Teaching Ideas and Resources for Special Education

Differentiating instruction is so important at any level. Of course, making sure your lessons meet the needs of all learners can be a daunting task, but it can be done! Use these teaching ideas and resources for special education to teach to the level of all students while helping them reach their goals and be challenged in the classroom!

Sub Plans

If you are a resource/special education teacher or an inclusion teacher with special education teachers, you’ll want to make sure to have sub plans ready to meet the needs of your learners. Having a special education sub plans bundle ready to go if you are sick or absent can make such a difference for your students! There are several essential pieces to your SPED sub binder. These items are also included in the special education sub plans bundle to save you time and money!

  • Editable Binder Cover
  • Form Filling Instructions
  • Note to Substitute
  • Bell, School, Alternate and Specials Schedule
  • Class List
  • School & Staff Info
  • Classroom Info
  • Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
  • Class Rules & Behavior Management
  • Attention Prompts & Transition Procedures
  • Individual Student Contract Info
  • Student Health Info & Other Student Needs
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Differentiation
  • Lesson Plan Adjustments
  • Additional Notes
  • How Did They Day Go? Substitute Notes Form
ideas and resources for special education sub plans bundle

Special education sub plans bundle helps your students get everything they need while you’re gone; it will also make sure your guest teacher doesn’t have to hunt for materials. Organized sub-plans also mean your substitute teacher will want to come back and sub again! Not only does the special education sub plans bundle contains plans for the day-to-day procedures and needs of your students, but there are also math, reading, writing, social studies, science, and art lessons for your K-5 special education students.

Since this bundle is created just for special education teachers and students, you’ll receive bonus group lesson forms! These editable forms let your guest teacher know which students will be in small groups and need specific instruction for skills and differentiated lessons.

Math

Use special plans for small group instruction or interventions with your special education students. These lessons are perfect for sub plans and are included in the special education sub plans bundle. Lessons are complete for both lower and upper grades.

Lower Grade Math Lessons

First, the lower grade math lessons include four topics: counting, addition, subtraction, and place value. Three of the lessons also include games & hands-on activities like less than or greater than alligators and counting petals of flowers in a flower garden.

ideas and resources for special education lower grade math lessons

Upper Grade Math Lessons

Next, check out the four math lessons for upper grades. These topics include rounding, symmetry, word problem solving, and fraction ordering, and equivalence! All students will love the bonus multiplication “war” game, but it’s especially valuable for small group review with special education students!

ideas and resources for special education upper grades math lessons

Reading and Writing

For some special education students, reading and writing can be a struggle. These language arts lesson plans included in the special education sub plans bundle are perfect for morning work, individual instruction, small groups, or emergency sub plans.

Reading Comprehension Lessons

First, the special education sub plans bundle includes three reading comprehension plans focusing on summarizing, main idea, and making connections. Since your learners are at different reading levels, multiple levels are included.

ideas and resources for special education reading comprehension lessons

Sight Words

Next, let your learners work with sight words! Whether your students are in Kindergarten or 5th grade, this ready-to-print board game included with the special education sub plans bundle will help your young learners play and learn high-frequency words at the same time!

ideas and resources for special education sight words

Writing

Don’t forget about writing! Next, writing lessons come complete in the special education sub plans bundle. First, try a name poem with your special education learners. Also, narrative writing and friendly letter writing are perfect for all ages. A bonus A, B, C, letter writing lesson is also included for students who need help with letter formation and recognition.

Science and Social Studies

Your special education students should also have instruction on the world around them. From exploring differences to learning about weather, the special education sub plans bundle shares differentiated lessons for both science and social studies.

Art

Coloring pages (that also integrate with math and “color by number”) are fun activities to use with your students during brain breaks, morning work, or small group time. These coloring sheets also come with the special education sub plans bundle.

ideas and resources for special education color by number

Research Units

You know Science and Social Studies is important… Now, make it easy AND fun to teach with our research units!

Research units are perfect for students to learn how to use informational text and study various science and social studies topics. There are differentiated research journals to suit various ages and abilities of students, and students can read content and write their reports at their grade level expectations.

