T-TAC Old Dominion University _T-TAC ODU_ is part of a statewide

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T-TAC Old Dominion University _T-TAC ODU_ is part of a statewide Powered By Docstoc
					                                              T-TAC NETWORK NEWS
                                                                             published by
                                              T-TAC Old Dominion University (T-TAC ODU)
                                                    Child Study Center, Room 224
                                                        Norfolk, VA 23529-0164
                                                   Voice: 757-683-4333; Toll Free: 1-888-249-5529
                                                       TDD: 757-683-5963; FAX: 757-683-3115
                                                         Web Site: http://www.ttac.odu.edu
                                                             E-mail: Info@ttac.odu.edu

    April, May June 2003                            Providing Access to the General Education
Correct Student Responses
Early Childhood
                                Page 2
                                Page 3
Assistive Technology (AT)       Page 4                              by Kerry S. Lambert, Ph.D., T-TAC ODU Director
AT Mini-Labs                    Page 5         To provide access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities, a
TACtics                         Page 6         teacher must translate instructional goals into learning experiences through the design
Conferences                     Page 7         of instruction. Since goals are varied, the choice of instructional strategies will also
Informational Resources         Page 8-9       vary. In the book, Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for
T/TAC OnLine Website            Page 10        Increasing Student Achievement Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) identify nine
ParaGraphs                      Page 11        categories of effective instructional strategies that include: identifying similarities and
Focus on Severe Disabilities    Page 12        differences in graphic or symbolic form to enhance students' understanding of and
TAC IT UP                       Page 13        ability to use knowledge; effective summarizing; reinforcing effort; graphic organizers;
                                               and cooperative learning. (For further information you may contact T-TAC ODU to
   Access the NEW section of the               borrow the book by Marzano, et al.) In order to design coherent instructional units
T-TAC ODU website for information              teachers will want to be sure to include the following elements: learning activities that
               about:                          are relevant to students and to instructional goals; instructional materials that engage
   T-TAC ODU Workshops/Conferences            students in meaningful learning; instructional groups that are varied as appropriate to
   Virginia’s No Child Left Behind            the different instructional goals; and lessons that have a clearly defined structure
   Tuition Assistance Forms for ECSE and      around which activities are organized and that allow for different pathways according
    Special Educators                          to student needs (Danielson, 1996).
   On Line Coursework: Workshop in
    Education: Current Issues in ECSE          A critical element of instructional design for students with disabilities is the adaptation
   ODU Class: Integrating Literacy into       of learning activities within an instructional unit that will engage students in
    the EC Curriculum Using AT and much        meaningful learning experiences at their instructional level. When accommodations
    more.                                      and modifications are used in daily instruction and are identified in a student's IEP,
                                               they may also be used for SOL testing. For an extensive listing of standard and
              T-TAC ODU Staff                  nonstandard accommodations that are acceptable for SOL testing see Superintendents
           Drs. B. Gable & S. Tonelson
            Co-Principal Investigators
                                               memo No. 140, October 11, 2002 entitled Guidelines for the Participation of Students
              Dr. Kerry S. Lambert             with Disabilities in the State Accountability System. You can access Superintendents
         Co-PI, Director, Newsletter Editor    memos on the VA DOE website at www.pen.k12.va.us. Keep in mind that whether a
                   Pat Woolard                 student uses a standard or nonstandard accommodation or modification for SOL tests, a
            Assistant Project Director         passing score is always a passing score.
                  Angela Levorse
           Severe Disabilities Specialist      For curriculum planning during the summer you may want to visit T-TAC ODU and
                    C.J. Butler                utilize our extensive resource library. Please call ahead to make an appointment to
        Long Distance Training & Behavior
                                               ensure that a TAC Specialist will be available to assist you (757-683-4333). You may
                  Karen Sanford
                                               also request library materials from our website (www.ttac.odu.edu) and find links to
          Assistive Technology Specialist      numerous other resources that will assist with your lesson planning and providing
         Robin Slopnick and Pam Hurley         access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities.
                 ECSE Specialists
                    Mary Wilds                 References
    Statewide Coord. for Distance Education    Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based
                                                   strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
                                                   Curriculum Development.
                Funded by                      Danielson, C. (1996). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. Alexandria, VA:
   The Virginia Department of Education            Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
    Website: http://www.pen.k12.va.us

