Giving Compass' Take:

• Special education teachers offer advice and insight into the best practices, tools, and techniques to use when working with students with special needs.

• How can we share and collaborate ideas among special education teachers? Are there systems already in place to do this?

• Read about the differences in opinions when it comes to children with special needs and their education. 

It can be challenging to select instructional materials and methods, which will enrich student learning. The key is first understanding the needs of every student. In particular, all teachers need to understand how to provide for students with special need

Here are three main questions with some really helpful ideas shared from an inclusions conference at EdCamp Pittsbrugh.

How can teachers create a supportive learning environment for students?
Start with the relationships. Create opportunities for students to interact by designing some relationship building activities.

What do you do when having a mix of auditory, visual, and IEPs in a regular classroom?
Offer opportunities for students to engage in reading together. Place students into mixed ability groups and have time to interact with each group. Students need to hear fluent reading and have practice, so by pairing students with fluent readers, students can build their skills.

How do teachers learn strategies, what are tools to use, what works best for students in your classroom environment?

When possible, co-teaching is a great way to provide additional support in the classroom. It opens up the opportunity to work with small groups or to design independent learning centers, which focus on specific skills.

Special Education Teachers: When I took my graduate courses in special education, I developed a much greater understanding and appreciation of the work done by special education teachers.

Supporting Families: Families need advice, assistance and advocates. Finding the time can be difficult, so it makes sense to share the resources which enable families to access information when they need it.

Tech Tools: There are tremendous apps and digital tools that educators and families can use to provide ongoing support for students.

Read the full article about working with special needs children by Rachelle Dene Poth at Getting Smart