Blog, Math, Special Education

Using Reference Sheets to Support Your Inclusion Students

Currently, I teach eighth-grade inclusion.  This means that I co-teach three math classes and two ELA classes.  One of the things that is the most difficult for a lot of my students is remembering the steps required to do math problems.  Or when we are assessing more than one type of problem, it is difficult for my students to keep straight when to do which step.

Another problem I see is that my students spend so much time trying to remember the steps to solve the problem that they make mistakes with their computation.

Giving students with disabilities a reference sheet to help them take some of the memorizations out of the assessment is not cheating.  You are giving them support by helping them do what their brain may struggle with.

Now that we’ve given the students a reference sheet, can they determine which formula to use for the problem?  And can the correctly utilize the information to solve the problem the right way?

We have a generic eighth-grade reference sheet that they are allowed to use when it comes time to take the MCAS exam.  The MCAS is the required state, standardized testing.  But this reference sheet supplied from the state has way too much information that they may not need for that particular test.  This cumbersome amount of information can be overwhelming to the students and I often find that they won’t even use it.

But, when I give my students a test specific reference sheet like the one below, where they know that they can find the information they need more easily, the students use the information and often do better on the assessment.

On the reference sheet above, the students have directions as well as a sample problem.  They can refer to this throughout the test as a reminder.

I am working hard to make reference sheets for all of the topics that we cover in the eighth-grade mathematics curriculum.

To check out the reference sheets/ cheat sheets that I’ve made so far, take a look at my bundle on TeacherspayTeachers.



For more information on how I support my students during tests and quizzes, check out this blog post.  How I Accommodate Students During Tests and Quizzes

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3 thoughts on “Using Reference Sheets to Support Your Inclusion Students

  1. You said reference sheets aren’t cheating but you literally called them cheat sheets in the picture on Pinterest. Also, referring to your students as “inclusion students” is super ableist and makes you seem like you haven’t been doing this for very long. Check your language before you post something like this!

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you for your feedback. I apologize if anything I said offends you. I used the term “cheat sheet” interchangeably with the term “reference sheet” because “cheat sheet” is a more widely known term outside of education used for having a list of tips or hints to yourself and that is what a reference sheet is. I use the term “Inclusion students” so that my readers understand the types of situations in which I use my tools. I may be still new to the education field but that doesn’t mean I am not doing my best, trying my hardest, and just trying to share some things that I have learned with other teachers who may have the same struggles as me.

      Have a great day,

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