Special education is one of the hot topics for distance learning right now, and with good reason. There are more questions than answers where these students are concerned. But as a teacher, even without any real guidance, I need to make plans to meet the needs of all my students.
There are so many different needs, how can I accommodate all of my students? How do I keep track of who need what? How can I plan for my special education students? These are just some of the questions that we all have right now.
Planning for Special Education in Distance Learning
Because there are so many unknowns, it is very difficult to say “This is what I’m going to do and it’s perfect!” So to help myself prepare and create a plan for my special education students, I created this editable cheat sheet!
On this sheet, I can easily see all of the student’s annual goals and benchmarks, as well as keep track of pull-out and push-in support times, related services schedules, AND create my plan for meeting their needs during distance learning! It’s so convenient and much easier to glance at than an IEP.
As well as using this for my own class planning, I can share these with specialists, resource and related services teachers, and even the PARENTS! It’ll give everyone working directly with the student a great overview of what he or she needs and how to meet those needs.
Not to mention…they’re great for substitute teachers too!
Special Education Instruction
It’s overwhelming as a teacher to wrap my brain around how I can pull this off in full distance education, but it’s not impossible. Remember that as teachers, we accomplish incredible things every day that nobody else can. So we can do this, too!
My district still has no formal plan or guidance for special education students, and it’s just over a week until the school year begins. With this in mind, I’ve created this list of instructional ideas and supports that I will implement to help all of my students succeed.
Small group instruction
I will have small group instruction every day of the week, and just like in the classroom not every student will receive small group instruction every single day. My special education kiddos, however, WILL get small group every day to focus on their specific needs whether it’s with me or the resource teacher.
They may be with different groups of students (which is no biggie!), but I want to give them all the instructional minutes that I can. I also want to give them as much content and social exposure as possible.
Just like I do in the classroom, I will continue to provide differentiated assignments to all of my students. I am incorporating online, paper, and “alternative submission” assignments like photos and videos.
This will give me the best snapshot of a student’s understanding and abilities. I will also tailor each assignment so it’s available in these multiple formats. All students can complete the assignment in the best method for them.
Until classes begin and we really dig into distance learning, these are the best ideas that I can come up with. I plan on posting updates to this topic as I create more resources, ideas and plans!