Strategies of Instruction
The following are tips for accommodating students with high incidence exceptionalities:
The best accommodations come after following the problem solving steps:
Adapting for students needs is a process. The successful adaptations come from matching the students and situation appropriate and practical solutions.
- Identify the problem
- Analyze the problem (what are the student's strengths and weaknesses?)
- Brainstorm possible solutions (a list of interventions is comforting to a teacher who now can take control of the situation. Plus if one doesn't work there are more to pick from.)
- Select one solution (usually selecting one that matches the student's strengths to compensate for weaknesses)
- Evaluate its success and modify (or try one of the other solutions)
Examples of the types of modifications and accommodations:
- Classroom: Seating arrangement, removing distracting bulletin boards, placing students near the teacher or the board
- Materials: Books with lower grade level vocabulary, pencil grips, computers, calculators, study guides, using graph paper for math, rulers for writing
- Instruction: Peer tutoring, cooperative groups, multi-modal instruction, direct instruction, advanced organizers
- Curriculum: Emphasizing the major points, emphasizing concepts over rote memorization
- Homework: Alternative or shorter assignments, allowing more time, different criteria
- Evaluation: Giving oral tests, accepting taped answers, allowing more time, portfolio assessment
- Grading: Altering criteria for grading, giving effort grades, certificates of completion
The following rules are meant to assist teachers with choosing an appropriate modification. These guidelines help to ensure that teachers are not overwhelmed with accommodating students with special needs.
Ten Commandments of Modifications
- Do as little modification as necessary.
- Choose modifications according to the student's strengths.
- Do not do a modification unless it saves you time and energy.
- Make sure you implement a modification long enough for it to work.
- Only begin implementation of one modification at a time.
- Evaluate your modifications for effectiveness.
- Be realistic in your expectations.
- Explain to the student the reason for the modification. (And the parent.)
- You do not need to defend the use of modifications to the rest of the class.
- Do not reinvent the wheel! Steal good ideas for all modifications.
Links for accommodations and modifications for students with high incidence exceptionalities:
Making Modifications in the Classroom: A Collection of Checklists
20 Ways to Examine Test Modifications
List of Appropriate School-Based Accommodations and Interventions
Methods of Instruction
The following links give information about some of the methods used to educate students with high incidence exceptionalities. This list is not exhaustive but will provide a brief overview of many of the successful instructional methods available to teachers.
Methods for Teaching Students with High Incidence Disabilities
- Cooperative Learning: Small group instruction with structured student involvement and discourse.
- Direct Instruction: An instructional approach to academic subjects that emphasizes the use of carefully sequenced steps that include demonstration, modeling, guided practice, and independent application.
Association for Direct Instruction
Direct Instruction making waves
National Institute for Direct Instruction
What the Data Really Show: Direct Instruction Really Works! http://www.jefflindsay.com/EducData.shtml
- Learning strategies: Instructional approaches that focus on efficient ways to learn, rather than on curriculum. Includes specific techniques for organizing, actively interacting with material, memorizing, and monitoring any content or subject.
Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities (learning strategies) http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/newsdig/nd25txt.htm
- Milieu teaching: Teaching language skills in the natural environments where language occurs.
Young Children's Oral Language Development
- Multisensory instruction: An instructional approach that combines auditory, visual, and tactile elements into a learning task. Tracing sandpaper numbers while saying a number fact aloud would be a multisensory learning activity.
Multisensory Structured Language Programs: Content & Principles of Instruction
- Peer tutoring: Students master concepts by teaching to other students.
Cross-Age and Peer Tutoring
Peer-Tutoring: Toward a New Model
- Precision Teaching: The learner decides on a behavior to improve, picks a pinpoint that will show changes in the behavior, then keeps a count and charts the number of times the behavior is produced in a set period of time.
Precision Teaching Module
Precision Teaching: Measuring and Attaining Exemplary Academic Achievement
- Task analysis: Breaking down skills into component parts for learning.
Task Analysis Strategies and Practices
Methods for Teaching Gifted Students