Strategies

Professional Development Needs Assessment

For this week’s FREE tool, we’re still working on getting you ready for the new school year with a variation on last week’s theme: self-assessment.  Last week we sent you a tool to help you think about positive behavior interventions in your classroom. This week we’ve got a great table, the Professional Development Needs Assessment, from CEC’s book Collaborate Smart: ...

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Universal Classwide Interventions

This week’s FREE tool is a table to help you assess and improve your use of classwide positive behavior interventions. Whether school in your area has yet to start or is just underway, self-assessment is a great way to make sure you’re on track for a positive year! This table, “Universal Classwide Interventions” comes from a chapter in CEC’s Positive ...

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Lesson Plan: Understanding Unwritten Social Rules

This week’s FREE tool is a lesson plan for understanding unwritten social rules from the CEC book Social Skills for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities, Vol. II. The lesson contains seven research-based steps to help you teach social protocols such as: don’t sit next to a stranger in a mostly empty movie theater. The authors of ...

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Mediation Programs and Resources

This week’s FREE tool is a table from the CEC book Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Schools. The table lists mediation programs and resources to help teachers and administrators practice de-escalation when students exhibit threatening or violent behaviors at school. The book responds to public controversy over the use of restraint and seclusion in schools by focusing on prevention. This ...

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Characteristics of Learning Disabilities and Second Language Acquisition

Summer vacation is upon many of us, but CEC’s Tool of the Week never takes a break! This week’s FREE tool is the table “Characteristics of Learning Disabilities and Second Language Acquisition.” In this easy-to-read comparison you’ll see how many of the signs of learning disabilities closely resemble those of emergent language. We think you’ll find reading this table an ...

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Example Task Chain for Using a System of Least Prompts

This week’s FREE tool is a sample task chain for using a system of least prompts when teaching life-skills to a student with developmental disabilities. In the system of least prompts, you begin a task with the least amount of prompting possible and increase assistance only as needed. This table provides an example of prompting for a student who is ...

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Peer-Mediated Learning Strategies Observation Form

This week’s FREE Tool is a quick and simple observation form from Friendship 101, a step-by-step guidebook for teaching social competency. The form provides a straightforward way to collect data on Peer-Mediated Learning Strategies (PMLS), evidence-based practices that teach social skills to students with disabilities through the involvement of a typically developing peer. The practice provides students with disabilities a ...

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PROSE Checklist for Improving School-to-Home Communication

Family involvement, as facilitated by effective communication, is shown to improve student learning. But we most often reach out to families through written communication that can present challenges. This week’s tool, taken from the TEACHING Exceptional Children article, “PROSE Checklist Strategies for Improving School-to-Home Written Communication“, offers strategies for overcoming communication barriers between you and your students’ families.

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Example Curricula for Teaching Sex Education

Students with developmental disabilities or autism often have sex education excluded from their programming. This week’s Tool, from Friendship 101: Helping Students Build Social Competence, provides some sample sex education curricula IEP teams can review and evaluate to ensure they provide accurate and comprehensive information and align with other educational materials for students ages 5-18 with developmental disabilities. P.S. – Want to ...

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Writing Narratives about Student Behavior

The general education classroom teacher often completes a teacher narrative as one component of evaluating students for eligibility for special education services – and frequently provides progress monitoring as well. These documents are considered legal documents, so both teachers and specialists need to be able to clearly, objectively, and appropriately describe students’ class participation, academic progress, involvement with peers and ...

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