Both as educators and parents, we frequently associate reinforcement with smiley stickers, candies and pizza parties. We tend to overlook that even in adulthood, reinforcement plays a significant role. In the workplace, it can look like verbal praise or recognition for an individual accomplishment being posted on a company-wide forum or email OR receiving a promotion or raise based on exceptional performance. When we experience reinforcement in either of these ways, we are motivated and are more likely to keep engaging in these behaviors!
Oftentimes when we think about those early elementary school years, we envision primary colors, making friends, hands-on learning, classroom number lines, and ABCs. At the core of it though, is the early stages of reading comprehension. Students need to be able to read texts and make meaning from those texts. This forms the basis for all of the learning that occurs in later elementary and extends through middle school, high school, and beyond. Yet, throughout the years, there has been much debate regarding the best instructional strategies that get students to the goal of reading comprehension. How do we best teach students to read text and make meaning from it?
In today's rapidly evolving educational landscape, the pursuit of equitable and inclusive education remains a paramount goal. However, achieving this goal often requires a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the unique needs of all students, particularly those in special education programs. Research has highlighted the significance of providing tailored support, fostering a supportive environment, and implementing evidence-based strategies to ensure that special education students receive the quality education they deserve.
To ensure SDI is implemented in the classroom, legally binding IEPs, or Individualized Education Programs, play a critical role. SDI outlines the specific goals, objectives, and accommodations for each student receiving special education services. In this blog, we’ll unpack the role of specially designed instruction in special education and why it’s beneficial for students with moderate to severe disabilities.
Play is an integral part of a child’s development. It is how children develop and improve their cognitive and physical skills, as well as their overall emotional well-being. Play is also how children practice social skills, build and establish relationships, develop their language and communication skills, and learn about their world and themselves. To foster and develop appropriate play skills, as educators we must create an environment in which children can explore and express themselves. To do so effectively, it’s important for educators to pair themselves with a preferred play in which the child wants to engage with and learn from.
Special education leaders want to uphold the laws that protect the rights of students with disabilities to ensure they truly have access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Yet, thousands of mediation requests, due process complaints, and state complaints are filed across the nation every year. In this guide, we cover the federal laws that guide special education policies, the key threats to litigation, and best practices that minimize districts’ legal entanglement and maximize student learning.
The benefits of providing an equitable and inclusive education for students with moderate to severe disabilities cannot be underscored enough. While outcomes are (and should always be) top of mind, ensuring access to high-quality educational opportunities is not just about the results – it’s required by federal law. Providing students with an adapted curriculum that aligns with special education laws is one way to guarantee compliance. In this blog, we’ll provide special educators with guidance on which key components of an adapted curriculum will ensure the educational rights of all students with disabilities are being met.
Do you ever get into a groove during a planning period only to realize you have less than 3 minutes to transition what you’re doing before all of your students rush back through your door? Panic sets in when your much needed prep time comes to an end and a quick feeling of overwhelm takes over. Been there? Life is full of transitions though, isn't it? We find ourselves sailing through different stages, like a ship coursing through the changing tides. For students with moderate to severe disabilities, navigating these transition times can often feel like setting sail into uncharted waters. But, with the right tools and strategies, we can help empower our students to navigate transition times with ease.
Teaching in a self-contained classroom this year? Or maybe you’ve been teaching in a self-contained setting for years and are looking for some tips to help you restructure? Either or - you’ve come to the right place! Structuring your self-contained classroom can take quite a bit of planning and organization to make sure that a supportive and engaging learning environment is the result. While students with low incidence disabilities in your classroom may have similar academic needs, each student still requires personalized instruction - which can make striking a balance between overall classroom structure and maintaining individual needs challenging. In this blog, we’ll provide you with different measures you can take to build a classroom environment that enhances instructional time, strengthens independence, promotes positive behaviors and maximizes student outcomes!
It’s common for people to use the phrases Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Discrete Trial Training interchangeably. Yet, those of us who work in ABA know that while there is a relationship between the two, they are not the same thing. For example, you may say school and classroom interchangeably in conversation, yet most recognize that there is a clear difference. The school is the main structure, and the classroom is a segment of the school. Make sense? Discrete Trial Training, often called DTT, is just one piece that falls under the broader picture of Applied Behavior Analysis. Let’s take a closer look.