Types of Activities for a Remote Special Education Teacher
As remote learning continues to expand and evolve, teachers need to find more and more new ways to connect with students and make remote learning both productive and entertaining. Read our blog to learn about the benefits of remote special education, as well as some activity ideas you can incorporate to keep your students on track.
Benefits of Special Education
Special education is an essential component of education. It offers an inclusive academic environment for children with special needs to learn. However, many special education students do best in one-to-one settings with minimal distractions.
Telepractice is ideal for special education services because they create this interaction, and our teachers differentiate and individualize instruction to achieve peak results. Remote learning special education is helping to shape the future of special education services and providing teachers with new opportunities to make an impact on the lives of their students from any location.
Why Is Remote Special Education Important?
A typical special education classroom has learners of many cognitive levels, with a diversity of disabilities. With a remote learning platform, teachers can create a personalized learning environment and help individual students reach any goal.
Best of all, schools can have access to a vast selection of outstanding special education teachers to serve students anywhere in the country thanks to special education services online. By providing a variety of special education departments, teletherapy provides the solution to physical obstacles while allowing students access to high-level instruction, which serves as one of the many benefits of special education services.
Types of Activities for Remote Special Education Teachers
Children in special education usually have a range of challenges that impact their ability to learn. Therefore, it is important to implement learning materials and tailor lessons for each child’s needs.
For example, you may work with children who need to hone fine motor skills or who have limited mobility, as well as those with learning disabilities, who are neuroatypical, or who face emotional challenges. As a result, you’ll need to consider a range of activities that will help each student progress. Categories of suitable activities could include:
- Sensory skills activities
- Calming activities
- Social skills activities
- Auditory skills activities
Getting creative to plan fun activities for special education students can increase engagement and lead to more productive learning.
Sensory Skills Activities
Some special needs students struggle to control sensory input, and this might hamper the overall learning process. Sensory skills activities can help every student, particularly those with sensory integration concerns. In a classroom setting, you might create sensory stations where kids can focus on smell or touch. But how can you move this to a remote setting?
Simply tailor the lesson to common household items that can be tasted, touched, smelled, etc. You could also plan the following activities:
- Crafting homemade musical instruments
- Exploring interior/exterior environments
- Incorporating movement/exercise
- Conducting safe science experiments (like cornstarch slime)
- Identifying/making sounds
Sensory activities help kids focus and hone their senses, connect with their bodies, and perhaps even build new vocabulary and develop motor skills.
When students are tired or overstimulated, every lesson may become a trigger for outbursts. Having a few calming activities ready can help to counteract negative behaviors and get students back on track. You might choose activities like:
- Controlled breathing
- Listing items in different categories
- Soothing music/sing-along
- Gentle stretching or movement
- Comfort or fidget toys
- Meditation (for older kids)
Calming activities can be particularly important in online special education, where your ability to comfort students or take them aside for one-on-one conversation is impacted.
Social Skills Activities
Kids reach school age with a grab-bag of social skills cobbled together from parents, siblings, other children and adults, and media sources. They will learn a lot about interacting with peers and authority figures during their time in school, and targeted activities can help.
You might start with games that help kids learn to introduce themselves, either one-on-one or to the whole group. You can also try:
- Show and tell
- Etiquette games
- Building emotional intelligence with flashcards
- Emotion charades (acting out emotions while other students guess)
- Empathy games — how would students feel/react in someone else’s situation?
- Cooperative games where students work together to find solutions
- Group improvised stories (with word prompts on cards)
Many kids struggle to connect with peers. Activities that focus on social skills help to facilitate interaction while putting students at ease.
Auditory Skills Activities
Some special needs children have trouble with auditory stimuli, while others simply need to hone listening skills like focus, comprehension, and recall. Depending on the needs of students, you could try the following activities:
- Instruction games like “Simon Says”
- Auditory sequence repetition
- Noise focus exercises (finding sounds among background noise)
- Alliteration and rhyming
- Listening to or playing music
- Playing “I Spy” using specific letters
- Reading aloud (you or students)
These activities can help special education students develop auditory perception and listening skills, along with mastering sounds, learning the alphabet, and learning to read.
Adapting to the Remote Teaching Environment
To teach remotely, you will have to adjust your lessons and teaching style to account for the virtual environment — but this doesn’t have to be a chore. The combination of technology and creativity can make the experience fun when you focus on activities that engage students in a variety of ways.
If you’re fully on board with the remote teaching experience, now is a great time to search for special education teacher jobs. VocoVision offers the ability of technology and human connectedness that allows teachers and students to succeed in the virtual classroom setting.