Access Curriculum Instructional Strategies

SEE SPICE UP INSTRUCTION- Critical Thinking Resource

  1. Instructional Strategies and Materials for Accessing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards:

 

Difficulty: Adapt the skill level, problem type, or the rules on how the learner may approach the work

 

  • Identify and focus on critical information.  Prioritize the “need to know” content rather than “nice to know”. Organize instruction around the big ideas

 

  • Simplify task directions

 

  • Pre-teaching - introduce new vocabulary before beginning lesson

 

  • Photocopy pieces of research material related to subject for report or project, then read and underline/highlight main ideas and important details

 

  • Use advanced organizers and post-organizers to introduce and summarize lesson content
 
  • Highlight, underline, or color-code main ideas, important vocabulary, and/or key concepts
 
  • Highlight root words to aid in decoding
 
  • Discuss task and check for clear understanding of all parts of assignment from the beginning
 
  • Frequently restate concepts/directions using short phrases
 
  • Provide handouts summarizing important information
 
  • Give an outline listing the main ideas and related subtopics (Provide space to take additional notes)
 
 
  • Provide visuals (e.g., multimedia presentations, transparencies, flip charts) to list important concepts
 
 
  • When assignment requires drawing diagrams, provide diagram and have student label parts
 
  • Require less detailed drawings (e.g., structure of cell)
 
  • Provide handbook of grammar and punctuation rules, review frequently and allow student to use as reference
 
  • On a cue card, provide list of adjectives, adverbs, to use as reference
 
  • On a cue card, list steps in math processes/formulas to use as references
 
  • Allow the use of calculator to figure math problems
 
  • For language exercises, (i.e., punctuation) provide copy of assignment and require only the addition of appropriate punctuation
 
  • When asking for students to express their ideas in writing on a given subject, allow student to make a list of words that reflect the content
 
  • Provide an adapted text of the same content/title
 
  • Provide choice of reading materials that match interest and skill level
 
  • Chunk material for easier comprehension
 

 

Delivery: Adapt the way instruction is delivered to the learner

 
  • Reduce amount of copying from text and board
 
  • Provide copy of vocabulary/terms instead of copying from text
 
  • Provide manuscript copy of lecture notes
 
  • Posters of steps for specific learning strategies (open response, writing process, formulas)
 
  • Alert student to focus before expressing key points
 
  • Read sections of the text aloud or have volunteers to read aloud
 
  • Develop study guides to be completed as material is read
 
  • Use cued notes
 
  • Read questions and discuss before the student writes answers
 
  • Provide books on tape, or allow student to use a text reader
 
  • Provide chapter outlines
 
  • Instruct and provide directions using a step-by-step process (sequential & numbered)
 
  • Visual displays and graphic organizers
 
  • Analogies, stories, examples, non-examples
 
  • Conduct large group discussion before assigning group work
 
  • Avoid crowded, cluttered worksheets by utilizing techniques such as blocking, cutting (cut worksheets into sections, folding) and highlighting, color-coding or underlining
 
 
  • Provide diagrams (i.e., water cycle) and pre-labeled cards to place on diagrams
 
  • Provide many opportunities for processing (before, during, and after lesson)
 
  • Teach mnemonic devices
 
  • Teach students how to interpret graphs, charts, and illustrations
 
  • Give written directions to supplement verbal directions
 
  • Paraphrase information
 
  • Encourage feedback to check for understanding
 
  • Record questions on tape recorder
 
  • Tape alternate pages for read one page, listen to second page
 
  • Provide additional directions and information
 
  • Assist in prewriting activities and provide writing prompts
 
  • Show project examples that others have done and point out and list key features that students must include
 
 
  • Demonstrate math concepts using concrete objects before requiring independent work
 
  • Vary the pace and change tasks frequently
 
  • Use cooperative learning groups
 
  • Use multi-sensory instructional strategies
 
  • Keep directions concise and simple
 
  • Monitor the student’s understanding by asking student to repeat directions
 
  • Include rebus pictures with written directions for students who are unable to read
 
  • Place a piece of yellow acetate or yellow shelf liner (hot cover) over the page of print to enhance contrast, darken print, and focus student on smaller chunks
 
  • Use black marker pens to trace over directions and darken print for students with low vision
 
