Differentiated Instruction for Special Needs Students (Identifying…
Differentiated Instruction for Special Needs Students
Aim for the most difficult to reach students. Citation: Shelly Moore: Bowling and Inclusion retrieved from
More on the 7-10 split metaphor Citation: Shelley Moore: Transforming Inclusive Education retrieved from
For a long time, teachers have been taught to teach to the middle student. Now we are starting to understand that if we teach to the middle student, we are leaving out the students that need the most help and the students that need the most challenge. It's very difficult to teach to those groups at the same time so teachers have to pick between them and one group of students is always left out. Shelly Moore offers the suggestion of changing the aim and teaching to the most difficult to reach students. Citation: Shelley Moore: Transforming Inclusive Education For Students with Significant Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Secondary Schools. Retrieved from:
Learning maps for a HUGE range of levels and content areas!!! :
Identifying students with special needs
Observe behavior in the classroom: Do students avoid certain tasks? Does their behavior indicate they're having trouble with reading, language, math, concentration, comprehension,focusing, etc?
Talk to parents: parents are the greatest resource to better understanding your students. Ask how the students act at home. Work WITH parents, not against them
Talk to specialists: A whole team of specialists will probably be coming and going from a general education classroom. Ask for their opinions. If there is a student of concern, ask them to watch that student for a class period.
Referral: Star the official referral process. Document behavior and evidence in student work to help the referral process go smoothly and the outcome be as useful and truthful as possible
Evaluation: every special education student's IEP is up for annual review. This provides time to make sure the student is on track and changes are made if necessary
Evaluate student and determine eligibility for special education services
Personalized learning for every student. High schools in Vermont will soon require every student to have a Personalized Learning Plan, similar to Special Education's Individualized Learning Plans
Know your students through observation, listening, and respect
PLP is a document shared and created by the student, teachers, parents, and administrators to outline individual learning goals, scope and expanse of academic achievement goals, path to achieve these goals, and plans for evaluation. Citation: Personalized Learning. Retrieved from:
The PLP for a special education student is a more formal document as this process must for legislative rules put in place by the IDEAS act.
Special Education specific resources at Mnt Abe High School:
Every classroom will be different. Creating an inclusive classroom will look different for every class. Be flexible
Evaluation and analysis
Evaluate before you begin: evaluate student's content knowledge before starting a new unit. Understand what a student already knows, what they want to learn, and how this content will fit into their overall learning goals
Evaluate after lesson: evaluate students on improvement, not only on mastery of content. Did the student gain skills and understanding from where they started? Every student should be learning and pushing themselves in each unit. Make sure students with poor understanding are gaining knowledge AND make sure students that started the unit with an advanced understanding of the topic are also learning new information.
Students evaluate instruction as well. Course evaluations are commonplace in university settings but not in high schools. I think they're very important to improve lessons and teaching strategies! Ask you students to evaluate the lessons. What did they like? Didn't like? What did they learn? What did they miss? Use this information to make the lesson better next time!
Annual meetings for Special Education students: review IEP with student, parents, other teachers, and administration