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Resources – Strategies

Categories: Assistive technology
Classroom management
Functional lifeskills
Inclusion / mainstreaming
Learning disabilities
Learning styles
Literacy / reading strategies 
  Math strategies
Peer tutoring
Physical education
Science strategies
Sensory strategies
Social skills
Visual strategies
Writing strategies
Other disabilities 

Assistive technology

  • Assistive Technology for Kids With Learning Disabilities - An Overview
    If your child has a learning disability, she may benefit from assistive technology tools that play to her strengths and work around her challenges. By Kristin Stanberry and Marshall Raskind.
  • Assistive Technology Guide
    Provides an overview of current technologies to help parents decide on available tools for their child.
  • Augmentative Communication Community Partnerships - Canada (ACCPC)
    A community-based organization which provides education, research and resources for people who have severe speech impairments and who use other ways to communicate such as picture displays, alphabet boards and voice-output devices. They also provide resources to these individuals, their families, service providers and community agencies.
  • Making the Most of Standard Technology to Enhance Learning
    You probably know about assistive technology (AT) tools that can help students with learning disabilities (LD) with reading, writing, math, listening, and organization. However, you may not be aware of the extent to which the computer hardware and software you already own may include several features and functions that can improve your child's academic performance.
  • Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)
    An initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education.
  • Research Trends: Reading Machines for Kids with LD by Marshall Raskind
    How can "reading machines" help kids with LD., a review of recent research.
  • Teachers: Use today's tools of technology
    More and more students are using everyday technology such as iPods, cellular phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA's), and other new technology. Don't pay for expensive technology that is "special" for people with disabilities. Ordinary electronic equipment works better and doesn't make the students seem different. Did you know that PDA's can set a reminder for your student who has trouble remembering? Or store lesson notes and assignments? Or that mobile music players such as iPods have built in compatibility with audiobooks, study guides, and GPS maps?
    Visit the LD Online Technology Questions and Answers section.
  • What We Are Learning About Early Learners and Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology
    by Linda Burkhart
    Who is Aug Com and Assistive Technology for?

Classroom management

  • Helping Children with Executive Functioning Problems to Manage Physical Impulsiveness
    Want your students to stop grabbing things, pushing, and shoving? Teaching techniques you can implement right now.
  • Managing Today's Classroom
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
    This package of 3 videocassettes, one each for elementary schools, secondary schools, parents, and the Facilitator's Guide, offers a constructivist and participative approach to classroom management. It explains how this approach helps students learn socially responsible ways to create a more effective learning environment. The Parent's Guide explains this approach to parents to encourage support for this philosophy at home. For teachers, the Facilitator's Guide offers "detailed guidelines for workshops and activities to promote group discussion and discovery."
    Available for loan to BCTF members from the BCTF Video Library. For more information, see the BCTF Video Resource.
  • TeAchnology
    A web portal for educators - Strategies on classroom management and links to other sites on this topic.
  • Time Timers
    These are a great way for students to be able to see the passage of time and can help with individual independence. It also works as a wonderful visual for children and adults with sensory deficits, or those working in a sound-sensitive environment. Available in 3 sizes. You can order from Odin Books in Vancouver.
  • When the Chips are Down
    Do you ever have days when the kids seem totally out of control? Do you find yourself falling into the same pointless arguments with your students or your children? Richard Lavoie, nationally known expert on learning disabilities, offers practical advice on dealing with behavioral problems quickly and effectively.  This resource is for sale.


Functional Lifeskills

  •   ADD Adaptive Games 
  • PRP for Autism and Related Disorders Functional Curriculum PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    Assists classroom teachers at the elementary and secondary level in providing a functional curriculum for students with autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Set of 6 books covers functional academics, self help and lifeskills, community training, modifications for lower functioning students, vocational and work experience and data recording.


