Managing a classroom with
students with severe disabilities
When presenting a lesson, effective
teachers use a number of techniques that can enhance student achievement.
These teaching practices encompass four different skills: eliciting frequent
responses, maintaining an appropriate pace during the lesson, maintaining
student attention and monitoring student responses.
when working with students who have severe disabilities will promote student
learning. Research has shown that there is a strong positive correlation
between student achievement and the amount of time spent in question-answering
type interactions. Students who are continually asked to give some type
of response tend to be more attentive during instruction. The teacher,
continually receiving feedback, is able to adjust the lesson to provide
better instruction. Responses may be verbal or non-verbal.
Maintaining an appropriate pace helps maintain the attention of the learners and increases
the amount of content coverage. Effective teachers can maintain an appropriate
pace by being well prepared for the lesson and eliciting responses from
students while taking the time needed to respond appropriately using decreasing
prompting (physical and/or verbal).
Maintaining student attention
is often more difficult with students who have severe disabilities. Teachers
need to systematically adjust their teaching practices to increase student
attention. Attention given to tasks can be increased by using verbal,
visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory materials and reinforcers.
Monitoring student responses
and adjusting instruction are very important. An accomplished
teacher must be able to modify the lesson to meet the needs of each student.
Effective teachers ensure that all students are called upon and they provide
good eye contact to all students. They also allow an adequate amount of time
for all students to formulate answers.