Back to School Tips and Themes for Special Education Teachers (2024)

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Back to school time means preparing yourself and your room for a new group of students. Special education teachers often have different considerations when getting ready for the school year than general education teachers. Each student in a special education classroom has unique needs to think about when planning your classroom design, layout and theme. In addition to the physical room, you also want to consider the classroom environment and how you can make your students feel comfortable and ready to learn.

Whether this year is your first teaching special education or you’ve been in the field for years, you can still use some helpful tips and ideas. Check out these ways to make your classroom fun and interactive, as well as tips for keeping your cool throughout the year.

Tips for a Special Education Teacher

Start the year off right by reorienting your mind for the new school year with some handy tips for teaching students with functional needs, commonly referred to as special needs. You don’t want to leave anything out of the planning stages, so your room will be ready for your students on the first day. These tips will keep you on task with the most important things to do and remember when starting the new year.

1. Communicate and Keep People Informed

Communication is critical in any teaching position, but it becomes especially important for special education teachers. Maintain open communication channels with parents, school administration and coworkers who will also work with your students. These people all have essential roles in helping your students learn and thrive in your classroom. In fact, communication is so vital that it may be mandated by law by keeping up with individualized education programs (IEPs).

Back to School Tips and Themes for Special Education Teachers (1)

2. Review and Prepare Tools for Your Students’ IEPs

Your students’ IEPs outline the accommodations you need to make for each student’s learning needs in the classroom, extracurricular doings and nonacademic activities. These documents are critical to your success with your students. Knowing how you need to modify your classroom and teaching will help when you create lesson plans for your students with special needs.

If possible, generate one-page summaries of each IEP. These summaries will help you learn about each student’s needs. The single-page references will make it easier to review information quickly from the IEPs in the future.

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While reviewing each student’s IEP, add important dates for the student’s milestones, meetings and deadlines into your calendar. Doing this planning at the beginning of the year will ensure you don’t miss significant events in any of your students’ learning schedules.

Keep a list of supplies you will need for your classroom to fulfill the requirements in the IEPs. Because your students will have different needs, look for products that make learning more accessible to them, such as:

  • Communication needs: If you have students who do not use verbal communication, you may need assistive products, also known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.
  • Visual needs: Students who have visual impairment may need lightboxes, switches or other adaptive devices with high contrast or tactile components.
  • Tablet accessibility: Tablets open a world of learning to your students. Your learners may require devices to make the tablet more accessible, such as styluses, mounts or capability switches.
  • Activation and accessibility switches: Some of your students may require switches to enhance accessibility. Find several products to fit each student’s individual needs, including head chin, sound-activated, plate and other switch types.

3. Establish Daily and Weekly Schedules

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You will need to establish regular schedules for your students. Having a routine will help your students feel more secure, understand expectations, increase student engagement and minimize behavioral problems. The repetitive nature of an established schedule in your classroom gives your students the chance to learn what to anticipate.

Special education teacher organization becomes vital when you try to maintain a set routine with your students. But when you have an established schedule, planning your days happens faster because you can set out materials for several lessons or days in advance. Routines make organizing your classroom easier and help you better prepare for every learning opportunity.

When you organize your classroom and have lesson materials ready, your students won’t need to wait for you and possibly lose focus. Students who know what to expect, especially those who have conditions like autism that increase rigidity in thinking patterns, will be more prepared to learn during the given lessons.

Don’t be too rigid in your routine, though. Fire drills, canceled school days and other unexpected events can happen to delay your plans. Be flexible enough that such incidents don’t derail your lesson plans. Even after a disruption, you should return to the routine as soon as possible to help your students feel safer in the predictability of the schedule.

4. Remember Every Day Is a New Day

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All teachers get frustrated during their work. You may benefit from compartmentalizing each day. Don’t carry stress from one day to the next. It can be easy to remember yesterday’s meltdowns, but it’s important to start each day fresh and not bring up past bad behavior.

Just because you treat each day as a new beginning, you still need to keep your students accountable for their actions. Don’t wait to discipline a student. If you do it the following day, neither of you remembers the incident well enough for the consequences to have an effect. Instead, correct student behaviors the moment they do them. Once corrected, move on from the event.

If you need professional help, don’t wait to talk to another teacher or seek out special needs teaching resources. Online sources from experts will help you with tips for classroom management and behavior issues you may experience.

