Curriculum Modifier’s Toolkit
The “toolkit” consists of materials and supplies that instructional aides should keep on hand for use in making (or using as) adaptations. Below is a list of suggested materials and supplies that can be kept in a file box, plastic bin or portable crate. The idea is to keep these materials accessible so that they can be used by the student as actual adaptations, or by the instructional aide in the making of adaptations.
To Make Learning More Active ∙ Adhesive Labels & “Post-it” Notes to match, label or answer questions (i.e., vocabulary, maps, diagrams, fillin-the blank, etc.) ∙ Velcro to sequence pictures, match objects/items, and for math numbers and symbols (to substitute and solve) ∙ Dry Erase Board to copy or write words or respond to questions ∙ Magnets (with pictures/words attached) to match, sequence and respond to questions for use with storyboards or Venn diagrams ∙ Number, Letter or Shape Stamps to answer questions, “circle” answers and/or substitute for writing ∙ Picture Stickers to label, respond create stories, etc.
To Simplify Learning ∙ Highlighters to identify key points ∙ Markers to color code information ∙ Index Cards to provide key concepts, create flashcards with pictures/words to track reading ∙ Office Supplies (i.e., Scissors, glue stick, tape, liquid paper) to create collages, reduce amount of information, or add information (i.e., pictures) ∙ Chipboard and Contact Paper to mount pictures and make items more durable or for use with student projects ∙ Sentence Strips with words or pictures that students can use to match/or create sentences ∙ Picture File and Magazines to use as supplemental information, to substitute for words (i.e., in journal) and for use with projects (i.e., poster, collage, report, etc.)
∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Books on tape Have peer read story into a tape record3er and have student listen while reading along Send books and vocabulary home in advance for parent to read with student before class Alternative books with same/similar concepts and content at an easier reading level Highlight key words and/or important sections Visual aids such as pictures, photos, graphs and diagrams Summarize the reading passage into simplified text and add pictures for vocabulary words Main ideas on index cards (words & pictures) Placeholders to track (index cards, ruler or bookmark) Create a vocabulary word Dictionary (in an address book) or a word bank (index card box divided alphabetically to store vocabulary words) Videos, filmstrips of same material Peers/teacher read aloud or to student Enlarged print CD ROM book on the computer Color code vowels and keep a vowel chart for reference Match words to definitions (can also be color-coded) Allow the student to turn the pages in a book while a peer reads Make a copy of the reader and cut up to have student place in sequential order Communication boards specific to a story/novel to answer questions During word identification exercises/lessons, have student identify single letters Paper fluffers (popsicle sticks adhered to pages for easy turning) Have objects, puppets associated with story for student to identify during read aloud Riddle, Joke books
∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Dictate responses to a peer (or aide) who can write it out Fill-in-the-blank (with words, stickers, written label, letter or picture stamps, post-its) Cut and paste words on small post-its, sentence strips or index cards and have student put them in correct order Graphic organizers Peer note-takers Use of Computer Alternatives to written assignments (i.e., artwork, oral presentations or other projects) Draw picture to show comprehension Make a collage/poster out of magazine pictures to depict comprehension or write a story Have student write about his/her own experience (have student bring photographs from home to generate writing ideas) Tape record discussions or responses Copy words or sentences from a model Use of modified materials (i.e., pencil grip, thick pencils, felt-tip pens, masking tape on pencil where fingers belong, large-lined paper, graph paper, dry erase boards, pocket chart) Manipulatives (magnets, word/picture cards, felt boards, object boxes, stickers, stamps) to sequence, match, label or create story or Venn Diagram Create a picture dictionary Match picture-picture, picture-word or word-word Stencils Trace over words written in yellow highlighter or broken Provide true/false or multiple choice answers for tests Tape paper to desk if student has difficulty keeping it there when writing Green dot on left o to indicate “go” and red dot on right to indicate where to “stop”
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∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Create a shorter list (same words, different words or combination) Have the student write initial sound of word rather than whole word Use functional words as spelling words Use spelling games and puzzles Use dry erase board for practice Trace over words written in yellow highlighter or broken pencil line Match picture-picture, picture-word or word-word Color a picture of the word Locate a picture of the word Fill in the missing letter Write words on large index cards and cut up words for practice (sequence letters) Practice with sand, pudding, Play-Doh, wicky stix Spell words using scrabble squares, letter cards, letter stamps, magnetic letters (use this also to match to written word) Identify word (select and place word on post-it note next to appropriate number on test sheet) Give a choice of 2-3 words and have student circle the correct one Color-code parts of speech for spelling/vocabulary word cards
∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Manipulatives Flashcards Calculator to compute and check work Calculator to check peer’s work Color coding questions and answers for matching Use personal and real world examples Use computer for math programs and activities Focus on functional skills, i.e., using money to distinguish “enough v. not enough” Have student count out specific numbers when passing materials out to class Use number stamps, number tiles or peel-off labels to indicate answers Touch Math Number lines or an abacus Show only 1 problem at a time Graph paper to assist in placement/alignment of numbers Use of addition, multiplication and division charts Give directions in small, succinct steps, break problems into smaller steps Teach student how to use “harsh marks” Draw lines between columns of numbers Number the steps involving the procedure Use classroom clocks as a number line to 12 Box the ones column to cue where to begin Draw arrows to assist with directionality Teach the calculation process first, then the concept Cut a hole in a sheet of paper to allow one problem to show at a time.
