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

Data Duties Spelled Out

Have you ever spent precious time collecting data about your students’ progress only to find you’re left with more questions? In today’s data-driven classrooms, this can create quite a conundrum. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a simple table of data types that identifies the uses for each type. It will help you choose the right data to collect ...

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Science with the Family

In honor of Earth Day, this week’s FREE tool puts a science spin on last week’s family theme. We’ve got a take-home science lesson about soil for your students to do with their families. Yes, we want to get everyone out digging in the yard where they can ask questions like, “What is soil made of?” and “What things are ...

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It’s all in the Family

Families are often an overlooked resource for special educators. Families can support the academic progress of their student in multiple ways, from providing a good breakfast to reinforcing school practices at home. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a table to get you thinking about the role of families. The table comes from “Charting the Course: Special Education in ...

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Keep it Simple

Are you looking for ways to simplify content instruction in your inclusive classroom? If so, this week’s tool is for you. It’s a table with ideas for how you can modify both the level of content difficulty and the means by which instruction is delivered. From pre-teaching vocabulary to incorporating hands-on activities, you’ll find ways to adapt your lessons to ...

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Fun with Friendship

To kick off April as Autism Awareness month, this week’s FREE tool is a table full of ideas for teaching friendship skills using Lego® Bricks. From picking flowers together to going down a slide, you can introduce play scenarios that will help students learn to interact with others in ways that will help them express their interests, develop a sense ...

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Spring into Science!

In less than a month, education professionals from all over the world will travel to Boston for CEC’s 2017 Convention and Expo. So this week’s FREE tool involves the story of a pair of mallards who raise their ducklings in the city of Boston! The story is part of a K–3 science lesson about life cycles and habitats that you ...

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You’re on the Case

The Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers

For special educators, case management takes top priority, but what does that mean? Case management responsibilities can vary among districts and among schools within those districts. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a case manager’s checklist to help you establish your responsibilities from day one. Should you create IEP progress reports? Check! Monitor behavior plans? Check! With this list, ...

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Sounds Like a Plan

Imagine trying to distinguish between the sounds in a word when you’ve never heard some of the sounds before! English learners run into this difficulty while also working to master new content. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a nifty chart listing the English sounds that students won’t have learned in their first language. Who knew that Spanish doesn’t ...

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TAAFT: There’s an Acronym for That!

Do you ever feel like you’re speaking a foreign language when talking about special education? We know how you feel! That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a handy list of special education acronyms and their meanings to help you keep your ducks (and your letters) in a row. Laminate it and post it on the wall so you’ll never ...

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Schedules You Can Sail Through

Administrators, we have our eye on you with this week’s FREE tool—a table full of scheduling guidelines to help you keep your ship sailing smoothly! By following these tips, you’ll discover how small things like setting limits you can follow and seeking feedback from staff can help you create a schedule that works for everyone. The tool comes from CEC’s ...

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