To maintain your mental health, you can:

  • Keep a positive outlook.
  • Separate yourself from your stresses at the end of the day by finding something rewarding to engage in.
  • Find some means of building yourself up and resetting your stress levels at the end of the day or during the weekends, such as exercising, visiting friends or practicing a hobby or skill.

By taking care of your needs, you will be better prepared to take care of your students and their requirements.

Tips for Designing Spaces Intentionally in Special Education Classrooms

When setting up your classroom, you need to do so intentionally. Every piece you have and its placement must fulfill a role in your teaching. Even the special education classroom ideas you use need to relate to your instruction. Find out some handy tips for making your room beautiful and practical.

1. Keep It Age-Appropriate

Though you will likely have students of varying actual and development ages, you still need to keep your classroom age-appropriate. The students will probably have a specific age range, such as 5- to 12-year-old children or teenagers. Use these age groups to find appropriate room decorations.

Also, wait until after you review the IEPs before decorating your room. You need to know the needs of your students before choosing classroom materials and décor for them. Some students may need visuals, educational devices or seating that differs from their peers’ needs or those of a general classroom.

2. Space Is Critical

Perhaps more important than the furnishings and devices in your classroom layout for your students with special needs is the unused space. You will need space to move around as well as allowing your students free movement.

When setting up a classroom for students with special needs, allow for different spaces with specific uses, such as a calming area, teaching area, reading area, play area and individual learning area.

Calming Space in Special Needs Classroom

A calming area will give your students a place to relax when they feel overwhelmed. Include a comfortable place to sit, such as a swing, rug or bean bag chair. This area could also serve as a sensory space or center in an autism classroom.

Sensory Space or Sensory Room for Special Education Classroom

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In a sensory space or room, you want to have objects that appeal to different needs, such as:

  • Tactile: Some students like feeling materials and textures for tactile processing, such as reflective balls and squishy liquid mats.
  • Visual stimulation: Some students will need visual stimulation from brightly colored or lit objects like bubble tubes, sensory tubes or colorful lamps for visual processing needs.
  • Vestibular: Help students with gross motor skills needs by providing hanging chairs, swings or basketball hoops.
  • Transition: Moving through a physical space can help students who have problems with transitions between tasks. Tents, tunnels and similar areas can help students physically move to make the mental shift between activities easier.

In addition to having a place for students to explore sights, sounds and sensations, a sensory space also allows room for a group area. Here, you can conduct class lessons and have student presentations.

Teaching Area in Special Needs Classroom

The teaching area includes your desk and personal workspace. Teach students about respecting the boundaries around your desk by correcting them if they try to slip into your area.

Play Space for Special Education Classroom

Don’t forget that students need to play. Having a play area gives your students an outlet for their energy and a way to interact with adaptive or adapted toys. Also, consider adding activity centers to the play area. These toys have a variety of actions the students can do to stimulate multiple senses. Additionally, you can browse our products by your teaching goals in our menu — activate, communicate, develop, educate and play.

Older students who engage in reading and writing will need an area for these activities. Have a bookshelf for books, and nearby, keep a supply area of paper, pencils and other writing supplies.

Individual Learning Area for Special Education

Student desks give your classroom members space of their own. This space provides them with a working area as well as an escape if they need individual time. Instruct students to return to their desks as a transition during your routine when you need to set up a new area.

3. Match the Room to Your Teaching Style

How do you teach? Do you use one board or two? Do your students sit individually or in groups? Arrange your classroom to complement and enhance your teaching methods.

If you have students regularly work in groups, do they work on the floor in a circle or collaborate at tables? Should you have students do individual work more often, allow plenty of comfortable space for them around their desks.

4. Make It a Fun Environment so Students Feel Comfortable

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You want any special education teacher themes you use to be fun and applicable to your students. Using bright colors makes matching up decorations easier. Green, yellow, red and blue are good colors to choose.

If you want a basic color scheme rather than using specific special education classroom decorating ideas, use a different color for each area of your room. Classroom kits in each area of your room can assist with teaching.

    • Sensory: Adding sensory kits to your room, whether you have a specific area or not, can help students learn self-soothing behaviors.
    • Visual: Make lessons accessible to everyone in your room with high-contrast lightboxes and similar light-emitting kits for those with visual impairment.
    • Fine motor: Kits designed to hone fine motor skills can boost some of your lessons while helping the students improve their fine motor abilities.

These and other fun activities for special education teachers will make your class more enjoyable and accessible to all your students.

