Skip to main content

Considerations Packets

The following information packets provide an overview of current topics and best practices for serving students with mild/moderate disabilities.  A PDF version of the Considerations Packets are available by clicking on the link below and filling out a brief registration form. 

Please note:  T/TAC W&M will not be updating Considerations Packets with more current references.  Although the content is still relevant, we recommend you find additional resources to supplement the information found here.

Download PDF version of Considerations Packets

Consideration Packet Descriptions


Classroom Interventions for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

This packet focuses on classroom intervention strategies to enhance the learning environment for students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  An overview of ADHD is presented along with a brief description of the challenges students with ADHD typically demonstrate in the classroom.  Strategies for academic interventions, behavior management, and home-school collaboration and communication are also included.

Co-Planning for Student Success

This information packet is for co-teaching partners who wish to improve their planning practices. Collaborative planning, or co-planning, occurs when a special and general educator combine their expertise to plan instructional content, instructional delivery, and assessment of student learning (Friend, 2014).


This Considerations Packet provides basic information to professionals currently engaged in or considering a co-teaching model to support students with mild/moderate disabilities in general education classrooms. Topics include defining characteristics, getting acquainted with a co-teaching partner, developing a contract for co-teaching, variations of co-teaching, effective co-planning, communication issues, administrative issues, and advantages of co-teaching.

Designing Effective Professional Development

This Considerations Packet is no longer available.  A more current open resource, Standards for Professional Learning, may be found on Learning Forward’s website.

Graphic Organizers: Guiding Principles and Effective Practices

This packet focuses on how to make the most out of visual displays and representations of information, commonly called graphic organizers. Research-based suggestions are offered for making graphic organizers straightforward and coherent and for teaching students how to use graphic organizers so that they begin to internalize the organizational skills of the graphic display. This packet will outline the primary categories and uses for graphic organizers as well as strategies to enhance their effectiveness.

The Heart of the IEP

Drafting Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) is one of the most challenging parts of a special educator's job. IEPs that are collaboratively developed and truly individualized require expertise, time, team spirit, and perseverance. The focus of this Considerations Packet is the heart of the IEP - the present level of academic achievement and functional performance, annual goals, and short-term objectives or benchmarks. Specifically, you will find information about, examples of, and checklists for creating these three critical elements of the IEP document.

Inclusive Grading and Progress-Monitoring Practices

This packet provides an overview of effective inclusive grading and progress-monitoring practices for educators teaching students with disabilities; specifically, grading practices focusing on alignment with content standards and progress-monitoring techniques both for students working on grade-level and modified standards. Finally, guidelines for reporting grades will be presented based on the relevant federal laws pertaining to students with disabilities.

Instructional Assessment

This packet provides a description of an instructional assessment model that is used to help teachers match instruction to student needs. Instructional assessment (IA) is a form of curriculum based assessment (CBA) that is designed to determine the instructional needs of individual students in order to create the conditions necessary to optimize and maintain learning (Rosenfield, 1987). The purpose of IA is to ensure a match between what the student knows and what the teacher teaches (Gravois & Gickling, 2002). Although this consideration packet describes the assessment of reading skills, the method is applicable to all academic areas.

Paraeducators' Tools for Supporting the Instructional Process

This information packet focuses on tools that paraeducators need to begin to offer instructional support to classroom teachers. These tools will assist paraeducators with understanding the basics and building effective communication and collaboration skills. This packet offers some suggestions and practical application tips to strengthen the paraeducators ability to effectively support classroom instruction.

Pillars of Support: Designing Positive Behavior Interventions for Students with Disabilities

This Considerations Packet provides evidence-based, proactive strategies for creating classroom and individual behavioral supports for students with disabilities in general education settings. It offers an array of effective interventions at school-wide, small-group, and individual levels. The packet also highlights practical strategies for teachers to utilize regularly in classroom and non-classroom settings.

Practice and Homework - Effective Teaching Strategies

This Considerations Packet focuses on practice and homework as instructional strategies that teachers can use daily with all learners to increase and maintain retention of information. Strategies for practicing new learning include visualization, mnemonics, quick writes, and effective questioning. Finally, tips for homework completion are provided for both teachers and parents.

Reasonable and Effective Accommodations

This information packet defines accommodations, differentiates them from modifications and adaptations, and addresses their specific purpose. Three processes for determining "reasonable" accommodations are presented, and examples of various types of accommodations are given. 

Strategies for Creating Effective School Leadership Teams

This Cconsiderations Packet is designed to support school leadership teams as they guide school improvement efforts. Topics include the rationale for using a team approach, team composition, and necessary skills and responsibilities of the leadership team.  In addition, the characteristics of effective teacher leaders and strategies for conducting productive meetings are discussed.

Techniques for Active Learners

This packet focuses on techniques that teachers can easily implement to increase time on task for all learners.  The techniques require few materials and little extra planning, but they have a huge impact on the amount of time students are engaged in learning.  Finally, they not only increase achievement but also assist students in building relationships.

Transition Planning for a Brighter Future: Designing IEPs for Secondary Students with Disabilities-2nd Edition

To regard people with disabilities as a potentially valuable resource requires a belief in human potential and recognition that potential must be discovered, nurtured, and developed. It requires a willingness to invest time, effort, patience, and support until a satisfactory level of work and personal living skills can be achieved. To be certain that each student with a disability has a chance to discover his or her potential, belief must be backed up by educational programs that are realistically crafted to allow students to pursue options to reach their goals. (Sitlington, Clark, & Kolstoe, 2000, p. 1)

A "Word" About Vocabulary

This information packet provides strategies upper-elementary and secondary school teachers may use to teach vocabulary in a meaningful way. The word-learning instructional strategies are grounded in research and are applicable to all content areas. The packet includes games and other activities that enable students to use newly acquired words, as well as review groups of vocabulary words in an engaging manner.

The Write Tools Can Make a Difference

This information packet is designed to offer ideas to the classroom teacher who is looking for effective ways to support students who are struggling with one or more aspects of the writing process. The following topics are addressed:

  • How to identify students struggling with the mechanics of writing;
  • How to identify students struggling with various aspects of the writing process;
  • The continuum of support: "No" or "low-tech" solutions to more advanced technology supports for the mechanics of writing;
  • The continuum of support: "No" or "low-tech" solutions to more advanced technology supports for the process of writing;
  • The decision-making process: Determining a "best fit" from the myriad choices available; and
  • Facilitating success: Supporting student technology use, productivity, and independence.
The Writing Process: A Scaffolding Approach

This packet offers a systematic format to teaching essential writing skills to all students. The scaffolding approach allows for differentiated instruction in a diverse classroom. It gradually builds independence and confidence among young writers. This instructional technique can be easily adapted to many classrooms, disciplines, and age or grade levels.