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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

Good IEPs Don’t Grow on Trees

IEPs are highly individualized documents, so they can’t be created in a vacuum or drafted from dime-a-dozen templates. Good IEPs grow out of collaborative discussions among students, their families, and their teachers. To guide you in this process, this week’s FREE tool is a checklist of activities to be performed before, during, and after the IEP meeting. The action items ...

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Writing with Pizzazz

Good writing drips with delectable tidbits of interesting detail, but students can struggle to generate the kinds of specifics that will draw in their readers. To help your students fill their paragraphs with the juicy stuff they need to engage readers, this week’s FREE tool is an organizer for answering question words like Who? When? and How? The organizer comes ...

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Celebrating Literacy for all Readers

On Friday, September 8, educators and students around the globe will be celebrating International Literacy Day. Here at CEC, we don’t want to miss the chance to draw attention to the magic and power of reading, so this week’s FREE tool is a literacy tip and table of literacy resources designed for teachers of students with intellectual disability. The table ...

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It’s Academic: The Transition to College

The transition to college is full of exciting changes for all students. New friends, a new home, and so many new things to learn! To help you make sure your students with disabilities are ready to meet the higher academic demands they’ll encounter in college, this week’s FREE tool is a table listing typical college academic requirements. Read about course ...

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It Takes a Well-Managed Village

A successful transition to life after high school requires more than the work of one transition specialist or special education teacher: It requires the coordinated effort of a well-managed interagency transition team. To help you cultivate and maintain the kinds of school and community partnerships needed for successful transitions, this week’s FREE tool is a table listing strategies to help ...

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The Sun, the Moon, and Science!

For the first time in 38 years, on August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible along a narrow path that spans the entire United States. Cool! To get your students in the spirit of solar science, this week’s FREE tool is a K–3 lesson plan for teaching students about light, heat, shadows, and objects in the sky. The ...

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School Counselors: Whose Hat is Whose?

School counselors wear so many hats it can be easy to imagine they wear all of them. While school counselors can play an important role in supporting students with disabilities, it’s important to define that role so that administrators and educators understand how best to collaborate with these important colleagues. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a table listing ...

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Adaptations for All

The concept of universal design originally came from architecture: why construct a stairs-only building that will require a ramp later when you could simply start with the ramp? The same concept applies to universal design for learning. Why create a classroom environment that requires work-arounds? To help you make learning accessible to more students more easily, this week’s FREE tool ...

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Real-World Curriculum on Track

Educating students with developmental disability or autism spectrum disorder in a real-world curriculum doesn’t happen in a day—or even a year. Students need continuity. This means curricular activities in elementary school should look toward expectations in middle school, and middle school activities should prepare students for high school. To help you keep track of student progress, this week’s FREE tool ...

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Template for Transition

Successful transition to life after school can often hinge on solid partnerships with community organizations that can offer support, services, or employment. To help you reach out to agencies in your community and get them involved in transition planning for your students, this week’s FREE tool is a letter template you can use to invite community representatives to participate in ...

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