It is important to implement strategies that address the needs of the individual. We recommend that you apply these strategies across home, school, and community contexts.
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|Academics & Organization
- Break learning tasks into small steps.
- Probe regularly to check understanding.
- Provide regular quality feedback.
- Present information visually and verbally.
- Use diagrams, graphics and pictures to support instruction.
- Provide independent practice.
- Model what you want students to do.
- Clearly define and post classroom expectations for work and behavior.
- Explicitly teach study and organizational skills.
- Teach student how to use planner or agenda to record assignments and due dates.
- Provide prompts of strategies to use and when to use them.
- Ask process-type questions such as “How is that strategy working?
- Use Direct Instruction.
- Provide simple instructions (preferably one at a time).
- Sequence slowly, using examples.
- Speak clearly and turn so students can see your face.
- Allow time for students to process requests and allow them to ask questions.
- Use graphic organizers to support understanding of relationships between ideas.
- Use adaptive equipment if appropriate (books on tape, laptop computers, etc.).
- Ask questions in a clarifying manner, then have student describe understanding of the questions.
- Use an overhead projector with an outline of the lesson or unit of the day.
- Reduce course load.
- Provide clear photocopies of notes and overhead transparencies.
- Provide a detailed course outline before class begins.
- Keep oral instructions logical and concise and reinforce them with brief cue words.
- Repeat or re-word complicated directions.
- Frequently verbalize what is being written on the board.
- At the end of class, summarize the important segments of each presentation.
- Eliminate classroom distractions (e.g. excessive noise, flickering lights, etc.).
- Give assignments both in written and oral form.
- Have more complex lessons recorded and available to the students.
- Have practice exercises available for lessons, in case the student has problems.
- Have student underline key words or directions on activity sheets (then review the sheets with them).
- Provide and teach memory strategies, such as mnemonic strategies and elaborative rehearsal.
- Write legibly, use large type, and do not clutter the board.
- Assist the student in borrowing notes from a peer if necessary.
- Clearly label equipment, tools, and materials, and use color-coding.
- Consider alternate activities/exercises that can be utilized with less difficulty for the student, while maintaining the same or similar learning objectives.
- Review relevant material, preview the material to be presented, present the new material, and then summarize the material just presented.
- Provide a peer tutor or assign the student to a study group.
- Allow the student to use a tape recorder.
- Use specific language and state expectations.
- Provide a quiet area for reading activities.
- Use books on tape, and books with large print and big spaces between lines.
- Provide a copy of class notes to student.
- Allow alternative forms for book reports.
- Have students use both visual and auditory senses when reading text.
- Present material in small units.
- Use graphic organizers to connect ideas.
- Read and share stories with students.
- Provide students with chapter outlines or study guides that highlight key points in their reading.
- Announce reading assignments well in advance.
- Offer to read written material aloud, when necessary.
- Share informational texts and invite students to wonder about the new ideas presented.
- Point out ways in which reading is important in everyday life (e.g., on labels, instructions, and signs).
- Teach students how books are organized.
- Use stories that have predictable words and words that occur frequently in the text.
- Label objects in classroom.
- Help students notice the letters in the environmental print that surrounds them.
- Engage students in activities that help them learn to recognize letters visually.
- Teach students to attend to the sounds in language.
- Model and demonstrate how to break short sentences into individual words.
- Have students clap out syllables and listen for and generate rhymes.
- Focus on activities that involve sounds of words, not on letters or spellings.
- Model specific sounds, and ask students to produce each sound in isolation.
- Teach students to blend, identify sounds, and break up words into sounds.
- When teaching the letters of the alphabet, activities should be explicit and unambiguous.
- When teaching decoding, begin with small, familiar words.
- Model sounding out words, blending the sounds together, and saying the word.
- Have students read new stories and reread old stories every day to build fluency.
- Engage students in discussion of reading topics that are of interest.
- Provide high interest reading selections whenever possible.
