Inclusive education has been researched to be the best form of education for children with special needs. Here are some ideas and tips to help you create preschool lesson plans with accommodations for special needs.
Use a Multi Sensory Approach
Using a multi sensory approach is one of the best ways to teach all children, and especially children with special needs. Ensure that learning involves listening and hearing, seeing, touching, and moving. When you try to integrate all the senses into your lesson plans, children with different kinds of disabilities are able to learn.
Allow Optimum Positioning for Children with Physical Impairment
Children with physical impairments work, and write best when their body is positioned correctly. Ensure that the table and work surface heights are comfortable for them. If they are going to be on the floor, provide cushions and pillows to support them. Some children may require special chairs or other furniture to sit, accommodate these into the classroom.
Provide Hand Function Adaptations for Games and Art
Children with hand function impairments may require some adaptations to help them participate in games, art and other activities. Add knobs to puzzles, so that all children can use them easily. Similarly, increase the width of the handles of art materials to help children hold them and use them. Look for toys, jars and other classroom equipment that are easy to hold and manage so that all the children can use them.
Make your Classroom Wheelchair Accessible
If one of the children in your classroom uses a wheelchair, you will need to make sure that your classroom is wheelchair accessible. The best way to do it would be to actually sit in a wheelchair, go around the classroom and try to do different activities. Ensure that there is enough space around furniture to maneuver the wheelchair. Ensure that the child has a wheelchair accessible working space. Ensure that the child can access important objects and facilities like the toilet, switchboards, taps etc.
Create a Quiet Corner in your Classroom
Many children with special needs may need rest during the day. Some may need a quite space to work. Create a quiet and comfortable corner in the classroom for such children.
Adapt Teaching Techniques for Visual Impairments:
Often children with special needs have visual and attention deficits. Here are a few simple adaptations that can help them learn. Make sure your classroom is well lit, preferably with sunlight. Ensure that the child with a visual or attention deficit is sitting close to you and the visual aids. Make sure that the child gets enough time to absorb the information on visual aids. Use bold writing and large prints as much as possible. Minimize the amount of information that’s being given at one time (for eg, a page with 2 sentences is easier to read grasp than a page with 10 sentences). Supplement visual learning by helping them use the information you have learnt through different activities.
Thus, these are some techniques and ideas you can use to create preschool lesson plans with accommodations for special needs. For more resources on teaching in inclusive classrooms, read this.