1. Establishing Big Picture Goals and Grouping Students
2. Establishing Rules/Routines/Norms for the Group
3. Student Engagement/Teaching Techniques
4. Curriculum and Planning
5. Data Collection and Role of Support Staff
Once we have our goals and our rules/routines prepared, it is time to get down to the actual instruction...and the only way we are going to be successful is if we have our students engaged in our lessons! Some ways to encourage engagement are to:
1) Include a variety of activities (incorporate movement, hands-on, music, videos, worksheets, sensory, etc.)
2) Include activities that have a concrete start and finish and students know what is expected (using visuals or samples/models can be helpful)
-Group responding ("everyone do this" "everyone say ___")
-Binders of individualized work
-Sensory tools that students can hold/manipulate during down time to keep hands busy
-Utilize multiple activities (no activity lasting longer than about 15 minutes)
-Allow students to be as independent as possible and complete the majority of the activity (instead of adults intervening and doing it for them).
4) Use clear and concise language when giving directions/teaching concepts
5) Incorporate opportunities for students to make choices (color of marker, order of activities, topics of interest, etc.)
6) Incorporate visuals (visual directions, lists, schedules, sample crafts, etc.)
8) Differentiate instruction to your students' individual levels
9) When teaching complex skills break them down into smaller component skills, model each skill, and have students practice each part of the skill after you model.
10) Develop/Utilize a reinforcement system or token economy to reinforce skills targeted in group time.