  • 40 Developmental Assets
    From the Search Institute
    Explains the 40 Developmental building blocks of healthy growth through the first two decades of life.
  • Advantages and Barriers to Inclusion 
  • Reality 101 - a CEC's blog for new Special Education teachers 
  • Design Share
    12 design principles based on brain-based learning research by Jeffery A. Lackney, Ph.D.
  • Funderstanding: Brain-based Learning
    The core principles of brain-based learning. People often say that everyone can learn. Yet the reality is that everyone does learn. Every person is born with a brain that functions as an immensely powerful processor.
  • Great Places to Learn; How Asset-Building Schools Help Students Succeed
    From the Search Institute
    Beleaguered, unsupported, misunderstood—does this describe today's middle and high school students? Or their teachers and school administrators? Sadly, all three groups can relate too often to these feelings in their school environment. But many schools across North America have discovered how to restore their school communities using the developmental assets framework. Rooted in many years of research about the effectiveness of assets, this foundational book shines as a powerful, positive guide to infusing assets into any school community.
  • Memory Strategies for Students: The Value of Strategies
    Help your students learn to remember the facts they need to know, even if their disability affects their working memory. This article outlines key strategies and offers information on how to teach your students to use them independently as they study.
  • Memory Tips for Students - There is a lot to remember in school. These tips will help students to keep the facts firmly in mind.
  • The Kids In My Class
    This excellent 46-page document from Delta School District describes the characteristics of learners with academic and behavioural challenges and provides strategies to support them and address their needs. Learners described include those with: anxiety concerns, attentional difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, gifted, LD, reading difficulties, slow learners or mild intellectually impaired, and written output difficulties.
  • Making the Most of Standard Technology to Enhance Learning
    You probably know about assistive technology (AT) tools that can help students with learning disabilities (LD) with reading, writing, math, listening, and organization. However, you may not be aware of the extent to which the computer hardware and software you already own may include several features and functions that can improve your child's academic performance.
  • The Master Filing System for Paper
    Organizational Skills/System for Students
  • Recommendations for Grey Area/At Risk Students
    Prepared by Lavana Heel


Inclusion / mainstreaming

  • BCACL Publication ‘ Everyone Belongs in Our Schools: Making the case for inclusive education in British ColumbiaPDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    This booklet makes the case for inclusive education by shattering myths, presenting research findings on the positive impact of inclusive education, and telling the stories of five young people who, with the support of their teachers and families, are a testament to the value of inclusion.
  • Disabled Peoples' International
    A network of national organizations or assemblies of disabled people, established to promote human rights of disabled people through full participation, equalization of opportunity and development.
  •   Inclusion Press - Inclusion, Community, Diversity
    Provides resource materials for training events, public schools, high schools, community colleges, universities, human service agencies, health organizations, government agencies, families, First Nations organizations - nationally and internationally.
  • Learning in Safe Schools: Creating Classrooms Where All Students Belong
    by Faye Brownlie and Judith King
    It is essential in today`s classrooms to create a safe learning environment that meets the needs of all students. Practical and timely, this comprehensive book focuses on three ways that teachers can make schools safer, more inclusive places. Teachers will learn how to: develop a constructive code of conduct and behaviour, create curriculum that encourages safer schools by addressing the needs and challenges of all students and implement cooperative learning strategies that foster student interaction in positive ways. The book is full of simple suggestions for meeting the diverse needs of individual students. Hands-on activities and blackline masters complement this essential resource you won`t want to miss.
    ISBN: 1-55138-120-6, $18.95 (Cdn), order from Pembroke Publishers 
  • List of Inclusive Children’s Literature PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    prepared by Tracy Beck
    Books with interesting and engaging plot lines and illustrations, which happen to include a character that has a disability.
  • Priory Woods
    An all age community special school situated in east Middlesbrough. The school provides a quality, inclusive education for pupils with severe learning difficulties and those with profound and multiple needs. Includes free educational resources for download.
  • Special Education Association (PSA) of BC
    The goal of SEA is to promote awareness, acceptance, and personal excellence for students with special needs through communications with members in the educational field and in the community. Access information, including:  Crosscurrents Conference, SEA Information & Resource Papers, SEA Magazine.
  • Supporting Teachers: A Foundation for Advancing Inclusive Education – Discussion Document PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    by the Roeher Institute
    This discussion document sets out an approach to thinking about and furthering inclusive schools and classrooms for all learners. The Roeher Institute’s aim is to foster shared policy dialogue and a set of understandings and expectations that a range of stakeholders would mutually hold on this issue They are focussed on finding ways to support regular teachers so they can experience success with all learners in regular schools and classrooms.
  • The following videos are available for loan to BCTF members from the BCTF Video Library. For more information, see the BCTF Video Resource.         
    • For A Better World
      Northwest Territories, Education, Culture and Employment
      In this presentation, "students, parents, teachers and support staff present some of the values, beliefs, attitudes, educational practices and support necessary in creating inclusive schools." It is designed to "serve as a focus of discussion for parents and the public, and for staff orientation and development."
    • Educating Peter
      Visual Education Centre Limited/Criterion Pictures [distr.]
      "Educating Peter" is the Academy Award-winning story of one child with Down syndrome and his classmates as they test the limits of a classroom in which all students learn together. The documentary chronicles the school year of Mrs. Stallings' third grade class in Blacksburg, Va....from their first harrowing week, through tribulations and discovery...Mrs. Stallings, Peter and her other students find the rewards and triumphs of educating Peter."
    • Hello, My Friends
      "A film on integration into the primary 1,2,3 grade school system. Four children with handicaps and their friends, in classroom setting[s] progressing in successful integration strategies in the new Upgraded Primary Program in British Columbia."
    • Kids Make The Difference
      Central Okanagan School District
      Featuring Emily, a special needs student, this production illustrates how an IEP team included Emily's peer group in developing and implementing a successful IEP.

