Curriculum Guide


CurriculumGuides for Academic Interventions

Acurriculum guide is very important teaching resource which guides theteacher on what should be taught and how to do it. The guide isspecific to the diverse groups of students especially those withsocial needs. Although the guide is mainly used by the teachers andeducations, in some cases, for example colleges and universities, thestudent may also use the curriculum guide in the learning process.This paper is a brief curriculum guide for use when teaching learnerswith special needs, emotional behavior disorders. The guide can beused in planning the learning objectives, managing classroomsbehaviors, interventions and developing teaching strategies. Thecurriculum is generalized but with addition of teachers note can bespecific.

Principle1: “MaximizeTime Engaged in Academic Learning”

Oneof the most important facets of the learning process is the timeallocated for time engagement. In the lesson plan, the teacher mustmaximize on the time allocated fro teacher engagement, answering andasking questions and engaging the learning materials. Maximizing thetime allocated for academic activities will improve on classmanagement and learning outcomes. The principle is also essential inensuring that the instructional methods are in recognize the specialneeds of students for example, students with emotional behaviordisorders. In the REWARDS program for example, the teacher isrequired to design the lesson such that the student engagement in thelearning process is maximized. However, the program is effective ifthe lesson plan is done correctly and followed strictly in theclassroom. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that thestudent pay attention to the learning process and are fully engagedin the learning process. The assessment in this regard will involvethe teacher checking the level student reinforcement in the learningprocess. To enhance student engagement, the teacher can use verbalpraises to increase task participation and initiate behavioral changein the learning environment.

Principle2:“Ensuring High Rates of Correct academic Responding”

Itis the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that the students areengaged in academic activities throughout the lesson. According toYell et al (2009), there are “fewer disruptions, increased on-taskbehaviors and more correct responses” if the lesson is managedwell. This is mainly done by the educator increases the opportunitiesfor the learners to be involved in academic activities. By maximizingthe student participation in the lesson through verbally rewardedresponses, the learners are able to concentrate and respond correctlyto the learning process. For example, students can be involved inoral activities such as blending words parts into a whole word. Theteacher can appraise and monitor the responses and task behaviorsthrough para-educators and walking around the classroom. While verbalreinforcement is appropriate in fostering correct academicresponding, the use of tokens can be essential for students withemotional behavior disorders (Yell et al, 2009).

Principle3: “Maximizethe Amount of Content Covered”

Whileunderstanding the content is more essential, the amount of contentcovered in the lesson is very important. This is especially importantfor learners with emotional behavior disorders. According to Heward(2009), the behavior problems and lack of social skills amongstudents with emotional behavior disorders may result into diversionsand interruptions in the learning process. It is therefore essentialto align their learning activities with the general curriculum tomaximize on the content covered within a specified period of time.The teacher may pair students depending on the skills to increase theamount of content covered. The teacher should also devise means ofmotivating and reinforcing student to increase the effectiveness ofthe working pairs or groups.

Principle4: “MatchAssignments to Student Ability”

Matchingthe assignments with the student ability is very essential in thelearning process. If student are given assignments that does notmatch their abilities, it results into frustrations and disruptivebehaviors which hinder the learning process. Studies have identifiedtoo difficult assignment as one of the leading causes of misbehaviorsand off task activities in a learning season. The disruptivebehaviors and off task activities are more common in students withemotional behavior disorders. The teacher should be able identifylearning activities that are appropriate depending on the abilitiesof his students. Matching students’ abilities with the learningtasks can also be done by promoting group learning and peereducation. The teacher should construct learning groups wherestudents with better learning abilities are paired with students willlower abilities (Yell et al, 2009).

Principle5: “TeachAcademic Content Explicitly”

Coveringthe content explicitly is very essential especially in languageteaching. The lesson plan developed should ensure that this academiccontent is covered explicitly. Engaging the student in extra learningactivities where the teacher walks around correcting and verballyrewarding is an essential activity. On task positive behaviors canalso be rewarded with tokens. Discussions and working groups can alsoenhance content coverage. For example, the teacher can make groups offour students who will be required to complete a particular task inorder to attain a desired reward. However, these groups should besensitive to both social skills and academic abilities of the studentto ensure balance and effectiveness. For example, it is important touse student with better academic skills as mentor to other students(Wheelerand Richey, 2013).

Principle6: UseDirect instruction

Directinstruction method has been used as an effective teaching method atdifferent learning levels. It involves demonstrations and lecturesfrom the educator rather than inquiry based method which involvesexploratory learning. The teaching model is mainly applicably inphonics intensive reading among young learners. Importantorganizational components in direct instruction include academicengagement time, instructional grouping, scripted presentation andcontinuous assessment. To identify and record learning progress, thepre and post test can be used. The educator should also be morevigilant during direct instruction due to the special needs ofstudents with emotional behavior disorders since they will tend to beless attentive or are likely to be destructed by non academicdistracters (Yell et al, 2009).


Inconclusion, the curriculum guide provides a guide that can be used byteachers in planning lessons for students with emotional behaviordisorder. There are many challenges that are associated with teachingthese special need students. While taking care of their special needsis essential, sticking to the curriculum is essential. The guide willenable the educators adopt teaching methods that encourage studentengagement in the learning process, content coverage and maximizingthe time student are engaged in academic work and the amount ofcontent covered. The guide will also assist the teachers in matchingthe learning tasks with the abilities of the students.


Heward,W. L. (2009). Exceptionalchildren an introduction to special education.Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Wheeler,J &amp Richey, D. (2013). BehaviorManagement: Principles and Practices of Positive Behavior Supports,ISBN 0132851695. Pearson Education

Yell,M. L., Meadows, N. B., Drasgow, E., &amp Shriner, J. G. (2014).Evidence-basedpractices for educating students with emotional and behavioraldisorders. (2nded.) Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.