The Instruction content category has 27 selected-response questions, accounting for about 23% of the entire test.
This content category tests your knowledge of implementing age and ability appropriate instructional strategies in order to provide individual academic success, teaching strategies that are research-based and can be generalized in many settings, knowing when and how to use assistive technology, providing strategies to support transition goals, and providing proactive strategies for at-risk learners.
Here are some specific concepts you need to know.
There are several ways that a special educator can determine how to establish groups for a particular lesson. First, it is important to determine what the goal for a particular lesson is. If the goal is to provide instruction in an area that is specific to an IEP goal (i.e. reading, writing, math, behavior, etc.), then the grouping should be done according to students’ instructional levels. This provides an opportunity for students to receive the educational assistance that is needed. If the goal is to teach social skills or a unit study (i.e. science, social studies, etc.), then it would be appropriate to have a mix of a variety of learners (neurotypical, exceptional needs, etc.). This type of grouping will be beneficial to all students regardless of their abilities.
Cooperative learning or small group learning is a way to teach a small group size of students to work on a task. The benefits of cooperative learning are providing active learning, encouraging problem-solving, improving social interactions with peers, encouraging student discussion, and increasing students’ confidence and motivation. Students in special education benefit in the same ways as their peers, but they also learn how to develop social skills and are exposed to different settings, skills, and teaching methods. This is true with all students with special needs, but especially for those that spend the majority of their time in a self-contained setting It also provides an opportunity for neurotypical students to learn that everyone is different and that is okay.
According to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities. There are two types of assistive technology: high tech assistive technology and low tech assistive technology. High tech is the most complex devices or equipment that have digital or electronic components that will possibly require training and effort to learn how to use them as well as cost the most money. Some examples of high tech assistive technology are electronic augmentative communication devices, hearing aids, computers, and different computer features (text to speech, voice recognition, word prediction, etc.).
Low tech assistive technology are devices or equipment that do not require much training, are less expensive, and do not have complex features. Some examples of low tech assistive technology are large font worksheets, audiobooks, sandpaper to place under writing paper to receive sensory input while writing, pencil grips, raised lined paper or highlighted paper, graphic organizers, reading guide highlighter strips, highlighter tape to assist with note-taking, colored transparencies to use for reading, grid paper for math (assists children with making sure their numbers are in neat rows with doing math), kitchen timers, visual schedules, and velcro that can be used for folder activities or visual schedules.