Adjustments to the general education curriculum can be made to accommodate students with learning disabilities. Accommodations to the curriculum may be few or many, depending on the needs of the child. Supports, such as organizational skills, extra structure, and adjustments in classroom activities can be made to provide balance in learning.
The inclusion setting for some is the opportunity to receive a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. For others, it is the opportunity to learn in the classroom with regular education students, while fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum with adjustments to the lesson. Full inclusion is becoming more common in the classroom today.
Many students with learning disabilities lack organizational skills. The development of organizational skills will provide structure inside and outside of the classroom. Simple tasks such as providing a different folder for each subject can be a great start to organization. Adding homework in the left side of the folder will make it easier to keep track of what needs to be completed. Discarding unneeded cluster can also make a difference in organization by making it easier to locate certain assignments.
A daily schedule can build routine into the day. This will allow the child to stay on task. A schedule should be kept in a place where it is easily accessible. It can be place on the first sheet of the folder for fast access. Some students prefer to tape it to the desk in order to take a quick look to stay on track. Consistency is very important to a child with learning disabilities.
Students with learning disabilities may need a little help in processing information. Each child will comprehend information in different ways. The information presented to the child should match the level of comprehension. Prior knowledge can be used to make direct relationships between the information known and the information presented.
Adjustments to activities and materials can be made by making adjustments to instruction. Each task should be broken down into small tasks to avoid overwhelming the child. Comprehension and processing may be a little slower than the regular students in the classroom. Chunking the material one step at a time will help the child stay focused on completing one portion of the lesson at a time. Each section should be broken down into small chunks while making sure that the level of reading is appropriate. Peer tutors can also be used to help the student when the teacher is in another group. A peer tutor is another student that is capable to complete the assignment without assistance while the teacher acts as a facilitator.
Accommodations in the regular classroom closes the gap between the learning disabled student and the regular student. The IEP is written with the student in mind when making accommodations. If the child does not have an IEP, adjustments can still be made in the classroom to make learning more productive. The addition of praise and feedback in a timely fashion will build self-esteem and make learning fun.
Article By Celestine A. Gatley
Celestine Gatley´s Designed Transformation Blog