Learning disabilities

Learning styles 

  • Differentiated Instruction
    How do I effectively and efficiently reach all students in a heterogeneous environment?
  • Differentiated Instruction
    Table of contents from the 'Theory into Practice' journal Summer 2005, Volume 44, Number 3. The list is in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent edition at the top. Please scroll down to the Summer 2005 issue near the bottom of the page. The print journal is available from Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group  
  • Enhance Learning with Technology - Differentiated Instruction
    4 ways to differentiate instruction, strategies and links.
  • JSD: The Learning Forward Journal
    Theme: Differentiation; Traveling the road to differentiation in staff development: Teacher leaders can help educators hurdle four key barriers to implementation.  
    by Carol Ann Tomlinson. Journal of Staff Development (JSD), Fall 2005, Vol. 26, No. 4
  • The Learning and Skills Research Centre
    Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: A systematic and critical review. By Frank Coffield, David Moseley, Elaine Hall, and Kathryn Ecclestone. This report critically reviews the literature on learning styles and examines in detail thirteen of the most influential models and the lack of credible research to back up their use.
  • Psychological Science in the Public Interest
    Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence. A review of the research on the theory of learning styles. By Harold Pashler, Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer, and Robert Bjork. The authors note that "[a]lthough the literature on learning styles is enormous, very few studies have even used an experimental methodology capable of testing the validity of learning styles applied to education. Moreover, of those that did use an appropriate method, several found results that flatly contradict he popular meshing hypothesis."
  • Separating Difference from Disability workbook
    by Dr. Catherine Collier.
    Cross Cultural Developmental Educational Services.
  • Student Diversity - Addressing the Needs of All Learners in Inclusive Classroom Communities
    by Faye Brownlie and Catherine Feniak.
    ISBN 1-55138-101-X
  • Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice
    This section of the CAST Web site supports educators in learning about and practicing Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
  • Your Magical Brain - How It Learns Best
    by Gary Anaka
    Applicable for new and veteran teachers of all levels as well as for parents. An easy to use and inexpensive guidebook on brain-based learning principles. Topics include 5 teaching approaches that really work best, 10 genuine ways the brain learns best, three things the brain needs most more successful brain boosters and brain killers.
    Portal Press. ISBN 0-921138-01-6. To purchase, e-mail: hgreaves@axion.net.

