Structured teaching, an intervention for students with special needs, includes the physical organization of the classroom, individualized schedules, work/activity systems and visual organization of materials. There are elements of structured teaching from which all students — not just those with special needs — can benefit.
In my pre-K classroom, I strive to strengthen my students’ nonverbal communication skills because understanding facial expressions and gestures allows for communication to be fluid, natural and meaningful. For English language learners, these skills are just as important as listening, speaking, reading and writing English when it comes to acquiring English language skills.
When locating materials to use in the classroom, high-quality resources are a must. Many well-known and respected organizations have fully digitized their collections of primary sources and made them available free of charge, so they’re a great place to start.
While online technology courses are convenient, face-to-face opportunities are still important. Meeting and establishing connections with colleagues can help build community and allow for networking and camaraderie — outcomes not easily achieved when communicating over a screen.