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

How to Prepare a Research Article in APA Style

Spring is upon us this week—at last! As flowers poke up through the ground and trees grow buds, we’re thinking about fresh starts and new teacher-scholars. So this week’s FREE tool is a list of miscellaneous tips for preparing a manuscript in APA style. Whether you’re writing your thesis, preparing final papers for undergraduate classes, or submitting to your first ...

Read More »

Providing Collaborative Transition Services Across Tiers

Can you believe it’s already March? Before you know it, spring will be upon us. With time marching by, we don’t want high school graduations to catch you by surprise, so this week’s FREE tool is a table, Providing Collaborative Transition Services Across Tiers. It offers teachers who are preparing students for life after high school an at-a-glance look at ...

Read More »

Instructional Resources & Resources for Evidence-Based Practices

The Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers

This week’s FREE tool packs a powerful punch. It’s a list of internet resources to help you find instructional tools and information about evidence-based practices online. The web is a vast and ever-changing source of information, so you’ll want this list to help you go straight to reliable and useful websites that can enhance your teaching. Instructional resources are broken ...

Read More »

Getting Around Town

Are you working on a real-world curriculum? Then you’re going to love this week’s FREE tool! It’s a checklist for pedestrian skills to help you support students who are working on “getting around town” independently. The list will help you track progress and set priorities on skills that range from walking without difficulty, to understanding crossing rules, to walking in ...

Read More »

Recipe for Writing

Take the guess-work out of grading student writing with this week’s FREE tool! We have a one page grading rubric for you that will help you evaluate your students’ writing assignments fairly and consistently. Sections of the rubric will help you rate a student’s mastery of composition, style, sentences, usage, and mechanics. Use it to assign grades, apply it to ...

Read More »

Collaborate Smart

Sharing responsibilities in the classroom can be as touchy as sharing responsibilities around the house! That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a checklist to help you and your co-teacher work out the who-does-what of co-teaching. The checklist, “Responsibilities of Co-Teachers” can be used to plan a future course of action or to evaluate current expectations. Fill it out together, ...

Read More »

Social Skills for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder Vol. I

Students can learn so much from each other! That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a table, “Cooperative Learning Strategies,” which lists a variety of cooperative learning activities through which students can develop their social skills. Activities such as “turn-to-your-neighbor” and “think-pair-share” allow students to directly interact with one another so they can practice social skills, teamwork, and group- and ...

Read More »

Possible Student Behaviors and Emotions and Teacher’s Responses During and After the Crisis Episode

This week’s FREE tool is an information packed table that itemizes possible student behaviors and emotions during a crisis episode with corresponding suggestions for teacher responses. The table is intended to help teachers manage and diminish crisis episodes while also providing prompting to help teachers and students learn from the incident once it is over. The table comes from CEC’s ...

Read More »

When Behavior Makes Learning Hard

Oftentimes, disruptive behavior is an indicator of something other than willfulness or disobedience. For students with disabilities, behaviors can indicate a student’s deficits, frustrations, or simple attempts to communicate desires. Many times, a child can be taught a different, more appropriate behavior that will achieve the same end. This week’s FREE tool is a table, “Alternative Means to the Same ...

Read More »

Co-Teaching Rating Scale

The Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers

The New Year is underway, and the school year is nearing a midway point for many, so we figured it’s time for some reflection. That’s why this week’s FREE tool, is a nifty Co-teaching Rating Scale to help you and your teaching partner evaluate your work and improve communication. So put your self-reflective glasses on and get ready for questions ...

Read More »