Once a special-needs student’s individualized education plan has been written, the student’s teacher and parents will work together to determine what classroom activities are appropriate for the child. It is important for these activities to be designed to target and reinforce the skills that the child needs help with. In addition, these activities should meet curriculum goals as well.
Teaching special needs students presents a unique challenge to teachers. While the subject material may be second nature to you, the teaching methods and strategies needed to help these students learn may not be as familiar. In addition, special needs students may learn at a slower pace than their fellow students, and require more hands-on activities to understand concepts.
There are many different ways in which you can help a special education pupil with their learning. You can set them up in small groups or one-to-one sessions, you could use games and puzzles, or even use visual aids such as charts and graphs. Whatever method you choose it is important that it works for all the children in your class and that everyone enjoys it. Once you have decided how you are going to work with them then you need to prepare for their arrival by planning some activities that will keep them occupied until they finish their learning session.
One of the best ways to engage a special education pupil with classroom activities is by giving them fun tasks to do throughout the day. These tasks can involve anything from helping with homework to playing a game on the computer or watching a video on a DVD player. The more they enjoy their learning session then the more likely they are to be able to retain what they have learned during their lesson.
The importance of classroom activities for special needs students cannot be overstated. Special needs students need extra attention to help them perform at their best and advance, just like all other students.
Another fun classroom activity for special needs students is the “Guess Who” game. This is a great way for your students to learn about one another and practice their social skills.
You can also ask your special needs students to help you create a bulletin board that highlights important topics from your class, such as science or math. This will give them the chance to be creative and work together as a team.
The following activities can be used to provide special needs students with the support they need in order to succeed in the classroom:
- Make use of a communication book
This book can be used at the start of the day to outline what will take place, and it can also be used at the end of the day to reflect on what took place.
- Ensure that your students are involved in peer-to-peer learning
Learning from one another is an essential component for success, so make sure that you include everyone. You could even ask students to help plan some activities that are geared toward their peers’ interests and needs.
- Provide ample opportunities for recess and other playtimes
Students need time away from the classroom in order to recharge their batteries, so make sure you provide them with a number of breaks throughout the day where they can let loose and play with their classmates or by themselves if they prefer it that way.
- Play with a Fidget Spinner
Fidget spinners are great because they can help focus attention, reduce stress and keep kids engaged. For those who have difficulty sitting still or concentrating during classroom lectures, a fidget spinner is perfect for helping a student stay on task.
- Name and sound recognition
Write a word on the board, then say it out loud. Say the word again and again, then ask the student to repeat it after you. This helps the student learn to read and recognize written words as well as sounds.
- Drawing familiar objects
Ask the student to draw something they’re familiar with, such as a favorite object or a person they know well.
- Go Outside
Sometimes all a student needs is some fresh air! Getting outside helps students get out of their heads and into nature, which can be very calming and soothing. This is particularly true if you take them to an area with lots of green space such as a park or forest. The natural sounds also help alleviate anxiety and stress levels that may have been building up from being cooped up inside all day long.
- Build Lego Structures
Building structures with Legos or other types of blocks helps encourage spatial thinking skills like problem solving, creativity and engineering concepts.