Let’s all just face it…this year is going to be a lot of trial and error for all of us. We have a lot of learning to make up for from last year, we have to fill in the gaps from typical summer regression, and we already serve students who have learning disabilities and difficulties in math.
But being a special education teacher and a math teacher at the same time doesn’t leave us with a lot of wiggle room in the first place. If you are teaching in either a virtual or hybrid model, that is going to make things even tighter.
This is why it is important for us to prioritize content standards when we are teaching students with disabilities. This is already a process that we should be doing when writing our standards-based IEP goals.
Many times our students with disabilities demonstrate weaknesses or gaps in several content standards, but we can’t cover everything as deeply as we would like in the time that we have with them. So it is important that we select critical math content skills that are going to have a big impact on each individual student’s current achievement and ultimately their post secondary outcomes.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Achieve the Core, has created guidance for addressing priority standards for the upcoming school year. This document is a great starting point for structuring your lessons for the year. Instead of trying to cover everything, review this document along with your students’ IEPs to see if there is overlap.
I would even recommend keeping this document around after the pandemic (if Common Core is still around). Pacing in math can be a struggle. It is great to now have a guide to what are considered the most critical standards at each grade level. This can be a huge help when planning instruction and writing IEPs for special education students.