Literacy / reading strategies

  •   Academy of Reading educational software
    The AutoSkill Academy of READING extends the effectiveness of a reading specialist to every struggling student. Especially effective with middle and high school aged students.
  • A Guide for Developing IEPs for Reading
    by Dawn Reithaug (2005)
    Includes lists of phrases for developing goals and objectives, over 300 objectives, lists of practices and adaptations to attach to the IEP, ways to measure progress. $34.95. To order, contact Stirling Head Enterprises dreithaug@shaw.ca.
  • Classroom Connections
    Works with major education organizations in Canada such as the Canadian Education Association and the Canadian Home and School Federation as well as with a network of teachers from across the country. Their resources are provided to schools and community organizations at no cost and registration is free. They develop teacher's guides, teacher's reference materails, student handbooks and student activities, parent programs, parent reference materials and more. Materials of interest: Reading Buddies, Literacy Connections and Celebrating Diversity.
  • A Communication Framework for Family Literacy: Bridging differences, planning and building skill sets PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    by Jean Fowler and Sydney Hook
    A joint project of the BCTF, Vancouver School Board and Literacy BC.
  • Developing Reading Rate - LATA BC member Log-in required 
    Compiled by M. Giesbrecht, LATA editor
    The Vital Link, Volume 8, Number 1, Fall 2002, Pages 59-60
  • Does parental reading promote literacy skills of children with autism?
    Spotlights on 4 relevant articles.
    Canadian Centre for Knowledge Mobilization
  • Ellen's Story
    National Film Board of Canada [distributor]
    This production documents how generational illiteracy can imprison an individual and his/her family in poverty because modern society "demands higher literacy skills every year." Using Ellen Szita's personal story, it also illustrates how this problem can be overcome. This video "should be seen by everyone who is interested in literacy and the fight against poverty, those who work with high school dropouts...teachers-in-training, counsellors, teachers and parents...."
    Available for loan to BCTF members from the BCTF Video Library. For more information, see the BCTF Video Resources .
  • The Expert Answers: Dr. Gordon Sherman on Brain Research and Reading PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    Answers to the questions: Are there structural brain differences in kids with learning disabilities? What is the environment’s effect on reading problems? and much more.
  • The Expert Answers: Dr. Kevin Feldman on Helping Older Kids Who Struggle with Reading PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    Answers to the questions: answers the following questions about helping older kids who struggle with reading: What happens to kids with delayed reading skills when they enter middle and high school? How can parents help their older kids who struggle and much more.
  • Finding a student’s “Reading Instruction” level
    Direct Instruction Reading by D. Carnine & J. Silbert
  • Grass Roots Press
    Providing comprehensive adult literacy resources for practitioners and students.
  • Great Leaps
    Great Leaps is divided into three major areas:
    (1) Phonics: developing and mastering essential sight-sound relationships and/or sound awareness skills;
    (2) Sight Phrases: mastering sight words while developing and improving focusing skills; and
    (3) Reading Fluency: using age-appropriate stories specifically designed to build reading fluency, reading motivation, and proper intonation.
  • The Internet Picture Dictionary
    A completely free, online multilingual picture dictionary designed especially for ESL students and beginning English, French, German, Spanish and Italian language learners of all ages.
  • Literacy Connections
    This program provides concrete ways for schools, Early Years Centres, community organizations and daycares to support the development of literacy skills at home and encourage a love of reading within the families they serve. It is designed to help parents and caregivers use effective strategies when reading with the children in their lives. The program can be run in two ways: 1. As a lending program where parents borrow the materials from an organization for use at home 2. As a workshop where parents come together to participate in the program
    From Classroom Connections. You can order or download a copy of the Literacy Connections resource from their web site.
  • Literacy for Independent Living