Social Studies/ Science Adaptations
∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Use “hands on” strategies as much as possible Tape lectures “Prime” the student by having reading materials sent home in advance for parents to review Provide true/false, multiple choice or oral expression for tests Summarize key concept of lesson to the student’s reading level and use pictures for difficult words or concepts Substitute projects for written assignments or reports Work with a partner/ group For presentations, have student be responsible for pictures, photos, globes, maps, etc. for his/her contribution Review tests/lessons with teacher and create flashcards with key concepts for student to use Watch a video, browse a website regarding lesson have the student listen to the textbook on tape during silent reading Find materials written on the student’s reading level that cover the same topic Role play historic events Bingo with state names Match stickers to the 50 states to a U.S. map with an outline of the states Read state names and other basic facts from a children’s atlas U.S. map coloring book
∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Activate pre-recorded responses on tape record, Big Mack or other voice-output device Prepare student ahead of time with questions that will be asked Partner-learning (“think-pair-share”) Student “calls on” students to respond (by pointing, saying peers’ names) Select responses from pictures and/or objects Use Yes/No cards Choral reading Use games, review cards, song, to review most important concepts Have student present with a group/partner Use communication boards to respond to questions
∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Pair verbal directions with visual model and written or picture outline Give “alert cues” to communicate when especially important Allow doodling or other motor involvement Cooperative peer activities (“think-pair-share”) Use active learning strategies more than explaining/lecturing Provide picture sequences
∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Have student work with a peer Include rest intervals Change motor requirement Adapt rules Have student throw the ball instead of kicking or kick instead of throw Hold the rope for peers to jump
∙ ∙ ∙ Create & follow routines (i.e., obtaining materials, directions, homework, class activities) Student can pass out/collect papers and/or materials Minimize “overload” by reducing number of words in a sentence, number of problems on a page, eliminating graphics from worksheets, cutting up worksheets to allow for 1 problem at a time Allow for alternative ways of responding, i.e. pointing, eye gaze, underlining Clean classroom library Inventory classroom storage closet (good for counting!) Put papers in student mailboxes Deliver messages Work in cafeteria Choose a desired leisure activity (as a reinforcer) Peer writes down page number and student use this to find page in book Indicate page numbers to questions (where to look) Adaptive scissors Color-coded system for organizing papers in notebook Picture and/or written daily schedule Use of communication boards, voice-output devices or other systems to facilitate social interactions with peer as well as to indicate choices Use of stencils in art class Age-appropriate, high interest folder games or activities (when other work is completed) Separate pocket files or folders to organize homework and other papers (also could be color-coded) Change seat location to move desk or student loser to the board Name stamp
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Students displaying visual processing problems may exhibit the following behaviors: -Reverses the order of letters or digits (was- saw) -Lack of discrimination between letters of similar form (e-c, b-d, n-u) -Difficulty using phone book or glossary -Cannot discriminate words with similar shapes (boy-day) -Shows signs of eye strain, squinting, blinking or holding head close to page -Does not notice details in pictures, books, photographs, maps -Has trouble following directions- written from board or on the printed page -Frequently loses place when reading or copying -Poor sight vocabulary -Confused by worksheets containing too much visual stimuli -Has difficulty remembering what has been seen You can: -Provide clean clear copy of an assignment -Assure that assignments are visually uncluttered and there is ample space for written response -Provide student with a marker -have separate directions for each section of the assignment -Allow student to use a tape recorder, word processor or typewriter -Provide ample time to complete assignments -use a phonic or linguistic approach to teach reading -Have the student practice using the dictionary -Color code words -Use a variety of ways to present material (oral, written, demonstration, models) -Tape important reading material -Give students oral rather than written tests -Have students drill aloud with other students -Have students read important information aloud to themselves -Have students re-auditorize silently -Have students repeat words aloud while writing them
