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Practical Strategies For The Classroom

Strategies For Special Education

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Updated November 06, 2008
There are many practical strategies that are effective in the classroom. It is up to the classroom and special education teacher to ensure that appropriate strategies are being used in the classroom to assist individual learning styles and provide success to all students with special needs. It is recommended that a multi-modal approach be used, visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile for optimum success.

Classroom Environment

  • Provide the use of a study carrel when necessary.
  • Seat student in area free from distractions.
  • Eliminate all unnecessary materials from student desk to reduce distractions.
  • Use a checklist to help student get organized.
  • Keep an extra supply of pencils, pens, books and paper in the classroom.
  • You may have to allow the student frequent breaks.
  • Have an agreed upon cue for student to leave the classroom.
  • Reduce visual distractions in the classroom.

Time Management and Transitions

  • Space short work periods with breaks.
  • Provide additional time to complete assignment.
  • Allow extra time for homework completion.
  • Inform student with several reminders, several minutes apart, before changing from one activity to the next.
  • Reduce amount of work from usual assignment.
  • Provide a specific place for turning in assignments.

Presentation of Materials

  • Modify expectations based on students needs.
  • Break assignments into segments of shorter tasks.
  • Give alternative assignments rather than long written assignments.
  • Provide a model of end product.
  • Provide written and verbal direction with visuals if possible.
  • Break long assignments into small sequential steps, monitoring each step.
  • Highlight to alert student attention to key points within the written direction of the assignment..
  • Check that all homework assignments are written correctly in some kind of an agenda/homework book. Sign it and have parents sign it as well.
  • Number and sequence steps in a task.
  • Provide outlines, study guides, copies of overhead notes.
  • Explain learning expectations to the student before beginning a lesson.
  • Make sure you have the students attention before beginning a lesson.
  • Allow for student to use tape recorders, computers, calculators and dictation to obtain and retain assignment success.
  • Allow oral administration of test.
  • Limit the number of concepts presented at one time.
  • Provide incentives for beginning and completing material.

Assessment, Grading and Testing

  • Provide a quiet setting for test taking, allow tests to be scribed if necessary and allowing for oral responses.
  • Exempt student from district wide testing if possible.
  • Divide test into small sections.
  • Grade spelling separately from content.
  • Allow as much time as needed to complete.
  • Avoid time test.
  • Change percentage of work required for passing grade.
  • Permit retaking the test.
  • Provide monitored breaks from test.

Behavior

  • Avoid confrontations and power struggles.
  • Provide an appropriate peer role model.
  • Modify rules that may discriminate against student with neurological disorder.
  • Develop a system or code that will let the student know when behavior is not appropriate.
  • Ignore attention seeking behaviors that are not disruptive to the classroom.
  • Arrange a designated safe place that student can go to.
  • Develop a code of conduct for the classroom and visually display it in an appropriate place where all students can see it, review it frequently.
  • Develop a behavior intervention plan that is realistic and easily applied.
  • Provide immediate reinforcers and feedback.

Delivering an academic program to a room full of unique students is certainly a challenge. Implementing some of the listed strategies will provide a comfortable learning place for all students regardless of their academic abilities.

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