    A one-step shopping resource on literacy and disability. The website provides links to various online resources that are useful for literacy practitioners, for facilitators at disability and community organizations, for adult learners with disabilities and for their community-at-large. Information and resources are given for disabilities in general and for specific types of disabilities. Resources also appropriate for older youth.
  • My Read
    Supports teachers of underperforming students with strategies for teaching reading in the middle years (Grades 4-9)
  • Laubach Literacy Ontario Bookstore 
  • A division of Laubach Literacy of Canada, which is no longer in operation as a national organization. It sells quality books and resources at reasonable prices to the literacy community of Canada.
  • NICHYC compiled by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities - sources of information and assistance on literacy. Specific section on literacy and children with disabilities.
  • Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
    by Sally Shaywitz
    Shaywitz offers a scientific explanation of dyslexia and then explains how parents and teachers can work with children to overcome this problem. It also discusses dealing with dyslexia in older children and adults.
    ISBN 0-375-40012-5, www.amazon.com 
  • Phonemic Awareness in Young Children - A Classroom Curriculum
    By Marilyn Jager Adams, and others
    This research-based program helps young children learn to distinguish individual sounds that make up words and affect their meanings. ISBN 1-55766-321-1
  • Promoting Reading Success: Phonological Awareness Activities for the Kindergarten Child
    Nearly 50 activities and games that can be easily implemented in the classroom and that are derived chiefly from the exercises used in the successful phonological awareness training programs as a part of CANSTART. Available through a subscription to SAGE Publications.
  • Raz-kids.com
    Adapted from the award-winning Reading A-Z Guided readers. Talking Books make learning fun - read or listen online, take an instant quiz and print the worksheets! For lower-level talking books, words are highlighted as read.
  • Read Naturally
    The READ NATURALLY program provides a method to improve reading fluency. Most struggling readers have fluency problems and spend little time reading. The Read Naturally program combines three powerful strategies for improving fluency: teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring.
  • Read Well
    Read Well is a unique, research-based reading program that combines systematic phonics, mastery-based learning, and rich content. From the beginning, children develop strong decoding skills, comprehension strategies, and sophisticated content knowledge.
  • Reading A-Z
    The online guided reading program with downloadable books to print and assemble, offers thousands of printable teacher materials to teach guided reading, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, reading fluency, alphabet, and vocabulary. The teaching resources include professionally developed downloadable leveled books, lesson plans, worksheets, and reading assessments.
  • Reading and the Brain
    LD OnLine offers these videos to show you how the brain works when a person is reading. Sit with scientists and watch as they study children - and start to unlock the mysteries of how the brain processes sounds and letters.
  • Reading Buddies
    Reading Buddies provides all materials necessary to set up a reading program for teenage volunteers to read one-on-one with primary school students. It includes concrete tips, techniques and ideas to help schools implement a tutoring program, including how to select, train and support high school volunteers.
    From Classroom Connections. You can order or download a copy of the Reading Buddies resource from their web site.
  • The Reading Foundation
    A private clinic (with offices in Calgary and Vancouver) that provides the diagnosis and treatment of reading, spelling, math and written language difficulties that affect children, adolescents and adults.
  • Reading Problems in Middle School and High School Students
    By: Kevin Feldman, Ed.D.
    What happens to kids with delayed reading skills when they enter middle and high school? Are accommodations in the classroom enough? Is it too late to teach reading?
  • Reading Rockets 
    is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.  Includes information that's research-based on how to teach reading effectively, good books that motivate kids with the pleasures of reading, and methods for helping kids who are falling behind.
  • Reading Software: Finding the Right Program
