Working with Students with Special Needs

Every child in our classroom requires differentiated instruction. How do you meet the needs of students who are having difficulty learning? Try some of these tips to accommodate your students with special needs.

Area of Concern
Student has trouble staying organized.
·                  Provide structure for all academic activities.
·                  Have student clear desk except for necessary materials     
             when working.
·                  Establish a routine for entering and leaving class.
·                  Limit the materials provided to the student at one time.
·                  Have an organized student serve as a buddy.
·                  Interact frequently to prompt organization skills.
Student has trouble following oral directions.
·                  Cue student attention before giving directions.
·                  Give directions before handing out materials.
·                  Use preferential seating.
·                  Ask student to repeat directions.
·                  Give verbal and written directions.
·                  If a student did not follow the directions on an
            assignment, require that the redo the assignment
·                  Reinforce students who are following the verbal
Student has trouble following written directions.
·                  Have the student explain the directions orally before
             they begin working.
·                  Make sure written directions are written clearly.
·                  Eliminate distractions on the student’s desk before              
             directions are provided.
·                  Do a check on following directions after the student has
             completed a small part of the assignment.
·                  Underline or bold key words in a direction.
Student is easily distracted.
·                  Remove any distractions from the student’s desk.
·                  Place the student by students who pay attention.
·                  Limit visual or auditory stimuli.
·                  Stand directly in front of the student when delivering
·                  Provide positive reinforcement for sustained attention is  
             short blocks of time.
·                  Present directions and provide instruction as clearly as
Student hands in work that is illegible.
·                  Provide the student with clearly stated criteria for
             acceptable work.
·                  Provide samples of quality work.
·                  Teach procedures for doing quality work.
·                  Assign the student shorter tasks while increasing the
             quality of the expectations.
·                  Require work to be done on the computer if the student
             has access.
·                  When work is illegible, sit down with students, and
             have them read the work to you to determine areas of

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