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


By sixth grade, Michelle was participating in an after-school homework club where adult volunteers helped her to plan task approach for long assignments, and helped her to complete most work with one



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By sixth grade, Michelle was participating in an after-school homework club where adult volunteers helped her to plan task approach for long assignments, and helped her to complete most work with one on one assistance.

  • By sixth grade, Michelle was participating in an after-school homework club where adult volunteers helped her to plan task approach for long assignments, and helped her to complete most work with one on one assistance.
  • (level of support A) (input A) (difficult A or B depending on whether Michelle was completing the tasks fundamentally herself or whether the adult was essentially doing the work)  
  • Her teacher found pre-teaching no longer as helpful for Michelle, and speech language services were no longer found necessary by her IEP team. Graphic organizers were extensively used by this teacher, and found to be quite helpful for Michelle. (input A)

Michelle’s IEP team found the reading level of the texts well beyond her skill, despite extensive continued remediation for reading difficulties. Michelle’s teacher decided to try text-on-tape and text-on-CD with Michelle, as she grasped the concepts better this way than reading the text alone. (____________________)

  • Michelle’s IEP team found the reading level of the texts well beyond her skill, despite extensive continued remediation for reading difficulties. Michelle’s teacher decided to try text-on-tape and text-on-CD with Michelle, as she grasped the concepts better this way than reading the text alone. (____________________)
  • She also found that choral-responding techniques, every-pupil response techniques (_______________________) allowed Michelle, and her classmates, to focus better during whole group instruction. Her teacher also began PALS teams for social studies and science text reading, and found higher achievement and time on task outcomes. (_____________________) (_____________________)
  • and (_____________________)
  • Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

  • Michelle’s IEP team found the reading level of the texts well beyond her skill, despite extensive continued remediation for reading difficulties. Michelle’s teacher decided to try text-on-tape and text-on-CD with Michelle, as she grasped the concepts better this way than reading the text alone.
  • (input A)
  • She also found that choral-responding techniques, every-pupil response techniques (participation A) allowed Michelle, and her classmates, to focus better during whole group instruction. Her teacher also began PALS teams for social studies and science text reading, and found higher achievement and time on task outcomes. (input A)
  • (level of support A) and (participation A)
  • (output A)

Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

  • In eighth grade, Michelle was found to be unable to complete written tests on concepts very well. Orally, she knew the material, but somehow in the writing task, even with keyboard responses allowed, she was unable to demonstrate mastery in concept-laden work. Her teachers agreed to try oral testing in the RSP classroom, although this often meant her testing could not occur until later that day due to scheduling constraints. To their astonishment, Michelle’s motivation and achievement skyrocketed!
  • (__________________) and (_____________________)
  • and (______________________)

Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

  • In eighth grade, Michelle was found to be unable to complete written tests on concepts very well. Orally, she knew the material, but somehow in the writing task, even with keyboard responses allowed, she was unable to demonstrate mastery in concept-laden work. Her teachers agreed to try oral testing in the RSP classroom, although this often meant her testing could not occur until later that day due to scheduling constraints. To their astonishment, Michelle’s motivation and achievement skyrocketed!
  • (level of support A) and (input A)
  • and (output A) and (time A)

Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

  • By September of tenth grade, unfortunately Michelle had now begun to associate with known gang members, and her counselor became concerned. Although she still maintained some earlier friendships, she did not “seem to be the same child any more,” her parents stated. Parent conferences occurred, and it was agreed that counseling would be a good idea for Michelle. A referral to a local clinic was made at parent request. During those sessions, her counselor became aware of low self-esteem issues related to her incomplete understanding of her learning profile. (Although depression was suspected, after several sessions, Michelle’s counselor decided this did not apply.)

Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

  • Demystification sessions about her learning profile were conducted, and Michelle and her counselor decided to approach the school staff to discuss the feasibility of a school-wide program, such as the Learning Strengths Seminars (see www.pent.ca.gov; accommodations pages and www.allkindsofminds.org; educational care giving).
  • Family therapy sessions were conducted, and Michelle has discontinued her association with gang-involved youth. Michelle is interested in getting a job, she stated. Her family and other IEP team members will be meeting to develop a transition plan soon.
  • Teaching Students About
  • Accommodations-Self Advocacy
  • The Learning Strengths Project

Learning Strengths Project

  • A form of educational care-giving
  • (Mel Levine M.D. http://www.allkindsofminds.org/ )
  • Acknowledges and Understands
    • strengths
    • weaknesses
    • affinities
  • Does not seek to “cure”
  • Does not seek to radically alter the students’ characteristics



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