Three different types of accommodations and modifications

Updated: Feb 13


When it comes to accommodations and modifications in the classroom, there are three main types: academic, behavioral, and environmental. Each type of accommodation can help a student succeed in the classroom setting, but it’s important to know which type will be most beneficial for each individual student.


Special education teachers know that accommodations and modifications can be confusing. There are three main types of accommodations: academic, behavioral, and environmental. Each type can help a student succeed in the classroom setting, but it’s important to know which type will be most beneficial for each individual student.


Here are three points to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right accommodations and modifications for your students:

  1. Every student is different, so it’s important to tailor accommodations and modifications specifically for each individual student.

  2. Not all students need the same accommodations or modifications in order to be successful in the classroom.

  3. It’s important to keep in mind both the academic and behavioral needs of your students when choosing accommodations and modifications.

Academic Accommodations & Modifications

There are several different types of academic accommodations, but there are three main subcategories:


Read/Write Accommodations

These accommodations typically include alternative methods for taking tests or writing assignments that help students to compensate for any learning or physical disabilities they have.


5 common reading accommodations to include in an IEP

  1. Offering additional time for reading

  2. Providing extra help with reading comprehension

  3. Printing text in a larger typeface

  4. Providing an ESL student with translated texts or materials

  5. Increasing the amount of time students have to complete all assignments

5 common reading accommodations to include in an IEP

  1. Offering additional time for writing

  2. Providing extra help with grammar and punctuation

  3. Allowing students to type their essays instead of hand-writing them

  4. Giving students the opportunity to rewrite essays or drafts multiple times

  5. Letting students know in advance what the essay topic will be

Math Accommodations

These accommodations are similar to read/write accommodations but are used for any learning or physical disabilities involving math skills, including calculating numbers and graphs, adding numbers, subtracting numbers, solving equations, etc.


5 common math accommodations to include in an IEP

  1. Providing students the chance to solve problems in a different manner

  2. Giving students extra time for solving math problems

  3. Allowing students to have more space on their homework assignments

  4. Letting both the teacher and student know that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to solving mathematical equations

  5. Providing a calculator

Other Resources

These are special resources that can help students succeed in the classroom, including things like computer-aided learning programs, textbooks on tape, voice recorders, etc.


Behavioral Accommodations & Modifications

There are several different types of behavioral accommodations and modifications that special education teachers can use to help students with disabilities succeed in the classroom. These accommodations and modifications are sometimes referred to as “adaptive strategies.”


Daily Routine

This can include any type of routine that is followed in the classroom, either at the beginning or throughout the day. For example, it might be helpful for students to have a visual schedule they can reference throughout the class period, or it might be beneficial to follow an agenda/schedule for each day.


5 common daily routine accommodations to include in an IEP

  1. - Give students the opportunity to move around more on their own time

  2. - Offer students an assigned seat in the front of the class

  3. - Provide rearranged furniture in your classroom (or, alternatively, desks without walls)

  4. - Encourage students to take responsibility for keeping personal items organized and accessible

  5. - Allow children who need help with social skills or organization to work together

Behavior Management

This is a common type of accommodation and modification used to help students with behavioral disorders or other issues that cause them to act out in the classroom. For example, a student might have a weighted lap pad to sit on during every class session as a way to stay focused and calm. Additionally, having a behavior chart or token economy system can also help students to understand what behaviors are acceptable and which ones aren’t.


5 common behavior management accommodations to include in an IEP

  1. Offering a quiet place to work

  2. Allowing students to take breaks as needed

  3. Giving students more time to complete tasks

  4. Breaking assignments into smaller parts

  5. Rewarding positive behavior

Classwork/Homework

This involves accommodations and modifications for completing homework assignments at home as well as in the classroom. For example, an assignment planner is one type of accommodation that might help a student keep track of and complete their homework on time.


5 common work completion accommodations to include in an IEP

  1. Provide a visual schedule for time management

  2. Using an assignment planner to help students organize their time

  3. Having a parent or other caregiver help to complete homework assignments

Environmental Accommodations & Modifications

After individual students have been assessed, it can also be beneficial to make environmental modifications in the classroom that will help every student to be successful. For example, desks might need to be adjusted or moved around to accommodate different learning needs. Additionally, there might be certain equipment or resources that are used