How to Manage 504 Accommodations in the Classroom
Don't be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone.Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
Determine the number of children in your class with 504 accommodations. Ask the Pupil Personnel Services (or Special Education Department) chairperson what specific difficulty afflicts each child with a 504 accommodation. The most common disorders include ADHD or ADD (attention deficit with or without hyperactivity), diabetes, or psychological trauma suffered outside of the school environment.
Ask the Special Education Department chairperson for suggestions that might help with the specific disorders you will be facing in your classroom.
- 2). Refrain from teaching your students in the same manner. You may be primarily a visual teacher or you may prefer to lecture, relying on your student's auditory processing skills. Prepare your lesson plans with both styles alternated frequently. Include lessons requiring tactile, or hands-on learning. Students with 504 accommodations often require all three modes of instruction. Plan to be creative in covering your curriculum. Try pairing some of your better students with 504 students for a variety of tasks. These volunteer peers can help check homework, reinforce directions for given assignments, help with organizational and study habit development or anything else that you find works to engage your students with 504 accommodations.
- 3). Break your subject matter down into manageable sections. Students with 504 accommodations are often overwhelmed by information overload. Test your students on their knowledge at frequent intervals; not only to alleviate excess performance anxiety, but to also give them a better foundation for continued learning. Alter the methods of testing in the same ways that you alter your teaching modalities. Give oral tests, written tests as well as opportunities for hands-on projects.
- 4). Rearrange your classroom to allow students with attention issues an opportunity to sit near the instructor and/or a positive role model. Increase the distance between desks to the extent that your space permits. Alter the seating for different periods of the day to help students stay on task, especially for elementary classes that spend the entire day in one room. Stand near your 504 students when giving directions for a test or assignment.
- 5). Use various health organizations as extra resources. The American Diabetes Association has many helpful tips for educators and parents to help students deal with their condition during school. The National Center for Learning Disabilities also has many helpful insights for both experienced and novice teachers to help students with 504 accommodations reach their full potential.