Designing a Special Education Classroom for Elementary School Students

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Special education classrooms for elementary students should support learning and adapt to students’ unique needs and abilities.

Use a center or hub system to move students around the classroom and engage them in different lessons. Set up a special activity for each area, such as independent work, art, science and math. Rotate students through the small group areas throughout the day, so they can learn all the concepts.

Help students keep their assignments and materials organized with labeled bins. Homework, worksheets and school supplies will have their own place. Classroom-wide schedules can be color-coded by student, so each student can keep track of their activities.

Students who need an outlet for fidgeting should also have a sensory toy at their desk to play with. The Gel Lap Pad weighs 5 pounds for self-soothing and has squishable, sparkling gel that students can play with to improve focus.

Your classroom can also have a sensory space with calming or energizing toys for all students to play with. The Sensory Exploration Tent is a fun way for students to increase their sensory awareness by playing with a wood fidget puzzle, Tranquil Turtle and other toys.

Designing a Special Education Classroom for Middle and High School Students

Middle and high school students in a special education classroom — similar to those in an elementary school — need the right support to learn and be independent. Special education classrooms for high school and middle school students should be responsive, as every student has unique needs.

In many special education classrooms, group work for the entire class period can be challenging. Create a center or station setup where students can focus on a different activity in each area. Station ideas include individual IEP and curriculum work, group activities and life skill tasks. You can also set up a waiting area if one student needs to wait on another student to move on to the next station.

Keep learning materials organized in color-coded and labeled bins. This organization helps students find their own materials, which is important for building independence and assessing their ability to understand and follow directions.

Encourage group work and social skill development by clustering student desks together. Each desk cluster can have a unique activity, like working on a lesson or playing a tabletop game like Bingo and Hi Ho Cherry-O to help students recognize numbers and interact with each other.

Special Education Décor Ideas

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Classroom décor can be functional to reinforce your lessons and make the space a fun place to learn. For décor in special education classrooms, less is often more, as too many decorations may overstimulate some students.

For small group workspaces, use a Fluorescent Black Light Carpet that displays neon colors to help calm students. You can also turn the visuals and work materials from lessons into your classroom décor. Print images or concepts on colored paper and attach them to your board. Set up a Go! Board in a central location to keep students on task.

Special education teachers can create themed bulletin boards that add value to the classroom. Themed boards organize learning materials and reinforce concepts. For example, you can have a schedule board with the day’s activities, a word wall with new vocabulary terms, or a goal board with your class’s goals for the day, week or year.

For your printed paper décor, laminate the paper and adhere it with magnets or mounting putty. The lamination preserves the paper to prevent fading and tearing. You can use these visuals every year, saving time and money with your special education classroom decoration.

Special Education Classroom Themes: A Room for Everyone

Are you interested in using room themes for your classroom? If so, think through if you would like to make regular changes to your classroom’s appearance. Will you have the time to make seasonal changes to your room? Or do you want to change it based on current lesson themes?

Choosing age-appropriate themes becomes critical for creating a space that will benefit your students instead of distracting them. Your room layout should still have separate working areas. These spaces will guide your placement of themed decorations. Need some inspiration or tips? Check out these ideas for special needs classrooms.

1. Camping Theme

Back to school themes for special education may include aspects of summer or look forward to the new school year. Even students who have never slept in a tent can appreciate a summer tie-in with a camping theme. You can also use this theme at the end of the year as a kick-off to vacation.

Set up your teacher’s desk as the “Park Headquarters” or “Ranger’s Station” with a sign on the front and a ranger’s hat on the desktop or hung on the wall behind.

Call the reading area or the group work area the campfire. You can use colored light to replicate a campfire. If you already have a tent in your sensory area, you may use that in the campfire area.

Bring in potted plants to make the whole classroom feel like it’s outside. Even if you don’t have a forest around you, the greenery will bring a bit of nature into your room. Your theme could have an extra benefit.

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Greenery in your room may have an added benefit of encouraging student engagement. Adding plants through classroom design may improve student performance.

2. Seasons Theme

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If you feel ambitious, consider a seasons theme that will need changing four times a year. Because the room changes a few times a year, students get the interest of looking at new décor without the stress of changes that occur too frequently.

You don’t have to add decorations for holidays like the Fourth of July or Valentine’s Day. To make this theme easier for yourself, keep each season generic. The fewer specifics you have for the season, the less often you will have to take down and put up new decorations.