- Model comprehension strategies and provide students with guided assistance.
- Point out how titles, headings, and graphics reveal main ideas and tell what a book is about.
- Teach students to identify main ideas presented in the text, as well as the supporting details.
- Point out unfamiliar words, revisit them, and explore their meaning.
- Teach students to use contextual clues to figure out meanings of unfamiliar words.
- Build background for reading selections and create a mental scheme for text organization.
- Set a purpose for reading – to gain meaning from text.
- Use oral exams in place of written exams when possible.
- Allow use of tape recorder in class.
- Assign a note taker for student.
- Provide notes or outlines to reduce the amount of writing.
- Provide a partially completed outline that allows student to fill in details under major headings.
- Allow use of a laptop or other computer for writing assignments.
- Provide computer with spell check, grammar, and cut and paste features.
- Reduce copying that the student is required to do (e.g. offer pre-printed math problems).
- Have wide rule paper, graph paper, and pencil grips available.
- Provide alternatives to written assignments (video-taping or audio recording).
- Use mnemonic devices to teach writing process (e.g. COPS: Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, Spelling).
- Teach students spelling conventions systematically, such as the “silent e” rule.
- Allow the student to use print or cursive.
- Teach pre-organization strategies, such as use of graphic organizers.
- Use a speech recognition program combined with the word processor so students can dictate rather than type (for older students).
- Do not count off for poor spelling on first drafts, in-class assignments, or on tests.
- Have student proofread papers using a checklist (not immediately after writing).
- Shorten writing assignments and allow extra time if necessary.
- Have students complete writing tasks in small steps.
- Stress or de-emphasize certain task requirements during a complex assignment.
- Allow use of abbreviations in writing assignments, and have student keep a list of appropriate abbreviations available.
- Allow use of fingers and scratch paper.
- Use diagrams and draw math concepts.
- Present activities that involve all sensory modalities – auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic.
- Arrange peer assistance and tutoring opportunities.
- Have graph paper available so students can align numbers in math problems.
- Use colored pencils to differentiate problems.
- Offer manipulatives throughout instruction.
- Teach students to draw pictures of word problems.
- Use mnemonic devices to teach steps of a math concept (e.g. order of operations: “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally”).
- Use rhythm and music to teach math facts and to set steps to a beat.
- Schedule computer time for drill and practice with math facts.
- Practice new strategies until students are comfortable with them.
- Explain why learning math strategies are important while teaching, and match strategies with the material.
- Encourage and monitor use of strategies to ensure correct usage and generalization.
- Teach students to understand the problem, develop a plan to solve the problem, carry out the plan, and look back to be sure the answer solves the problem.
- Use materials such as games for practice, which are interactive and motivational.
- Use distributed practice, meaning practice in small increments (e.g. two 15-minute sessions per day, rather than an hour session three times a week).
- Use small numbers of math facts per group for mastery, and frequently practice with mixed groups.
- Emphasize "reverses," or "turnarounds" (e.g., 1+ 2/2 + 1, 1x2/2x1) in vertical, horizontal, and oral formats.
- Have students self-chart progress by keeping track of how many and which facts are mastered, and how many more there are to go within a unit.
|Testing & Accommodations
- Avoid overly complicated language in test questions and clearly separate items when spacing them on the exam sheet.
- Consider other forms of testing (oral, hands-on demonstration, open-book etc.).
- Eliminate distractions while students are taking exams.
- For students who may have difficulty transferring answers, avoid answer sheets.
- Allow student to write answers on the test.
- For students who have reading difficulties, have a proctor read the test to the student.
- For students with writing difficulties, have someone scribe the answers for them or use a tape recorder.
- Provide study questions for exams that demonstrate the format along with the content of the exam.
- Teach students how to proofread assignments and tests.
- Allow students to use a dictionary, thesaurus, or a calculator during tests.
- Develop a scoring guide, share it with students, and provide models of examples of each level of performance.