I am a first year special education teacher at a middle school (6th grade) teaching both inclusion and resource that started just a few weeks ago. I am currently on spring break and have been trying to come up with lesson plan ideas for both language arts (reading and writing) and math. Last week, I used scholastic reading during the students language arts resource time. Scholastic reading allows teachers to obtain several copies of a book and read it together as a class. A cardboard card relating to the story is included to help teachers introduce vocabulary words, ask about reading comprehension questions, and even play a few games to help reinforce reading comprehension and reading/writing. My school has a variety of different books, on different levels, that we can use, but it's difficult since students on my caseload are are different reading levels. I also don't want to keep using this same reading program over and over.

With math, I have been writing five to six 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication problems on the whiteboard for students to practice. Sometimes, they finish these fairly quickly and want more and of course other times, it takes them awhile to work on them and then they give up. I have also created a few word problems using simple multiplication and had them work on these too.

I think what I've been working on, so far, has gone well. What I'm not sure about are lesson plans and what I should work on next. I also don't know when it would be a good time to introduce new concepts. Should I only focus on what students are learning in their regular classrooms to help reinforce these concepts, or should I introduce something new such as 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication? With special education, I find it sometimes difficult to make these decisions. Some days, the students do very well and I think it would be fine to move on. Other days, they struggle (which is expected), and I'm not sure if we should ever move on with something new. I've been researching various lesson plans online and trying to come up with new ideas.

Can anyone give me suggestions or tips for lesson plans for 6th grade special ed in both language arts and math? Also, how do I know when to start something new or whether or not I should keep reinforcing the same concepts for students? Any other tips, suggestions, or advice? Help!!

Websites can help you by providing premade worksheets for any level.

For math, I start with www.math-aides.com. If you click on topics from the left hand blue column, you can choose your parameters and just click. Hit the refresh button on your computer's browser bar and another worksheet with the same parameters will pop up with different problems.

Again, click Refresh in the Browser bar and a new worksheet will appear.

I do a variety of worksheets each week based on their academic level, the goals and their patience. One or two are OLD review, one what we just work on and maybe a new concept or the next level harder using a present concept.

For reading/ELA, www.readworks.com does the same thing. Sign up for your own login and you can print passages or assign them digitally for use with tablets, Chromebooks or computers. You can specify subject area, fiction or NF, reading level by grade or lexile, and more.

You can start there. There are others too but no need to overwhelm. You may even find whole workbooks or even the books to go with your Gen Ed textbooks.

Sounds like you are doing great and getting settled in! Do you have state testing coming up? What do the IEP goals say?

Any work you can do to review skills before testing would be great. I'm not sure how different states are but here's the focus in ours.

I teach the same subjects and grade level, co-teaching.

You should have kids who can use calculators on the tests. Teach them how to do different calculations, what to enter, fractions and decimals, exponents etc

Tips- If they see a comma, don't substitute a period! A number and a letter need to be multiplied, not combined. Put the whole number in, I had one kid who added multi-digit numbers by column like you would manually. Kids make mistakes and are creative in ways I couldn't even dream of!

If they get multiplication charts or formulas, make sure they know how to use them.

Skills this year- fractions, percents, decimals, expressions, order of operations, variables, exponents, coordinate grids, GCF, LCM, prime factors, area, perimeter, graphs, etc.

Reading-main idea and details, inferences, theme, context clues, text features, summarizing, and figurative language are all good to hit as much as you can. Synonyms, antonyms, homophones, etc.

If you have specific lessons you want to teach, we could probably forward more websites and ideas.

We actually do have state testing coming up in two weeks! The testing schedule was created with teacher assignments before I was hired, so I don't have an assignment during testing. I'm not sure if I will be helping out in a specific classroom and making sure students are testing correctly or what I will be doing. I'll have to find out...

I finally received access to the system with students IEPs. The math goals vary, of course, relating to the math concept(s) each student is having difficulty with. Of course I want to reinforce concepts and help students with what they're struggling with, but it's difficult when each student is at a different level on a different topic. I will definitely consider the information you included about math topics.

Another thing I'm confused about is what to teach/reinforce next. I just started the position, so I'm not sure what they have been learning in their regular math classes from the beginning of the year until now. I'm not sure if I need to reinforce those concepts, continue with what were working on now, or move on to something new.

Reading is also difficult since students have different reading levels. I will review your suggestions for reading as well and hopefully come up with new ideas and lesson plans soon.

I am currently teaching with an intern teaching certificate and will start a program at the end of May (No, no more school. No more!! Ahh!) to obtain my teaching certificate. I'm sure I will learn plenty of information that I can use while teaching - lesson plans, classroom management, and more. For now, until I start the program, while teaching, I'm going to have to do what I can.

How much have you reached out to the other sped teachers at your school? Can you spend any time shadowing them? Meeting with them? We can try to speculate here, but each district and even each school has vastly different expectations for what happens in sped. I feel like I've said in all of your threads that you need to be asking these questions to the other sped teachers at the school. It's not fair for your students for you to just pick some skill at random and decide they'll spend the block working on that.

Figure out what resources are available to you and what the school's expectations are. Some places, it's for you to mirror the gen ed curriculum. Some places, it's for you to do direct skills-based instruction to fill in holes. Here, the IEP goals are written pretty broadly and not meant to really be a curriculum map. Yes, I have students with things like subtraction goals, but that doesn't mean I spend a year only working on subtraction with that student. That's simply one way to measure their progress in math. You need to be doing assessments to figure out where to start and when to move on to the next skill. See if your school has any universal assessments they use. Even if they don't, I'm sure the other sped teachers can help you out with something they use.