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.

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Recent Posts

Promoting Student Participation and Ownership of the IEP Process

This week’s FREE tool is a list we should all hang on our conference room walls: Promoting Student Participation and Ownership of the IEP Process. What better way to celebrate the fact we are right smack in the middle of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month than with a list of ways to put students with IEPs in the driver seat! This ...

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Transition Program Evaluation Process

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! In observance of the need to prepare students with disabilities for lift after high school, this week’s FREE tool is intended to help schools evaluate their transition program. Federal regulations require schools to prepare students for a range of educational, employment, and independent living opportunities with the greatest independence possible. This week’s Tool ...

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Classroom Routines & Procedures Checklist

The Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers

The school year is well underway, so we’re wondering: Is your classroom running like a well-oiled machine? We hope so, but if not, this week’s FREE tool, a quick and fabulous checklist for Classroom Routines and Procedures, will help you restore order. Research tells us that clear and easy to follow classroom procedures are essential for a successful classroom experience. ...

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Evaluating Testing Accommodations

It seems another state assessment is always around the corner, so it’s never too early to start thinking about ways to ensure all students can access these tests. This week’s FREE tool is a template to help you determine test accommodations for students with disabilities by asking questions about the student’s characteristics, the barriers to the test, the accommodations that ...

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Writing Checklist for an Essay

This week’s FREE tool is a one-page checklist to help students grades 4-6 cook up great writing! Questions on the list will guide students during the editing process with reminders that range from style elements such as capitals and punctuation to content issues such as whether the essay answers the “who, what where, when, why and how” of the topic. ...

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A Baker’s Dozen Style Tips for APA

Calling all writers! This week’s FREE tool is a “baker’s dozen” of style tips for writing in APA style. Stick this list on your bulletin board or plop it on your desktop, so you can find the answers to 13 common style questions without opening a book! Need to know more? The list comes from How to Prepare a Research ...

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Lesson Plans: Simple Machines & Motion

This week’s FREE tool is a back-to-school bonanza of information to get you and your students moving in the new school year. We’ve combined two complimentary science lesson plans about simple machines and motion. One of the plans introduces these topics through a work of fiction, and the other introduces the same topics through a work of nonfiction. Both lessons ...

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Community Mobility Checklist

Mobility is key to independence for all students. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a Community Mobility Checklist designed to help you assess and prioritize mobility skills for students with mild to severe disabilities. This comprehensive list covers emergency preparedness, pedestrian skills, school bus safety, community transportation and public facilities, and recreational mobility. It comes from CEC’s publication, Getting ...

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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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