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

Word Problems We Can Smile About

Students make no secret of the fact that word problems aren’t their fave. But how do teachers feel about writing them? This week’s FREE tool is a table with tips for writing or adapting word problems with reduced linguistic demands. Simplified and predictable language in word problems will make for happier teachers and students alike! The tool comes from CEC’s ...

Read More »

You Heard, but did you Listen?

We’ve all had that in-one-ear-out-the-other experience, including our students. The good news is that everyone can become a better listener with a little training and practice. This week’s FREE tool is a lesson plan for teaching the difference between hearing and listening to help students distinguish between different kinds of input and to learn to focus on the information that ...

Read More »

Play Your Way to Better Behavior

Challenging behavior can disrupt learning for all students in the classroom, so finding the right method to address this complex issue is of utmost importance. For this week’s FREE tool, we have a table with information on how teachers can address challenging behavior through play.  The tool comes from “Addressing Challenging Behavior and Mental Health Issues in Early Childhood,” a ...

Read More »

Fluency that flies

Have your students been working hard on their reading skills all year? This week’s FREE tool is a table with fluency activities you can use to further student practice. Try activities like echo reading and choral reading to help students improve reading rate, accuracy, and expression as they repeat the cadence and expression modeled by their teachers and peers. The ...

Read More »

Tips for transition

With a student-to-counselor ratio of 491 to 1, there’s little doubt that school counselors are some of the hardest working professionals in our schools. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a set of tips to help school counselors (and anyone working with transitioning youth) support students who are transitioning out of middle or high school. From goal setting to ...

Read More »

Getting it right for ELs

Addressing the needs of English learners (ELs) can be complex, so this week’s FREE tool is a table to help you identify the potential difficulties you may encounter with literacy instruction for these students. From phonological awareness to comprehension, you’ll find guidance and tips for effective reading instruction along each step of the way. The tool comes from “English Language ...

Read More »

Finding Friends in Your Community

Plan, plan, plan! That’s the ticket to an effective transition to post-school where youths have the chance to become involved members of their communities. The best transition plans are masterworks of collaboration that connect students to the community resources they need after high school. But how to find and vet these community resources? This week’s FREE tool is a handy ...

Read More »

Charting Inclusion

This week marks a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle for most schools, and that includes charter schools. If you work at a charter school, this week’s FREE tool will help you take this time to reflect on your school environment and its openness to the idea of inclusion. Are educators trained in how to support students with disabilities? ...

Read More »

A Behavior Plan that Makes the Grade

  We want you to feel jolly about classroom behavior, and holiday break is a good time to step back and evaluate your classroomwide behavior plan. So this week’s FREE tool is a self-assessment checklist to help you evaluate second- and third-tier positive behavior intervention and support (PBIS) in your classroom. Do you have knowledgeable staff to assist in behavior ...

Read More »

Rules of the Game

In the coming weeks, professors and graduate students will be taking a well-earned break from the rigors of higher education. This is a time when many academics catch up on research and polish up article drafts for publication. So this week’s FREE tool is a brief list of common rules to remember when formatting an article in APA style. You’ll ...

Read More »