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



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Learning Strengths Project

  • Learning Strengths Project Components:
  • 1. Seminars
      • Teach About Learning
      • Group Demystification
      • Classroom Follow-up
  • 2. Portfolio Development
      • Connecting seminar and individual learning strengths
  • 3. Conferences
  • 4. Ownership Demonstration:
  • Asking For & Analyzing My Accommodations/ Modifications

Component One: Seminars

  • All Learners
  • Developmental
  • Functions
  • Variability +/-
  • Dysfunction
  • Disability
  • Handicap
  • 1. Attention
  • 2. Simultaneous/Sequential Processing
  • 3. Memory
  • 4. Language
  • 5. Higher-Order Cognition
  • 6. Motor
  • 7. Social Skills
  • Synchronized interplay of these
  • functions lead to successful learning.
  • PART ONE: Teach about learning

PART TWO: Group Demystification

  • PART TWO: Group Demystification
  • Demystify through group acknowledgement
  • Use small groups (when possible)
  • Include students without known learning problems (when possible).
      • They often reveal their own struggles which is very helpful for students with difficulties.
  • Component One: Seminars
  • Hold multiple sessions, can be small doses.
    • Formats
      • Students complete questionnaires (such as after a test, Attention Cockpit, Anser System). Students often discuss responses individually with teacher, or in groups if the classroom climate is conductive.
  • PART TWO: Group Demystification
  • Component One: Seminars

Students read from a text about learning or learning disorders. Then discuss individual chapters and their personal relevance.

      • Students read from a text about learning or learning disorders. Then discuss individual chapters and their personal relevance.
      • Students read and discuss case studies, making suggestions
  • PART THREE: Classroom Follow-up
  • Component Two: Seminars

Students write and discuss their own autobiographical “case studies”

      • Students write and discuss their own autobiographical “case studies”
      • (e.g., “My Career in School)
      • Students analyze their own work using formats provided by the teacher that relate success/failure to strengths/weaknesses and strategies selected
  • Connecting Seminar and Individual Learning Strengths
  • Component Two:
  • Portfolio Development

One-to-one Meetings With Staff

  • One-to-one Meetings With Staff
  • Component Three: Conferences
    • Conduct with the student by an assessor
    • Explain the students’ strengths and demystifies the weaknesses
    • Use actual test results
  • Full page Comp 3
  • 3-3
  • COMPONENTS CONTENT
  • Destigmatization Provide assurance that all individuals have strengths and weaknesses; the sooner one learns about oneself the better; possibly cite examples of one’s own dysfunctions; point out that even honor students are imperfect. Cite examples!
  • Strength Delineation Provide a description of student’s strengths: this must be concrete, honest, offered with evidence, and if possible, compared to peers
  • Weakness Enumeration Cite the number of dysfunctions (e.g., “there are 3 areas that are a problem for you”) and their observable effects: use graphics and analogies, elicit examples from the student if possible
  • Conference Content
  • COMPONENTS CONTENT
  • Induction of Optimism Provide a profile projection of the future to show how these strengths can work well in adulthood; restoration of self-esteem and hope for the future
  • Alliance Formation Focus on communication of interest and a willingness to be helpful and supportive in the future – “we’re in this together.”
  • Conference Content (continued)
  • Individualized demystification usually requires periodic follow-up “booster” doses.
  • It can be very helpful for parents to be present during the demystification session, so that they can make use of the same terminology and frames of reference at home.
  • Alternatively, a cassette recording could be made available to the student to share with his/her family.
  •  It is essential that the overall tone be supportive, non-accusatory, and not “preachy.”
  • Students should be helped to understand that she or he is accountable for work output, etc.; i.e., one cannot use the identified weakness as an excuse for poor performance.
  • Conference Hints
  • 2-4

Attention Cockpit Interview

  • Small Group
  • or
  • Individual Interview

Ownership of Bypass Strategies - Teach Students to Ask for Accommodations

  • Ownership of Bypass Strategies - Teach Students to Ask for Accommodations
  • Component Four: Ownership
  • Input Accommodation/Modification Strategy: Alter presentation of information to the student
  • Output Accommodation/Modification Strategy: Circumvent deficits, alter production from the student

