Teaching students with special needs from a distance has its unique challenges like ensuring student engagement from afar, differentiating virtually, and structuring synchronous online lessons. Luckily, we have a new course filled with solutions. In course 5135: Special Education Instruction from a Distance, you will discover a treasure trove of strategies, tools, and resources on which to build and/or improve online special education instruction. Take this opportunity to review and consider new-to-you methods for lesson planning, instruction, collaboration, and technology to ensure student engagement. To get a better idea of the course content, check out or even TRY OUT the following sneak peek application from the course which highlights scaffolding as a method of supporting students with special needs.
Application: Success with Scaffolds
This application focuses on High-Leverage Practice (HLP) 15 - Provide scaffolded supports!
Providing scaffolds for learners who need additional assistance to meet goals and objectives is imperative to their success and yours. Scaffolds are typically developed and offered to students with special needs and English learners, but scaffolds can be helpful to all students.
To find out more about using scaffolds, work through the following, taking notes as you go.
- Review p. 12-14 of “Instruction: Research Sythneses" from https://highleveragepractices.org/
- Read “Scaffolding Instruction for English Learners" by Diane Staehr Fenner for comparison. (Note: While this article specifically addresses EL’s, much of the article and strategies can be applied to students with special needs as well.)
- Next, read about a few easy-to-implement ideas: “How to Adapt Your Teaching Strategies to Student Needs" by Kathleen Bulloch from Reading Rockets.
- Last, but not least, note the tech tools for scaffolding in “6 Scaffolding Strategies & 16 tools to implement them during Remote Learning" by Arpan Chokshi from Reflections on Teaching & Learning.
Now that you have read about the concept of scaffolding for students with special needs and perused a few concrete ideas, view two or more of the videos below where you will see scaffolding in action in face-to-face classrooms. As you watch, jot down notes on the following:
- Which scaffolds could be modified for your online special education classroom?
- What opportunities exist to use technology for, or as, scaffolds?
- Scaffolds For ELLs in the Digital Classroom
- Examples of Scaffolding for ELLs
- Scaffolding Discussion Skills With a Socratic Circle
- Scaffolding for Students Reading at a Low Literacy Level
- I Do, We Do, You Do
Note: For those taking the course, we do not require submission of notes, but we encourage participants to keep a copy for themselves as they will be asked to develop a scaffold in a future assignment.
Want to learn more about teaching special education online? Need more special education resources to use during distance learning? Register now for OL 5135: Special Education Instruction from a Distance.
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