For summer, try a beach theme. Beach balls in the sensory or play area, sunglasses on your desk and beach towels for the students to sit on are a few ways to customize your room.

Fall décor can include fall landscapes. Continue the theme by using orange, brown and red color schemes in your classroom’s learning areas.

Winter themes may but don’t have to include holidays. Focus on a snow theme to stretch out this theme long after winter break.

Just as you don’t have to have Christmas decorations during the winter, you also don’t need Easter decorations for your spring theme. But you can still have bunnies, flowers and pastel colors.

If you have a bulletin board, consider putting up a paper tree and changing the leaves with the seasons.

3. World Theme

A world theme is an ideal tie-in to your geography lesson plans. You can set up each section of your classroom as a separate “country” with items to show the geography and culture of the area. This theme teaches your students the names of some countries while giving them a fun cultural activity.

Give students passports to check in at each station in your room. They can collect a sticker from each “country” they visit until they fill their passport.

4. Crayon Theme

Bright colors around your classroom make a visually appealing learning environment while teaching your students about art. Use a dominant color for each section of your class and shades of that color for accessories. Doing so teaches students about the variety of colors in the spectrum.

You can expand this theme from just crayons to art by incorporating art supplies or kits into the different areas of your classroom. Encourage creativity by incorporating art projects into your lessons. Painting, drawing, coloring, clay molding and similar projects encourage tactile and visual stimulation. Of course, you want to adapt the plans to your students’ learning needs.

5. City Theme

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Label each of the areas of your classroom with different buildings in a city. Refer to these places when giving students directions to add to the fun.

For example, name your desk “city hall.” As the head of the classroom, you have a job similar to a town mayor.

The play area can be the “park” or “public pool.” Just as residents of a town play at a park, your students will use the play area for recreation.

Student desks can be “downtown” because students work there just as people work in a downtown region. The correlations between these two locations can increase with the addition of tape on the floor around the desks to resemble city streets.

For classrooms with a reading and writing area, label it the “library” if your students use it more for reading. For writing, call it the “town newspaper.”

When you call your students to the group work area for lessons, refer to it as the “community center.” Residents of a town usually meet in such a place to collaborate on ideas, just as your students do when they come to the group work area of your room.

Browse the Lineup From Enabling Devices to Get Inspired

Start the year by equipping your classroom with the products your students need for an accessible learning experience. You’ll find everything you need at Enabling Devices. We offer classroom decorations, toys, educational objects and much more to help you give your students the best education possible.

If you need more ideas for your room themes, browse through our products at Enabling Devices. We have a wide range of products, toys, electronics and accessories to accommodate students of all abilities, including:

  • Sensory products to engage the senses for energizing or relaxation
  • Switch-adapted toys and games to enable fun and play
  • AAC devices to support communication, interaction, and language and social skills

You’ll even find special education classroom resources and ideas and informative special education blog posts on our website.

Browse our products and resources for special education teachers to prepare for back to school. Contact Enabling Devices for more information or assistance finding the right products for your special education classroom.

Back to School Tips and Themes for Special Education Teachers (2024)


Back to School Tips and Themes for Special Education Teachers? ›

According to Preschool Whittier, CA being compassionate and having true love and respect for children is the most important trait of a great special education teacher. Children feel confident and learn better when they are loved and cared for by their teachers.

What are the four goals of the special education teachers? ›

The Four Goals of Early Childhood Special Education
  • Intellectual Development. Cognitive or intellectual development is one of the biggest goals of early childhood special education. ...
  • Physical Development. ...
  • Emotional Development. ...
  • Social Development.

What makes an excellent special education teacher? ›

According to Preschool Whittier, CA being compassionate and having true love and respect for children is the most important trait of a great special education teacher. Children feel confident and learn better when they are loved and cared for by their teachers.

What are some of the best practices or key themes in supporting students with disabilities? ›

10 Best Practices for Improving Special Education
  • Focus on student outcomes, not inputs.
  • Effective general education instruction is key.
  • Ensure all students can read.
  • Provide extra instructional time every day for students who struggle.
  • Ensure that content-strong staff provide interventions and support.

What are the 3 important components that make up special education? ›

That's three separate, distinct, and critical elements–special education, related services, and supplementary aids and services–and each is worthy of a book on its own. Don't worry!

What are the 3 most important roles of a special education teacher? ›

Special education teachers typically do the following: Assess students' skills and determine their educational needs. Adapt general lessons to meet students' needs. Develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each student.

