Special Education Lesson Plans


Many teachers, especially new ones, find it challenging to
write or modify a lesson plan for special education.

Knowledgeable tips and information
for every step on the way.

Breaking apart learning targets

Scaffolding the learning of special needs students

Assessment by one skill learning target

There will come a time when the school district embeded curriculum does not meet the needs of your special education students. Classroom activities will need to be accommodated or modified for learning disabilities and requirements of special needs students. As a teacher, you will need to be creative and resourceful in order to provide your students with an effective education.

As a new or even experienced special education teacher, writing a lesson plan can be daunting and so time-consuming that you may feel stressed and like you don't have time to devote to anything else.

 

Special education students require different accommodations and strategies than general education students. It can be hard to know how to compare them and what to include in a lesson plan for these students. Especially when accommodations and modifications may need to be adapted each and every time you use the lesson.

Some things you can do to add modifications and accommodations to lesson plans include the use of different materials, resources, worksheets, extended directions, and alternate assessments.  Who has time for that?

 

Teach Tastic is here to help you save time and headaches in writing special education lesson plans. Our guide includes everything you need to know about writing and adapting a lesson plan for special education and includes a free lesson plans template that you can use as a starting point for your own plans. This will make you very very happy and ready to dance a jig in all your free time. So check us out, special education teachers, and let us help you plan lessons more easily!

A teacher writting a lesson plan with TeachTastic IEP's new tips

Every good lesson plan starts with the learning target

A learning target is a specific, measurable, and attainable goal that teachers set for their students. This phrase will sound very familiar to special education teachers. Let's find out a little bit more about why they are important. Having a learning target in a lesson plan is essential because it provides focus and clarity for both the teacher and the students. Without a learning target, it is easy for a lesson to become derailed or for students to become lost and disengaged. Additionally, a learning target helps ensure that students are mastering the material being taught. By setting a clear and concise goal at the beginning of the lesson, the teacher can monitor student progress and adjust the lesson accordingly.

Ultimately, a learning target is essential for creating an effective and successful lesson plan.


With this in mind, a learning target for special education will probably look different from its general education counterpart. Learning targets for special education are going to be broken down into more manageable parts. What many students will master in one or two class sessions, a special education teacher might need to expand to three or four class sessions. Let's review this with a few helpful examples of breaking down general education learning targets for special education.

 

McGraw Hill my math learning target for 1.OA.3

What should the student be able to do?

The student should be able to add zero to a number and a number to a zero to get that number as the sum.

 

With this specific general education curriculum learning target it might need to be broken down right where the and is placed in the sentence.

1 example problem: 0 + 3 = 3

2 example problem: 3 + 0 = 3

 

The main reason skills would be considered for separation will be if the student needs manipulative or other teaching strategies. It would be best to understand what parts of the learning target the student can do or not do rather than one blanket yes or no for what is really to separate skills.

The ability to track specific strength and need areas within the learning target is going to be necessary when reporting progress on the learning target itself. This is especially important for resource room type students who would be graded on a proficiency scale. For example, the difference between a two and a two point five on a proficiency scale rubric will require collecting finite and specific data such as mentioned above.

 

In addition to the learning target, a good lesson plan should also include the following:

  • A list of materials needed for the lesson

  • An explanation of how the material will be presented to the students

  • A step by step guide on how to complete each activity

  • A description of how student progress will be monitored and assessed

  • A plan for independent working time

  • An explanation of how the lesson will be wrapped up

 

Let's dive a little deeper into what each of these categories of lesson planning might look like when written.

 

Lesson planning with pre-requisite skills in mind

When writing a lesson plan for special education, it is important to include prerequisite skills. These are the skills that students need to know to understand the material.
If we were continuing down the path of the first-grade addition with zero learning target. Prerequisite skills would include all previous knowledge associated with addition and vocabulary requirements surrounding the concept of addition.

Special education plans would include additional pre-assessments to ensure that the student is in line with this skill based on their present performance levels. This additional step would not be included in general education lesson plans because it would be assumed that the student had all prerequisite knowledge before beginning the lesson. However, it would need to be included for special education students because of knowledge degradation and gaps from year to year.

 

Including scaffolding in the lesson planning process

Scaffolding is a step-by-step guide on how to complete each activity. It is important to include scaffolding when writing a lesson plan for special education to help students with disabilities stay on track. Scaffolding can include various things, such as providing a model for how to complete an activity, breaking down a task into smaller steps, or giving tactile feedback. It can also include verbal prompts, such as questions that help students stay on track.

