George Lucas Educational Foundation

Issues you are having in your special education classroom, and how do you deal with them?

Issues you are having in your special education classroom, and how do you deal with them?

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Hi, I work at a private residential school for children and adults with severe and disabilities and behaviors. Some of the students can talk while others cannot. Some of my students are high functioning, while others are not. Does anyone have students on such different learning levels with severe disabilities? And if so, how do you teach your students?

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Merri Fretwell's picture

Hey Kim,
I have taught a social development program (self-contained). It was very time consuming, teaching at different levels and parallel levels. I also had one to two assistants who helped. Basically, the key was planning the day in a predictable fashion. Also, I had to have the kids busy at all times.

I also taught resource algebra for 6 years. I taught using the regular curriculum, but the class did 90% of the work together. I used overhead projectors, then a Lumens to fill out all the work as we completed the work together. I might ask one of my MR kids what the opposite of subtraction was to solve part of the equation. I broke down each step and called on kids that had the ability to answer that particular step. I also had an 'awesome' list for all the kids that had all their work in with a 70 or above. I always let them redo any portion of the work for full credit. Kids on the awesome list earned privileges like sitting where they wanted/with a friend or in a bean bag, restroom passes, access to CD players in the room, and so on. Honestly, just the fact that their name was on the list was extremely motivating. I did this at the high school level : )

Hope this helps!

Ms. Person's picture
Ms. Person
Special Education Middle School Science Teacher 6,7,8 grades

I just want to thank both of the teachers, Merri and Kim. I know that the planning is the major part of the success in any class. However in a special needs self contained class; planning is life sustaining. Thanks for the question and the recommendation.

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