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

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  • “Most-Effective Teachers”
  • Know Each Learner’s Need
  • for Differentiated Instruction
    • Who Knows the Material ?
    • Who Needs More Input ?
    • Who Needs More Background ?
    • Who Needs Elaborated Scaffolds ?
  • Throughout Instruction:
  • Monitor and Assess
  • J.W. Lloyd, E.J. Kameanui, and D. Chard (Eds.) (1997) Issues in educating students with disabilities.

  • “Least-Effective Teachers”
  • Test mastery after initial instruction---
  • in lieu of guided practice
  • Test learning outcomes--- in lieu of independent practice
  • Allow practice of errors through these practices
  • Assessment is Not Instruction

Evaluation vs. Grading

  • Comparison to grade level standards (norm referenced; criterion referenced)
  • Comparison to student’s personal needs,
  • (often criterion referenced or standards from other grade levels)
  • Comparison to teacher expectations for this child, rating attitude, progress, work completion, motivation, etc.

Which Learner Characteristics Affect Instruction?

  • Attention Focus Problems
  • Fear of Failure
  • Background Deficits
  • AND…..think of your own experiences
  • Activity 1: Continue the list in your group
  • Activity 2: Discuss how “Most-Effective” Teaching addresses problems in all lesson phases when instructing these students

Ponder This

  • When instruction is delivered by
  • “Most-Effective Teachers”
  • How many students will still need further “Accommodations or Differentiated Instruction”?

Ponder This

  • Who is “entitled” to “Differentiated Instruction” or “Accommodations”
  • What might they look like for Dolores and Billy?

Ponder This

  • What is educational reform really all about?
    • Improving Outcomes for All Students
  • If a student fails to meet a standard, is it due to
    • Lack of differentiated instruction or accommodations
      • Thus, lack of instruction by a
      • “Most- Effective Teacher”

Ponder This

    • Or, is it student characteristics?
      • “Lazy”
      • AD/HD
      • LD
      • ED
      • Low Motivation
      • Cognitive Skill Deficits
  • Is the problem IN the student, or IN the instruction?

Differentiated Instruction

  • Differentiated Instruction is an instructional concept that maximizes learning for ALL students—regardless of skill level or background. It's based on the fact that in a typical classroom, students vary in their academic abilities, learning styles, personalities, interests, background knowledge and experiences, and levels of motivation for learning. When a teacher differentiates instruction, he or she uses the best teaching practices and strategies to create different pathways that respond to the needs of diverse learners.
  •  Accommodations/Modifications
  • Review Terms & Concepts Accommodations Modifications Compare to Differentiated Instruction/Effective Instruction
  • I.D.E.A. 1997 Reauthorization specifies (300.342(b)(3)) that the public agency shall ensure... each teacher and provider is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the child’s IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with the IEP.
  • Legal Justification
  • Accommodate, Modify, and Support
  • Adaptations
  • Accommodations
  • Do not fundamentally alter or lower
  • expectations or standards in instructional
  • level, content or performance criteria.
  • Changes are made in order to provide equal
  • access to learning and equal opportunity to
  • demonstrate what is known.
  • Grading is same
  • Modifications
  • Do fundamentally alter
  • or lower expectations or
  • standards in instructional level,
  • content or performance criteria.
  • Changes are made to provide
  • student meaningful &
  • productive learning experiences
  • based on individual needs &
  • abilities.
  • Grading is different
  • What is accommodated?
  • The Characteristics of the Learner
  • Goal: To remove barriers to learning the material and to demonstrating mastery
  •  Standards are substantially the same for all; outcomes will vary.
  • 1-3
  • Learning Differences
  • Speed of information processing
  • Memory: Encoding, Storage, Retrieval
  • Automatization of rote facts
  • Organization
  • Listening Skills
  • Attention
  • Forethought and Planning
  • Etc.
  • Emotional/Temperament Characteristics
  • Rigidity/Flexibility
  • Irritability
  • Placidity
  • Social Awareness
  • Desire for Novel vs. Familiar
  • Anxiety
  • Etc.
  • Reading/Writing/Math Skill Deficits
  • Reading Decoding vs. Understanding
  • Math Fact Recall vs. Math Concepts
  • Writing Mechanics vs. Written Content
  • Etc.
  • Cognitive/Conceptual Skill Differences
  • Processing speed
  • Conceptualization
  • Understanding of Elapsed Time
  • Inferential Thinking
  • Conservation, Multiple Variable reasoning
  • Etc.
  • Sensory Input Challenges
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Movement

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