This section tests your knowledge of providing a learning environment that is safe and positive, utilizing classroom time properly, developing effective routines, implementing effective classroom management, and utilizing appropriate assistive technology devices with students.
Here are some concepts that are likely to appear on the test.
Classroom management is important for all educators to consider and plan for in order for students to learn and thrive. It is important for students to know the following:
- Grading procedures
- Consequences for poor choices
Another component of classroom management to consider is the classroom setup itself.
Are there too many distractions such as posters, bulletin boards, etc.?
Where will students sit and how will the seating be set up (for both individualized and whole group instruction)?
Which students need to sit near the front of the classroom (for various reasons)?
It is important to know in advance what your students’ needs are and to be proactive when setting up the classroom. After the first couple of days of getting to know your students, you may need to make adjustments. It is crucial as a special educator to be flexible.
According to the 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
- low tech assistive technology
High tech assistive technology devices, according to Tools for Life, are the most complex devices or equipment that:
- have digital or electronic components
- require training
- cost the most money
Some examples of high tech assistive technology are:
- electronic augmentative communication devices (technology for children who are nonverbal)
- hearing aids
- electric wheelchairs
- different computer features (text to speech, voice recognition, word prediction, etc.)
Low tech assistive technology, according to Tools for Life, are devices or equipment that:
- do not require much training
- are less expensive
- do not have complex features
Some examples of low tech assistive technology are:
- large font worksheets
- sandpaper (to place underwriting 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 (assists children in making sure their numbers are in neat rows in math)
- kitchen timers
- visual schedules
- velcro (that can be used for folder activities, visual schedules, etc.)
Assistive technology, whether low or high technology, can provide tools and easier access to learning for students with special needs.