View Full Version : List of Ideas: Currirulum Mods for Special Needs K-12

12-23-05, 11:42 AM pecialEducation.html


There are many simple modifications which can be made to assist students with disabilities in the regular classroom. Many of them are not that time consuming and can make a world of difference. The list below includes a few of the ideas that have helped the students I work with.

1. When independent work is presented, try to give it to the student in small "segments". For example, a test or worksheet could be folded in half. The student could be asked to do the first half and then come up for further directions. This prevents the student from feeling rushed or overwhelmed with the amount of work given.

2. Allow extra time (within reasonable limits) for students who have difficulty. Also, reducing the length of an assignment is sometimes a good idea.

3. In your lesson plans, note in italics (or mark with a highlighter) the objective you want the student to master. His or her objectives do not need to always be the same as the rest of the class. Look at the students IEP (Individualized Education Plan) so that you know what objectives need to be covered. For example: The whole class might be expected to write a paragraph about something they learned. A student with mild mental retardation in your class might be expected to write 3 facts she/he learned. A student with fine motor problems could write some; you or a peer helper could take dictation on the rest.

4. Present information visually (overhead projector, posters, pocket charts, chalkboard) and auditorally. Whenever possible, tie in a hands on component as well. I had a teacher who threw a koosh ball to a student if he wanted them to answer a question. It helps to keep everyone focused! Doing this will help all the students in your class; they each have their own unique learning style after all.

5. Have students do simple exercises before writing (pushing palms of hands together, pushing down hard on a desktop, squeezing and relaxing fists).

6. If a student cannot do what everyone else in the class is doing, modify worksheets. For example, imagine most students are doing subtraction with regrouping in class. Cut the problems out of the worksheet and use the rest of the original as a "frame". Create some problems appropriate to the students level (double digit subtraction with NO regrouping, subtraction facts to 18) and paste them onto the modified original. After you copy it, the student has a worksheet that looks like everyone else's; but he or she can do work at their own level.

7. Have a large variety of multi-level reading books in your classroom. A listening center is also a "must have". Have parent, high school and other volunteers put some of your textbooks (relevant chapters) on tape so that students with disabilities may have these cassettes as a tool.

8. Use story maps and other graphic organizers to assist students with writing tasks. Advance organizers (outlines) can help students search for meaning when they read. Make up a chapter outline and give it to all the students. It teaches them to attend to the important points in a chapter.

9. Use color coded index cards in a file box to keep track of your students' objectives and modifications. The students names should not be on these cards!!! By color coding, you have the information handy without violating confidentiality. If you need to, ask the special education teacher to help you find this information in the students' IEP's and PPT minutes.