Effective Instruction for Students with Disabilities
What does a effective instruction look like in the classroom? For Tami, who is entering her 6th grade year at Akron Middle School with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), effective instruction will encompass team meetings and implementation of her IEP in reading, writing and math. With 300 minutes designated for reading and math, Tami will have instructional pull-outs during the day in both reading and math. Her teacher, Mr. Case will provide a lot of instruction in reading and writing during her daily LA (Language Arts) class.
For students with disabilities, effective instruction must begin with a team meeting to assess what is needed for students with IEPs and what will actively become the norm in instruction for each classroom. Tami and other students with disabilities must have a structured learning experience that is in legal and academic compliance with their diagnosed learning assessments provided in IEPs exclusively written to address their educational needs. In Mr. Case’s LA classroom, Tami is thriving and making the most of the individualized instruction that comes naturally from her teacher and peers. The additional supplemental pull-out tutorials provide positive reinforcement and skill building for Tami in reading and math.
Tami’s team of 6th grade teachers has created a portfolio for each of their students for the school year. In Tami’s portfolio, along with her IEP, diagnostic testing results and reflective evaluations on academic needs, each teacher continues to build the portfolio by adding subject content classroom assessments and Tami’s work on projects and parts of her reflective journal where she is able to self-assess and reflect on what’s working academically and what’s not. By meeting with Tami at the end of each week, the 6th grade team is able to use a rubric to assess how effective instruction and implementation have been for Tami and other students with disabilities in their classrooms.
Tami’s IEP Checklist
The teaching monitoring checklist that Mr. Case has constructed for students with disabilities includes a comprehensive list that includes assessments, on task behavior and academic accountability. When Tami and other students with disabilities get their checklist, they are able to provide personal reflections on what’s working during the classroom experience and what needs improvement.
Mr. Case’s Checklist-LA (Language Arts) Class-6th for Tami, A Student With Disabilities In the sample checklist for a four day week (most checklists will include all five days), Tami must complete the date and check out the following items in order for Mr. Case to provide his signature at the end of the week.
- Attendance-determines whether Tami was on-time or tardy to class each day
- Completion of Assignments-determines whether the assignment was 100% complete, partially complete or not done at all
- Grade/Score-determines what percentage grade Tami received on each assignment
- Teacher Signature-when the other columns are completed, then Mr. Case will sign off on the checklist sheet
The most effective instructional aspect of having students have accountability for their academic and behavioral performance is that students like Tami can see weekly their progress and performance in each classroom. The 6th grade team can meet weekly and determine if their instructional practices are meeting the needs of students with disabilities and adjust their instruction accordingly. For Tami, the IEP checklist is a weekly progress report that provides academic and behavioral insight into what’s working and what she needs to work on during her 6th grade school year. This also helps in communication with Tami’s parents or guardians as well as school administrators. Keeping a checklist helps Mr. Case stay organized and makes following Tami’s IEP easier. A checklist should be modified to fit each situation, student and teacher’s individual needs. The checklist is one of many methods that Special Education teachers can use to aid student’s with disabilities.