A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - What Are Special Needs?
Danny has a seeing-eye dog. Carmela needs extra help with math. Yoshi has autism. And they're all in your class this year! In our first lesson, we'll look at the growing numbers of children with special needs, and talk about how you can welcome them to your classroom and set the stage for successful learning.
Lesson 02 - The Special Education Process and the IEP
How do kids get placed in special education? As you’ll discover, it’s not a snap decision. Today, we’ll trace a student’s path through every stage of the placement process and look at the role a teacher plays from start to finish. In addition, we’ll analyze the parts of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). And finally, we’ll talk about the modifications spelled out in an IEP and how they affect your assignments, classroom environment, or testing procedures.
Lesson 03 - Meet Your Support Team
It takes a whole team to help a child with special needs succeed—and today you’ll meet the members of that team. After a quick look at the power of collaboration, we’ll explore the roles of the special education teacher and the paraprofessional. Next, you’ll meet the specialists who can help you with everything from speech problems to assistive technology to adapted PE games. We’ll finish up with a look at how guidance counselors, social workers, and school nurses can lend you a helping hand.
Lesson 04 - Learning Disabilities
In this lesson, we’ll talk about reading, writing, and math disabilities—the most common learning disabilities (LDs) you’ll see in the classroom. First, you’ll get a chance to see how it feels to have an LD. After that, we’ll talk about the memory problems of students with LDs and how they affect everything from reading a book to solving a word problem. And finally, we’ll look at fun learning strategies that will make your lessons memorable for kids with LDs (and your other students as well!).
Lesson 05 - Speech and Language Disorders
Imagine how frustrating it would be if you couldn’t speak clearly, understand other people, or express your thoughts and feelings well. That’s what life is like for children with speech or language disorders, a topic we’ll investigate today. In addition to learning what it’s like to have these disorders, we’ll explore simple tricks that can beef up your students’ communication skills.
Lesson 06 - ADHD and the Other Health Impaired Category
They bounce off the walls, talk nonstop, stick erasers up their noses, and can’t sit still for two minutes. They’re kids with ADHD—one of the most common disabilities you’ll see in your classroom—and today we’ll talk about what their lives are like. After that, you’ll learn ways to address the attention and organizational problems that can make schoolwork such a challenge for these children. We’ll also look at the “Other Health Impaired” category, which includes ADHD, and see which children are eligible for an OHI label.
Lesson 07 - Intellectual Disabilities
Students can shine in many ways, and today we’ll look at how students with intellectual disabilities can be stars in your classroom. First, we’ll see what it’s like to be a student with Down syndrome or another intellectual disability. Next, we’ll look at how you can help students with these disabilities by focusing on both academic and adaptive skills. And finally, we’ll explore three great ideas for meshing math, reading, writing, and daily living skills in your lessons.
Lesson 08 - Behavior Disorders
They’re your biggest challenge: kids who hit, kick, curse, yell, skip class, steal, cheat, and lie. Today we’ll look at children with behavior disorders and examine the roots of problems like conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. We’ll also discuss three important tools for handling behavior problems: behavior contracts, functional behavioral assessments, and behavior intervention plans.
Lesson 09 - Autism
Children with autism will give your teaching skills a workout with their unique combination of strengths and impairments. In this lesson, we’ll explore three areas in which these kids need help: communication skills, social skills, and the ability to handle transitions. How can you address all of these needs? With a single powerful tool—social stories—that you’ll master today.
Lesson 10 - Other Disabilities
In this lesson, you’ll meet kids with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, hearing or vision impairments, developmental delays, and a host of other challenges. In addition, we’ll take a closer look at the assistive technology—both high-tech and low-tech—that can help kids with these disabilities triumph academically.
Lesson 11 - Best Teaching Practices
Today, we’ll talk about “best practices” for teaching children with special needs. And here’s good news: Many of these ideas will work for your entire class! First, we’ll explore how to balance students’ IEP requirements with your curriculum standards. Next, we’ll investigate a great technique for helping students grasp difficult material: directed instruction. And finally, we’ll tackle that tough question: How can you grade students with disabilities fairly?
Lesson 12 - Dealing With Transitions
Transitions can be scary for all of us, and that’s especially true for students with disabilities. In this lesson, we’ll look at ways to smooth three big transitions our students make: from elementary to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school to real life. We’ll also take an in-depth look at the transitional IEPs you’ll create for your high school students with disabilities.