TIES Lessons for All: 5-15-45

Fifteen Minutes

“We only have 15 minutes!” 15 minutes gives you more time to make this a great lesson for all. Collaborate with a colleague using the prompts below. No lesson is perfect so let’s identify one barrier to learning for students with disabilities, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, and create solutions that will support the whole class.

Discussion Guiding Questions

Success Indicators


What is the content of this lesson? 

What is the most essential content for all learners to know?

We have a mutual understanding of the essential content of this lesson.


What are the instructional strategies and activities in this lesson?

What instructional strategies and activities are most helpful for teaching the essential content?

We can ensure that our instructional activities teach the essential content.

What is one barrier to learning we anticipate for our student with significant cognitive disabilities?

  • Is it related to student interest or engagement?
  • Is it related to the student’s background knowledge (e.g., vocabulary)?
  • Is it related to how the student shows what they know (i.e., how they communicate?)

We have identified at least one barrier for the student with significant cognitive disabilities.

Now, let’s come up with one way to remove this barrier

We are changing our instruction so that it removes barriers.

Maximize your Impact: How could other students benefit from this new instructional strategy or option?

We have considered how this new instructional strategy or option could benefit all students.

Download printable discussion template (Google Doc)

Video from the Web version of this publication:

5-15-45 Tool: Video 3, Fifteen Minute: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fve4ig3BNFg

Bethany, a general education teacher, and Audra, a special education teacher, model use of the 15-minute guided discussion tool.

Inclusive Strategies. Check out these UDL-inspired strategies.
Do you have 45 minutes? Dig deeper in the next section.