  • Always state/write the goals and objectives at the beginning of each lesson
 
  • Connect previous day’s learning with new lesson
 
  • Provide all information in a logically organized and sequential format
 
  • Vary the level of questions during class discussion to include all students
 
  • Use closure strategies regularly
 
  • Connect to student’s prior knowledge
 
  • Use a variety of practice formats
 
  • Incorporate active learning strategies
 
  • Give immediate reinforcement of correct response
 
  • Give immediate correction of errors
 
  • Provide individual student instruction when needed
 
  • Use concrete and manipulative objects at all grade levels
 
  • Teach reading within all content areas
 
  • Use specific questions to guide content reading
 
  • Communicate your expectations
 
  • Lab work
 
  • Problem based inquiry
 
  • Independent projects
 
  • Small group projects
 
  • Whole group projects
 
  • Use picture metaphors or storytelling
 
  • Use music
 
  • Teach memory strategies including mnemonic devices
 
  • Color and visual symbols
 
  • Use music to enhance learning
 
  • Teach using multi-sensory modes including multiple intelligences and learning styles
 
  • Use interval learning and processing time
 

 

 

Assessment: Adapt how the student can respond to instruction

 
  • Provide a menu of options for student to demonstrate knowledge other than (or in addition to) pencil/paper tests
 
  • Use verbal responses, a communication book, or show knowledge with hands-on materials
 
  • Draw and write sentences to demonstrate comprehension
 
  • Make a poster or dictate a report instead of writing
 
  • Use technology (e.g., PowerPoint presentation)
 
  • Dictate into tape recorder
 
  • Dictate answers to peers
 
  • Assign a reader
 
  • Assign a scribe
 
  • Verbal descriptions of diagrams instead of drawing
 
  • Choice of cursive or manuscript handwriting
 
  • Allow for spelling errors
 
  • Accept key responses instead of complete sentences
 
  • Give option of verbal assignment
 
  • Provide additional space to record written responses
 
  • Emphasize important words in written assessments through underlining, color-coding, bolding, and enlarged print
 
  • Reduce number of choices on multiple-choice or matching tests
 
  • For language lessons, have student read sentences aloud and verbalize corrections instead of writing
 
  • Allow demonstration to answers in math using concrete materials
 
  • Paraphrase
 
  • Prompts and cueing
 
  • Extended time
 
  • Provide each student with a small chalkboard or whiteboard, old sock for erasing, and chalk or a dry erase marker for written responses.

 

  • Index cards can be used to respond to true/false or agree/disagree statements.  Once question is asked, student shows response by holding up their card

 

  • Thumbs up/thumbs down to encourage active group participation during presentations

 

  • Include one direction per sentence

 

  • Underline or box directions

 

  • Provide examples of correct responses

 

  • Use large, bold print when possible

 

  • When creating multiple-choice tests, exclude “all of the above” and “none of the above” statements
 
  • When creating matching tests, organize both columns so student’s choices are clear and concise.  Present matching statements/answers in blocks of five.  Double space between blocks of information

 

  • When creating true/false tests, eliminate words such as “all” or “never”(Avoid using double negatives)

 

  • Create fill-in-the-blank tests by placing the choices under the blank space

 

  • Use a variety of formats to review for several days before a test or a quiz (i.e., quiz bowls, small group reviews, question & answer period, study buddies)

 

  • When giving essay tests, provide the student with a blank outline format for organization of ideas.  Highlight or underline key words in questions

 

  • Have the student demonstrate knowledge learned by performing or demonstrating key concepts

 

  • Provide all students a copy of the test so that they do not have to guess what is “need to know” content

 

  • Provide study guides

 

  • Vary testing format

 

  • Design collages, posters, timelines of events, and storyboards to manipulate the information

 

  • Develop and conduct surveys

 

  • Create maps, graphs, diagrams

 

  • Design and play simulation game activities

 

  • Write and perform skits

 

  • Design an inquiry project

 

  • Provide scoring guides/rubrics to clarify expectations

 

  • Use a grading contract detailing the basis for grades

 

  • Use labels

 

  • Have students design overhead presentations

 

  • Provide an outline of content

 

  • Have students create photo essays

 

  • Journal entry

 

  • Illustrated book

 

  • Slide show

 

  • Power point presentation

 

  • Models

 

  • Diorama

 

  • Art project

 

  • Felt board or storyboard

 

  • Handmade puzzle

 

  • Debate

 

