Archive for the ‘Special Education’ Category
Children with learning disabilities can become frustrated with writing assignments because they struggle with the mechanical or organizational components of writing.
There are writing activities teachers can implement in the classroom to help special education students become more confident in their writing ability. To be effective, writing activities should be used in all areas of learning that require writing.
Pre-writing hand exercises help students flex their writing muscles and improve dexterity. Before all writing assignments, teachers should instruct students to flex their fingers, press palms on desks, and squeeze fists or stress balls.
For more in-depth activities, teachers should use plastic tweezers for special education students to grasp and release small objects and play finger games to improve fine motor skills.
Students who struggle with the mechanical aspect of writing will benefit from assisted technology in the classroom. Mechanical activities include writing alphabet letters, numbers and vocabulary words multiple times, upgrading to writing sentences for older children.
Pencil grips come in various shapes and sizes to help students hold their pencils properly, and paper with raised lines forces students to keep their handwriting straight. Similarly, a tilted surface helps children keep their bodies in line with their writing.
Teachers can buy bookmarks with transparent strips called EZC Readers to aid students in tracking words in textbooks. Trackers can also be made from cardboard or construction paper by cutting out a rectangle in the middle of the paper about an inch high. Trackers are most often used for writing activities that require students to copy information from a book.
If handwriting is still laborious and time consuming, electronic writing tools may be a better solution for longer writing activities. The AlphaSmart is used in many special education classrooms, and is lightweight and portable. Teachers and paraprofessionals can also transcribe for a child when electronic writing tools are not available.
Visual aids help children who have trouble organizing their thoughts and putting them on paper. For younger children, teachers can cut out pictures and ask special education students to identify them out loud. Students will then write the word on paper, followed by a sentence that uses the word. Read the rest of this entry »
Students in special education may have disabilities that can make writing a challenging task. Special education teachers can use various writing tools in their classrooms to enable their students to produce better written work.
Writing tools can help with the formation of ideas and the mechanics of writing. They can also help disabled children improve their spelling and grammar.
Graphic organizers can make writing easier in education. These tools help special education students visualize their topics instead of relying on language processes. Graphic organizers can help special education students who get bored easily gain interest.
They can also help students who have trouble organizing or comprehending writing topics. Graphic organizers can help students understand relationships, classify information, compare and contrast topics, form a sequence and develop concepts by using storyboards, KWL charts, Venn diagrams, word webs, concept mapping and charts.
Some disabled students need help to place their fingers on their pencils correctly when they write. Pencil grips help students in special education learn the proper ways to hold a pencil. This tool allows them to concentrate on their writing instead of worrying about where they should grip the pencil.
Pencil grips make holding a pencil feel natural to these children. Penmanship can be significantly improved when students use these tools.
Physical and Sensory Writing Tools
Some disabled students have physical or sensory problems that can make writing a difficult task. There are various types of software available that can help special education students engage in writing tasks.
These writing tools include a large keyboard and speech recognition software, which help students with coordination problems and programs that read text back to children who have cannot seeing. The types of tools used by special education teachers will depend on the disabilities of her students.
Word Processors With Grammar and Spell Check
Children with disabilities may have trouble in areas such as spelling and language mechanics. Word processing programs that check spelling and grammar and offer corrections can help students in special education learn to write better.
Students can become more confident as they learn to choose correct word choices and use proper punctuation. Students with language difficulties will be able to produce better written work by using writing tools.
Vocational training for special needs students helps the students learn the skills they need to find employment and live as independently as possible.
Organizations that hire special needs employees trained in specific skills find them to be as productive and responsible as any other employees. Employment empowers individuals with special needs to feel they are productive members of society, just like everyone else.
Importance of Vocational Education
Special needs students who may have diminished functioning benefit from vocational education as they learn skills they can use past high school. They choose to learn skills that interest them according to their abilities. Teachers also recognize abilities in special needs students and tailor the training programs to what each student can accomplish.
A vocational assessment helps the student explore options and identify the best vocational program to fit her aptitude in the least restrictive environment.
A vocational evaluation is performed for students with special needs in grades eight through 12. They get to explore options in the work world and assess their ability to accomplish tasks related to each type of work.
The evaluation identifies the appropriate vocational program for the student as well as the student’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. The evaluation is sent to the student’s home school if it is done by an outside agency. With this evaluation, the school can develop a vocational program for the student.
Vocational Job Training
Schools that have vocational training programs for special needs students generally have some type of job shadowing or internship programs as well. The schools work with local businesses so the students in training have an opportunity to go on a work site to watch how the jobs are accomplished.
The student learns work-based activities through the job shadowing or internship program, and these skills are carried through to actual employment. It eases the transition from vocational training to the daily working environment.
Types of Vocational Training
Many areas of vocational training suit students with special needs. These employment fields include auto collision or servicing, building maintenance, culinary arts, hospitality, landscaping, information technology, printing and graphics, retail store operations, construction and cabinetry.
Students with special needs tend to be highly dedicated to job tasks and make devoted employees. When they have the means of generating income, many are then able to live independently with a sense of pride and belonging.