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Effective Strategies for Students with Learning and Behavior Problems: 25 Elementary Modules




By all accounts, students who exhibit learning and behavior problems pose a real challenge to school personnel. One way to improve the educational outcomes for these students is to ensure that all teachers possess the knowledge and skills required to address the myriad challenges of daily classroom management and instruction. Fortunately, there is a growing body of research-based literature on evidence-based practices that are applicable in both general and special education settings. In that the Virginia Department of Education is committed to providing all students the best possible education, in collaboration with the Training and Technical Assistance Center at Old Dominion University, we have developed a series of modules that relate to 25 strategies of proven effectiveness.  Each module contains precise information on the use of a specific strategy; modules have been developed to reflect both Elementary Modules and Secondary Modules level application of each strategy. Along with the modules is a summary of the supporting research and guidelines for strategy implementation. Together, this information should contribute to strengthening the quality of classroom instruction and to achieving positive educational outcomes for all of Virginia's students.

In the past, students with and students without disabilities often were served in different educational settings. Today, the majority of students with disabilities receive all or most of their instruction alongside students without disabilities in the general education classroom. For that reason, these modules are geared toward addressing the needs of a diverse audience, one that includes both general and special education teachers at the elementary and secondary levels. Each of the 25 strategies was selected on the basis of their documented effectiveness and their applicability in a variety of educational settings. We encourage you to enlarge upon your knowledge of evidence-based practices and to become skilled in the application of those strategies that best suit the needs of your students. Finally, we are confident that these strategies will be useful to you and that you will want to share them with colleagues and your students and parents as well.


  1. Clear Rules and Expectations - Module 1

  2. Behavior Contracts - Module 2

  3. Precorrection - Module 3

  4. Choice Making Opportunities for Students - Module 4

  5. Self-Monitoring of Student Academic Performance - Module 5

  6. Self-Monitoring of Student Non-academic Behavior - Module 6

  7. Conflict Resolution - Module 7

  8. Anger Management - Module 8

  9. Cooperative Learning - Module 9

  10. Establishing a Positive Teaching and Learning Environment - Module 10

  11. Developing a Function-based Intervention - Module 11

  12. A Behavior Support Plan - Module 12

  13. Strategies that are Respectful of Gender, Cultural, and Linguistic Differences - Module 13

  14. A System of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) - Module 14

  15. Crisis Management - Module 15

  16. Academic Supports and Curricular/Instructional Modifications - Module 16

  17. Specialized Instruction to Promote Learning and Study Skills - Module 17

  18. Social Skills as Part of Class Instruction - Module 18

  19. Peer Reinforcement to Promote Appropriate Student Behavior - Module 19

  20. Peer-mediated Intervention to Promote Positive Behavior Skills - Module 20

  21. Peer Instructional Supports - Module 21

  22. Group-oriented Contingency Management - Module 22

  23. Developing a Transition Plan - Module 23

  24. Data Collection, Graphing, and Analysis for Intervention Plans - Module 24

  25. Mental Health Services as Student Support - Module 25


ADD/ADHD Autism Spectrum Disorder Behavior Challenging Behavior Curriculum/Instructional Methods Deaf-Blind Developmental Delay Elementary Emotional Disability Hearing Impairment Instructional Strategies Intellectual Disability Learning Disability Mental Health Mild/Moderate Disabilities Multiple Disabilities Orthopedic Impairment Other Health Impairment Paraprofessional Parent/Family Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Professional Development Professional Resources Transition Traumatic Brain Injury Vision Impairment