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

Making the Call

Making an emergency phone call and communicating the necessary information to the respondent can literally save lives, so the ability to perform these tasks should not be taken for granted. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a task analysis for assessing a student’s ability to perform the steps necessary to make an emergency call while out in the community. ...

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Skill-Based Deficit Areas

Student behavior can have complex sources. The better a teacher understands those sources the better the student can be supported. This week’s FREE tool is a brief chart identifying areas where skill-based deficits may underlie certain unproductive or disruptive behaviors. The tool comes from CEC’s “When Behavior Makes Learning Hard: Positive Steps for Changing Student Behavior,” a brief and accessible ...

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Teaching Sex Education

Friendship and companionship are essential to human development and happiness. To grow into adults who can engage in meaningful relationships, students with developmental disability must be provided with early and ongoing supports that enhance their ability to live fulfilling lives as adults. This week’s FREE tool is a table outlining elements of sex education according to age level to guide ...

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The Real World: Knowing What to Teach

Teaching students the skills they need to step out in the real world is an exciting and rewarding job. There’s so much to learn! To keep you from feeling overwhelmed by that abundance, this week’s FREE tool is a process chart for helping you determine the areas where your students need instruction. The chart will help you start with the ...

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Think Positive. Be Positive.

Kick off 2018 by revisiting your classroom climate. Have you built a sense of community? Do all of your students feel supported and welcomed? This week’s FREE tool outlines the basic practices that undergird positive classroom environments. Check it out to be sure you’re maintaining the positive community you set out to establish at the beginning of the school year. ...

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The Lesson Plan: A Breakdown

The Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers

Even the most experienced teachers should come to class with well-thought-out written lesson plans or outlines. Written plans keep teachers on track and provide a framework for reflecting on and evaluating how things went after the fact. This week’s FREE tool is a table that breaks down the components of a good lesson plan to guide teachers in crafting effective ...

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How’s Your Co-Teaching?

Most educators are enjoying a much needed break from work this week. If that includes you, take a few minutes to reflect on how the year has gone so far by using this tool to evaluate your use of co-teaching approaches. Did you team teach? How did it go? Did you parallel teach? What would you change about it? The ...

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Well-Written Introductions

If you are an educator who is also pursuing an academic career of your own, then you know that holiday “breaks” are often times spent catching up on research or polishing articles for publication or presentation. To support your academic endeavors, this week’s FREE tool is a table listing the elements of a good article introduction, complete with examples of ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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