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Six Tips for Creating Special Education Lesson Plans

Posted by Krystie Yeo on

Over 7 million students receive special education services across the United States. The number of students in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is rising. There is a growing need for proper resources in the field of special education. 

Students in a single special education course can have a variety of disabilities. Making lesson plan templates can help students with disabilities thrive in academics.

By integrating innovative teaching methods, special needs professionals can best serve their students. Keep reading to learn six tips to help you construct special education lesson plans. 

1. Keep Track of IEPs

Individualized education programs (IEP) help students succeed in school. An IEP is created by a team of key school employees and the child's parents. This team is able to assess a student's needs and create a learning environment that is effective.

Before each academic year starts you will be tasked with reviewing all students' IEPs. Teachers should create one-page summaries of each student's IEPs. This regular review will allow you to utilize the information in these documents.

When it comes time to update the IEPs be sure to keep notes from students' progress on file. Each party collaborates to create the best learning environment for the students. Composing new IEPs is a group decision.

As the teacher, you should bring notes from your experiences with the student. These details can help your group make an informed decision.

2. Customize Instruction to Student's Strengths 

Teaching a special education class can be like teaching multiple grades simultaneously. This challenge may seem impossible. By blending basics with specialized instruction teachers can reach all of their students. 

Promoting personalized learning creates a caring and supportive learning environment. By customizing classroom instruction to students' strengths you can encourage learning. 

Your lesson plans should focus on generalized concepts. Provide the opportunity to hone in on specialized instruction for different student groups. Teaching general topics will allow all students to enjoy their instruction. 

3. Attempt Thematic Instruction 

The Thematic Instruction approach is also referred to as the Project Approach. This approach involves a lesson plan being centered around a singular theme. Teachers can pick a topic that works across different learning domains. 

Teachers can customize a lesson around a current piece of pop culture or current event. Incorporating a team can help maintain students' interest. For example, word problems in math projects could also be centered around your theme.

Thematic instruction allows all students to hone in on a similar topic. They can work on different assignments that match their level of comprehension. This type of instructional lets you simultaneously present different assignments.

A form of thematic instruction would be focusing on mathematics. The classroom will all be working on math, each student will have a different assignment. Their coursework would vary based on their level of comprehension. 

4. Create Classroom Centers 

Classroom centers are a great way to group students. Each center can be customized for a particular subject or level of comprehension. You can even promote independent studying by equipping each enter with self-guided instructions. 

Task bins are a great accessory to any classroom center. Task bins stocked with assignments encourage students to work on their projects independently. These assignments for review let students exercise their mastery of topics. 

Student grouping is very common in special education classes. Teachers can group students with similar IEPs to maintain a collaborative learning environment. 

5. Rotate Student Groups

Special education classrooms are structured to help students learn at varied rates. Rotational lesson plans allow teachers to introduce new material and review old topics. This allows lessons to be adjusted on a case-by-case basis.

While introducing a group to a new topic, other students are able to work independently. Rotating students learning methods can help retain their attention during classroom instruction.

While introducing a group to a new topic, other students are able to work independently. Rotating students learning methods can help retain their attention during classroom instruction. 

Teachers can also use teacher's assistants to help facilitate class room instruction. Educators can use the extra help in the classroom to organize the rotation of student groups.

Teaching assistants are able to provide more hands-on instruction to struggling students. Teaching assistants can help keep everyone up to speed as you introduce topics. 

6. Provide an Array of Materials

Since students' proficiency levels vary in the classroom offering alternative assignments is important. Having different levels of teaching materials for each subject is necessary. The wide range of assignments ensures that all students are being academically challenged. 

Offer an array of resources in your classroom. This will allow each student to engage with material.

Each student can engage with content that is their level of comprehension. Being mindful about offering different levels of materials can help boost students' success. 

Adapted books are interactive booklets that can fill your learning centers. These booklets allow students to work on assignments.

Additive resources ensures that are working at their level of comprehension.  Ensuring that topics are similar keeps a classroom harmonious.

Master Special Education Lesson Plans

Special education educators create a lasting effect on their students' lives. The skills and lessons that students master in class can help them thrive in life.

Constructing special education lesson plans can be a difficult feat. However, once you integrate these tips you can provide a welcoming learning environment.

Specialized lesson plans allows you to work for all of your students. Connect with us to learn more about how to prepare your special education classroom. 

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