                                                                                                                                           Page 1
            Correct Student Responses: A Tool to Curb Behavior Problems
                                 in the Classroom
                                              by C. J. Butler, Behavioral and Distance Education Specialist

Issues surrounding curriculum and instruction for students with disabilities are a primary topic of discussion for behavioral specialists
nationwide. Specialists agree that estimates on problem classroom behaviors that are directly linked to various aspects of curriculum
and instruction range from 85-95% of cases. This awareness is also consistent with the concerns expressed by many educational
professionals in the classroom.

Issues of curriculum and instruction and their role in student classroom behavior are not new. Professionals have long struggled with
the dilemma of which area to address first. More and more professionals are aware that simply managing behavior does little or
nothing to help the student engage more fully in the teaching and learning process. Deno (1999) summarized that academic progress is
incompatible with student disruptive behavior. He stated further that when a student’s academic progress is the teacher’s focus, there
is an increased likelihood of positive behavioral development and disruptive behavior can be prevented. Gunter, Hummel, and Venn
(1999) stated that research in the field supports the correlation between teacher attention and correct student responses (both academic
and social). Gunter and his colleagues suggest that teachers monitor the number of student response opportunities as well as the
number of correct responses given. They offered the following as an instrument to collect this data.

 Teacher________________________ Observer__________________________                      Teacher    Mr. Brown                  Observer Ms. Green
 Student________________________ Content___________________________                      Student Sam                           Content Math
 Date__________________ Start Time__________ End Time_______________                     Date 2/22/02           Start Time 10:00        End Time 10:19.30
 Length of observation in minutes_________ and seconds___________________                Length of observation in minutes     19      and seconds 30
                                   X 60                                                                                     X 60
                                 _________ plus _______ =_______ seconds                                                     1,140 plus 30 =      1,170 seconds
                                                             / 60                                                                                       / 60
                                                          =_______ time                                                                           = 19.5 min. (time)
 Frequency of Correct Responses                                                          Frequency of Correct Responses

                                Frequency of correct responses _________                  /////////////////////////     Frequency of correct responses 73
                                Divided by Time_________ =                                /////////////////////////     Divided by Time 19.5 =
                                Rate of correct responding per minute__________           ///////////////////////       Rate of correct responding per minute 3.74

 For instruction of new material, rate of correct responses should be at least 3/min.    For instruction of new material, rate of correct responses should be at least 3/min.
 For drill & practice instruction, rate of correct responses should be at least 8/min.   For drill & practice instruction, rate of correct responses should be at least 8/min.

Van Acker, Grant, and Henry (1996) reported the only reliable predictor of teacher praise was student correct academic response.
Interestingly correct academic responses were even more powerful than correct social responses in gaining teacher attention and praise.
These findings certainly support the importance of curriculum and instruction when developing an effective classroom management
strategy. Gable, Arllen, Evans, and Whinnery (1997) stated that teachers must, “let the data be our guide.” Clearly a new approach to
behavioral intervention is needed. It is no longer sufficient to address the social/nonacademic needs of students in isolation, but rather
educational professionals must integrate the instruction of academic and nonacademic objectives into the daily routine for all students.
Every effort must be made to identify a student’s current level of academic skill and knowledge through both formal and informal
assessment. Then, the difficulty of the academic task and the number of response opportunities must be planned to align with this data.
In the example above, Sam was given many opportunities to respond to questions to which he knew the answer. This did not occur by
chance, it was a result of the teacher’s understanding the questions to ask that Sam could accurately answer.. By differentiating
instruction we can plan successful learning opportunities for each student by providing a sufficient number of response opportunities
that more closely align with their current level of skill and knowledge. It stands to reason if educational professionals are successful in
this effort, students will spend more time engaged in the teaching-learning process and far less time engaged in unproductive classroom

