SPED Curriculum

I love hearing what curriculum other teachers use in their classrooms. There's a lot of options out there. Some are great for special education and some require tons of modifications. What I'd really love is to spend a professional development day visiting other classrooms and looking at the curricula they use, so here's a little peek at what's being used in my classroom. Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and experiences with curriculum and programs. Don't hold it against me!

I use both Go Math and Equals in my classroom. They are both great for teaching students the why behind the math skill. I think that this is what ultimately makes a student successful in math- do they understand when and why we use a certain skill? This is what will make it functional as well.

Go Math: 
What I love: There's a lot about Go Math that I like, but I especially like that it's a complete curriculum with a solid scope and sequence. It's easy to modify and teach. I like that it includes an interactive, digital component as well. Unfortunately, this is not a SPED specific program. It was not designed for students with severe disabilities. My students require much more practice than is provided in the program. You will probably find that you have to find additional independent practice for students to really master each skill. You can read more about how I modify Go Math to use with my students here.

I love that Equals teaches concepts in a concrete-representational-abstract sequence. Equals is also designed for students with severe disabilities, which means it requires a lot less modifying. There's a lot of hands on practice included. Equals comes differentiated in 3 different levels which is great for a self-contained classroom.

Other Honorable Mentions:
I also use Touch Math and Connecting Math Concepts in my classroom. Connecting Math is a direct instruction program that works well for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Lessons are fully scripted and build on each other. Touch Math provides a multi-sensory to teaching math. It's hands on and concrete. It's great for teaching basic concepts to students or supplementing another program with.

I have lots of thoughts on reading curriculum and I'm working on a more detailed post about what I do in my classroom, but in the meantime, here are some programs that I use or have used.

Reading A to Z
I really like how easy Reading A to Z is to use and the wide variety of books that they provide access to. If you are teaching reading in a guided reading format, Reading A to Z is a must. It will make your life so much easier. The lesson plans are simple and easy to follow and I love that most books include supplemental skill worksheets and a comprehension quiz.

Corrective Reading: Decoding
I don't love direct instruction reading programs, but I also don't hate Corrective Reading: Decoding. 😉 I've found that Corrective Reading: Decoding is much more age appropriate than the other DI reading programs out there and it's fully scripted and easy to use. I'd rather teach reading in a less boring and repetitive way, but sometimes our students need the explicit, direct instruction and this is a great option if that's what you're looking for.

Corrective Reading: Comprehension
This might be the only direct instruction program that you don't hear me complain a lot about. Again, I'm not the biggest fan of scripted, direct instruction programs, especially for reading, because I think it squishes the fun but that's a discussion for another day. This program is fast paced and gets students thinking outside of the box. I think it's a great way to supplement your reading instruction.

Signs for Sounds is my favorite spelling program. It teaches spelling systematically and builds in high frequency words. It is phonics based, easy to run and very inexpensive. Highly recommended for any age!

Writing A to Z
Unfortunately, there is not a lot out there for writing instruction. I've found Writing A to Z to be super useful in my classroom. There are easy to follow lesson plans and practice activities included. My students require lots of practice on each type of writing so we practice the process writing all year but it's nice to have the lessons to provide explicit instruction.

The Writing Process: 4 Steps to Writing 
This is a program I've created to help teach my students about writing a basic paragraph. I usually have students who can write some great sentences but really struggle to put them together in a paragraph. This program teaches students to brainstorm, write, revise and publish.

Explore Your Community
This has been a great addition to my classroom this year and has really helped teach the skills students need for success in the community. We do a monthly Community Based Instruction trip and this has been a great resource for pre-teaching skills in the classroom.

Reading in Real Life
This is a great way to teach students to to read and comprehend functional sight words. There are a lot of activities and practice included in each unit. My students have responded really well to this program and it's fun to teach!

Functional Spelling by School Bells n Whistles
I love this spelling program for my students who are learning more functional words. It's a great way to make spelling instruction meaningful in their lives.

Edmark Functional Series
I love Edmark. It's repetitive and fast paced and students enjoy it. I do find that sometimes the functional words are not always the most appropriate for middle school or younger students, so I don't always use this in my grade level, but I do highly recommend for high school or post high teachers.

Explore Social Skills
This is another new addition to my classroom curriculum this year and so far, we're really liked it. I especially like that it provides visual step by step cards and videos for each skill.

Weekly Social Skills Journal
I have loved using this Social Skills Journal from Pathway 2 Success. It's been easy to fit in and my students have responded well to it!

I hope it was helpful to take a peek inside my curriculum cupboards. What programs are must haves in your classroom?

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