Plus, each unit includes a fun and engaging hands-on project at the end…. all planned for you!

Watch out the videos to see more about our research units.

Printable version:

Google Slides Version:

Secret Student

How do the Secret Student activities work?

For each activity, the students will be a “Secret Student” to an assigned classmate. They will be given a variety of writing prompts to write kind letters to their secret classmate throughout the activity. They should not tell them who they are! During this time, they should also try to do as many kind things for this person as possible, and they will report their progress to you for a few of the writing prompts.

The activities are naturally differentiated because the students will write at their own levels. Three differentiated writing pages are included as well, so you can choose which is best for your class or use a mix as you see fit.

Each activity includes:

  • Lesson Plans
  • Intro Activity
  • Original Story
  • Editable parent letter
  • Student Name Cards (Once you type their names into these cards, they will auto-populate onto the recording sheet AND reveal activity, which is a huge time saver!)
  • Recording Sheet (to keep track of who has who)
  • Secret Student Writing Prompts (10 pre-written and 4-6 editable templates)
  • Report to teacher writing prompts (4 pre-written and 2 editable)
  • DIFFERENTIATED student letter writing pages (one with a half writing half picture, one with double space, and one with single space)
  • Reveal cards & activity
  • “Thank You” writing pages

Reading Passages

Tired of spending so much time planning and finding resources for teaching reading comprehension and fluency skills? Look no further! This comprehensive set of differentiated reading passages includes EVERYTHING you need for reading comprehension and fluency, with leveled versions of passages from Kindergarten through 6th grades

What makes these Reading Passages so unique?

Differentiation- There are  3 differentiated versions of each passage for a total of 96 passage options PER grade level (1-6)! These passages have been carefully leveled and the levels are subtly marked with a small icon in the corner. All 3 levels of passages will use the same reading comprehension question page, making differentiation simple! No child will feel left out since the mark is only a small symbol.

Please note: Kindergarten is leveled slightly differently. There are 2 differentiated text versions and a multiple choice and free response version of each passage. That’s a total of 128 passage options for Kindergarten

Comprehension Questions- Every passage includes a full page of comprehension questions. The first question on every page will help students activate their background knowledge about the passage topic. This question is followed by comprehension questions from the text (multiple choice and free response). Last, there is a deeper thinking question to encourage critical thinking and hit a variety of grade-level language arts standards.

Reading Fluency- This resource makes recording data simple for you. There are several options included for tracking reading fluency! Up to 3 reads of each passage can be recorded directly on the passage page. A teacher recording sheet and a student graph are also included. Directions are included, so you will know exactly what to do!

A wide variety of passage topics included- This comprehensive set of reading passages includes a variety of fiction and non-fiction passages. From stories to how-to lists, rest assured that your students will be reading a wide variety of texts with these passages! You can see the list of passages included in the full contents below.

Candy Math

For students who love hands-on activities and candy, Candy Math is the answer! We have holiday activities with candy for 5 different holidays as well as one colorful candy resource to use anytime. While the math activities may be the highlight of the packet, there are other activities included for each holiday as well as the colorful candy resource. They are a fun and engaging way to get your students practicing their math, parts of speech, writing, and art skills.

ideas and resources for special education cereal marshmallow fractions

There is a variety of activities all of which can be easily differentiated for individual students, including:

  • Count & Sort Candies by Color (to be a reference for future activities)
  • Graphing Candy By Color
  • Candy Fractions by Color
  • Comparing Candy Fractions
  • Candy Probability
  • 2 Fill In The Blanks stories. Students will fill in these blanks using parts of speech AND drawing out candy colors to make it even more engaging
  • 2 Writing & Art Pages
  • COLOR AND BLACK AND WHITE VERSIONS OF EVERY PAGE!
ideas and resources for special education my favorite foods fill-in-the-blanks

Finding teaching ideas and resources for special education does not have to overwhelm you! Save time with the special education sub plans bundle and all of our other fantastic resources to meet all your special education learners’ needs!

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