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

Finding the right place

For some children, where they learn can be key to ensuring what they learn. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a checklist to aid in placement decision making. It will help you to literally check all the boxes as you consider the best placement for students with disabilities who are in the general education classroom. The table comes from ...

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Accommodate. Collaborate.

The Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers

The school year is underway and everyone is settling into their new routines. To make that easier, this week’s FREE tool is an accommodations checklist to help keep you organized. Now that you’ve gotten to know your students, take a minute to fill it out so you can keep track of the accommodations your students need for both testing and ...

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Know Yourself

This week’s FREE tool is a table with self-reflection questions for co-teachers and other educators who are collaborating on behalf of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These questions will help you prepare for collaborative work by asking you to think about your feelings regarding things such as classroom management, grading, planning, and accommodations. The table comes from “A Guide ...

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Signs of Child Neglect

This week’s FREE tool is a figure to help you recognize the signs of child neglect. Child neglect results from a caregiver’s failure to meet a child’s basic needs. It is the most common form of child maltreatment, especially in the United States. Because the definition of neglect is broad, it can be difficult to determine when neglect has occurred. ...

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A transition team checkup

Successful transition teams are complex, high-functioning units, so this week’s FREE tool is a process checklist to help you and your transition team keep all your ducks in a row. The list will prompt you to reflect on common indicators of success for high-functioning teams. Does your team represent the community and reflect its needs? Do you have ground rules? ...

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Referrals made easy

School counselors are the super heroes of our schools. They wear many hats and play an integral role in creating the healthy school climate that matters so much to all students. To support school counselors in their special education related tasks, this week’s FREE tool is a nifty flow chart illustrating the school-based special education referral process. What happens once ...

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Making the grade

Co-teachers must collaborate on so many things: classroom arrangement, teaching styles, methods of instruction, and finally, grading, the subject of this week’s FREE tool. How do you feel about retakes? Do you prefer letter grades or portfolios? What is your homework policy? Answer these questions and more on your FREE tool with your co-teacher to be sure you’re on the ...

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Crisis intervention done right

For any crisis situation, the best defense is a good plan. So this week’s FREE tool is a table that will help you evaluate crisis intervention programs. With this list of questions about how a program addresses triggers, de-escalation, restraint procedures, debriefing, and training, you’ll have the guidance you need to select the crisis intervention program that’s right for your ...

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The many shades of smart

With the rise of inclusive classrooms, teachers are looking for ways to reach the diverse learners in their classrooms. This week’s FREE tool is a table, Multiple Intelligences, which lists the different areas of strength a student might have along with descriptions of how each strength contributes to learning. The focus on strengths instead of deficits will help teachers see ...

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Behavior intervention as instruction

Most often, there’s more than one way to accomplish any task. This can be a powerful concept for students to learn. That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a table called, “Alternative Means to the Same End: Strategies for Students.” It addresses the problem of negative behavior by suggesting alternative behaviors for students with disabilities. The power of the table ...

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