Easy Strategies and Accommodations for Medical Instances in the Classroom, Part II

Easy Strategies and Accommodations for Medical Instances in the Classroom, Part II

The numerous accommodations and modifications that teachers make for students often amount to a lengthy list. These adjustments can involve altering not only instruction, but also lesson materials, which tend to exhaust much of a teacher’s planning time. To ensure that students’ accommodations are met, every student must be provided with differentiated, personalized learning experiences to foster intrinsic motivation and appropriate levels of challenge.

 

Symptom: Executive functioning difficulties due to various conditions

Strategies

Considerations

  • Give checklists for multi-step assignments or complex tasks
  • Keep to consistent routines
  • Provide approximate, suggested lengths of time for homework and/or classwork
  • Provide brisk transitions between tasks/activities to build attentive momentum
  • Model organizational strategies
  • Check in frequently
  • Simplify written instructions and verbally review instructions for clarity
  • Review daily and/or weekly agenda; highlight due dates
  • Allow students to write directly on assessments; no bubble sheets
  • With checklists, it’s important that teachers model how to order the multiple tasks and check off or eliminate to-do’s as students finish sections.
  • Consistent routines ensure that students, especially those with have difficulties settling into the classroom environment, know the basic procedural expectations and can execute them independently.
  • Depending on age and ability, students may need to be explicitly shown how to place papers in organized sections of a binder; they may need extra time at the end of class to place papers, materials, etc. in designated places to maintain organization.
  • Executive functioning issues can cause students to become distracted, rushed, or lost while working; allow them to respond directly on test booklets to avoid the confusion of bubble sheets and/or the likelihood of them losing their place or skipping questions.

 

Symptom: Fine motor issues due to various conditions

Strategies

Considerations

  • Word processor for written assignments
  • Teacher notes; modified note-taking
  • Multiple choice, T/F, matching, or short answer opportunities to demonstrate mastery
  • Larger or slanted work surface
  • Larger lines, boxes, or spaces for written responses
  • Bulleted responses when appropriate
  • Mouse instead of touchpad
  • Speech to text technology if available; human scribe if not
  • Pencil grips; wrist supports for typing
  • Verbal responses
  • If providing teacher notes, encourage students to participate by highlighting or starring essential material; have them include labels or symbols while following along.
  • For lengthy assignments, consider other methods for demonstrating understanding:

·       Put story events in order using event cards instead of writing a summary

·       Match pictured steps/photo cards of a science lab to written steps, then put them in order

·       Use Scrabble letters or alphabet cards to take a spelling quiz, instead of writing out the list

 

Symptom: Behavioral issues due to various conditions

Strategies

Considerations

  • Verbal/non-verbal prompting or cueing
  • Positive reinforcement when procedures/behavioral expectations are followed
  • Preferential seating
  • Proximity while giving instructions/directions
  • Frequent breaks for lengthy texts or multi-step tasks
  • Brisk transitions between tasks/activities to deter off-task behavior
  • Data tracking sheets and weekly conference with student; possibly provide incentives
  • 2 X 10 strategy to build positive relationships between adults and students
  • Prompting and cueing could be as subtle as tapping on the desk to deter off-task behavior.
  • Prompting could also be as direct as reminding student of the expectations for behavior.
  • Checklists or sticky notes would typically be paired with a weekly/monthly incentive to track a student’s behavior goal (504/IEP).
  • Preferential seating doesn’t necessarily mean in the front of the classroom; this could mean near the teacher’s desk, away from the window or hallway, or in the quieter back corner of the room.
  • Moving closer (proximity) or sustained eye contact can often deter misbehavior.
  • 2 X 10 strategy is proven to build rapport in difficult classrooms. Teachers engage in a meaningful, genuine, 2 minute conversation, unrelated to academics, with a difficult student over the span of 10 days to encourage positive outlook regarding school and adults in schools.

 

 

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