Thursday, July 14, 2011

Results with special education students

I find that one area my special ed. students really struggle is in the area of writing. It can be very difficult to teach special needs students to write clear, organized stories and essays.

  • You have a large classroom
  • You have more special education students than just one person can really help
  • Plus, you have the rest of your students

It can be really overwhelming, but your special education students can become great writers! It does take work on your part, but it is possible for you to really help your students.

I have started using general patterns to teach sentence and paragraph writing. I didn't start here. I started following the curriculum and using the worksheets. (It kept them quiet, but they weren't learning anything.)

Have you tried worksheets? You have probably figured out what researchers have learned. Worksheets do almost nothing to increase writing skills. Worksheets and Daily Oral Language actually increase errors!

  • So, how do you teach writing?
  • By showing students examples of mistakes, or models of writing that works?

You should show students models of what works. You don't teach your students to read by showing them the letter A and then saying, that is not "B." Make sure you don't say "b" when you see this letter!

  • If this doesn't work, what does work? 
  • How do you really model good writing?

I have also started using more recorded lessons (I video tape myself) with my special ed students, so they can listen to the assignment more than one time, or pause me when they need more time to process.

I am then freed to walk around the classroom and offer personalized assistance as "I" am teaching the class with the pre-recorded video.

Here is an example of one of the intermediate videos I use with my students:

Would you like to learn more?

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The videos are not perfect, nor are they professionally created. If you are looking for something really polished, this is not it. 

On the other hand the videos will give you ideas that you can use in your classroom.

1 comment:

  1. VERY NICE>> I will use these lessons as examples of teaching strategies for my preservice teachers.... Thank you for your work!