What are the six pillars of special education? ›

Key to the legislation are six pillars that ensure a child's education needs and progress are met with:
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP). ...
  • Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). ...
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). ...
  • Appropriate Evaluation. ...
  • Parent and Teacher Participation. ...
  • Procedural Safeguards.

What is the hardest part of being a special education teacher? ›

Managing difficult students: It can be very challenging to manage difficult students in a special education classroom. These students can often be disruptive and challenging to teach as a result of their disabilities. Lack of resources: Special education teachers often face a lack of resources in their classrooms.

What are three of the most critical characteristics of a special educator? ›

The Qualities of a Special Ed Teacher – What it Takes to be Great
  • Adaptability. Classrooms can be unpredictable. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Compassion. ...
  • Devotion to improvement. ...
  • Assessment skills. ...
  • Knowledge of theory and practice. ...
  • Listening skills.
Aug 17, 2018

What are the 5 factors that make special education special? ›

Answer and Explanation: The behavior, limited English proficiency, blind or visually impaired, communication needs or deaf or hard of hearing, and assistive technology are the five factors that IEP team must determine to make special education effective for the students with disabilities.

How to teach special needs students in an inclusive classroom? ›

Making Classrooms Inclusive for Special Needs
  1. Review Individual Education Plans. ...
  2. Create a Safe Space. ...
  3. Consider How Students Interact With Their Environment. ...
  4. Differentiate Instruction. ...
  5. Rely on Your Fellow Teachers.

How do you motivate students with learning disabilities? ›

Tips for educators & parents
  1. Praise effort over performance. Children with learning difficulties may not always achieve the best grades, but if they've put in a lot of effort, it deserves recognition. ...
  2. Put things in perspective. ...
  3. Share your own experience. ...
  4. Keep them motivated. ...
  5. Give them time.

What are the seven core elements of special education? ›

IDEA Essential Components
  • Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
  • Appropriate Evaluation (ETR)
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • Parent Participation.
  • Procedural Safeguards.

What are the 7 special factors that must be considered in the development of any IEP? ›

The special factors are:
  • Behavior (Keep scrolling)
  • Limited English proficiency.
  • Blindness or visual impairment.
  • Communication needs/Deafness.
  • Assistive technology.

What are the three models of special education? ›

There are six main types of special education within most public-school settings.
  • Push-in Services. ...
  • Pull-out Services. ...
  • Inclusive Classrooms. ...
  • Exclusive Education. ...
  • Specialty Schools. ...
  • Residential Programs.
Jul 24, 2018

What are the three 3 characteristics of effective teachers? ›

Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.

What is the goal of a special education teacher? ›

One goal that many special education teachers have is to improve the IEP (individualized education program) process. Short term objectives may include steps you'll take to involve more general education teachers, communicate next steps with families, and providing more support in the general education curriculum.

What do you think are the top 3 most important characteristics of a teacher? ›

The Top 14 Qualities that Make a Good Teacher
  • Adaptability. Adaptability is a must for teachers, who need to continuously evaluate what's working for their students — and even more importantly, what isn't working. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Patience. ...
  • Engagement. ...
  • Active Listening. ...
  • Lifelong Learning. ...
  • Free of Bias. ...
  • Respectful Attitude.

What does LRE stand for in special education? ›

Least restrictive environment, or LRE as it is more commonly called, is one of several vital components in the development of a child's IEP and plays a critical role, influencing where a child spends his or her time at school, how services are provided, and the relationships the child develops within the school and ...

What does FAPE stand for? ›

The acronym "FAPE" is used to mean a free appropriate public education. The federal law that gives these rights is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The federal law is also known as the IDEA.

Which of the following are one of the four major goals of special education? ›

The framework regards academic goals as the means for achieving other outcomes, namely the four outcomes that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) declared: equality of opportunity, full par- ticipation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.

Why do so many special education teachers quit? ›

1. Special education teachers want effective mentorship and continued professional development throughout their careers. 2. Increasingly heavy workloads result in lack of time to fulfill duties and responsibilities and deteriorating mental health for special education teachers.