     Deno, S.L. (1999). Academic progress as incompatible behavior: Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) as intervention. Beyond Behavior, 9, 12-17.
     Gable, R.A., Arllen, N.L., Evans, W.H., & Whinnery, K.M. (1997). Strategies for evaluating collaborative mainstreaming instruction: “Let the data be our guide”.
Preventing School Failure, 41, 153-158.
     Gunter, P.L., Hummel, J.H., & Venn, M.L. (1999). Are effective academic instructional practices used to teach students with behavior disorders? Beyond
Behavior, 9, 5-11.
     Van Acker, R., Grant, S.H., & Henry, D. (1996). Teacher and student behavior as a function of risk for aggression. Education and Treatment of Children, 19, 316-

                                                                                                                                                                Page 2
               Accessing the General Education Curriculum

                                                                                                                                                        Early Childhood Special Education
In order for students with disabilities to access the general education curriculum it may be necessary to modify
the curriculum. A modification is a change in what a student is expected to learn and/or demonstrate. The
following is a continuum of modification options to consider when planning for students with disabilities in the
general education class. Deciding which option to use depends on the type of assignment and the individual
needs of the student.
The following information on brain development during typical early childhood experiences in learning centers
has been adapted from Activities that Build the Young Child’s Brain by Suzanne Gellens, M.S.

Students are involved in the same lesson or activity as other students with the same objectives and criteria and
using the same or similar materials. Example: During a writing activity, a student might use a slant board,
pencil grip or fat pencil to participate in the activity.

                                                                                                                     by Pam Hurley and Robin Slopnick
Students are working in the same lesson or activity, using the same or similar materials, working in the same
curricular areas, but similar or different objectives and criteria. Example: During a journal writing activity, a
student might dictate his journal entry to a peer helper, cross age tutor or staff member.

Curriculum Overlapping
Students are involved in the same activity with other students using the same or similar materials, but may
have different goals and objectives from a different curricular area. Example: During a circle time activity, a
student could be working on increasing the amount of time sitting with the group.

Alternative Curriculum
Students are involved in alternative activities that meet primary instructional needs when the general
education curriculum at that time does not. The student planning team determines the alternative activities.
Priority is given to involvement with peers in all alternative activities. Example: After participating in circle-
time for a predetermined amount of time, the student might set the table for snack with a peer while the other
students complete the circle-time activities.

When planning for instruction, remember that curriculum does not always need to be modified. When multi-
level instruction is provided, changes to the curriculum may not be necessary. Curriculum overlapping allows
students to demonstrate knowledge in a variety of ways while meeting the class requirements. When
necessary, the curriculum can be made more accessible through modifications. If you would like more
information on accessing the general education curriculum please call Robin Slopnick (683-3140) or Pam
Hurley (683-6175).

(Adapted from Choosing Options and Accommodations for Children by Giangreco, Cloninger, and Iverson.

                                                       April 6 – 12
                                       Week of the Young Child
                                    Childhood—a time of enormous opportunities,
                                    a time to grow, to learn, to build the future.

 Each of us can help make the most of children's opportunities: Read with a child.
    Volunteer at a school or early childhood program. Thank anyone making a
  difference for children. Speak out for children in our communities. Encourage
                               others to get involved.

                                                                                                                                                             Page 3
                                                                  “TAC”kle Box Ideas

                                               Closing the Cognitive Gap Software for Modifying Text-
                                                                 Based Information

                                          Inclusion has enabled students with disabilities physical access to the general education classroom, however,
                                          specific tools and materials for modifying text-based information to the various reading levels and cognitive
Assistive Technology

                                          abilities of the students are in short supply. Historically, teachers have had to rely on a few commercial
                                          products, and spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and expense adapting and modifying text-based
                                          information to make the curriculum cognitively accessible for their students with disabilities. Fortunately,
                                          there are new technological tools and software applications available that can reduce the time and effort that
                                          teachers spend to make the curriculum accessible.

