Literature supports the importance of effective teacher teams using structured meetings to examine data and engage in meaningful and collaborative planning (Scott, Alter, & McQuillan, 2010; Todd et al., 2011). Organizing grade level, core, department, and vertical teams using these structures provides the canvas for educators to collaboratively design both academic and behavioral student supports. There is a growing body of research validated or evidence-based practices and interventions to guide effective instruction and intervention practices (Hattie, 2009).
In their meta-analysis of “what works” in classroom instruction, Mastropieri and Scruggs (2009) examined some commonly used content area interventions for students with disabilities and found “moderate to large effect sizes” for selected interventions (see the table below). Simonsen and colleagues (2008) through a review of the literature, identified some of the most effective “classroom management” practices teachers can use to create a positive learning environment. Implementing these practices establishes the “conditions for learning” and represents one of the most effective ways to reduce problem behavior in school (McIntosh, Sadler, & Brown, 2012).
“How can we set up an environment that makes it more likely that students will succeed?” “How can we use data to make students more successful both socially and academically?” “How can we choose the correct research-based strategies to use in the classroom?” With so many resources and so little time available, it may be helpful to have a reference to consider data-based decision making and planning. The quick reference below provides structures for setting up the conditions for learning by creating a positive learning environment and mapping academic instructional practices to students’ needs. You will find practical information and tools for professional development and implementation.
8 Classroom Essential Practices (Source: Missouri Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support)
- Expectations and Rules (outcomes and specific criteria that provide a guideline for students)
- Procedures and Routines (accepted process for carrying out a specific activity)
- Acknowledgment (identifies what has been done correctly)
- Response Strategies and Error Correction (calm,consistent, brief, immediate, respectful)
- Active Supervision (instructor moving, scanning, and interacting)
- Opportunities to Respond (instructional talk, prompts, and wait time)
- Activity Sequence and Choice (easy/brief with difficult/longer, choice within parameters)
- Academic Success and Task Difficulty (adjustments for time and academic task demand by scaffolding)
8 Effective Teaching Strategies for Students with Disabilities (Mulligan, 2009)
- Mnemonic strategies (patterns that aid people in remembering information)
- Spatial Organizers (charts, diagrams, graphs, or other graphic organizers)
- Classroom Learning Strategies ( tools for study skills, note-taking skills, self-monitoring)
- Computer-Assisted Instruction (supplementarycomputer-based applications)
- Peer Mediation (students are taught to help their classmates and work together)
- Study Aids (teacher-directed and student- directed study guides and advanced organizers)
- Hands-On or Activity-Oriented Learning (working actively to learn a concept such as math manipulatives or a science activity)
- Explicit instruction. (teaching in small steps, guided practice, and independent practice)
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Rutledge.
Mulligan, E. (2011). What works: Effective teaching strategies for students with disabilities. NICHCY.Retrieved from http://nichcy.org/what-works-effective-teaching-strategies-for-students-with- disabilities .
Scruggs, T. E., Mastropieri, M. A., Berkeley, S., & Graetz, J. E. (2009). Do special education interventions improve learning of secondary content? A meta-analysis. Remedial & Special Education, 31(6), 437-449. Online version can be downloaded at http://rse.sagepub.com/content/31/6/437.full.pdf+html.