>My Favourite Classroom Accommodations: Be a Fly on My Classroom Wall

>Be a Fly on My Classroom Wall: My Favourite Classroom Accommodations
(In recognition of & with a special thanks to all of those gifted individuals & websites that helped me to gather these along the way! )

Instructional Accommodations

– Based on individual pycho-educational assessments: build on individual strengths & address needs
– Encourage / model independence
– Provide a highly structured, predictable environment: No surprises! Students must feel valued & safe
– Provide clearly defined rules and expectations – review often
– Minimize distractions – calm, cool, collected; pleasant, positive, predictable
– Prepare students for transitions – again: no surprises
– Establish prerequisite skills – never assume anything
– Cue students before giving directions
– Give clear, simple oral instructions …. one at at time, properly sequenced
– Read and repeat both oral and written instructions; ensure for understanding
– Provide opportunities for students to paraphrase instructions
– Provide opportunities for students to rehearse concepts
– Ongoing repeated review of skills and concepts
– Provide time for discussion
– Provide additional processing time
– Monitor (closely!) understanding of all concepts
– Chunk assignments: Break tasks down into smaller, more manageable, sequential steps/units
– Highlight key words on written assignments / colour code
– Present everything as concretely as possible
– Use colour coding strategies
– Multi-modality teaching
– Supplement lessons with visual aids, and concrete materials (e.g. posters, charts, props)
– Provide/model/teach the use of graphic organizers
– Provide samples of end products
– Homework agendas

Environmental Accommodations
– Create a highly structured environment (safe & secure!)
– Provide consistency (safe & secure!)
– Post timetable & rules in a highly visible area (review often)
– Minimize distractions
– Give clear focusing signals
– Use teacher proximity
– Provide preferential seating
– Vary work surfaces
– Increased breaks

Assessment Accommodations:
– Teach / model study strategies
– Teach / model test taking skills and strategies
– Prepare/explain test expectations
– Provide & share clear criteria for evaluation with students
– Provide examples of end products
– Provide rubrics to ensure understanding of expectations – Provide study guides /review sheets
– Provide reduced / uncluttered test formats
– Reduce the number of questions on each page
– Give short, simple directions
– Encourage students to rephrase/repeat written & oral instructions
– Do whatever necessary to ensure understanding
– Highlight questions/key words/key vocabulary
– Provide vocabulary reference sheets
– Allow for processing time
– Check-in often for understanding
– Accept unconventional spelling
– Use a variety of test techniques /alternative forms of assessment
– Give equal weight to the process (understanding of concepts) & the product (application of concepts)
– Keep work samples

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