“This book has ideas, tools, and starting points for all the situations you could encounter on your first day of teaching or on your thousandth! It is practical and up-to-date on what it is like to be a special educator in schools today.”

—Alison Martins, Special Education Teacher

Seven Hills Charter Public School, Worcester, MA

“This book is a new teacher's first stop for everything from ‘How should I set up my room the first week of school?’ to ‘What types of assessments should I be using?’”

—Nancy Yost, Associate Professor of Special Education

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

A valuable toolbox for every situation in the special education classroom!

Special education teachers face unique challenges, especially when they are just beginning. This essential resource offers special educators a blueprint for dealing with the most common challenges they face both in the classroom and in the larger school environment.

These research-based strategies help teachers meet the academic needs of diverse students with disabilities (including those who are also English language learners) in areas such as setting up a classroom, managing student behavior, designing effective instruction, incorporating technology, embracing diversity, and more. Each chapter features:

An overview and objectives; A brief research review; Step-by-step strategies that can be used immediately; Examples and scenarios from real teaching experiences; Self-assessments and reflections

This all-in-one reference book offers the tools, strategies, and support special educators need for success in their first year and every year thereafter!

Designing Effective Instruction

Designing effective instruction


  • Describe the six parts of a comprehensive lesson plan.
  • Define and write content objectives and language objectives.
  • Explain the difference between a teaching strategy and a learning activity.
  • Describe the lesson's instructional sequence.
  • Describe the nine components of the ABC Assessment Tool.

Effective instruction leads to increased student learning, achievement, and success. Effective instruction involves a multitude of teacher decisions that are based on professional standards and the teacher's interwoven attributes of knowledge, attitude, teaching and learning preference, behavior, and skill.

There are several elements leading to effective instruction but two of the most important factors are substantial planning and detailed reflection. Substantial planning is necessary to determine many items, such as the lesson's targeted standards and objectives, the delivery method(s), ...

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