    Since different reading software applications contain different features, it is important that students are matched with software that best meets their specific needs. LD Online has identified five web-based resources that contain detailed information on reading software programs and address specific needs of students with special needs in reading.
  • Research Trends: Reading Machines for Kids with LD
    by Marshall Raskind
    How can "reading machines" help kids with LD., a review of recent research.
  • Rewards
    The REWARDS program is recommended for students in grades 4-12 and especially for students in grades 4-5 who have mastered single-syllable words and are ready for multisyllable words, and students in grades 6-12 who lack word identification skills and are slower oral readers than their peers.
  • SmartReading
    School District No. 40 (New Westminster)
    821 8th Street, New Westminster BC V3M 3S9
    Telephone 604-517-6240 Fax 604-517-6390
    A synthesis of the latest research combined with tried and true strategies that develop both Language Arts and thinking abilities. Active learning and visual formats make this particularly applicable to students with special needs.
  • Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers
    by Louisa Cook Moats
    Learning the basics of language helps you understand your students' needs and to teach reading, spelling, and writing explicitly and systematically. For students with or without learning disabilities. ISBN 978-1-59857-050-2  
  • Starfall learn-to-read website
    Offered free as a public service. Primarily designed for first grade, Starfall.com is also useful for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and second grade
  • Start-to-Finish Books
    A high-interest, controlled-vocabulary series. They combine books, tapes and CDs with guided reading, quizzes, pictures, black line masters and other materials. Makes literature accessible to non-readers. Carefully-chosen book content is compelling to older students and curriculum-connected titles help students acquire knowledge as they learn to read.
    Gold Library - Grade 2/3 readability and Blue Library - Grade 4/5 readability. Over 60 titles.
  • Target the Problem
    A tool to help parents and classroom teachers understand the specific problems a child may be having with reading. You'll find practical suggestions on what you (and kids themselves) can do to help students overcome or deal with their reading difficulties.
  • Teaching Literacy to Students with Significant Disabilities - Strategies for the K-12 Inclusive Classroom
    by June E. Downing
    Corwin Press 2005. ISBN 0-7619-8879-3
  • Teaching Students with Reading Difficulties and Disabilities: A Guide for Educators PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    A Canadian resource from Saskatchewan Education. Proficient reading and writing skills are critical to success. This 240 page document contains comprehensive information and strategies for success.
  • The following items can be downloaded from the Literacy Information and Communication System  (LINCS) website:
    • A Child Becomes a Reader, Birth to Preschool
      Proven ideas from research for parents. This booklet contains things you can do with your children to help them become readers, what to look for in quality day care centers and preschools to help your children become readers, and a list of helpful terms.
    • A Child Becomes a Reader, Kindergarten through Grade 3
      Proven ideas from research for parents. This booklet contains things you can do with your child at 3 different grade levels - Kindergarten, first grade and second and third grades to help him become a reader as well as what to look for in quality reading instruction at each grade level. It also contains a list of helpful terms.
    • Put Reading First
      The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read - Kindergarten Through Grade 3 - developed by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement in the U.S. This guide, designed by teachers for teachers, summarizes what researchers have discovered about how to successfully teach children to read. It describes the findings of the National Reading Panel Report (2000) and provides analysis and discussion in five areas of reading instruction: phonic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension.
    • Put Reading First
      Helping Your Child Learn to Read - A Parent Guide Preschool Through Grade 3 - This brochure, designed for parents, provides a quick overview of the findings of the National Reading Panel and gives ideas for what to expect from a school's reading program based on evidence from the research (preschool through grade 3). The brochure also suggests ways parents can reinforce reading instruction at home with everyday activities and interactions.

