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

Summer Cool Down

This week marks the first day of summer! For many of us, temperatures outside are rising, but this time of year can also mean tensions inside are rising as final exams or state testing schedules progress. To help cool things off, this week’s FREE tool is a simple set of breathing exercises for you to do with your students before ...

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The IEP in Parts

The IEP is the central document guiding students’ special education supports and services. But the document itself can feel overwhelming with all of its moving parts. To demystify the IEP and its purpose, this week’s FREE tool describes all of the essential parts of the IEP. Tack it to your conference room wall, pass it out to parents, and keep ...

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Conquering Conflict

We all have conflict in our lives. It may be as minor as picking out a shirt to wear or as big as negotiating a divorce in the family. As part of an effective transition to life after high school, students need to know how to diffuse conflict by communicating their feelings in an assertive way that will ensure they ...

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Challenging Behaviors: What to Expect

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can exhibit a range of challenging behaviors in early childhood, with temper tantrums being one of the highest occurring problems and aggressive behaviors more common among those children with minimal language abilities. This week’s FREE tool is a figure illustrating the various challenging behaviors that young children with ASD might exhibit. Print it off ...

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Teens on the Team

Learning self-advocacy is an integral part of a student’s progression towards a smooth transition to life after high school. One way to engage students in decision making about their future is to actively involve them in their own IEP meetings. To get you started on that path, this week’s FREE tool is a set of questions designed to help students ...

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Group Think at its Best

Special educators don’t work in a vacuum. To best serve students, they must collaborate with colleagues, administrators, and other service providers. So, how to avoid having too many cooks in the kitchen? To help teams of educators work well together, this week’s FREE tool is a worksheet for group reflection. It asks team members to answer a set of questions ...

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Ready, Set, Publish!

Do you have great ideas about special education that you’re looking to share? Whether you’re a new graduate student, a veteran teacher, or a practicing academic, writing and submitting a research article for publication can feel daunting. This week’s FREE tool is designed to help. It’s a table of questions you should ask yourself before submitting, and corresponding guidelines to ...

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Reap the Rewards

Positive feedback and rewards can be powerful ways to reinforce desirable behavior, but coming up with appropriate rewards that feel new and enticing can be a challenge! To help you keep a few surprises up your sleeve, this week’s FREE tool is a table filled with acceptable reinforcers or rewards for students in both elementary and secondary school. With motivators ...

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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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