Instructional Methods in Special Education – Learning Styles, Accomodations & Modifications, Effective Strategies, ADHD

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Discussions, Educational Posts

What is your preferred learning style? How do you think your style is advantageous or disadvantageous?

My preferred learning style is visual and kinesthetic. The advantage of this learning style is that I will be sure to incorporate pictures, charts, video clips and other media to enhance my lessons and not just lecture on and on and on…. and you know what I mean!

Do you think identifying learning styles is a useful pursuit for a teacher, particularly in the special education arena? Why? Why not?

I believe it is beneficial to identify the learning styles of your students, particularly in special education. Being a special education teacher means paying close attention to the needs of your students. On a daily basis, we are assessing them to find the best possible way to accommodate them. Knowing what methods are most effective for your students’ comprehension can help you develop highly differentiated instruction.

Describe how a teacher can differentiate among accommodations and modifications for curriculum and for behavior.

A teacher can differentiate accommodations and modifications for curriculum in a variety of ways. Some of the ways teachers can make modifications and accommodations for curriculum include reducing the number of assignment questions, allowing students to respond verbally, using visual aids, teaching one concept at time, reading text to students, and allowing breaks during instruction and testing.  These accommodations and modifications can also help to reduce behavior problems by curbing student frustration that might result from difficulty with accessing the curriculum.

What are two validated practices that are effective with students with learning disabilities and how do they work?

Two validated practices that have proven effective with students with learning disabilities are:

1. Peer tutoring – Students always want to show off what they know and have learned. This method involves students coaching each other to improve academic learning in subjects such as mathematics and reading.  They can take turns in the driver seat.

2.  Explicit Instruction of Learning Strategies: helps students take responsibility for their own learning.  Examples of learning strategies include: graphic organizers, mnemonic devices, step-by-step procedures and progress monitoring.  We want to teach students to think about what they are they are thinking; metacognition.  This method is a tool that they can use for life.

What are various accommodations and classroom interventions used for students with ADHD?

Some accommodations for ADHD are breaking tasks up into steps, providing examples, defining the requirements and expectations, giving one direction at a time, reducing assignment length, use of positive reinforcements, informing students of deviations from the routine as far in advance as possible and using physical proximity and touch.

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