities stay engaged. Improving student's learning by keeping them engaged is vital for our nation's competitiveness. Studies have shown the role of hands-on activities in improving engagement of students with disabilities. This chapter will define student engagement and will highlight some of the causes of student disengagement in classroom, relationship between hands-on activities and student engagement, need of hands-on activities/project-based learning in 21st century classrooms, creative ways to implement hands-on activities, connecting hands-on activities with the real-world situations, creating hands-on activities for students with disabilities in self-contained and inclusion classrooms, and matching students' interest and learning styles when developing hands-on activities.
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Background

Student engagement in classroom activities is a critical and central component of effective interventions for students with disabilities and is vital for our nation’s development. Student engagement simply refers to student’s participation in learning activities or how much is the student involved in the classroom task. The factors related to engagement relates to the aspects of environment (types and quality of learning opportunities provided to students), student’s ability and skills to participate in the classroom task, and on the student’s investment and interest in those opportunities.

Classroom environment and careful selection of hands-on activities plays an important role in promoting student engagement which is a critical factor in learning and academic gains for students with or without disability. How conducive is the classroom environment to support positive learning in student’s, determines how much is the student engaged in the educational environment? Selection of hands-on activities need careful planning by the teachers, who executes effective evidence-based strategies, and crafts highly engaged hands on activities, considering the individualized needs of student’s in the classroom.

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