Special Education Teaching Strategy Lists for Classroom Success


There are many practical strategies that are effective in the classroom. It is up to the classroom and special education teacher to ensure that appropriate strategies are being used to assist individual learning styles and allow all students with special needs to succeed. It is recommended that a multi-modal approach be used: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile for optimum success.

Classroom Environment

  • Provide the use of a study carrel when necessary.
  • Seat student in an area free from distractions.
  • Eliminate all unnecessary materials from the student's desk to reduce distractions.
  • Use a checklist to help the student get organized.
  • Keep an extra supply of pencils, pens, books, and paper in the classroom.
  • You may have to allow the student frequent breaks.
  • Have an agreed upon cue for the student to leave the classroom.
  • Reduce visual distractions in the classroom.

Time Management and Transitions

  • Space short work periods with breaks.
  • Provide additional time to complete assignment.
  • Allow extra time for homework completion.
  • Inform student with several reminders, several minutes apart, before changing from one activity to the next.
  • Reduce the amount of work from the usual assignment.
  • Provide a specific place for turning in assignments.

Presentation of Materials

  • Modify expectations based on students needs.
  • Break assignments into segments of shorter tasks.
  • Give alternative assignments rather than long written assignments.
  • Provide a model of the end product.
  • Provide written and verbal direction with visuals if possible.
  • Break long assignments into small sequential steps, monitoring each step.
  • Highlight to alert student attention to key points within the written direction of the assignment.
  • Check that all homework assignments are written correctly in some kind of an agenda/homework book. Sign it and have parents sign it as well.
  • Number and sequence steps in a task.
  • Provide outlines, study guides, copies of overhead notes.
  • Explain learning expectations to the student before beginning a lesson.
  • Make sure you have the students attention before beginning a lesson.
  • Allow for the student to use tape recorders, computers, calculators and dictation to obtain and retain assignment success.
  • Allow oral administration of test.
  • Limit the number of concepts presented at one time.
  • Provide incentives for beginning and completing material.

Assessment, Grading, and Testing

  • Provide a quiet setting for test taking, allow tests to be scribed if necessary and allowing for oral responses.
  • Exempt student from district-wide testing if possible.
  • Divide the test into small sections.
  • Grade spelling separately from content.
  • Allow as much time as needed to complete.
  • Avoid time test.
  • Change the percentage of work required for passing grade.
  • Permit retaking the test.
  • Provide monitored breaks from testing.


  • Avoid confrontations and power struggles.
  • Provide an appropriate peer role model.
  • Modify rules that may discriminate against a student with a neurological disorder.
  • Develop a system or code that will let the student know when behavior is not appropriate.
  • Ignore attention seeking behaviors that are not disruptive to the classroom.
  • Arrange a designated safe place that student can go to.
  • Develop a code of conduct for the classroom and visually display it in an appropriate place where all students can see it, review it frequently.
  • Develop a behavior intervention plan that is realistic and easily applied.
  • Provide immediate reinforcers and feedback.

Delivering an academic program to a room full of unique students is certainly a challenge. Implementing some of the listed strategies will provide a comfortable learning place for all students regardless of their academic abilities.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Watson, Sue. "Special Education Teaching Strategy Lists for Classroom Success." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/practical-strategies-for-the-classroom-3110327. Watson, Sue. (2021, February 16). Special Education Teaching Strategy Lists for Classroom Success. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/practical-strategies-for-the-classroom-3110327 Watson, Sue. "Special Education Teaching Strategy Lists for Classroom Success." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/practical-strategies-for-the-classroom-3110327 (accessed March 31, 2023).