Tag Archives: students with special needs

Working with Students with Special Needs: Part I – What Research Says

Here is another series we will be featuring in the next several posts. It’s about working with students with special needs. Educators looking for information on this topic may find this series particularly useful. The information we will provide may also be helpful for substitute teachers to know as it relates to handling unfamiliar students and situations that the substitute teacher is likely to face during his or her career.

In the next few posts, you will find information concerning children with special needs such as:

  • Special-Education Students
  • Children with ADHD (Attention Deficient Hypertension Disorder)
  • High-Achieving Students
  • Students from Other Cultures

As you read this series, you might have additional questions. It’s important that you investigate your district’s policies concerning any additional questions you may have.

What Research Says About Working with Students with Special Needs

Research shows that these things Will Help low-academic-level students achieve basic skills:

  • Time spent in structured learning activities led by the teacher.
  • Breaking down the instruction into small, sequenced activities.
  • Plenty of repetition with frequent correction and praise.
  • Lots of supervision and help.
  • Materials or questions at the student’s success level.
  • Many opportunities and much encouragement to succeed.
  • Mostly narrow teacher questions with one “right” answer.
  • Calling on non-volunteers or using patterned turns to select students to answer questions.
  • Immediate feedback (as right or wrong) to students’ answers.

Research shows that these things Will Not Help low-academic-level students achieve basic skills:

  • Time spent in unstructured or free time.
  • Long unbroken periods of seat work with student choice of activities.
  • Little practice or independent practice with prompt feedback.
  • Individualized, self-paced instruction and independent work.
  • Challenging work in which student will not know most of the answers.
  • Few opportunities or little encouragement to answer correctly.
  • Mostly open-ended questions.
  • Non-academic conversation.
  • Selecting only volunteers when calling on students to answer questions.
  • Not giving clear feedback to students’ answers.

Stay tuned for more tips on how to work with students with special needs. Please leave any questions or thoughts you have in our comment section.