True Ownership of Bypass Strategies - Teach Students to Ask for Accommodations

  • True Ownership of Bypass Strategies - Teach Students to Ask for Accommodations
  • Diana Browning Wright, DCS 2002 Mel Levine, M.D.
  • The need for the bypass strategies should be well understood by the student.
  • Bypass strategies should be utilized in such a way that they are not embarrassing and do not imply any disrespect or “writing off” of the student.
  • One can “charge a price” for a bypass (e.g., suggesting a student read an extra book in exchange for reduction in length for a written report).
  • Component Four: Ownership

True Ownership of Bypass Strategies - Teach Students to Ask for Accommodations

  • True Ownership of Bypass Strategies - Teach Students to Ask for Accommodations
  • The entire class should know that bypass options are available to everyone who really needs them.
  • Never tolerate the teasing of a student who is receiving accommodations.
  • Component Four: Ownership
  • Everyone is entitled to a special program for an area in need of improvement, to help improve a skill.
  • Accommodation/Modification Forms
  • Notification of Teacher…………………………... 1-14
  • Accommodation Plan……………………………. 1-16
  • Accommodations/Modifications Plan:
  • linked to Nine Types…………………………… 1-17
  • Brendan
  • 11th grader, legally blind, learning problems-IEP
  • Achievement on par on many parameters
  • Brendan
  • Accommodations/Modifications for Tests
  • Documentation Form 1-7
  • See updates at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/statetests/cahsee/accommodations.html
  • Accommodations/Modifications
  • All range from least restrictive to most restrictive
  • Only modifications require IEPs
  • See 1-8
  • least restrictive to most restrictive
  • People react in different ways when they find out a student in their class needs accommodations...

Overcoming Barriers

  • They don’t want to do it!
  • Why?
  • What Beliefs, Knowledge and Skills are Barriers?
  • Teacher
  • Student
  • Strategies for Overcoming Resistance
  • Swamp or Alligators?

Decreasing Resistance

  • 1. Roadblock: Lack of Visible District-Wide Commitment
  • 2. Roadblock: Lack of Legal Knowledge
  • 3. Roadblock: Lack of Two-way Communication On Content of a Student's IEP/504 Plan, Rationale for Elements In the Plan, How to Change IEP Plan Content.

Decreasing Resistance

  • 4. Roadblock: Lack of Clarity in Writing, Assigning Implementers, Establishing Accountability and Explaining Plans Immediately
  • 5. Roadblock: Lack of Addressing The Five Key Reasons Educators Typically Are Reluctant To Accommodate

Decreasing Resistance

  • 5. Roadblock: Lack of Addressing The Five Key Reasons Educators Typically Are Reluctant To Accommodate
    • Grading
    • Responding to “Unfair!”
    • Change of Incompatible Educational Philosophy
    • Addressing Instructional Methods/Contexts
    • It Takes Too Much Time
  • You may be coming face to face with the possibility that brains may be self-cleaning.
  • Case Study Practice
  • Directions:
  • Read the case
  • DO NOT read the sample plan developed by other teams until you complete your plan
  • Develop an accommodation plan
  • John
  • 10th Grader, 16 yr old-IEP
  • Learning Disability in written language
  • Achievement deficits
  • Fictitious picture
  • Dolores
  • 8th Grader-No disability
  • Newly immigrated to the United States
  • Achievement delayed
  • Fictitious picture
  • Philip
  • 5th Grader, AD/HD-504
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Achievement on par
  • Fictitious picture
  • Nathan
  • 4th grader with Asperger’s Syndrome/High Functioning Autism-IEP
  • Achievement on par with peers
  • Nathan
  • Mae Lee
  • Fictitious picture
  • Joseph
  • Included 1st Grader-IEP
  • Autism
  • Achievement uncertain
  • Fictitious picture
  • Bruce
  • 1st Grader, Moderate Mental Retardation-IEP
  • Included 80% of his day, general education
  • Unable to master grade level standards
  • Fictitious picture

Additional Training Materials

  •  Input/Output Adaptations and Differentiated Instruction
  • Additional Training Materials

Teach About Learning

  • Real-World Knowledge
  • (Content)
  •   Strategy Knowledge
  • (Knowing how to learn)
  •   Metacognitive Knowledge
  • (Awareness and regulation of cognitive processes)

Teach About Basic Cognitive Processes

  • Attending to incoming information
  • Getting information into short-term memory
  • Getting information into long-term memory
  • Retrieving information from long- term memory

Teach About Metacognitive Processes

  • Knowing your learning processes
  • Selecting appropriate learning strategies
  • Monitoring how learning strategy is working