 

Tips for scaffolding lessons to meet the needs of all learners in your classroom:

  1. Start with the basics and build on student knowledge incrementally

  2. Make sure that all students are working on the same activity, at their own level

  3. Provide clear instructions and plenty of support to help students succeed

  4. Monitor student progress and adjust activities as needed

 

By following these tips, you can scaffold your lessons to meet the needs of all students in your classroom, not just those enrolled in special education.

 

Including accommodations in the lesson plan

Accommodations are changes that can be made to a lesson in order to make it more accessible for students with disabilities. Accommodations can include things like providing extra time for students to complete tasks, allowing students to work with a buddy, or providing a worksheet in place of a test.

 

Five most common accommodations for special education students:

  1. Extra time on tests and assignments

  2. Preferential seating

  3. Providing class notes

  4. Access to technology

  5. A written list of instructions

 

Including modifications in the lesson plan

Modifications are changes made to the content of a lesson to make it more accessible for students with disabilities. Modifications can include things like changing the level of difficulty of a task or providing more information to students. It can also include changes to how information is presented, such as using a different font size or color.

  1. Changing the level of difficulty of a task

  2. Create alternate projects or assignments

  3. Alternate rubric or grading standard

  4. Different problem set than peers

  5. Accepting mastery in a portion of the learning target

 

Including differentiation strategies

Differentiation strategies are a list of ways to modify the lesson for different students. When writing a lesson plan for special education, it is important to include a variety of differentiation strategies so that all students can be successful.

 

A lesson plan for special education students should also be differentiated to meet the unique needs of each student. One way to do this is to create a tiered lesson plan. This type of lesson plan includes different levels of activities so that each student can choose the activity that is best suited for their ability level. This allows all students to be successful and engaged in the lesson.

 

Define a tiered lesson plan: A tiered lesson plan is a type of lesson plan that includes different activities so that each student can choose the activity best suited for their ability level. This allows all students to be successful and engaged in the lesson.

 

Incorporating technology

Another critical aspect of a good lesson plan is incorporating technology. Technology can engage students in the learning process and provide them with additional support if needed. In addition, when used effectively, technology can make a lesson more exciting and fun for students.

 

1. Technology is a great way to engage students in the learning process and provide them with support if needed

2. A virtual problem set can be used to differentiate instruction

3. Online resources can be used to provide additional support for students

4. Students can be encouraged to use technology to help them with their studies

5. Technology can be used to assess student learning

 

How the material will be presented

When planning a science lesson, teachers typically need to provide students with a lot of information in a short amount of time. To make sure that all students are able to understand the material, it's important to present it in a way that is easy to follow. One way to do this is by using visuals. Charts, graphs, and illustrations can help students understand scientific concepts that might be difficult to explain in words. In addition, teachers can use demonstrations to show students how something works. Students are more likely to remember the concept by seeing it in action. Finally, teachers can use interactive activities to get students involved in the learning process. These activities can include group work, experiments, and simulations.

 

Step by step guide on how to complete each activity

When writing a lesson plan, it's important to provide teachers with a step-by-step guide on how to complete each activity. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all activities are carried out effectively. It's also helpful for teachers who might be new to the subject matter. By having a guide to follow, they can be sure that they're teaching the material in the best way possible.

 

How student progress will be monitored and assessed

One of the most important aspects of lesson planning is monitoring and assessing student progress. This allows teachers to determine whether or not students are understanding the material and allows them to adjust their teaching methods as needed. There are a variety of ways to assess student progress, and it's important to choose the assessment strategy that will work best for the particular lesson. Some common assessment strategies include tests, quizzes, essays, and projects.

Materials needed for the lesson

When planning a lesson, it's important to provide teachers with a list of materials that will be needed for the lesson. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all materials are gathered before the lesson begins. It's also helpful for teachers who might be new to the subject matter. By having a list of materials, they can be sure that they're prepared for the lesson.

Teachers typically need a whiteboard and markers to write down key concepts and equations when planning a math lesson. They also use manipulatives to help students visualize mathematical concepts. Common manipulative items include linking cubes, pattern blocks, and fraction strips. In addition, teachers often use a calculator to demonstrate how to solve certain problems. By using various materials, teachers can create engaging and effective lessons that help students understand the material.