                                          Teachers now have a readily available tool in Microsoft Word to assist them in modifying text-based
                                          curriculum content into a short summary of the key points a student needs to learn from lengthy text. The
                       by Karen Sanford

                                          text-based information can come from a variety of sources: textbooks, web pages, journals, etc. What is
                                          critical, however, is that in order to adapt and modify this information, it has to be in electronic format. This
                                          information can be converted into electronic format by copying and pasting information from web pages and
                                          electronic journals, scanning in text, typing it, or downloading it from web sites that that contain a database of
                                          literature. Once the information is in electronic format, it can be quickly modified by using a feature available
                                          in Microsoft WORD called AutoSummarize.

                                          Basically, this feature provides the user with a short abstract of any document that has been put into Word,
                                          regardless of the length of the document. The user has several options of the types of abstracts that are
                                          available, as well as the length of the abstract. The AutoSummarize feature can be found under the Tool
                                          Menu in Microsoft Word. After the document has been summarized, the teacher can go in and refine the
                                          summary by changing the vocabulary and modifying the reading level. Further curriculum modifications can
                                          be made using the following software applications that will assist students with disabilities to achieve
                                          academic success:

                                          IntelliTalk II or Write: OutLoud - The document can be opened in either of these talking word processors, and
                                          the content will be read to the student.
                                          PictureIt! - The text from Microsoft Word can be copied and pasted into PictureIt! and pictures will be added
                                          to support the text. The program has a feature called "Parse" which will assign pictures that are in its
                                          database to the text. Additional pictures that are not in its' database can be imported to provide further visual
                                          support to the text.
                                          Writing With Symbols 2000 - Any text can be copied and pasted into this software application and pictures
                                          will be assigned to the words. This talking picture and word processing program assists teachers who are
                                          making materials to assist emergent readers and writers.
                                          Pix Writer - Text can be copied and pasted into this picture based writing program which enables students
                                          who are non-writers to write sentences and stories using pictures.

                                          The strategies and software programs noted above allow teachers to make curriculum based instructional
                                          materials for students of diverse abilities. They assist students to independently access the curriculum at their
                                          level of ability and allow a level of student centered participation that has been missing from the traditional
                                          text-based only instructional model.

                                               Edyburn, D. (2002, April/May). Cognitive rescaling strategies. Closing The Gap, 2(1).

                                                                                                                                                     Page 4
 T-TAC ODU Assistive Technology Mini-Labs meet
 every Thursday (2:00 – 5:00 p.m.) and the first
 Saturday morning of every month (9:00 a.m. – 12

                                                                    Assistive Technology Mini-Labs

April                     Buildability

May/June                  Making Daily Schedules, Activity
                          Schedules, and Simple Activity Specific
                          Communication Boards with

   Limit: 10 people PER SESSION. Lab Location: T-TAC
          ODU, 1401 West 49th Street, Norfolk, VA.

        You must pre-register. Contact Karen Sanford, Assistive
               Technology Specialist – 757-683-4873

                                                                                 Page 5
                                          Yes, I would like the following TACtics mailed to me:
                                          ________Providing Early Intervention Services (Birth – 3 Years) in Natural Environments
                                          ________Inclusion Strategies
                                          ________Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
                                                  During the 2002-03 school year, the Early Childhood Curriculum Unit series
                                                  will continue to be offered upon request.
                                       Please Print or Type:
           Staff Development Modules

                                       Name: _____________________________________________________________________
                                       Position: (Please circle)
                                       Administrator, General Education      Paraprofessional                      Transition Coordinator
                                       Administrator, Special Education      Parent/Family                         University Professor/Student
                                       Guidance Counselor                    Physical Therapist                    Vocation Teacher Administrator
                                       Human Services Agency                 Speech Pathologist                    Other:
                                       Occupational Therapist                Teacher, General Education                 ____________________

                                       Other Related Service Provider            Teacher Special Education
                                         (PT, LCSW, Sch. Psy., Nurse, Librarian)
                                       School Name: ________________________________________________________________

                                       School Address: ______________________________________________________________

                                       City:    __________________________________Zip Code: ___________________________

                                       School District:___________________________ School Phone Number: _________________

                                       School FAX Number _____________________________
                                       e-mail: ______________________________________________________________________