Math strategies

  • Academy of Math
    The AutoSkill Academy of MATH extends the effectiveness of a math specialist to every struggling student. Especially effective with middle and high school aged students.
  • Cool Math 4 Kids
    An amusement park of math and more -- especially designed for kids
  • Fun Brain.com 
  • How to Facilitate Learning in Math
    by Julia Fraser, M Ed
    SEA Crosscurrents Magazine, Fall 2001, Pages 34 – 43
  • LD In Depth - Math Skills
    Learning disabilities in the area of mathematics are explored here. Often referred to as dyscalculia, math-related learning disabilities are complex and require intervention by skillful teachers to help students achieve success. A collection of informative articles and direction to the latest teaching research to provide understanding and assistance to both parents and educators.
  •   Math Disability: An Overview
    by Diane Pedrotty Bryant
    An expert explains what a math disability is, the underlying causes, and how it impacts kids at various grade levels.
  • Strategies to Facilitate Math Concepts and Homework. A story and many other useful strategies for parents and teachers to help children with learning disabilities to learn math. Strategies include how students can learn to use their fingers to multiply and make their own artsy flash cards to learn challenging facts.
  • Tool Kit for Parents: Tips for Helping with Math Concepts and Homework
    by Regina G. Richards
    This article teaches how to use chunking, multisensory strategies and helping students to experience the meaning of these words and related concepts
  • Using Mnemonic Instruction To Teach Math
    Mnemonic instruction is a set of strategies designed to help students improve their memory of new information. Mnemonics instruction links new information to prior knowledge through the use of visual and/or acoustic cues. These strategies have been proven effective with students at a wide range of ability levels (gifted, normally achieving, and those with mild and moderate disabilities) and at all grade levels.

Peer tutoring

  • Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)
    Strategies for Successful Learning - PALS Reading and PALS Math enable classroom teachers to accommodate diverse learners and to help a large proportion of these students achieve success.

Physical education

  • Inclusion of Students with Special Needs in Physical Education
    This manual is written for primary and early intermediate teachers who are integrating students with special needs into Physical Education classes. It outlines strategies and suggestions for P.E. activities that will allow the inclusion of all students regardless of their abilities.
    VSB Resource - under revision. Contact the Vancouver School Board for more information:   

    School District #39
    1580 West Broadway
    Vancouver, BC, Canada V6J 5K8

    (604) 713-5000  

Science strategies

Sensory strategies

  • Abilitations - Integrations Sensory Solutions
    Children Therapy and accessibility products for movement, positioning, sensory-motor, exercise aquatics and adapted play.
  • Alert Program
    Although initially intended for children with attention and learning difficulties, ages 8-12, it has been adapted for preschool through adult and for a variety of disabilities. The program clearly defined steps for teaching self-regulation awareness.
  • Sensory Checklist and Strategies PDF file; Acrobat Reader required. 
  • Zone'in Program
    An energy based program, derived from sensory integration theory, and designed to improve students' learning by maximizing their attention in a class setting. The program provides tools to help children discover the role their bodies play in learning. Designed by a BC School Based Occupational Therapist.

