How To Ensure That Students Retain Mastered Skills

Students in special education programs have to work extra hard to master skills, so it's important that we have a plan to make sure they don't lose them.

As special education teachers, we need to have a plan for what happens after our skills have reached mastery levels. We need to have a plan for helping students keep their skills while learning new things. Here is how I work review into the schedule.

After watching my students work so hard, I am beyond thrilled when my students master a skill. The down side? Now comes the real hard part! We need to have a plan on how to help students retain their skills while moving on to harder or new skills. In other words... we need to have a maintenance plan for students. I have a tiered system that I use.


During work centers, we target all of the academic goals on students' IEPs. You can read more about how I set up and run work centers time HERE. Each student has a 2 pocket folder of data sheets in each work center. Once a student has got 100% accuracy for 3 days in a row, we either add another small set of the larger skill to it or move it to the maintenance side of the folder. Here is how the work center folders are set up:

As special education teachers, we need to have a plan for what happens after our skills have reached mastery levels. We need to have a plan for helping students keep their skills while learning new things. Here is how I work review into the schedule.


At the bottom of each data sheet it lists what your are practicing with the student or if it is on maintenance. When a skill is first moved to maintenance, it is reviewed with the student once a week.

As special education teachers, we need to have a plan for what happens after our skills have reached mastery levels. We need to have a plan for helping students keep their skills while learning new things. Here is how I work review into the schedule.

To make sure that we don't forget about the data sheets on maintenance, we do Maintenance Monday. Every morning, we review all of the skills that have been moved to maintenance. Once a a student has gotten 100% accuracy on the weekly checks for 4 consecutive weeks, we move it to once a month. If accuracy levels begin to dip at any time during the maintenance checks, then it is moved back to the right side of the folder.

I also add materials into students' work task boxes to practice mastered skills. Using mastered skills tasks in task boxes helps my students build the amount of time they can work independently before reinforcement or prompting. Looking for materials for work tasks? These two bundles have the tasks that I use most. Click the pictures for more information.






Do you have a tip on helping students to retain their skills? Leave a comment so we can all learn!!

As special education teachers, we need to have a plan for what happens after our skills have reached mastery levels. We need to have a plan for helping students keep their skills while learning new things. Here is how I work review into the schedule.




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