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Understanding IEPs, 504s, and ELLs

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Show Notes:

When you’re a new teacher coming into the educational field, it can be overwhelming to remember and understand all of the different acronyms and terms that are used in education. Trust me, if you’re in education already, you know there are many! Coming in as someone new, knowing how to navigate these different terms and who they apply to can be challenging. 

The most common three terms, as they relate to students, are IEPs, 504s, and ELLs, which are what we’re going to be discussing in this episode. Each of these terms are documents for a specific group of students who need individualized accommodations and support in order to be successful in education. Whether they refer to students with a disability or a student learning English as a second language, it’s critical they’re provided equal access to educational resources. 

What sets these documents apart from general modifications you provide in your classroom, is that these are legally enforced, so you are required to provide students with these accommodations in your classroom. And since you probably have more than one student with an IEP, 504, or is an ELL, I share with you strategies and tips on ways to look for commonalities in their required accommodations to group students. This not only helps the students but you as well.

Being able to have an understanding of all the different terms and acronyms that are used in education, especially when you’re starting out, can be a lot. When colleagues and administrators are using these terms naturally in conversation, it can make you feel confused when you don’t know what they mean. But by giving you an introduction to these three common acronyms of IEP, 504, and ELL, I hope you feel more prepared and equipped to provide accommodations and support to students with these documents in your classroom.

Still need more information or a place to review each of these terms at a later time? Make sure you join The Classroom Management Club where I provide you with more resources and a teacher cheat sheet on IEPs, 504s, and ELLs that will help you feel confident in the classroom. While you’re there, don’t forget to explore all the other resources on various topics that are designed to help our new and veteran teachers.

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • How to navigate IEPs, 504s, and ELLs to use more effectively in the classroom
  • Information on who creates these plans and the different parts of each plan
  • The resources and supports you’ll need to help create IEPs and 504 plans
  • How to look for ways to group students with both IEPs and 504s

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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