  • Oral report

 

  • Chant or song

 

  • Walking tour talk

 

  • Radio advertisement

 

  • Storytelling

 

  • Demonstration

 

  • Dramatization

 

  • Role play

 

  • Chalkboard walk

 

  • Design and run a business

 

  • Charades

 

  • Large construction project

 

  • Poetry

 

  • Allow student to take the test a second time

 

  • Taped tests

 

  • Open book exams

 

  • Frequent but shorter quizzes

 

  • Encourage the student to summarize what they have learned that was not asked on the test

 

 

Size: Adapt the number of items that the learner is expected to learn or complete

  • Reduce the number of terms a learner must memorize at any one time
  • Integrate several short, learning activities rather than a single long one into the session
  • Select fewer comprehension questions to complete
  • Reduce amount of required writing (Don’t use writing as a punitive consequence)
  • When giving a language assignment to complete on the same concept, require fewer sentences to be completed
  • Reduce the spelling list 
  • Assign a specific number of math “problems” and allow student to choose those problems
  • Limit the number of concepts presented on each test
  • Divide the test into segments.  Each segment should have individual directions and should be graded separately

 

Time: Adapt the time allotted for learning, task completion, or testing

  • Individualize a time line (through the student planner) for completing task.  This may include time limits and time extensions
  • When assignments require answers to comprehension questions, give the material several days early and have parents, aide, or special education teacher to read the material with the students and discuss the comprehension questions
  • Provide extra classroom time to work on assignments
  • Allow assignments to be taken home to complete
  • Permit re-take spelling tests
  • Spend more time on complex math processes (Review and give fewer problems but more days to practice those processes)
  • Recognize effort and do not require the completion of the entire activity
  • Teacher/assistant can work in advance to assist in generating ideas for participation to contribute to group discussions
  • Prioritize assignments and/or steps to completing assignments
  • Alternate quiet and active tasks.  Set time limits for specific task completion
  • Increase time allowed for completion of tests or assignments
  • Reduce the length of the test
  • Space short work periods with breaks or change of tasks
  • Follow a specific, consistent routine
  • Post the daily schedule on the board for students who like the big picture
  • Develop classroom routines and celebrations and use them

 

Environment: Adapt the physical setting

  • Post daily work, schedules, and homework assignments at eye level in front of class
  • Surround student with peers who model appropriate behavior
  • Use a study carrel
  • Use proximity seating
  • Be aware of student’s sensory preferences
  • Provide a distraction-free zone
  • Encourage students to find “best study place”
  • Help student keep workspace free of unnecessary materials
  • Be aware of student allergies
  • Provide extra structure during transition times
  • Review class/school guidelines and classroom rules frequently
  • Be aware of assignment of schedules in regard to “on-task” behaviors
  • Engage the student in community-based instruction

 

Level of Support: Increase the amount of personal assistance with a specific learner

  • Assign peer buddy
  • Assign teaching assistant
  • Assign peer tutor
  • Pair students for review games and questioning
  • Have student use a scribe
  • Have student orally respond to a test
  • Pair students to develop a duet story
  • Use small groups to master specific content
  • Use graphic organizers for note-taking
  • Use cued notes for note-taking
  • Use cooperative learning groups

 

Participation: Adapt the extent to which a learner is actively involved in a task

  • Integrate choral response into lessons
  • Use instructional games
  • Use Think-Pair-Share strategy
  • Use Turn-to-Your-Neighbor strategy
  • Involve student in listening and participating in group discussions, but do not require a written response

 

Organization: Instruct the student in organization techniques to assist within the classroom and school situation

  • Set clear time limits for assignments
  • Questioning at the end of each sentence or paragraph
  • Allow additional time to complete tasks and take notes
  • Highlight main facts in the book or photocopied pages
  • Provide materials checklist
  • Ask student to paraphrase directions given
  • Use a student assignment notebook
  • Assign student a volunteer homework buddy
  • Lend student a second set of books for home

 

Motivation Strategies: Students can only be motivated to do tasks they are physically and mentally capable of doing

  • Use a symbol system for correct response
  • Send home daily progress reports
  • Keep graphs and charts of student’s progress
  • Conference with student’s parent
  • Conference with student’s other teachers
  • Use checks for accuracy
  • Use goal setting or contracts with student
  • Use immediate reinforcement of correct response
  • Develop a reward or point system