Keeping Special Ed Students Motivated

Now that we are a month into the school year, students are settling into their routines and continuing with their learning journeys. At this point, you may be wondering how to keep students’ motivation up and encourage them to do well in school throughout the year. In this blog post, we are sharing awesome tips to motivate special needs children and help them rock their academic goals.


Tips to Motivate Special Needs Children During the School Year


Focus on strengths

Every student has a preferred learning style and shines in certain subjects. As a teacher or parent, you can discover meaningful ways to motivate them by leveraging on their innate strengths. Concentrate on students’ positive qualities and talents rather than the skills and abilities they may lack. Special ed kids in strengths-based programs tend to develop greater confidence, have higher GPAs, and build resilience.

Create achievable goals

Setting goals for students is a common practice, but did you know it can also help motivate students in special education classrooms? Although it can be challenging for special ed students to plan ahead and monitor their behavior, creating realistic goals that acknowledge their areas of disability can help them stay on track and progress well.


Use positive reinforcement

Praise and positive attention are some of the most powerful rewards for children in special ed. They help students make a connection between what they are learning and what they have achieved, by reinforcing good behaviors on the spot. Simple and genuine behaviors like reminding how good students are doing (verbal) or showing excitement (non-verbal) when they accomplish a task can​​ go a long way.

Utilize tech

Technology can be a great equalizer for children with disabilities and enable their full participation in the classroom. It is important to keep on the lookout for assistive technologies that enable students to learn in a way that accommodates their individual learning styles and limitations.

Read more about using tech in special ed

Create a fun learning environment

Every child loves to have fun! Fun is the key ingredient to learning and staying motivated. Switch up your lesson plans to include trivia games, art projects, singing and acting, creative writing, and public speaking. Get imaginative and plan fun, age-appropriate activities around students’ interests.


Using Datability for Better Goal Setting

Developing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals for students with IEPs can help educators identify gaps in skills, so they know where to focus their lessons with students.

Datability can be extra useful in this process, as it helps track each student’s goals, behaviors, and academic performance within a single easy-to-use platform.

Datability also enables school admins to access teachers’ data archiving habits and guide them toward better IEP data collection practices.

To understand how to improve data collection and tracking for IEP goals, check out the tutorials we’ve put together for you.

View tutorials