Menu

Special education

Flex your groupings

In most instances, educators will be using assessment data and classroom observations to create flexible groupings in the classroom. Other times, however, teachers may want to group or pair students randomly. This type of grouping works well for many different types of lessons including community-building activities, idea sharing, small-group discussions, or the exploration of materials.

Today’s “Off the Page” selection is from Universal Design Daily and can be found on page 383.

Pick a stick, any stick

In any effective and student-centered classroom, the voices of learners should be heard often; they should be asking and answering questions, sharing ideas, and expressing their thoughts. Some students, however, struggle to engage in some or all of these behaviors. They may need models for asking appropriate questions or adding relevant comments. Today’s “Off the Page” selection will provide an idea for moving the tasks of talking and sharing from teacher to student and it will provide some support for learners who need to eavesdrop on others to learn new communication skills.

Using fascinations to teach & challenge

Too often, student interests are seen as a hindrance to learning, when they can actually be very helpful to both students and teachers. In this video, I discuss how to take a student’s passion–be it calendars, vacuum cleaners, superheroes, dolphins, detectives, or Ozzy Osbourne–and turn it into classroom support. This tip is taken directly from “Just Give Him the Whale”: 20 Ways to Use Fascinations, Areas of Expertise, and Strengths to Support Students with Autism” and specifically from Chapter 11: Connect Students to Standards-Based Content.

New year, new goals

Happy New Year!

I had a lot of great feedback about this post in the last few years, so I am sharing it again to kick off 2018. I hope it will help you meet your inclusion-related goals as you get back to work this week.

Schedules and timers and lists … oh my!

What if I told you it was possible to make some (if not most) of your students feel more comfortable by just adopting a few EASY strategies each day, week, and month? What if I told you these strategies would not cost a thing and would also help you–as the teacher–get a bit more organized? What if I told you these strategies could also help students learn new skills? Are you intrigued? If so, tune in to the latest episode of “Off the Page.” Be sure to share this one widely–these simple ideas can make or break a successful learning experience for some students.

Goal setting for co-teachers

It’s November and, therefore, it’s time for a new episode of “Off the Page.” In this segment, I am sharing a goal setting tool from 30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom. Don’t skip this one if you don’t co-teach, though! This strategy is a smart one and can work well for any collaborative team big or small.

Teaching Reading in a Noisy Environment

Teacher question:

Our district is exploring and embracing Personalized Learning. We have a committee that has been going to professional development all year and a small group that is trying this out in their classrooms. Next year another group of teachers will be brought on to implement personalized learning and mentor under those trying it this year.

Using Text-to-Speech to Unlock Reading Barriers

Guest post by Stacie Brady, AIM-VA

Students Who Learn Best with Audiobooks Are Not Cheating! They Are Accessing Their Curriculum

Educators who hold to beliefs that audiobooks are cheating can have their say in their personal lives. At school, that point of view stands in the way of academic success for struggling readers for whom audiobooks and alternatives to print are a necessity. 

Decode poorly, read slowly? 

Students who decode poorly and read slowly should use audiobooks to access the curriculum. They also need a specialized and proven program of reading instruction in order to learn to read. 

How to Screw Up Student Learning Under RtI

Reader question:

I am a classroom teacher (grade 3) and a follower of your blog. I also have an M.A. in Reading. Last year our new principal told us that our RtI students do not need to be in the classroom during grade level instruction. I strongly disagree. I think that these students benefit from scaffolded grade level instruction and benefit from the kind of thinking and reading the class is being asked to do during this time.  

Pages

"Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks." — Dr. Seuss