Social skills

  • Friendship and Stories: Using Children's Literature to Teach Friendship Skills to Children with Learning Disabilities
    by Katherine L. DeGeorge
  • Life Skills Activities for Secondary Students with Special Needs
    by Darlene Mannix
    Contains 190 illustrated activity sheets with exercises, discussion questions, and evaluation suggestions to help students acquire the basic skillls needed for success in everyday living. Covers interpersonal skills, communication skills, academic and school skills, problem solving and more.
    ISBN: 0-78796-620-7
  • Mastering the Hidden Curriculum of School from It’s So Much Work To Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Successby Rick Lavoie offers insight that can help kids with learning difficulties uncover — and master — the unwritten rules of school.
    Excerpt from Ch. 10 from Schwab Learning.org
  • Ready-To-Use Social Skills Lessons & Activities for Grades -
    PreK - K (ISBN: 0-87628-863-8 ), Grades 1-3 (ISBN: 0-87628-473-X), Grades 4-6 (ISBN: 0-87628-474-8 ) and Grades 7 - 12 (ISBN: 0-87628-475-6 ) by Ruth Weltmann Begun.
    Topics include: purpose, stories, films and poems to introduce the skill, skill steps for teaching the appropriate behaviour, modeling the skill, student performance of the skill, worksheets and other activities summarizing the skill, an activities to promote the use of the skills outside of school.
  • Social Competence and the Child with Learning Disabilities
    These tips and answers to common questions are from the Teacher's Guide to Last One Picked ... First One Picked On: Learning Disabilities and Social Skills with Richard Lavoie.
  • Social Skills Activities for Special Children
    by Darlene Mannix
    Includes 142 read to use lessons with reproducible activity sheets to help children recognaize and practice appropriate social skills both inside and outside the classroom.
    ISBN: 0-87628-868-9
  • Social Skills Activities for Secondary Students with Special Needs
    by Darlene Mannix
    Includes 187 ready to use worksheets to help students build and enhance their social skills and apply these skills in various real-life settings, situations and problems.
    ISBN 0-13042-906-6
  • Social Skills: The Bottom Line for Adult LD Success
    by Marnell L. Hayes
    There are many aspects of social skills that are especially important in adult relationships. This article addresses relevant topics including body-space awareness, organizational skills, reading facial expressions and understanding vocal cues.
  • Teaching Social Skills to Kids Who Don't Yet Have Them
    This article, written by Dr. Mac, from the BehaviorAdvisor.com, applies to all students who have social skills difficulties. 
    Do any of these comments sound familiar?
    "I tell him to stop doing that, but he keeps on doing it. Darn. This kid must have been raised by wolves!"
    "That kid knows how she is supposed to behave. She CHOOSES to misbehave."
    "I ask him what he is supposed to be doing and he can tell me. He knows better, so why isn't he doing it?"


Visual strategies

  • The Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired
    PRCVI is a Ministry of Education Provincial Resource Program, hosted by the Vancouver School Board (VSB). The mission of the PRCVI is to provide leadership, information, training and consultation to support school districts' goals of equitable access and enhanced learning opportunities for students with visual impairments. The primary function of the PRCVI is to provide British Columbia school districts and Group 1 & 2 Independent schools with alternate formats of provincially recommended learning resources and with specialized equipment to support the educational needs of students with visual impairments. A second responsibility is to support school districts by providing training and inservice opportunities for teachers of students with visual impairments. Thirdly, PRCVI provides to schools, on a cost recovery basis, access to its audiotape and E-text collection for use by students with a print disability.
  • The Boardmaker Project PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    A joint project of BCTF, PGDTA, and School District 57.
  • Disability Solutions Newsletter Volume 5 Issue 4 March/April 2003 PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    Focus on Visual Strategies. Includes article “I See What You Mean!” Using Visual Tools to Support Student Learning by Patti McVay, M.Ed., Heidi Wilson, and Luci Chiotti.Part 1 of 2
  • Disability Solutions Newsletter Volume 5 Issue 5 July/August 2003 PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    Focus on Visual Strategies. Includes Part 2 of the article “I See What You Mean!” Using Visual Tools to Support Student Learning by Patti McVay, M.Ed., Heidi Wilson, and Luci Chiotti.
  • Graphic organizers
    The use of graphic organizers to teach all students assists with comprehension or to help students organize and present or record data.  
  • How to manage a token economy 
  • Picture SET
    From SET-BC (Special Education Technology).
    A collection of downloadable visual supports that can be used by students for both receptive and expressive communication in the classroom, at home, and in the community. This searchable database allows you to find a wide range of useful visual supports for different curriculum areas, activities, and events.
  • Support for Visual Learners
    how to make daily schedules, choice boards, visual supports, people locators
  • Time Timers  
    These are a great way for students to be able to see the passage of time and can help with individual independence. It also works as a wonderful visual for children and adults with sensory deficits, or those working in a sound-sensitive environment. Available in 3 sizes. You can order from Odin Books in Vancouver.
  • Visual Support Strategies for Literacy Development PDF file; Acrobat Reader required.
    by Brenda Fossett, M.A.
    SEA Crosscurrents Magazine, Spring 2004, Pages 23-32

Writing strategies

Other disabilities

Updated June, 2015 


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