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10 Critical Components for Success in the Special Education Classroom

Effectively manage your classroom with this must-have guide to building structure, consistency and accountability for measureable, year-round success. Includes real-world examples and free tools to use and share.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483339160
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 232
  • Publication date: March 24, 2014

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Your blueprint for building structure, consistency, and accountability year-round!

Often teachers of all experience levels struggle to effectively manage special education classrooms. In this must-have guide, Rohrer and Sampson provide a solid, workable action plan to ensure measurable success for even your most challenging student.

Discover a variety of research-based instructional strategies to:

  • Support all students, including those with autism and severe learning disabilities
  • Organize your classroom, materials, and staff and student schedules for optimal teaching and learning
  • Execute well-planned standards-based lessons, annual IEP’s, PLAALP’s, behavioral interventions, and visual supports
  • Develop communication and social skills within a language-rich environment
  • Foster parent communication and staff collaboration

Packed with real-world examples, free tools to use and share, a list of resources and a helpful glossary, this dynamic resource will inspire you, develop your teacher toolbox, and ensure your students are on the path to achievement!

10 Critical Components for Success in the Special Education Classroom offers practical and easy-to-use ideas for organizing your physical classroom space, materials, student and staff schedules. Readers will also receive well thought out strategies that will definitely aid in the ultimate end result—student success!”
—Avis Canty, Special Education Teacher
Tanglewood Middle School, Greenville, SC

“The path to success for students with autism and intellectual disabilities starts here, when their teachers implement the essential critical components outlined in this book.”
—Renee Bernhardt, Learning Support for Special Education and RTI
Cherokee County School District, Canton, GA

Key features

  • Sets the stage for each student to achieve, increase positive behaviors, establish effective communication with parents, and enhance teacher effectiveness for all students.
  • Each chapter contains numerous educational best practices around the component discussed.
  • The practices, ideas, and suggestions also benefit students in resource and inclusion settings.


Marcia W. Rohrer photo

Marcia W. Rohrer

Marcia Rohrer lives in Houston, Texas, and currently is an educational consultant for Behavior Plus, Inc. in Friendswood, Texas. She has worked closely with school district special education directors on how to implement the 10 Critical Components in various types of special education classrooms. She has consulted with special education teachers who are now using these components in their classrooms. Her special area of interest and expertise is teaching parents and teachers the importance of using visual strategies and ways to structure the classroom and home to increase student success.

During her 24 years of experience teaching students in self-contained and resource settings, she was a liaison between school and parents, presented numerous in-services and workshops to educators and parents, and served as an In-Home and Parent Trainer. She was also a founding member of an innovative district-wide team of autism professionals.

She and her co-author, Nannette Samson, have presented in-services and workshops on the 10 Critical Components as well as other topics at the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education, at the Texas State Autism Conference, and at Educational Regional Service Centers throughout Texas.

Nannette Samson photo

Nannette Samson

Nannette Samson is an educational consultant for Behavior Plus Inc. in Friendswood, Texas. When she is not presenting the two day workshop based on this book with her co-author and good friend, Marcia Rohrer, she presents various parent and teacher workshops, conducts In-Home and Parent Training evaluations, teaches social skills classes, assists teachers in implementing the 10 Critical Components in their classrooms, and consults with schools and parents.

As a retired teacher whose degrees include both Elementary and Special Education, she has over 26 years of experience teaching students with special needs in self contained, resource, and inclusion settings. Nannette also served as a district-wide consultant to general and special education teachers regarding implementation of students’ individual education plans, behavior strategies, and classroom management. Her last five years in the public school system were spent as a member of her district’s autism support team providing In-Home and Parent Training services, consulting with educational staff and parents, and serving as a liaison between parents and school personnel.

Her special area of emphasis has been assisting students and their families with the transition process in moving from elementary to intermediate school. Nannette has presented numerous workshops and in-services throughout Texas at Educational Regional Service Centers, school districts, the Texas State Autism Conference, and the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors


1. Physical Arrangement of the Classroom


Benefits of a Well-Designed Classroom

Well-Defined Areas Clarify Student Expectations

The 10-Minute Rule

Arranging Your Classroom

Required Areas

Home Base

Group Instruction Area

Teacher Work Area

Transition Area

Student Schedule Area

Work Station

Technology Area

Additional Areas

Arts and Crafts, Eating, and Cooking Areas

Personal Hygiene

Sensory Area

Recreation and Leisure Activity Area

Getting Started


Real-Life Applications

2. Organization of Materials


Organizing Classroom Materials

What supplies will you need?

What stays and what goes?

Where will materials be located?

Group by academic subject

Group by frequency of use

Safety considerations

Organizing Student’s Materials


Real Life Applications

3. Schedules


The Three Types of Schedules

Building a Foundation for Your Schedules

Daily Classroom Schedule

Creating Your Classroom Schedule

Posting the Classroom Schedule

Using the Daily Classroom Schedule

Staff Assignment Schedule

Individual Student Schedules

The Importance of Symbolic Communication Forms

Creating Student Schedules

Student Schedule Formats and Locations

Teaching Students to Use Schedules


Real-Life Applications

4. Visual Strategies


What Are Visual Strategies?

The Importance and Benefits of Visual Strategies

Creating Visual Strategies

Consider the Student's Communication Level

Using Visual Strategies

As Reminders



Behavioral Cues

Communication Supports


Real-Life Expectations

5. Behavioral Strategies


Determing the Need for Behavioral Inteventions

Conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment

Define the Behavior

Gather Information About the Behavior

Review Records

Conduct Interviews

Collect Baseline Data

Look for Patterns of Behavior

Make a Hypothesis about the Function of the Behavior

Identifying Behavioral Goals and Objectives

Developing a Behavioral Intevention Plan

Defining Consequences

Meaningful Reinforcers

Edibles as Reinforcers

Nonedibles as Reinforcers


Strategies to Change Behavior

Implementing the Behavioral Intervention Plan


Real-Life Applications

6. Goals, Objectives, and Lesson Plans


Legal Foundation

Annual Goals and Objectives

Develop a Present Level of Academic Achievement

The Need for Data Collection

Methods for Collecting Data

Special Factors and the Individualized Education Program

Write the Annual Goals and Objectives

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan Elements

Monitoring Student Progress: Your Grading System


Real-Life Applications

7. Instructional Strategies


Instructional Considerations

Age-Appropriate Materials and Activities

Variety Increases Interest

Sensory Needs

Instructional Methods and Strategies

Direct Instruction

Applied Behavior Analysis

Grouping Students

Social Stories

Having a Substitute Teacher

Work Stations

Station Rotation

Community-Based Instruction


Real-Life Applications

8. Communication Systems and Strategies


The Speech and Language Pathologist

Communication Throughout the Day

Teaching Social Skills

The Use of Schedules and Communication

Communication and Assistive Technology

Communication and Behavior


Real-Life Applications

9. Communication with Parents


Setting Up a System for Parent Communication

Student-Generated Daily Communication to Parents

Keeping Communication Meaningful and Helpful


Parental Involvement


Real-Life Applications

10. Related Services and Other School Staff


Important Information About Related Services

Related Services Defined

Who Qualifies for Related Services?

Direct Versus Indirect Services

Service Delivery Models

Other School Staff


Real-Life Applications

Putting It All Together


Glossary and Acronym Guide





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.