What state pays special ed teachers the best? ›

Top 15 States for Special Education Teacher Salary
  • Maryland.
  • Alaska.
  • Washington.
  • New York.
  • California.
  • Connecticut.
  • Oregon.
  • New Jersey.
May 30, 2023

Where are the highest paid special education teachers? ›

Highest paying cities for Special Education Teachers near California
  • San Francisco Bay Area, CA. $92,953 per year. 14 salaries reported.
  • Fremont, CA. $82,300 per year.
  • Sacramento, CA. $75,340 per year. 106 salaries reported.
  • Oakland, CA. $72,832 per year. ...
  • Santa Rosa, CA. $71,954 per year.
  • Show more nearby cities.

Which skill is most important in teaching inclusive education? ›

The findings of the study showed that the most important skills that should be acquired in inclusive classes are self-acquaintance, communication, and empathy. Keywords: Inclusive education, empathic skill, students with special needs.

What qualities do you need to work with special needs kids? ›

24 Apr The Top 5 Qualities Of People Who Work With Special-Needs Children
  • Organized But Adaptable. Are you meticulous when it comes to organization? ...
  • Naturally Calming. ...
  • Kindness And Understanding. ...
  • Dedication To Optimism. ...
  • Passion.
Apr 24, 2023

What is the most common disability in special education? ›

Specific learning disability: 279,200. Speech or language impairment: 172,422. Traumatic brain injury: 1,312. Visual impairment: 2,581.

What is the most common disabilities in special education? ›

The top five most common learning disabilities are dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and dyspraxia. Each of these conditions can present with a range of symptoms and can be diagnosed through a combination of medical and educational assessments.

How can I make my lesson more inclusive? ›

To create an inclusive classroom for your students, try integrating these strategies.
  1. Elevate Your Curriculum. ...
  2. Use Inclusive Language. ...
  3. Create and Enforce Class Values and Behavior Standards. ...
  4. Create Space for Students to Practice Empathy. ...
  5. Focus on Global Competence. ...
  6. Avoid Making Assumptions Based on Stereotypes.

What can teachers do to help students with learning disabilities? ›

Teachers who apply those kinds of intervention:
  1. break learning into small steps;
  2. administer probes;
  3. supply regular, quality feedback;
  4. use diagrams, graphics and pictures to augment what they say in words;
  5. provide ample independent, well-designed intensive practice;

How do you empower students with disabilities? ›

These strategies not only help the 1 in 5, but every student.
  1. Start with Inclusivity. ...
  2. Instill a Growth Mindset. ...
  3. Teach and Support Self-Advocacy. ...
  4. Use Responsive Teaching. ...
  5. Utilize Positive Behavior Strategies.
Sep 26, 2019

What are three ways to create an inclusive classroom? ›

Tips for Making Classrooms More Inclusive as Students Head Back To School
  • Use inclusive language on all forms. ...
  • Stock your library shelves with diverse books. ...
  • Create a welcoming bulletin board. ...
  • Develop clear classroom and/or school agreements. ...
  • Prepare for teachable moments. ...
  • Model inclusive language.
Aug 24, 2018

How do you promote inclusion in special education? ›

  1. Make it Personal. Provide opportunities for students to share their own experiences and perspectives. ...
  2. Include Various Perspectives. Provide a variety of perspectives on the topics you teach. ...
  3. Know Your Students. Get to know your students. ...
  4. Respect Diverse People. ...
  5. Respect Diverse Talents.

What does an inclusive classroom look like? ›

An inclusive classroom climate refers to an environment where all students feel supported intellectually and academically, and are extended a sense of belonging in the classroom regardless of identity, learning preferences, or education.

What are functional skills on an IEP? ›

Functional skills are skills an individual needs to live as independently as possible. Functional skills describe the routine activities of everyday life -- communication, mobility, behavior, social skills, and daily living skills.

What are the 5 components of the IEP in order? ›

The Components of an Individualized Education Program
  • Current Performance. In IEP terms, your child's current performance is called the “Present Level of Performance” or PLOP. ...
  • Goals. ...
  • Assessment. ...
  • Services. ...
  • Transition. ...
  • Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) and Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) ...
  • Placement.
Jul 1, 2020

What are the 4 main parts of an IEP? ›

According to the IDEA, an IEP must contain:
  • 1 – The Student's Current Educational Status. ...
  • 2 – Measurable Annual Goals. ...
  • 3- A Description of How the Child's Progress on Annual Goals Will Be Measured. ...
  • 4 – A Statement of the Special Education and Related Services and Supplementary Aids and Services.
Jun 24, 2022

What is generally the most challenging component for the IEP team? ›


But sometimes even getting everyone on the same page to start with about what the student can and can't do can be a challenge. Then add to that the fact that every member of the IEP team comes to the table with a different focus, and finding common ground can be especially tough.

