Date
16 August 2020

Classroom adaptations to support learning in years 1–8

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Prepare for a new student with additional needs in the classroom’

On this page:

Support time and task management

Support time and task management

Support student success with a flexible approach.

Consider:

  • altering the amount of work or size of projects 
  • completing work in small, manageable chunks. Students beginning a big project may need help organising a plan for completing it
  • working on smaller projects with a gradual work up to working on larger ones (for students who tire easily)
  • allowing more time to complete in-class tasks
  • strategies for dealing with perfectionist behaviour (for example, being too fussy and not completing tasks on time)
  • flexible time schedules that have assignments due over the course of several days or even weeks.

Source: Students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms: A resource for teachers (opens in a new tab/window)

Plan inclusively from the outset

Plan inclusively from the outset

Some students with a disability will not need any adaptations because of their disability. However, like other students, they may require adaptations for other reasons such their limited prior learning.

When planning a unit of work, ask:

  • Do I need to make any adjustments?
  • Would technology help some/all students?
  • Do some students need material presented differently?
  • Should some students present their work differently?
  • Will all students be assessed in the same way?
  • Will some students need additional or different goals?

When you adapt or differentiate the curriculum be careful not to simplify it unnecessarily. Give students opportunities to achieve the same learning outcomes as their peers.

Source: Students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms: A resource for teachers (opens in a new tab/window)

Walk in your student's shoes

Walk in your student's shoes

View the classroom from the new student’s perspective and consider any changes that you could make.

Consider:

  • the classroom environment – loud noises, colour stimulants, the location of desks in relation to light and sound, reaching hooks for bags and coats
  • classroom routines and ways of working – welcoming and packing-up routines, buddy systems, quiet times and busy times, teacher-led, group work and independent learning, homework and time given for homework
  • making a physical space in your classroom for the teachers’ aide. This will help them feel included and avoid putting a focus on individual students. It will also help them to work as an assistant to all students and to you as the teacher.

Student perspectives

Student perspectives

Students with ADHD share how different teaching approaches affect their learning.
Video hosted on Youtube http://youtu.be/LkaXauVLPgs

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Assistive technologies

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Visit website

Website

Everyone's In: An inclusive planning tool

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Visit website

File

Introduction to differentiation and adaptation of the classroom curriculum and school environment worksheet

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Download PDF (5.9 MB)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Prepare for a new student with additional needs in the classroom”:

Return to the guide “Transitions – managing times of change”

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