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Specially Designed Instruction for Co-Teachers

By Marilyn Friend

This guide is a roadmap to help teachers, administrators, other school staff, and parents understand the requirements for specially designed instruction (SDI). It outlines versatile and validated strategies and techniques well-suited to co-teaching, although it is a small sample of the many SDI interventions available. 

Teaching Reading to Multilingual Learners

Using a combination of approaches, including phonics, comprehension strategies, orthographic mapping, and fluency, helps multilingual learners develop the skills they need to become confident and competent readers while also building language and literacy skills that enable them to understand and retain information. This guide explains the what, why, and how of teaching multilingual learners to read and offers evidence-based strategies for implementing effective reading instruction.

Using MTSS to Help Low-Income Students Succeed

This guide presents Tier 1 and Tier 2 multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) strategies that are proven effective for meeting the needs of low-income students. It also describes ways educators can prime these students for success, such as cultivating their self-confidence by building on academic success, aligning daily activities to long-term applications, and creating a culture that instills hope, where all students believe their potential is unlimited.

Educational Terms and Acronyms

Whether you are a teacher, paraeducator, support staff, or educator-in-training, it is essential that you know important educational terms and acronyms. Even parents need to know many of these terms and abbreviations as they try and navigate the educational system for the benefit of their children. This reference guide provides a comprehensive list of those used most often in the field.

Autism Bundle - Set of 3 Guides

This set of three (3) tri-fold laminated guides equips teachers, specialists, and support staff with practical, evidence-based strategies to use with students with autism to help them achieve their full potential.

English Learner Bundle - Set of 3 Guides

This bundle of three (3) tri-fold laminated guides will equip classroom teachers with practical, evidence-based strategies for meeting the needs of the English language/multi-lingual learners in their K-12 classrooms.

Dyslexia Bundle - Set of 3 Guides

This bundle includes three (3) tri-fold laminated guides by dyslexia expert Sandra Rief. The guides will help classroom teachers and support staff understand dyslexia and learn practical, evidence-based strategies to meet the needs of students with this common learning disability, which affects as many as 25 percent of all students.

Using Assessment Evidence Formatively

Assessments are not inherently formative or summative. What makes an assessment formative is how and when it is used. When assessment data are used to make decisions about what should be taught next and how it should be taught, the assessment is formative in nature. This guide presents a four-step process for using assessment evidence formatively. It includes examples from both elementary and secondary classrooms.

Using the Circle Technique to Build Classroom Relationships

This guide describes The Circle technique, a powerful and systematic way of engaging with students and building authentic relationships with and among them. It includes step-by-step instructions for conducting various types of Circles, sample questions to use with students in grades K-12, guidance on what to look for during Circles, and how to use information shared in the Circle to develop individualized supports for students.

Dyslexia: Best Practices and Strategies for the Early Grades

This quick-reference guide by Sandra Rief provides an overview of what teachers need to know about dyslexia and the structured language approach. It also shares multisensory instructional strategies for teaching phonological awareness and early literacy word-level reading and writing skills that all teachers (Pre-K through Grade 2) will find beneficial integrating into classroom and Tier 1 small group instruction/intervention.

Beyond Disability Awareness: An Educator’s Guide

Now more than ever, with a push toward diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in education, educators are often unsure about how to update their disability awareness initiatives. This guide will give you clear and respectful guidelines for including disability within DEI frameworks.

MTSS & Mathematics for Middle School

This guide provides critical information, practical strategies, and evidenced-based interventions about middle school mathematics instruction within MTSS. It offers an array of ways to use this highly effective framework to meet the needs of students who struggle with mathematics.

Teaching English Learners: Strategies for Classroom Teachers

This guide provides teachers with information that will help them understand and set expectations for language development. It also provides strategies that incorporate best practices for helping English learners develop content knowledge through language.

Chronic Absenteeism: Prevention & Intervention Strategies for Schools, Families, & Communities

This guide examines the widespread problem of chronic absenteeism in schools, from why students fail to show up to school, to how to prevent excessive absences, to how to find missing students and re-engage them so that they are able to get back on track and ultimately graduate and reach their full potential.

Autism Strategies A-Z for Level 1 & 2 Learners

This guide offers general and special education teachers, parents, and paraprofessionals quick-access to practical tips and effective ABA-based strategies for teaching children with autism who need support (level 1) and substantial support (level 2).

Autism Strategies A-Z for Level 2 & 3 Learners

This guide offers general and special education teachers, parents, and paraprofessionals quick-access to practical tips and effective ABA-based strategies for teaching children with autism who need substantial support (level 2) and very substantial support (level 3).

ADHD & LD: Classroom Strategies at Your Fingertips

This guide is an invaluable quick-reference classroom tool for teachers, paraeducators, and all who serve students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and learning disabilities (LD). It is also an excellent teacher-training/professional development resource for educators in both general education and special education classrooms.

Addressing Equity Through Culturally Responsive Education & SEL

This guide is designed to provide educators with tools and strategies to integrate social-emotional and character development (SEL) and culturally responsive education (CRE) into your classroom or school’s equity strategies. 

Mental Health: A Parent's Guide - Elementary Edition

This guide provides parents with helpful information for understanding mental health in children, including myths and warning signs, and taking concrete action to improve their child’s mental health.

Transitioning to College: A Guide for Students with Disabilities - 3rd Edition

This reference guide is designed to help school personnel and parents prepare students— and to help students with disabilities prepare themselves— for the transition from high school to college. It includes information, strategies, and recommendations to make the process smooth and successful.    

Teaching Reading: Mastering the Fundamentals – Alphabetics, Phonics & Phonemic Awareness (Guide #1)

These three skills are the heart of foundational reading skills. The term Alphabetics is used to discuss the letters of the language, called graphemes, while Phonemic Awareness is the term for being able to distinguish its individual sounds (phonemes). Phonics is the consolidation of the previous two, where a reader learns to discern the sounds of letter combinations (grapheme-phoneme correspondence). Because they are deeply intertwined, these foundational skills are taught together.

Teaching Reading: Mastering the Fundamentals – Comprehension & Verbal Reasoning(Guide #4)

Understanding a text requires the application of a variety of reading comprehension skills, strategies, and knowledge. And while word recognition, decoding, and fluency are contributors to reading, they are not guarantees of reading comprehension (Spencer & Wagner, 2108). Verbal reasoning is central to deep comprehension, especially in drawing inferences.

Teaching with Hope: Reduce Burnout & Deepen Your Well-Being

Teachers everywhere are experiencing unprecedented rates of burnout and demoralization—feeling dispirited, losing confidence and hope (Santoro, 2018). The top words they use to describe their feelings are anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed, and sad (Cipriano & Brackett, 2020).