Teaching Strategies For Special Needs Students - Creative strategies that special education teachers know will intrinsically benefit their teaching: Strategies for special education teachers, working with paraprofessionals, and reducing clutter. This page contains affiliate links.
Self-contained classrooms exist for many special needs students who require highly individualized instruction. They allow teachers and paraprofessionals to adapt lesson content and use different teaching methods to best suit each student. If you're wondering how to make your school's special education instruction and support go above and beyond, here are four creative strategies and tips to help you get started!
Teaching Strategies For Special Needs Students
The most important thing a student with multiple disabilities needs is consistency. A routine helps students reduce anxiety and increase independence because there are few surprises. Students know what is going on and what they should do. A consistent structure relieves their stress and gives them more opportunities to focus on learning the material. Of course, not all students are the same, so it's important to tailor programs to each individual. However, simple classroom procedures are essential for every self-contained special education classroom. For example, morning meetings or personal care activities that are the same every day create a structure that your students will follow and eventually learn to be more independent in doing. This can ultimately allow you more flexibility in other areas of teaching when other things become routine.
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Paraprofessional support is the glue that helps hold the classroom together. In some cases, especially if a teacher is new, paraprofessionals know the students and the school better than the teacher. They are a wealth of knowledge about school-related issues. They can also relate to the student if they have taught the student before or interacted with them at school in the past. Identify these strengths and build on them. In addition, good teachers know to recognize the passions and talents of paraprofessionals in their classrooms and allow them to develop those skills. For some, this may sound like running an art class. For others, it might mean singing in morning meetings or collecting data. Whatever the strength, allowing your team members to use it will create a classroom environment based on mutual respect.
Overcrowded spaces lead to visual clutter and can make some people feel a little claustrophobic. Everything in your classroom should have a place. Minimize any clutter or stimulation so your students can focus on learning the material rather than potentially experiencing sensory overload. When you use binders and cubbies to stay organized, your students will also learn where everything goes and it can also increase their independence. They won't have to guess where things are or ask a paraprofessional to help them find something. And, it's nice to display it in an organized space.
It helps if you divide your independent classroom into different sections, each with their own specific activities and expectations. Use shelves and bookcases to divide the room and create several zones. Teach your students to understand the needs of each region. They should know what behavior and actions are expected of them when sitting in a certain area. It not only helps to establish a routine and organization but also helps to redirect behavior. For example, most students know that their behavior on the playground is different from their behavior in assembly. Using parts in a room is incredibly beneficial for learning. This is because you can place teaching materials and visual aids that are specific to that lesson in this area. Students can become more independent because they know exactly where to go and what to do in that area.
Consistency, uncluttered spaces, and classroom sections are essential to any classroom but are especially important for teachers who want to benefit from instruction in self-contained classrooms. Students with multiple disabilities, cognitive disabilities, emotional disabilities, and behavioral needs thrive best in environments that minimize clutter, impose structure, and create opportunities for independence. Keep these tips in mind when setting up your special education classroom!
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As any teacher knows, no strategy is one-size-fits-all when it comes to teaching. However, if you are teaching a class of students with additional needs, there are ways you can adapt your lessons to make them more effective.
In this blog post, we'll share our top six teaching strategies for special education. Whether your students have similar needs or need specific support, these tips and tricks will help you create a lesson plan that allows each student to thrive.
If you are looking for instructional strategies for special education, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that your classroom may have to accommodate a wide range of strengths and abilities. From physical limitations to neurodivergence, no two students will be the same - and it's important to make sure everyone is learning at the right pace for them.
Students With Special Needs: Strategies For Inclusion
Unlike mainstream school classrooms, where lessons must follow national standards set by the US Department of Education, special education teachers often have more freedom in the classroom. They can adapt their teaching style to suit their students. This flexibility is in part to accommodate the fact that you may be teaching children at a range of educational levels.
To achieve this, make sure your classroom is well stocked with a variety of resources, materials and equipment. Whether they are reading books, textbooks, or games to play, provide items that will be appropriate for students of different ages and abilities. This inventory will make it easier for you to provide everyone with the support they need without forcing standard resources that make them too easy or too difficult.
Suppose some of your students are still learning to read while others are working on reading comprehension. If you ask them to follow the same instructions, it can be detrimental to everyone involved. With student groups, you can make it easy to provide personalized service that gives everyone the space they need to grow.
The size of your groups will depend on the number of students in your classroom. If your group is small, it's perfectly fine to form groups of two or three - the most important thing is to make sure that similar skill levels stay together. You and your teaching assistants can then move around the classroom giving specific instructions to each group.
Special Educational Needs And Disabilities
According to research from the Harvard Kennedy School, small group learning can offer many academic and emotional benefits. Some of these benefits include:
Because you can teach such a wide range of skills, it can be difficult to create a sense of cohesion in your classroom. Your students will probably have different learning needs. As mentioned, small groups are a great way to personalize your lessons - however, don't treat these groups as completely independent. It can make it difficult for students to integrate into different groups with their classmates.
To find the perfect balance between whole-class and group learning, organize your lesson plans around central themes. Whether it's a story period, a talking point, or a recent event, setting a theme will help you structure your teaching and set common goals for your students.
From World War I to food, these themes can be as specific or general as you want! It all depends on the age and ability of the children in your class.
Strategies For Teaching Special Education
For example, let's say you choose food as a theme. Group activities include learning about verbs by reading recipes, exploring food from another era, coloring pictures of different dishes, or completing scenario-based math exercises such as buying groceries or making change at a coffee shop.
An important benefit of organizing your lessons around a theme is that it allows you to teach general concepts to your class as a whole. Thematic curriculum development is one of the best instructional strategies for special education because it means you can combine individualized instruction with whole-group instruction. This helps create a sense of community in your classroom.
Whether you're teaching math, English, or science, almost every subject has some general concept that everyone in your class can learn. Before starting your small group activities, start your lesson by giving all your students a general introduction to the topic. Your students can then apply this new knowledge to their specific tasks.
Not only does this save you the confusion of trying to set up separate introductions for each group, it will also allow you to bring your class together each day. This will give each student a common ground in a particular subject while encouraging collaboration (and camaraderie) between different skill groups.
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For any child, frequent changes can be stressful. But
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