What is a special ed classroom called? ›

The most common special education settings are inclusion classes, resource rooms, and self-contained classrooms. Each of them looks and functions very differently while having their own unique pros and cons.

What are the 5 teaching models? ›

What are the 5Es? o The 5Es represent five stages of a sequence for teaching and learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend (or Elaborate), and Evaluate.

What are the 4 types of Modelling in teaching? ›

A model can provide examples of what is expected of the students in terms of work and/or behaviour. A teacher can model by using visual, auditory, tactile, and/or kinaesthetic instructional techniques.

What are the 4 components of an IEP goal? ›

As you are reviewing your child's IEP, make sure that each goal includes each of these pieces: the student, the condition, the skill or behavior, and the criteria. can also offer some help in figuring out how to tell if your child's IEP goals are SMART.

What are the four key types of educational goals? ›


What are goals in special education? ›

IEP goals should enable the child to learn the basic skills that are necessary for thechild to be independent and self-sufficient. These basic skills include: Communication skills. Social skills and the ability to interact with others.

What are smart goals for special education teachers? ›

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound. Having SMART IEP goals can help your child get the most out of special education. A SMART IEP goal will be realistic for your child to achieve and will lay out how your child will accomplish it.

What are the 3 key legal concepts of an IEP? ›

Legally Required Parts of an IEP
  • 1 – The Student's Current Educational Status. ...
  • 2 – Measurable Annual Goals. ...
  • 3- A Description of How the Child's Progress on Annual Goals Will Be Measured. ...
  • 4 – A Statement of the Special Education and Related Services and Supplementary Aids and Services.
Jun 24, 2022

What are the 7 components of an IEP? ›

This type of information is captured in the “present levels” statement in the IEP.
  • Annual Goals. ...
  • Benchmarks or Short-Term Objectives. ...
  • Measuring and Reporting Progress. ...
  • Special Education. ...
  • Related Services. ...
  • Supplementary Aids and Services. ...
  • Program Modifications for School Personnel. ...
  • Extent of Nonparticipation.

What are the 5 key elements of learning to read and implement an IEP? ›

Here are five key things to be on the lookout for when you read an IEP and how they apply to your classroom.
  • Present level of performance. ...
  • Annual goals. ...
  • Special education and related services. ...
  • Supplementary aids, services, modifications, and/or supports. ...
  • Notes and considerations — including special factors.

What are the 4 C's framework in Education? ›

The 21st century learning skills are often called the 4 C's: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. These skills help students learn, and so they are vital to success in school and beyond. Critical thinking is focused, careful analysis of something to better understand it.

What is the 4 C's model Education? ›

To develop successful members of the global society, education must be based on a framework of the Four C's: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creative thinking.

What is the professional goal of a special education teacher? ›

A special education teacher's goal should be to help every student succeed. One way to do this is by tracking a student's progress. This can be done with resources such as a learning management system (LMS) or an individualized education program (IEP).

What are the examples of special ed goals? ›

Some examples of possible IEP goal focus areas identified within the present levels are: Reading comprehension, fluency skills, communication, time-management, self-advocacy, self-regulation, organization, independent travel, interpersonal and social skills, college and career exploration, math skills, fine motor ...

What are the short term goals for special education teachers? ›

One goal that many special education teachers have is to improve the IEP (individualized education program) process. Short term objectives may include steps you'll take to involve more general education teachers, communicate next steps with families, and providing more support in the general education curriculum.

What are examples of professional goals for teachers? ›

10 Professional Development Goals for Teachers
  • Becoming a Better Teacher. ...
  • Advocating for Continuous Lifelong Learning. ...
  • Advocating for Continuous Lifelong Learning. ...
  • Earning National Board Certification. ...
  • Earning National Board Certification. ...
  • Sharpening Your Presentation Skills. ...
  • Sharpening Your Presentation Skills.

What are SMART goals in an IEP? ›

The term SMART IEPs describes IEPs that are specific, measurable, use action words, are realistic and relevant, and time-limited.

What is an example of a SMART goal in special education? ›

The process for monitoring the student's progress is often included in the IEP goals themselves. For example, a SMART goal listed previously reads as follows: "Penelope will be able to solve two-digit addition problems with 75 percent accuracy as measured by work samples, teacher-charted data, and standardized tests."


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