Accommodations and Modifications: Differentiating Instruction and Promoting Staff Implementation in the Era of High Standards



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Peer-Mediated Instruction

  • Defined—students as instructional
  • agents, including:
  • Peer and cross-age tutoring.
  • Class-wide tutoring.
  • Cooperative learning.
  • Primary purpose—increase opportunities for distributed practice with feedback.
  • Usually has well-scripted or structured interactions designed and mediated by the teacher.
  • Nolet (2000)

Study Guides

  • Worksheets prior to a reading or study assignment.
  • Includes a set of statements or questions to focus the student’s attention and cognitive resources on key information to be learned. Examples:
    • Completed or partially completed outlines.
    • Questions focusing on the textual, literal, and inferential aspects of a study assignment.
    • Other tasks designed to prompt the active processing of the material to be studied.

Mnemonic Devices- For Content Domains

  • Defined: Techniques to aid storage
  • & recall of declarative knowledge
  • May be verbal or pictorial.
  • May be provided by the teacher
  • or developed collaboratively by
  • teacher and the student.
  • Can be key words, pictures or symbols—
  • e.g., Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge.

Input Accommodations

  • Are Foundational Interventions:
  • The key to differentiated instruction:
  • Use guided practice, strategies and scaffolds
  • They accommodates diverse learners
  • IN
  • Difficulty * •
  • Adapt the skill level, problem type, or the rules on how the learner may approach the work.
  • For example:
  • Allow the use of a calculator to figure math problems; simplify task directions; change rules to accommodate learner needs.
  • Nine Types of Curriculum Adaptations

Ponder This

    • Discuss.
    • Is altering the difficulty of an assignment a good practice?
    • When is it an accommodation or
    • a modification?
  • Output *
  • Adapt how the student can respond to instruction.
  • For example:
  • Instead of answering questions in writing, allow a verbal response, use a communication book for some students, allow students to show knowledge with hands on materials.
  • Nine Types of Curriculum Adaptations

Output Accommodations

  • Altered methods of demonstrating mastery of the instruction.
  • Measures what the student learned, not the student’s disability or characteristics.
  • Removes barriers.
  • OUT
  • Accommodation during OUTPUT
    • A service or support to help the learner validly demonstrate knowledge, removing the characteristic or disability interfering with demonstration of what has been learned.
  • Output Goal
  • OUT

Output Accommodations

      • Samples:
      • Multiple choice vs. essay.
      • Dictating vs. writing.
      • Typing vs. handwriting.
      • Demonstrating vs. writing.
      • Timed quizzes vs. un-timed ones.
  • OUT

Output-comparisons

  • OUT
      • Test publishers’ language as to whether what is being measured has been altered beyond the ability to compare this student’s performance to his/her peers.
        • Accommodations vs. Modifications
      • Educators language as to whether what is being taught and measured is substantially altered from what is expected: The grade level standards.
  • OUTPUT: On Standardized Tests
  • See: Testing Documentation Form for discussion
  • See updates at your state’s website for what constitutes an accommodation or a modification (often called a “non-standard accommodation” http://www.cde.ca.gov/statetests/cahsee/accommodations.html
  • OUT

Testing Output Changes

    • How do you know which output change is which type of adaptation?
      • High Stakes Testing.
      • The test publisher tells you about norm-referencing and “substantial alterations.”
      • Classroom Instruction.
      • Compare goal/objective of the instruction with the curriculum standard and determine if change substantially alters what is being taught.
  • OUT

Testing Output Changes

  • OUT
        • Standard Accommodations
        • vs. Non-standard Accommodations
      • Test publishers’ language as to whether what is being measured has been altered beyond the ability to compare this student’s performance to his/her peers.
        • Accommodations vs. Modifications
      • Educators language as to whether what is being taught and measured is substantially altered from what is expected: i.e., the grade level standards during instruction.

Ponder This

    • Do I alter the grading if I have altered the output method?
    • Is this an accommodation or a modification?
    • Do not continue to measure a known skill deficit; measure attainment of content.



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