5. Children with special needs benefit from instruction using materials at their reading level
Children learn best when they work with materials that are challenging but not so difficult as to be frustrating. It is important, therefore, to have in the classroom materials with various difficult levels. Materials can also be adapted to better match the learning levels of children with special needs. In gathering and selecting materials, teachers should consider providing the following:
- Classroom libraries in which books are grouped by reading level so that children can select interesting materials at their reading levels (e.g., high interest/controlled vocabulary books, children’s magazines, humorous books, books with same-age characters).
- Decodable texts that emphasize the letter-sound relationships the children are learning and provide opportunities for them to practice their new knowledge while reading.
- Books on CD-ROM that enable children to read repeatedly so as to build automatic word recognition, fluency, and listening comprehension.
- Materials tailored to individual needs, such as large print materials, material with a limited number of words per page, materials that use pictures paired with untaught words, and materials that contain text features to facilitate comprehension (e.g., headings, inserted questions).
- Materials for developing early reading skills such as counters for children to push into boxes to count phonemes; letter tiles for making words; and story maps to teach parts of simple stories.
- Materials to assist children with spelling and handwriting such as textured letters to trace, pencil grips, and paper with raised lines.