Welcome to Tool of the Week, CEC’s special education resource destination! We want to make your work easier and support you in your practice. Subscribe today and you’ll find a FREE tool for your special education toolbox in your inbox every week.

Tool of the Week is a service of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the international professional membership organization supporting special educators. All Tools of the Week come from CEC’s first-rate publications and are provided for educational use only; the content may not be reproduced or resold without express permission of CEC.

Sharing is not only okay, but highly encouraged, so please tell all of your friends about this FREE weekly resource. Have questions or suggestions? Contact us at tooloftheweek@cec.sped.org. Thanks for your interest in Tool of the Week!

Recent Posts

Spread the Word!

Have you and the teachers in your school figured out how to make co-teaching work? Have you learned hard lessons? Implemented innovative ideas? Created a collaborative environment that runs like a well-oiled machine? Then it’s time to share your experience! This week’s FREE tool is a list of 20 ideas for sharing your co-teaching successes with the broader community. The ...

Read More »

Inclusion: It’s More Than a Buzzword

It’s Inclusive School’s Week, a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in making our classrooms welcoming places where all learners can reach their fullest potential. In the spirit of inclusion, this week’s FREE tool is a table describing the different types of concrete products a student might produce to demonstrate what they’ve learned. What’s the best way for your ...

Read More »

Give Me a Break!

We recently featured co-teaching expert Lisa Dieker on our publications blog Off the Shelf to hear her thoughts about co-teaching in the 21st Century. This week, we’re featuring Lisa again with  our FREE tool! We’ve got a table packed with “brain break” ideas for co-teachers to use when they see a student or a group of students needing a chance ...

Read More »

Write it out

Cooling Down the Classroom

For many school districts, the holidays mark the end of the semester or quarter, and finalizing a grading period often involves end-of-unit tests or even midterm exams. To help your students keep cool during times of high pressure, this week’s FREE tool is a “test prep journal” students can use to record and rethink their nervous thoughts. Do they worry ...

Read More »

Talk it out

When students with disabilities embark on their college journey, they will need to manage their disability and their accommodations without the help of teachers or family. This will require some good-old-fashioned communications skills. Communicating effectively can be tricky business, so students who have the opportunity to practice and hone their skills during high school will be at an advantage when ...

Read More »

Family Engagement? Check!

You know family-centered interventions are recommended for creating supportive and consistent learning environments for children with disabilities. But do you know how to put that into practice? This week’s FREE tool is a checklist to help you engage with families in meaningful ways that are sensitive, respectful, and culturally responsive. The checklist will ask you to both self-reflect and reach ...

Read More »

We’ve got Brain on the Brain

After a decade of expanding research on the brain, we know more than ever about how learning occurs. This new knowledge strengthens the case for using differentiated instruction that is rich, stimulating, and focused on the learner. This week’s FREE tool is a table aligning brain research findings with the ways those findings might influence classroom instruction. The table comes ...

Read More »

Employment for All

This week we’re wrapping up National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). What a great observance! In special education, this is what it’s all about: preparing students for happy, fulfilling, and productive lives. In honor of NDEAM, this week’s FREE tool is a nifty community response form. Distribute it to local employers to promote and gauge their interest in working with ...

Read More »

The Best Reinforcement

Reinforcement follows behavior and increases the likelihood that the behavior will occur again. If there is no reinforcement, there is no learning. This is true for all students, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This week’s FREE tool is a set of steps to help students with limited verbal skills communicate which reinforcements they prefer for use during the ...

Read More »

Safe Schools for Everyone

Teachers, administrators, parents, and students can all agree: we want school to be a place that is free of violence and threatening behavior. Navigating situations where students become confrontational or even violent can be extremely challenging, and teachers shouldn’t be left to make split-second decisions without guidance. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a table listing the codes of ...

Read More »