Preparing Students with Special Needs to Meet the Standards

(Grades K-3) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 100T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40159

Course Description

Are you finding it increasingly difficult to help your special education students find success with your state's standards? As most teachers know, learning can be difficult for those with special needs. So how exactly can a teacher make this “bridge,” thereby connecting their most vulnerable learners to the more challenging and complex concepts? This online course is designed for K-3 teachers who are attempting to do just this. Teachers will learn specific strategies for helping their special education students build strong foundational reading skills by using assessment to guide and differentiate their instruction. In addition, teachers will be given a variety of tools and strategies to help guide their struggling writers as they work to balance meaningful writing with explicit strategy instruction. Other topics include differentiating the mathematics block, providing tactile, kinesthetic, and auditory learning opportunities, student collaboration, cooperative group activities, and Universal Design for Learning. Rounding out the course is engaging special needs students in the art of conversation and using interventions and other teaching techniques to engage special needs students, including those who also happen to be English language learners. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I learned a lot about ways to differentiate for special needs students. I loved learning about resources I can use starting this year." - Sheri Baughman-Sheets

Enrollment Options

Course Only

Only $127 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD Extension

Only $323 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

Required Resource Book

This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List

UCSD Course Number: EDUC40159
Unit One
  • Unpacking the Common Core State Standards
  • Navigating the Special Education Pathway
  • Understanding Special Education Terminology and Reading an IEP
  • Meeting the Needs of All Learners: Universal Design for Learning
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Building Strong Foundational Skills
  • Using Assessment to Guide Reading Instruction
  • Meeting Students Where They Are: Teaching Reading to All Learners
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Balancing Meaningful Writing and Explicit Strategy Instruction
  • Supporting Struggling Writers: Tools and Strategies
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Multi-Sensory Mathematics Instruction
  • Differentiating the Classroom Mathematics Block
  • Assessment Strategies for Math
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • The Building Blocks of Conversation: Speaking and Listening
  • Student Collaboration and Cooperative Group Work
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Response to Intervention
  • Teacher Collaboration and the Co-Taught Classroom
  • Maximizing the Effectiveness of Classroom Support Staff
  • English Language Learners with Special Education Needs
  • Assignment #4: Devise three differentiated lesson plans
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)

Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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