Create an Effective Special Education Classroom With These Checklists

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There are several strategies that a special education teacher can implement in the classroom to help students who have special needs. It is better to use a multi-modal approach to assist visual, kinesthetic, tactile, and auditory learners.

Classroom Environment

  • Make the student sit in a place where there are no distractions.
  • Reduce the number of visual distractions.
  • Remove unnecessary things from the pupil’s desk, so there is less distraction.
  • Whenever necessary, provide a study carrel to the student.
  • Keep extra pens, pencils, paper, and books in the room.
  • Provide a checklist so that the student can stay organized.
  • Decide a cue to indicate that the student can leave the room.
  • If necessary, allow the student to have frequent breaks.

Behavior

  • Offer a suitable peer role model.
  • Avoid power struggles and confrontations.
  • Decide on a safe place where the student may go.
  • Modify the rules that are not suitable for students with neurological disorders.
  • If the class is not disturbed by particular attention-seeking behavior, ignore it.
  • Develop some signs or codes to make the student aware that their behavior is not right.
  • Make a code of conduct for the classroom. Display it so that all the students know about it.
  • Provide instant reinforcement and feedback.
  • Develop a realistic behavior intervention plan.

Presentation of Study Materials

  • Provide alternative assignments instead of lengthy written assignments.
  • Break down the assignments into shorter tasks.
  • Break the lengthy assignments into short sequential steps and monitor each step.
  • Modify expectations according to the student’s needs.
  • If possible, provide verbal and written directions with visuals.
  • Provide a sample of the final product.
  • In every task, number and arrange the steps in a sequence.
  • Highlight the key points when you give written directions for an assignment to make the student focus on them.
  • Provide study guides, outlines, and copies of class notes.
  • Before you begin a lesson, make sure the student is attentive and explain the learning expectations.
  • Allow them to use computers, calculators, tape recorders, and dictation.
  • Check the homework assignments and sign them. Also, ask the parents to sign them.

Time Management

  • Let them work for a short period, then give them a break.
  • Fix a place for submitting assignments.
  • Give extra time to complete their assignments and homework.
  • Give several reminders before you change to another activity.

Assessment and Grading

  • If possible, exempt them from district level testing.
  • Let them sit in a quiet place while writing a test.
  • Allow them to give oral responses.
  • Break down the test into short sections.
  • Give them sufficient time according to their need to complete the test.
  • Grade the spelling and content separately.
  • Change the amount of work needed for passing.
  • As far as possible, do not give a time test.
  • Allow them to retake the test.

Conclusion

It is a challenging task to teach in a classroom full of students with special needs. However, if you implement the strategies listed above, you can offer a suitable learning environment for all the students irrespective of their learning aptitude.

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