Struggling Learners: Strategy-Based Instruction

  • Metacognition: The “Boss”
  • Cognition: the “Worker”
  • Strategies: the “Tools”

Especially for Struggling Learners

  • Curriculum must:
  • Be designed to incorporate the prerequisites of learning
  • Information must be accessible
  • Support for the development of skills must be available
  • Learner must perceive the learning to be important
  • Research Connections In Special Education, Fall 1999 #5 CEC

Universal Design

  • The design of the instructional materials and activities that makes the learning goal achievable by individuals with a wide difference in their abilities to see, hear, speak, move, read, write, understand English, attend, organize, engage, and remember.
    • Built in, not added on!
  • Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)

Six Principles for Effective Curriculum Design

  • Six Principles for Effective Curriculum Design
  • Big Ideas: Concepts, principles, or heuristics that facilitate the most efficient and broad acquisition of knowledge.
  • Conspicuous Strategies: Useful steps for accomplishing a goal or task.
  • Mediated Scaffolding: Instructional guidance provided by teachers, peers, materials, or tasks.
  • Research Connections In Special Education, Fall 1999 #5 CEC
  • Universal Design

Six Principles for Effective Curriculum Design

  • Six Principles for Effective Curriculum Design
  • Strategies Integration: Integrating knowledge as a means of promoting higher-level cognition.
  • Judicious Review: Structured opportunities to recall or apply previously taught information.
  • Primed Background Knowledge: Preexisting information that affects new learning.
  • Research Connections In Special Education, Fall 1999 #5 CEC
  • Universal Design
  • Student with reading difficulties require
  • qualitatively different reading instruction (e.g. reading styles, perceptual training, colored lens, etc.)
  • Effective Reading Instruction for Struggling Kids
  • What We Thought:
  • More Time: preview, review, elaborate, another way, etc.
  • More Intensity: smaller group allows more focus, more student responding/engagement
  • More Feedback: teacher is able to target instruction, “dial in” specific needs, prompt elaboration, provide alternate examples, etc.
  • ** this can only be done 1-1 or in small homogenous groups**
  • What works with struggling students?
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
  • Struggling readers are far more successful when carefully taught the same fundamental reading skills all readers must learn BUT with:
  • more instructional time
  • more precisely sequenced instruction
  • more coaching & practice
  • more explicit/direct instruction
  • more careful progress monitoring/program adjustment
  • Effective Reading Instruction for Struggling Kids
  • What We Now Know:
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
  • Homogeneous Grouping:
    • Skills-Based Lessons - usually best to group by need
  • e.g. - Word study/Spelling by level
  • - Decoding/guided reading instruction & practice
  • ** Groups need to be flexible/change in a day – fluid as student needs change
  • Grouping: Issues & Options
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
  • We need BOTH homogeneous AND heterogeneous options
  • depends on:
    • the purpose
    • the subject
    • the range of prior knowledge
  • Grouping: Issues & Options
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
    • Heterogeneous Grouping:
    • Conceptual/Content-based lessons usually best taught in heterogeneous groups: diverse experience/views etc. enrich the activity
  • e.g. - Science, Social Studies, Core Literature
  • WITH plenty of scaffolded instruction
  • (e.g. Graphics, partners)
  • Grouping: Issues & Options
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
  • What Does Explicit Engaging
  • Instruction Look Like?
  • I DO IT
  • gain attention & clearly model
  • cue students to notice critical aspects of the model
  • model thinking too - “mental modeling/direct explanation”
  • Struggling learners need:
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
    • Provide Thinking Time
    • Structure/prompt engagement:
  •  choral responses
  •  partner responses
  •  correction/feedback - remodeling, more examples, etc.
  • What Does Explicit Engaging
  • Instruction Look Like?
  • WE DO IT
  • Struggling learners need:
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
  • What Does Explicit Engaging
  • Instruction Look Like?
  • YOU DO IT
  •  individual responses; oral, written, point/touch/demo
  •  coaching students to apply the strategy previously taught
  • Struggling learners need:
  • Adapted from Dr. Kevin Feldman, 12/01 inservice
  • Everyone is entitled to a special program for an area in need of improvement, to help improve a skill.
  • What is “fair”?
  • One-shot teaching that leaves behind students?
  • or
  • You may be coming face-to-face with the possibility that brains may be self-cleaning.
  • You can always email or phone me for clarification or assistance.
  • dwright@dcs-cde.ca.gov
  • (323) 222-8090-ext. 353



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