While it can be a challenge to keep any school-aged child on task, students with special needs often present even an even greater challenge. With special needs students it’s even more important to plan ahead and utilize tools that can help them succeed. Here are five ways to use your learning platform to help students with special needs stay on task.
Help them set up a plan. Coach your students to always start out with a plan, especially for large projects and tasks. You can create a full plan, or just a template for them to work from. Be sure to include benchmarks and timelines. Use Assignments to share the plan with your students. You can keep the plan in one central location where it is universally accessible.
Send out reminders. Once a plan is in place, students can begin working on the individual tasks. Use an Integrated Calendar to schedule alerts that remind students when they are getting close to a deadline. This will help them prioritize tasks and stick to the plan.
Keep students encouraged. The power of positivity can sometimes be underestimated in the classroom. Try not to fall into the trap of only pointing out when students are struggling. Keep them encouraged with positive affirmations through Instant Messages and even SMS. Doing so will keep students confident and feeling good about themselves. The encouragement can help students who are off track to bounce back more quickly and positively.
Involve the parents. Work with parents so the momentum in the classroom doesn’t fade once students get home. Share the plan with the parents so they can help with the encouragement and be aware of important deadlines. Also, keep parents updated on the students progress so efforts from the classroom are followed up with similar efforts at home.
Reflect and redirect. Once the project is completed, offer a constructive assessment to the student challenging them to reflect as well. Work with them to discover where things may have gone wrong, or how the experience can improve the next time around. Once you’ve completed some reflection, come up with some action items to redirect the students in ways to see continued progress on future projects.