CMS Special education - S.P.E.D. S.T.E.M.

“I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison


Cleveland Middle School integrates Special Education students that take alternate assessments into general education classes on a regular and appropriate basis through mainstreaming. Cleveland Middle School values placing students in the least-restrictive environment to best meet their educational needs. 

Special education students who are participating in a main-streamed classroom (as appropriate) will participate in classroom assessments with designated modifications/accommodations as detailed on the student's IEP. 


As an example of project-based learning and community partnership, our Extended Resource Class, also known as CapableBunch, partners each November to sort, fold, label, and bundle bags for the Salvation Army.  This is an event that has occurred 3 years running and has already been planned for next year. During non-pandemic times students were assisted in carrying filled bags to cars and practicing conversation skills with the recipients. 

Scavenger Hunt for Simple Machines Around the School

Our special education students are introduced to the exciting world of simple machines. Together with their teachers they take a scavenger hunt around their school to identify different simple machines being used all around them.


Students used the STEM Model and began an Area/Perimeter study by discussing and creating 3D shapes in iMath.  We used the nets of the square pyramids to take notes, then cut and assembled them.  Teachers report that they could see the light bulbs go on as students began to understand the connections.

A Human Number line:  Teaching Division

Creating S.T.E.M. games that are engaging and comprehensive help teach more abstract concepts to concrete thinkers.  Game cards are pre-printed showing the equation and washable markers help place on the floor tiles which due to their symmetry and one foot measurement, help to mark off the number of spots [0-10].  The "game" helps students to practice division as a "step" in finding the mean.  Students love taking their turn to figure out their equation and find standing on their correct answer a satisfying feeling that builds their math confidence.  Two

number lines were drawn on the ground, to teach the students to understand how to divide, by using “Mean or the Average.” 

Students used a number to divide by skip counting backwards. "At first we used a pipe cleaner and a bead to move the bead down the number line, then today we move to a bigger space to allow the students to move their body by hopping (or skipping) down the number line."


Project Based Learning (PBL) is a constructivist instructional approach where students are engaged in meaningful inquiry of personal interest to them and where collaboration and personalized learning are emphasized. Research confirms that PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn and develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career and civic life.