Students displaying auditory processing problems may display the following behaviors: -Difficulty distinguishing fine differences between sounds in words (pin-pen) -May not recognize that words are made up of different sounds -Displays poor receptive vocabulary-does not understand directions, tasks or questions -Has difficulty following a series of oral directions -May watch the speaker’s face intently or leans forward toward speaker -Repeats what is said -Becomes annoyed by extraneous noise -Difficulty discriminating speech sounds -Difficulty sound blending -Difficulty spelling; may reverse the order of letters You can: -Repeat directions or prepare written directions -Use visual cues -Segment assignments into sections; provide directions for each section -Have the student repeat directions -Place the student near the teacher -Provide both written and oral directions -Have a carrel or other quiet area where assignments can be completed -Permit student ample time for oral response -Use color coding for spelling -Use whole word or linguistic methods to teach reading -Use flash cards printed in bold bright colors -Use a variety of ways to present material (visual, demonstration, model(s))
Sensory Motor Perception
Students displaying sensory motor deficits may display the following behavior: -Difficulty with printing or handwriting -Clumsy handling of materials -Difficulty differentiating between left and right -Skipping on a page, often on the wrong line -Losing place while reading -Reversals in reading -Difficulty copying from the board -Demonstrates fatigue during writing tasks -Sloppy and disorganized handwriting -Handwriting appears laborious and painful You can: -Provide wider spaced lined paper -Provide short answer questions rather than essay questions -have student dictates stories, essays, etc. -Provide adequate time to complete tasks -Provide enough space for answers -Have peer write information and let student copy -Allow student to take tests orally -The student may want to tell stories into a tape recorder -Green-dot-go- place a green dot on the left side of the paper with an arrow to encourage left to right progression -Use a “window” for reading
Helping all Students Succeed
Directions: In the second column list supports that could be provided based on the student performance in the first column.
1. Student who cannot take meaningful, legible notes 2. Student who reads significantly below grade level 3. Student who learns by hearing 4. Student who fails tests 5. Student who has difficulty getting started 6. Student who has trouble organizing herself 7. Student who has difficulty with vocabulary 8. Student who cannot complete all of the assignment given 9. Student who learns from “handson” involvement 10. Student with low self-esteem
Tilton, L. Inclusion: A Fresh Look, 1996.
Helping All Students Succeed
What follows are 10 Common Difficulties and Realistic Classroom Adaptations to help students succeed in the classroom. 1. The student who cannot take meaningful, legible notes needs a copy of the teacher’s note or copies of two different students’ notes. 2. The student who reads significantly below grade level needs content presented orally first before reading it, textbooks on tape, skeletal outlines and color-coded, highlighted texts.
3. The student who learns by hearing needs to study orally at school and at home, needs to listen to text material and have tests read orally and needs to “say” the material internally. 4. The student who fails tests needs alternative forms of assessment, modified tests, extra credit, retakes, additional time and review activities. 5. The student who “can’t get started” needs one-on-one time with the teacher occasionally.
6. The student experiencing organizational problems needs daily, weekly and monthly calendars as well as a color-coded notebook system modeled by the teacher. 7. The student who has difficulty with vocabulary needs study techniques such as a note cards system, operational definitions, vocabulary words paired with common terms and vocabulary limited to the most important words.
8. The student who cannot do the assignment needs reduced or alternative tasks, some assignments eliminated more time and alternative ways of learning. 9. The student who learns by “hands-on” involvement needs projects, kinesthetic experiences, skeletal outlines, mapping, manipulatives, note cards and learning tools.
10. The Student with low self-esteem needs teachers who believe and expect that the student can and will learn, frequent positive feedback, positive rapport initiated by the teacher, emphasis on success, reduced emphasis on labels, to be called on when the student knows the answer and a caring classroom environment.
The 10 difficulties listed are common. The solutions are manageable. Any teacher could implement these independently, without system-wide change or an increased budget. The biggest requirement is an awareness of what is needed and a desire to create opportunities for student success. Attitude is a very powerful teaching aid.