• Modifications for Classroom Instruction

    Strategies for Improving Attention

    • Provide student with preferential seating. This may be where they can have a view of the teacher and others but away from noises. It may not always be in front.
    • Gain student's attention with key words or signal before giving oral information.
    • Speak at medium pace.
    • Check for understanding and allow extra "think time" to respond.
    • Teach students to listen for meaning and to wait until instructions are completed before beginning work.
    • Prevent lesson in one location with visual support. Move around room during class participation time.
    • Give verbal directions BEFORE handing out materials.
    • Reduce verbal directions to steps. Follow a sequence and allow completion of each step before proceeding.
    • Model verbal directions while presenting them, then request students to repeat them.
    • Allow a "buddy system" for repetitions and clarification.

    Reading Modifications

    • Combine phonic instruction with literature instruction.
    • Go over specific vocabulary before and after the lesson. Record new vocabulary in a permanent place.
    • Relate major concepts to the student's experiences.
    • Show a video or film of literature before reading it in class.
    • Offer a selection of books with varying reading levels and interests to ensure that the student is able to read the material.
    • Be sure the quality of photocopied materials is good.
    • When the objective is to read for information, pair students with strong and weak decoding skills.
    • Do not require students with poor decoding skills to read aloud in front of the class. Instead have the student read to teacher individually.
    • Preview test questions before instruction to determine your teaching emphasis.
    • Be aware of your student's full academic lead and pace reading assignments accordingly.

    Written Language Modifications

    • Teach outlining principles so that the student will understand the difference between main ideas and details.
    • Use generating aids before writing on assigned topics. They may include story webs, pictures, computer programs, or verbal rehearsal.
    • Assign the written piece by increments with a corresponding time line for each step.
    • Post concept model for the specific assignment format.
    • Provide individual checklists to clearly delineate mechanical, organizational, and spelling skills to be evaluated.
    • Give students class time to work on written assignments so that you can assist them with specific difficulties.
    • Plan to consult individually with students during writing assignments.
    • Require student to proofread all written work. Have the author read aloud to themselves or with a partner while using a proofreading checklist.
    • Allow presentation formats other than the essay. These could include computer slideshows, posters, charts, or collages.
    • Consider reduced length of written essays for students with writing difficulties.

    Math Modifications

    • Use manipulatives.
    • Post written or pictorial sequence with key vocabulary workds, showing steps for problem solving.
    • Have students draw out problems or write sentences for specific operations. Start with simple problems. Work to problems with multi-operational steps.
    • Develop meaningful problems students can relate to their daily experiences.
    • Use a "peer teacher" to explain to a student previously taught material.
    • Have students review learned processes by re-explaining them to a fellow student.
    • Continuously review previously taught concepts for retention and application.
    • Consider reduced homework assignments if a student has difficulty with math concepts.
    • Encourage the use of assistive devices such as calculators or math tables. NCR paper is useful to eliminate copying from the board. Use graph paper or color coding to draw attention in alignment and operation changes.
    • Test modifications may include extended time, enlarged format, or coding key direction words.
    • Use blocking and tracking aids such as graph paper, blank index cards, or rulers.

    Additional information concerning classroom modifications is available through the Special Education staff of each school and the Special Education Field Office at (916) 971-7525.  
Last Modified on January 22, 2020