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Curriculum Development from an IEP (tutorial under construction)

Summary: Curriculum

If the student can not demonstrate learning or achievement, then WE have failed the student: the student has not failed. Harry Wong

Gardner's Seven Intelligences (Click to view)

Curriculum Adaptation (pdf document) (Click to view)

Curriculum developed for your class program should be meaningful, age appropriate and functional. Curriculum developed should be based on IEP goals. These goals can be woven into many classroom projects daily.

When designing curriculum: question to guide planning are:

  • What do students need to learn?
  • How will the students demonstrate learning?
  • What is the best way to deliver the content to ALL of the students?
  • Do I need to make modifications for any students?
  • How can I adapt the instruction?


Summary: Adapting District Curriculum

Before planning a curriculum, check with your local school district or school site to see if there is an adopted curriculum. You may be able to adapt their curriculum to need your students' needs. When the district curriculum is not appropriate, it will be necessary to create your own. Many Special Educators have adopted a functional-skills approach to developing curriculum for students with severe disabilities. Teachers may look at functional skills performed at home, at work, at school, and other community settings. Learning to perform these skills enables the student to be more independent in a variety of settings.


Domestic Domain

Recreation/Leisure Domain

Vocational Domain

Vocational Domain-General Work-Related Skills

Community Access Domain



Adapting a lesson

Work should be student made, NOT teacher made. Carla Lewis

It is important to know the ability levels of each student when conducting a lesson. The adaptations needed will vary with students' goals and ability. EX: During an art project, one student may cut out and paste the project with little direction, another may need pre-cut work and need hand over hand assistance to paste another students involvement may be simply to pick out the color paper they wish to use.


All district and county TEACHER RESOURCE CENTERS are valuable resources for creative ideas and materials.

Student Expectations

All students are expected to work at their ability level. Allow students to complete as much of a given task as they can, before adapting it. Get into the practice of displaying student work. Work displayed should not only be changed often but, should educate, motivate, encourage participation and be student centered.




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