Modifying worksheets for special needs

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by chasingcomets, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. chasingcomets

    chasingcomets Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Hello.

    I'm currently taking my very first education class and I could use a little help. My assignment was to create a three-lesson until and to go along with it, I have to create a worksheet, and then modify the worksheet in three different ways for three different types of special needs students.

    The problem is that we haven't learned about any types of special needs or how to modify for them, so I'm a bit lost. The only example the professor gave was making the font bigger for a student with impaired vision.

    Could anyone give me some suggestions or examples of what I could do? Or point me toward a website that might have some ideas?

    Thanks for your help.
    -Diana
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 13, 2008

    One common modification for learning disabled students is to modify the answer choices (give them 3 instead of 4 choices), or breaking matching questions into smaller chunks (match 2 sets of 5 items rather than 10 total items).
     
  4. positiveautism

    positiveautism Comrade

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    Jun 13, 2008

    One way that I modify worksheets is to put less items on a page. For example, during my student teaching internship, I taught several third graders with learning disabilities. To modify their math worksheets (a page of addition facts), I would make a copy of the page, cut out all of the problems, and glue them on another piece of paper with half on the front and half on the back.

    So, I just put half of the problem on each side of a paper instead of them being all bunched together on one side. I then just make copies of the modified document and saved the original so I could make copies again in the future.

    These particular students got very overwhelmed and stressed when looking a worksheet with a lot of problems on. This method really helped them complete their worksheets with ease.

    It seems like I cound have found a less time-consuming way to do it though... :)

    Good luck with your classes! Teaching is a wonderful career.
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Make 2 extra copies - on one page use white out tape to mark out even problems and the odd problems on the other copy. Then you can make your double-sided copy :)

    Another modification may be to just have fewer problems.

    Make the problems easier (regular set could be adding fractions, modified would have common denominators already done or regular set would have 3 digit addition and the modified page just one or two digit).

    One simple modification could be to copy it on a colored paper. Some students with dyslexia have shown improvement with colored paper or colored plastic overlays.
     
  6. chasingcomets

    chasingcomets Rookie

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    Thank you! These are good ideas. I really appreciate it.
     
  7. franny

    franny Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Another common modification is to reduce any extra stimuli on the page for kids who have difficulty attending to what's relevant. For example, in the lower grades, worksheets might have busy backgrounds like animals or balloons to make it look fun.

    I have a vison impaired student whose materials all need to be typed or enlarged to 36 size font.

    I also work with students with cognitive disabilities. In order for them to read and understand directions on a worksheet I often have to add pictures which I place under key words.

    Hope that helps some.
     
  8. positiveautism

    positiveautism Comrade

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Tasha, great ideas! That would make it much easier.

    Everyone has had wonderful ideas!
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Another idea:
    For vocabulary (we use this for French, Science or Social Studies), provide a Word Box for students to choose the correct word to fill in a blank or to match with definitions.
     
  10. chasingcomets

    chasingcomets Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Thank you, everyone! These are all really good ideas. I think I'm on the right track now.
     
  11. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Yes I was going to agree with Franny on this one. The first thing that popped into my head were kiddos with cognitive delays. Whereas your typical student could complete a worksheet with written questions, a student with cognitive delays would benefit from pictures instead.

    Say for example you have a question about animals. The typical Q would read; Which animal has a trunk? A) Tiger or B) Elephant. The modified version would read; Which animal has a trunk? A) [picture of a tiger] or B) [picture of an elephant].
     
  12. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Jun 24, 2008

    Another strategy

    On thing I have done in the past is make step-by-step instructions for the students and put those at the top of the paper. For double digit addition, I would put the problem on the far left and show the addition of the ones column. Just to the right of that, I would put everything from step one and add the next step (carrying/regrouping). To the right of that, I would put everything from the previous step along with the next step (adding the tens column) and so on until all steps were completed. On the sheet, I would put all steps at the top, but I'm not computer literate enough to do that on here and have everything line up right):

    Step 1 (Add ones)
    x75
    +68
    xxx3

    Step 2 (Regroup/Carry)
    x1
    x75
    +68
    xxx3

    Step 3 (Add tens)
    x1
    x75
    +68
    143

    I have also used this with multiplying/dividing fractions in a co-taught (general and special education teachers) math class - and the general ed teacher asked for copies for all students because it was an easy way for the "helpless handraisers" to self-check and it ended up cutting both the number of students asking for help and the amount of time it took to help those who still raised their hands.
    Hope this helps!
     
  13. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

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    Jun 25, 2008

    You might want to look at Adapting Curriculum & Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms: A Teacher's Desk Reference. There are a lot of ideas for adaptations there, and the material is presented in a way that makes it easy to explain the adaptations to gen ed teachers.
     
  14. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jun 25, 2008

    My students would love it when I would walk by them as they were working and cross out questions:D. I told them that I would only do it if they were working hard!
     
  15. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Usually for math I will make a "cheat sheet" they can use for helping with HW or during a test which shows the concept they just learned and how to do it step-by-step with some examples. My 5th graders this year, by the end of the year, could pass the tests independently just by referring to these sheets. They were no bigger than an index card.
     
  16. soflgal

    soflgal Companion

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    Jun 25, 2008

    You could always add a word bank if there wasn't one.
     
  17. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Jul 5, 2008

    I also do everything listed above AND I sometimes put hints in the directions. For instance, on a fractions worksheet where the kids needed to add fractions I hand wrote in the following:
    "HINT: Don't forget to find common denominators first"
    I will also sometimes make the first problem a "sample" and show the work for it - helps some of my kids to remember the steps.
     

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