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Identifying and Nurturing Sparks in Special Education

First, watch the video from Edutopia titled "Smart Hearts: Social and Emotional Learning Overview" (
Next, read the guest blog post on "A Principal's Reflection on Student Driven Schools "(
Then, watch the "Edutopia classroom management video Classroom Management Video Tips for Teachers" (, and read "A Community of Learners: Building a Supporting Learning Environment" ( and "How to Provide Meaningful Support Services in a Virtual School: Robust Family Support (Part 1 of 4)" (
Finally, watch the two "Search Institute's videos on Sparks Matter: Finding Your Spark" ( and "Sparks Matter: Listening for Sparks" (
Identify at least three specific examples of how the educators and administrators were able to incorporate the developmental assets into their content courses and everyday school operations and at least three examples of where the educators could 'go further' to identify and nurture 'sparks.' Which methods resonated with you? Do you see any barriers to incorporating these strategies in your instructional setting or community?

Solution Preview

It is important for parents to be involved in their child's school. I really think that all elementary schools should allow parents to come in often. Most students will feel special if they know they have someone there with them and then parents can actually see what their child is doing as far as the school work. School has changed so much and some parents do not understand the new method of teaching. If they are allowed in the classroom it would make it easier for them to help their child with homework (1).

It was good to see how open and informative the principal was with his communication, as well as, how technology is being used in his school. I agree with him that in today' classroom and with communication, parents and students for the most part are so into the use of all technology. Yes, some people are still without technology or may not be as tech-savvy but there are ways of teaching them so that the connections are made. I particularly liked how the principal uses technology such as twitter and facebook to get his agenda, events, etc., on to share with the educational community of parents, students, and community. This is such a fast and connective use of technology and it at the forefront in the classrooms or at least if should be to help teachers, etc., reach parents that they may not of otherwise can reach by phone, text, letter, etc. Everyone has some type of access to technology. Social Media is out there and more schools need and should ...

Solution Summary

Discusses how teachers and parents can identify sparks (things of interest) in a child and how to nurture it in Special Education, what types of things to listen for when communicating with a child, and how educators can incorporate developmental assets into content curriculum.