Laura Vaughn

Getting it right for ELs

Addressing the needs of English learners (ELs) can be complex, so this week’s FREE tool is a table to help you identify the potential difficulties you may encounter with literacy instruction for these students. From phonological awareness to comprehension, you’ll find guidance and tips for effective reading instruction along each step of the way. The tool comes from “English Language ...

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Finding Friends in Your Community

Plan, plan, plan! That’s the ticket to an effective transition to post-school where youths have the chance to become involved members of their communities. The best transition plans are masterworks of collaboration that connect students to the community resources they need after high school. But how to find and vet these community resources? This week’s FREE tool is a handy ...

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Charting Inclusion

This week marks a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle for most schools, and that includes charter schools. If you work at a charter school, this week’s FREE tool will help you take this time to reflect on your school environment and its openness to the idea of inclusion. Are educators trained in how to support students with disabilities? ...

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A Behavior Plan that Makes the Grade

  We want you to feel jolly about classroom behavior, and holiday break is a good time to step back and evaluate your classroomwide behavior plan. So this week’s FREE tool is a self-assessment checklist to help you evaluate second- and third-tier positive behavior intervention and support (PBIS) in your classroom. Do you have knowledgeable staff to assist in behavior ...

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Rules of the Game

In the coming weeks, professors and graduate students will be taking a well-earned break from the rigors of higher education. This is a time when many academics catch up on research and polish up article drafts for publication. So this week’s FREE tool is a brief list of common rules to remember when formatting an article in APA style. You’ll ...

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Let it Snow

It’s that time of year when we can expect to see some of that cold and icy stuff blanketing school bus stops and playgrounds. What better way to keep kids focused on school work during snowy school days than to plan lessons about snow? That’s why this week’s FREE tool is a complete science lesson plan about snow, using the ...

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They Grow Up so Fast!

We all know how time flies. Before you know it, those bright-eyed kindergarteners turn into sixth graders, and those high school freshman are preparing for graduation. We don’t want you to get caught by surprise, so this week’s FREE tool is a table to help you plan IEPs that aim for adult outcomes in areas such as job training and ...

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Mobility equals possibility!

Learning to ride the school bus is an important step toward independence for students with disabilities, especially for those who may eventually use public transportation to move independently around town. So this week’s FREE tool is checklist for teachers to use when assessing school bus safety for students working on this important skill. The tool comes from CEC’s, “Getting Around ...

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Write it & check it!

Writing teachers, are you looking for ways to foster independence in your young writing students? This week’s FREE tool is a writing checklist for students to use when composing narratives. Line items such as “I tried to use my 5 senses” and “I made sure that each sentence was a complete thought,” will help students check for creative and technical ...

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Teaching Social Skills: A Process

Social skills are integral to the education of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because they are so important to job success, academic success, independent living, and friendship. This week’s FREE tool is a simple table outlining the process for teaching social skills to students with ASD. The process follows a direct instruction model and includes steps such as establishing ...

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