Systematic Instruction

When preparing to write my next blog, I was trying to think of what would be most beneficial to classroom teachers preparing to return to school (or already back to school). Resources was the first word that popped into my head. Then I started looking to see what are my favorite resources. Some are cheaper. Some are more expensive. This specific resource is a book. It is titled Systematic Instruction for Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities by Belva C. Collins. While taking a night class at the University of Louisville, this was a required text. The books copyright date is 2012, and I cannot understand how I had not heard of it until I took this class! The book is wonderful! In my opinion, another possible title for the book could be EBPs for Dummies.

I have difficulties remember the names for the different Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) and the correct procedures to implement the practices. This book took care of the problem. It is an easy read and not very long. It has all the basic information included to assist teachers that work with students that have moderate and severe disabilities.


The Collins book begins by reviewing all of the terms found throughout. It goes over developing data sheets and collecting data. The different EBPs and topics covered are:

  • Graduated-Guidance
  • Most-to-Least Prompting
  • System-of-Least Prompts
  • Time-Delay
  • Simultaneous Prompting
  • Naturalistic Language Strategies
  • Facilitating Maintenance and Generalization
  • Teaching Functional Core Content
  • Working with Peers, Paraprofessionals, and Staff
  • Setting up Instructional Schedules and Classroom Environments
  • Teaching Technology

After reading the information on video modeling, I created a self-video modeling for one of my students on choice making. After she watched the video, she was able to make a choice the very first time! We had been working on this skill for the year and a half that she had been in my classroom with no progress. She watches the video one time, and she understood what I wanted!

There are several data sheets, sample graphs, and sample instructional plans included. Although, I believe the flowcharts were the most beneficial to me. They were very basic in explaining how each skill should be taught. I carry the Collins book back and forth with me to school each day. I am able to look up different information and see ways to implement it in the classroom. This is a must have book for all grade levels.

Have you used this book? What do you think? What are some of your favorite resources?