Crick Software blog

Neil Andrew

It’s possible: unlocking academic achievement in special education

August 29, 2018

It is the mission of every educator to prepare each student to be successful both inside and outside of the classroom. In districts with large student populations, it can become tricky to monitor individual achievements and be sure that success is attained. In an ideal world, each teacher would have time to craft an individual strategy for each student, monitor progress and intervene as necessary. Many educators are coming close to and meeting this goal through a mix of innovative software, data and a solid implementation plan.

For special education departments, completing this goal can be complex. With additional standards that must be met and individual progress plans to be created, it can become challenging for teachers to adapt a lesson plan for all learners, especially since the duration of a school day is so limited. Accessible tools such as Clicker 7 are bridging the gap by providing the ultimate key: customization. Clicker 7 provides literacy support from planning to writing to proofing, where students are exposed to a wide range of core skills and have the time to work through them. Created to adapt to each student’s individual needs, the tool allows various opportunities for learners to build literacy skills at their own pace, in a style that works best for them.

At the Special School District of St. Louis County, teachers have a dedicated focus on developing skills that empower students to become more independent. The special education staff in the district support students in mainstream classrooms, five dedicated special education schools and two technical education schools. With a district this large, it can be a challenge ensuring that each student is receiving the proper support but administrators tackled this problem by investing in Clicker 7 and integrating it throughout their literacy classes.

Within the district, customized activities are bringing increased independence to students, giving a sense of confidence and achievement to each learner. Clicker 7 has influenced teachers at the district to craft individual strategies while maintaining class-wide lesson plans and objectives. There is an overall environment of support for the whole child through this customized approach. Increased independence is a side effect of this teaching style, where students are given the time and equipment they need to work through activities. The hands-on style of learning makes it easier for students to retain their knowledge.

Many of the special education classrooms within the district are fostering one-on-one learning environments while simultaneously maintaining the flow of lesson plans. Clicker 7 is used to seamlessly create activities and lesson plans for the entire class, and later is used to evaluate students’ individual goals.

Accessible software is an invaluable tool for teachers who need to support a diverse group of students. This becomes especially helpful in special education classrooms, where students can have different types of physical and cognitive abilities. Accessibility brings lessons to a common point, where staff can introduce all students to the same concepts, and students can complete the work with the methods that work best for them. Classroom objectives are easier to maintain when everyone is on the same page.

In a time where efficiency is key, it’s vital to explore methods of instruction where students are receiving adequate support and gaining the skills they need. By working smarter, not harder, the faculty at the Special School District of St. Louis County is completing that goal and ensuring that every lesson clicks with students.

To read more about how the Special School District of St. Louis County is helping students achieve academic independence, click here.

Read more Clicker success stories.

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