Effective teaching strategies for special education teachers (2023)

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  • Published in:1. November 2021

With the right strategies and techniques, special education teachers can make the learning process fun and engaging while addressing the individual needs of students with disabilities.

AndPostgraduate Diploma in Special EducationYou can prepare professionals to teach special education teachers with compassion and structure. Let's look at some of the best strategies to facilitate learning in the special education classroom:

  1. Furnish classroom

Dividing the classroom into groups or hubs can help students learn from each other and focus on content that is relevant to their level of knowledge. The teacher can switch between the groups and give each group specific instructions and tasks. Teaching assistants can also be helpful in supporting smaller groups. As advice thatResilient Educatorblog suggests that “each center would specialize in one area or level. The centers would be autonomous in terms of instruction and all teaching materials. They would also be somewhat self-explanatory and self-guiding so that the teacher could move between the different centers and provide appropriate guidance.”

  1. set expectations

Clear communication is key when working with special needs students (and their parents). Teachers are encouraged to express any academic and behavioral expectations of students in a conscious manner, e.g. B. instructing students to raise their hands before speaking or asking people for their verbal consent before doing something. Other ways are to tell students what they are learning and what they want them to achieve at the end of the day, make a list of rules for classroom behavior, and create progress charts for each student.

  1. break down levels

Sometimes taking a big leap can be daunting. To make a specific lesson, piece of content, book, or assignment more manageable, try breaking it down into smaller steps. For example, you can break a task into tasks and highlight what's important in a particular section. Not only can this practical step give students a sense of belonging to the lesson plan, but it can also help teachers properly assess a student's area of ​​improvement before it becomes a long-term problem. .

(Video) Special Education Teaching Strategies

  1. Alternative tasks and tests

It is true that the school system as we know it places great emphasis on testing and assessment. However, some students with special needs face challenges on the exam and may fail even after fully understanding the lesson content. Allowing students to demonstrate in their own way how they understand a particular topic can be a workaround for both tests and smaller assignments. For example, a teacher might have a student give a presentation instead of writing an assignment, allow them to consult a reference book, or give them more time for an exam. In oneThoughtCo.article, Sue Watson offers some great pragmatic ideas on how to implement this in the classroom, such as: B. Breaking tests into smaller chunks.

  1. Universal design for learning

A great way to practiceuniversal design for learningThe curricular approach (UDL) consists of using different media for the same content in the classroom. AfterEntendido.org, “In a UDL classroom, the materials are accessible to all types of students. Students have many reading options including printed, digital, text-to-speech, and audio books. For digital text, there are also options for enlarging the text, and options for display color and contrast. The videos have subtitles and there are transcripts for the audio.” Assigning text and then combining it with a game or showing a presentation with visual cues and audio commentary can also be a great solution.

To use this technique, get to know the students and ask their parents about their preferred method of learning. For example, some students on the autism spectrum may be sensitive to noise and information overload. In general, UDL is a principle that professionals can apply to any special education classroom.

If you are considering a career in special education, a master's degree can provide you with the fundamental skills and methods needed to successfully lead a special education classroom.

learn more aboutLamar University Online Master of Education Program in Special Education.


Lincs: TEAL Center Fact Sheet #2: Fact Sheet: Universal Design for Learning

Resilient Educator: 6 Strategies for Special Education Teaching

ThoughtCo.: Checklists for Special Education Teaching Strategies for Success in the Classroom

Got it: 5 examples of universal design for classroom learning


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