Learning to modify lessons is hard work at first. For novice or student teachers it is one of the most difficult concepts to master. It is best to try lesson adjustments even if you are not entirely sure it is the right modification.
As a special educator, begin designing your lesson with the General Education student in mind. Then, reflect on the things that your Special Education student would have difficulty doing in that lesson. Once you identify those areas, then adjust your teaching to meet those needs either by modifying the work, reducing the workload, or providing supports. This design strategy can be used to modify a student’s assessment, homework, or classroom assignment. Lesson adjustment ideas include but are not limited to:
Lesson Adjustment #1: Modify the Content
- Provide an alternate assignment that allows a student to display their talents along with the information.
- Give a similar but different assignment at a student’s reading or math level.
- Align student interest to the content.
Lesson Adjustment #2: Reduce the Workload
- Put fewer problems on each page to lesson visual distraction
- Reduce the number of multiple choices
- Eliminate True or False questions – These questions can be extremely tricky because there is ALWAYS a language connection which makes it especially difficult for students with language-based disorders.
- Give choice – Give the student ownership and motivation to choose which problems they will answer. You give them all the questions and the number they must answer, and they choose the questions. This helps motivate them to complete the assignment because they have ownership of their learning. their own assessment.
- Decrease the required essays.
- Select specific problems for them to answer and omit the extra problems put in as review problems.
- Assign even or odd problems only.
Lesson Adjustment #3: Provide Supports
- Allow extra time
- Permit calculators
- Brainstorm prior to the assignment
- Provide a quieter setting for students to work
- Give a word bank to fill in the bank or to write an essay
- Provide Guided Notes to help focus content into a document
- Allow students to type or orally report their responses.
- List steps to complete a task
- Give specific examples
- Highlight tricky or key words in questions
- Have adult read assignment to student.
Remember that you will be tweaking your modifications throughout the year as your students make progress.
Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.