When it comes to teaching language arts, there are a few essential materials that every teacher needs. A whiteboard is a must for writing down key concepts and providing visual aids. Markers or chalk can be used for the same purpose, and they're also handy for classroom activities like brainstorming. Books are obviously essential for any literature-based lesson, and articles or other nonfiction texts can be used for teaching grammar and writing skills. Writing paper is needed for in-class assignments and activities, and a word processor is a valuable tool for helping students revise and edit their work. Of course, these are just a few of the basics - every teacher has their own unique list of must-haves. But with these essential materials, you'll be well on your way to creating effective and engaging language arts lessons.

A summary of what the lesson will cover

At the end of a lesson plan, it's helpful to summarize what the lesson will cover. This will give teachers a quick overview of the covered material and help them plan their next steps. It's also helpful for students who might need to review the material later. Having a summary of the lesson, students can read what is essential and not have to read it in its entirety.

Standards Alignment

When writing a lesson plan, it's important to make sure that all activities are aligned with the relevant standards. This will ensure that students are meeting the required educational standards and that teachers are teaching the material in the best way possible. There are a variety of resources available to help teachers align their lessons with the appropriate standards, including state standards databases and online tools.

Materials & Preparation

Before starting the lesson, teachers will need to gather all of the materials that will be needed. This includes anything from textbooks to worksheets to props for demonstrations. It's important to make sure that everything is ready to go before the lesson begins. This will help keep the classroom running smoothly and will ensure that all students have the materials they need.

Instructions

Once all of the materials have been gathered, it's time to start the lesson. The instructions should be clear and easy to follow. They should also be tailored to the level of the students. For example, if the lesson is for a beginner-level class, the instructions should be simple and straightforward. If the lesson is for a more advanced class, the instructions can be more detailed.

Independent Working Time

After the instructions have been given, it's time for students to work on the activity independently. This is an important part of the lesson and allows students to practice the skills that they have just learned. It's also a time for teachers to assess student progress.

Wrap Up

Once the independent working time is over, it's time to wrap up the lesson. This includes summarizing what was covered and answer any questions that students might have. It's also a good time to assign any homework that might be needed. By following these steps, teachers can create a lesson plan that is both effective and tailored to the needs of their students.

Including assessment strategies

Finally, a good lesson plan for special education students should include assessment strategies. Assessment allows teachers to see how well students are understanding the material and what areas they need more help in. It also allows teachers to track student progress over time.

  1. Provide a variety of assessment strategies

  2. Use informal assessments frequently

  3. Assess students’ understanding of the material

  4. Allow students to assess their own learning

  5. Use technology to assess student learning

Including a variety of assessments, strategies are important so that all students can find one that best suits their needs. Using informal assessments frequently allows teachers to get a better idea of how well students are understanding the material. Assessing students’ understanding of the material allows teachers to target instruction where it is needed most. Allowing students to assess their own learning helps them take ownership of their learning. Finally, using technology to assess student learning provides teachers with a more detailed picture of how well students are doing.

Including these five key components in a special education lesson plan will ensure that all students have a successful and engaging learning experience.

Once you have created a well-written lesson plan, it is important to follow it closely. This will ensure that all students are learning what they need to know and that you are meeting the objectives of the lesson. If changes need to be made during the lesson, it is important to make them quickly and effectively so that the flow of the lesson is not disrupted.

It is also important to remember that a good lesson plan is not static. No matter if you are teaching kindergarten through high school it should be adaptable and flexible. Lessons should be adapted throughout the school year and on a very regular basis to meet the needs of each individual student.

Learning targets for special education students will look different than those of their general education peers. A good lesson plan for special education students takes this into account and scaffolds activities accordingly. Pre-requisite skills must be assessed and taken into account when planning a lesson. Differentiation strategies are essential for meeting the needs of all students in the classroom.

Special Education Lesson Plans in Summary

 

When creating special education lesson plans, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Learning targets should be specific and tailored to the needs of special education students

  2. Pre-requisite skills must be assessed and taken into account when planning a lesson

  3. Differentiation strategies are essential for meeting the needs of all students in the classroom

  4. Activities should be scaffolded to meet the needs of special education students

  5. It is important to be flexible and adaptable when planning a lesson for special education students

Special Education Teachers Lesson Plan

This math intervention lesson demonstration is one of our free resources for teaching students addition to five with addition sentence models.

IEP Goals - Addition up to 5 and Addition up to 5