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My Special Educator Toolkit

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by

Sara Roof

on 12 October 2015

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Transcript of My Special Educator Toolkit

1) Graphic Organizers
Graphic organizers
are a visual representation of knowledge that structures information by arranging important aspects of a concept or topic into a pattern using labels. They can be used in a variety of ways to help students organize information, stay focused on the content material, reinforce previously learned material and help relate new concepts to ones previously learned.

I
n the classroom:
Students can use graphic organizers in all subjects, including math, ELA, science, and history.
These visual representations help students by:
• Representing abstract ideas in more concrete forms,
• Depicting the relationships among facts and concepts,
• Organizing ideas, and
• Storing and recalling information
My Special Educator Toolkit
by Sara Roof

2) Manipulatives
3) ALEKS
ALEKS
stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces. It is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.

In the classroom
, ALEKS can provide students with a differentiated math experience. Students first take an assessment to determine their skill level. They are given individualized modules that include instructional parts to pre-teach or re-teach concepts they need to learn. We use this as a math intervention program to help increase our students' success in math.

4) Timers
Using
timers
a great way to prepare students for transitions. Often, time is such an arbitrary concept for my students. If they can visually see how long they have to complete a task/assignment they are more at ease with the change that transitions bring.

In the classroom
, I use timers to help me assess reading fluency with my students. We do 1 minute timed reading tests to determine how many words they are reading per minute. Timers also work as a great way to make a practiced skill a competitive game. I sometimes use "Timerpop", a free online timer tool, that allows you to create and save multiple timer settings. For example, if I want to have a count down that lasts for five minutes, a count down of fifteen minutes, and a count down of three minutes I can save them all. Then when I need one of them I'll just click on it to start the count down.

Special Education Toolkit
As a special educator, I have an obligation to provide my students with differentiated instruction. This means that I will utilize a variety of resources and materials that will provide my students with a more individualized learning experience.
5) Multiplication Charts
6) Study Carrels
Study carrels
are foldable, cubicle-like, cardboard enclosures with three sides extending above the writing surface to serve as partitions designed to act as a visual barrier for students during individual study or reading.

In the classroom
, they help to prevent copying and reduces noise during independent classwork time. Students have the option to use a study carrel if they have issues focusing, staying on-task, or tend to talk when not allowed. Students can place the carrel around them as they work at their desk.
A
multiplication table
shows you the results of multiplying two numbers. One number is along a row, the other down a column, and the results are shown where a row and column meet. Example: 6 multiplied by 7 is 42.

In the classroom
, students who are not able to calculate simple multiplication facts in their head can use the multiplication tables to perform multi-step math problems quickly.

Other uses:
Students can use the multiplication charts to help with division and simplifying fractions.
Manipulatives
are hands-on objects that can be used as a critical learning tool for students in all classrooms. Manipulatives help make an abstract idea a concrete concept. Students can physically investigate a math problem to reach a solution which can change their way of thinking from a simple procedural understanding to a more conceptual understanding.
In the classroom
, students can use manipulatives, such as counters, to help understand various math concepts. The combination of physical and visual learning tools gives special education students the hand-to-eye connection that contributes to successful learning!

These can be used in math classes across grade levels:
Base 10 blocks
Unifix cubes
Tangrams
Pattern blocks
Attribute blocks
Dual colored counters
* Set of unit blocks - www.childcraft.com
Variety of dice (include regular six sided dice, four sided dice and octahedrons)
Playing cards
Dominoes (include 9 dots and/or 12 dots)
Unifix Cubes
Geometric patterns or shape templates
Buttons or other objects
Sorting trays or mats
Containers in different sizes
Colored paper in a variety of sizes and shades

Most of these manipulatives can be purchased at a local school supply store or online. Examples of materials that can be made or collected include sorting mats, pattern templates, containers, scraps of different colored papers left over from wrapping paper, envelopes, or greeting cards, and dice collected from old games that are no longer used
7) Reading Trackers
Reading trackers
are a simple device that allow students to follow along and read with the rest of class without getting lost. Rather than using their fingers to track, it isolates and highlights one line at a time from the page the child is reading . Not only does it help with improving fluency, but also with expression.

In the classroom
, students can use the reading trackers during whole group and individual reading. The reading tracker will help keep students following along with the rest of the class.

Other uses:
They can also be used as a bookmark as a reminder to the student to use the reading tracker when they read on their own (outside of the classroom).
8) iPad
iPads
are a universal tool designed to meet the needs of the 21st century child. There are hundreds of educational apps that can be downloaded and installed on the iPad that are free. These apps can provide students with multi-modality activities that meet their educational needs and are motivating.

In the classroom:
Through the use of more technology in the classroom, students become more engaged and can participate in online lessons. With an adapter, it can be plugged into a document camera to show videos, display power points, play online/interactive games, and show enlarged pictures.


9) Do2Learn.com
Do2learn
provides thousands of free pages with social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.

In the classroom
, I use many resources from Do2Learn to provide students with literacy instruction and strategies, behavior support, social skills activities, and other fun and engaging activities that promote skill development.
10) Fidget Toys
Fidget toys
are silent items (such as squishy balls) students can use to provide students with sensory output. Fidget toys are ideal for school classrooms and other places a quiet fidget is needed to keep restless fingers busy, bodies relaxed, and minds focused.

In the classroom
, I encourage certain students who find fidgets helpful for self-regulation to use them. They are able to remain focused, calm, and engaged.
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