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Make Adaptations & Modifications For Special Needs · Mrs. P’s Specialties


Sometimes the only thing students need to be able to access the same instructional materials is a little tweak or adaptation. Here are 10 ways to make adaptations and modifications for students with special needs.

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Reductions to modify for special needs

  • Reduce the amount on the page: A busy page can be overwhelming to students. You can cover part of the page with a blank page or copy the paper to increase the amount of white space on the page.
  • Reduce the amount required: Consider reducing how many times the student is practicing a skill. For example, instead of having students do a page of 10 addition problems, maybe only completing 6 problems is sufficient.

Adapt & modify the materials

  • Simplify the language: Change the directions, questions, etc. to reflect the student’s language and reading needs.
  • Change the format: For example, change the open-ended questions to multiple choice or fill-in formats.
  • Allow alternate responses: Allow students to use or draw pictures instead of writing their answers. Other options include dictating or using a scribe. This is a modification that can be used with any level or type of learner with special needs.

provide preventative adaptions and modifications

  • Build prior knowledge: Build knowledge of concepts and vocabulary before a unit or skill is taught to give the students a foundation for the lesson.
  • Create vocabulary supports: Target vocabulary that pops up, again and again, to help students in lessons. Another option is to create a vocabulary glossary bank for students to refer to.

modifications & adaptions within lessons

  • Provide guided notes: giving the students guided notes will help them have the correct information to work off of and study from. This is a great modification for students who are expected to take notes.
  • Give extra examples: Sometimes our students need more than 1 or 2 examples to understand a concept or skill. You can plan to provide this extra support and add it to the materials or have it ready in case students need it.
  • Visual supports: Use graphic organizers, and visuals for understanding the steps, vocab, etc.

Prefer resources that are already leveled and have visual supports? Check these out:

Reading units to target letter identification, letter sounds, CVC, vowels, digraphs, and more through leveled and hands-on activities.

-Use these Math Units to teach number concepts, adding, subtracting, comparing numbers, fractions, patterns, etc. to students of all levels.

-These Life Skills resources are designed for students who need visual supports, concepts and vocabulary broken down and for classrooms with different levels.

-The Science Units in this bundle have also been adapted and modified to help students with special needs access standards and lessons.

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