School Environment Modification Examples

HOW TO MODIFY ENVIRONMENT AND INSTRUCTION FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT

How can I accommodate for cognitive skills concerns in my classroom? Here are just a few examples of things that can be done in class, most with little or no prep time.

Drawing & Coloring
 

WAYS TO ACCOMMODATE IN CLASS

Environmental Strategies

  • Make separate "space" for different types of tasks

  • Possible adapting of non-academic times such as lunch, recess, and physical education

  • Change student seating

  • Utilize a study carrel

  • Alter location or personal or classroom supplies for easier access or to minimize distraction

  • Provide sensory breaks

  • Provide a written or picture schedule


Organizational Strategies

  • Model and reinforce organizational systems (i.e. color-coding)

  • Write out homework assignments, check student's recording of assignments

  • Set time expectations for assignments

  • Provide clues such as clock faces indicating beginning and ending times

  • Teach study/organizational skills


Behavioral Strategies

  • Use behavioral management techniques consistently within a classroom and across classes

  • Implement behavioral/academic contracts

  • Utilize positive verbal and/or nonverbal reinforcements

  • Establish a home/school communication system for behavior monitoring

  • Post rules and consequences for classroom behavior

  • Put student on daily/weekly progress report/contract

  • Reinforce self-monitoring and self-recording of behaviors


Presentation Strategies

  • Tape lessons so the student can listen to them again; allow students to tape lessons

  • Select alternative textbooks, workbooks, or provide books on tape

  • Highlight main ideas and supporting details in the book

  • Provide copied material for extra practice (i.e. outlines, study guides)

  • Prioritize drill and practice activities for relevance

  • Ask student to repeat/paraphrase context to check understanding

  • Arrange for a mentor to work with student in his or her interest area or area of greatest strength

  • Provide peer tutoring

  • Simplify and repeat instructions about in-class and homework assignments

  • Pre-teach and/or re-teach important concepts

  • Prepare advanced organizers/study guides for new material


Assignments

  • Modify the amount of homework

  • Use written directions to supplement oral directions

  • Reduce paper and pencil tasks

  • Allow for assignments to be word processed

  • Lower reading level of assignments

  • Break assignments into a series of smaller assignments

  • Use highlighted texts


Evaluation Methods

  • Limit amount of material presented on a single page or shorter sections

  • Provide a sample or practice test

  • Provide for oral testing

  • Provide tests in segments so that student hands in one segment before receiving the next part

  • Provide personal copy of test tools and allow for color-coding/highlighting

  • Adjust time for completion

 

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