Friday , 26 May 2017
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8 Classroom Strategies for students with disabilities (SWD) and the benefits for ALL students

  1. Provide one step directions.together

SWD may process information slower, have difficulty remembering and prioritizing.

How it helps all students: Everyone has days when distractions (from home or school) and forgetfulness are just the name of the game.

  1. Provide visuals, and lots of them.

How it helps SWD: SWD need multi-sensory instruction to engage left and right brain activity. Provide visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues. Reduces verbal prompting

How it helps all students: A visual will help everyone remember (Think: exit signs, directional street signs, calendars for adults)

  1. Preview & Review Concepts

How it helps SWD: Previewing information allows for better organizing, prioritizing, and processing new info.

How it helps all students: Repetition reinforces commitment to memory.

  1. Provide a cue that change is coming.

How it helps SWD: Switching attention from one activity to another can be very difficult. Providing a cue that transition is coming can make the transition smoother and allow the brain time to start processing new info.

How it helps all students: Providing a cue for change promotes a positive classroom environment.

  1. Keeping instruction time between 10-15 minutes and provide a variety of activities for practice.

How it helps SWD: Students with learning disabilities may have a shorter attention span when we talk “at them.”

How it helps all students: By keeping instruction to the point and interesting students will be more engaged and focused.

  1. Expecting ALL SWD to take notes without a visual outline or a friend to be a note-taker is limiting them access to their curriculum.

How it helps SWD: Writing tasks are typically very difficult for students with learning disabilities. Add that to slower processing, no visuals, and a lengthy lesson and you have a disaster on your hands.

How it helps all students: Students need to learn what’s important to write and what’s not.

  1. Slower pace instruction.

How it helps SWD : Slow down and be clear. This helps with processing.

How it helps all students: Taking time to allow for student understanding and matching pacing to the needs of your classroom fosters a positive learning environment for your classroom.

  1. Assume nothing…connect everything.

How it helps SWD: One concept at a time helps with…Processing!  Teach one concept at a time and draw connections to prior knowledge. This will help strengthen brain functioning.

How it helps all students: Even the smartest kid in your class may need help making connections. (Remember the joke YOU didn’t get   🙂    )

About Amanda Bridges

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