                                       Your Program Affiliation (check all that apply):
                                          Early Childhood Special Education         Adult Ed./Family Literacy               Occupational Child Care
                                          Early Intervention                        Even Start                              Preschool Initiative
                                          General/Regular Education                 Head Start                              Title 1
                                          School Age Special Education              Homeless                                Other
                                          Other                                     Migrant Education

                                       Students Disabilities You Serve:
                                                         ADD/ADHD             MR                         TBI
                                                         Autism               MD                         VI
                                                         DB                   OHI                        All of the Above
                                                         Deafness             OI
                                                         DD                   SED
                                                         HI                   SD
                                                         LD                   SPL

                                       Please copy this form and return to: TACtics, T-TAC ODU, Old Dominion University, Child Study Center,
                                       Room 224, Norfolk, VA 23529-0164. FAX: 757-683-3115 or click here to request the above TACtics from
                                       T-TAC ODU via the web site.

                                                                                                                                           Page 6
                     April 25- 28                                            May 20-23
     Assessment, Diagnosis, and Intervention for                       AAMR Annual Meeting
  Developmental and Emotional Disorders, Autistic        Sponsor: American Association on Mental Retardation
  Spectrum Disorders, Multisystem Developmental          Location: Chicago, Marriott Downtown Chicago
 Disorders, Regulatory Disorders involving Attention,    Contact: 202-387-1968 or 800-424-3688
    Learning, and Behavior Problems, Cognitive,
      Language, Motor & Sensory Disturbances
Sponsor: The Infancy & EC Training Course
Taught by: Stanley I. Greenspan and Serena Wieder
Location: Hilton McLean, Tysons Corner
Contact: Sponsor at 301-320-6360

                       April 29-30
  Kathleen Quill, author of “Do-Watch-Listen-Say”
   Inclusive Planning for Students with Autism and
                   Asperger Syndrome                                          Mark
Sponsor: The Autism Program of Va. (TAP-VA)
Location: Holiday Inn Select, Koger Center, Richmond                      Your Calendar!

Cost: $125 (inc. refreshments & lunches for both days)
Contact: 1-800-649-8481 or access the T-TAC ODU                               June 23-25
website (http://www.ttac.odu.edu) NEW section to print                  Access for All Institute:
the registration form.                                      Supporting Students with Significant Disabilities
                                                         Sponsors: T-TACs, Virginia Dept. of Education, The
                        May 14                           Virginia Deaf-Blind Project, Together We Can Project
    Demystifying Autism by Bill Stillman, author of      Location: Sheraton Park South Hotel, Richmond
         Demystifying the Autistic Experience”
Sponsors: The Autism Program of Virginia (TAP-VA)                        October 12-15, 2003
and T-TAC ODU                                            19th Annual DEC Conference on Young Children with
Location: ODU, Webb Center                                         Special Needs and Their Families
Contact: TAP-VA, 1-804-355-0300                          Location: Marriot Wardman Park, Washington, DC
See enclosed flyer or access the T-TAC ODU website
(http://www.ttac.odu.edu) NEW section to print the
registration form.

                              Please return all T-TAC
                              ODU library resource
                              materials by no later than
                              Friday May 30. Have a great
                              break and wonderful

                                                                                                                   Page 7
           Informational Resources
NEC*TAS Keys to Inclusion http://www.nectas.unc.edu/inclusion/default.asp
Circle of Inclusion www.circleofinclusion.org
Inclusive Education Website www.uni.edu/coe/inclusion/index.html
Collaboration and Inclusion www.powerof2.org
Weekly Reader www.weeklyreader.com
News-2-You www.news-2-you.com
Web based instruction www.windows.ucar.edu written at three difficulty levels for reading.
SOL Teacher Resource Guides are available at www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Instruction/sol.html
Disabilities, Teaching Strategies, and Resources http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/sitemap.html
Student Behavior Home Page http://www.state.ky.us
Behavior Management Index http://www.adda-sr.org/BehaviorManagementIndex.htm
Classroom Management http://www.theteachersguide.com/classroommanagement.htm
Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice http://cecp.air.org/

                       Resources available from the T-TAC ODU library:
Successful Inclusion: Practical Strategies for Shared Responsibility, Kochhar, West and Tayman (2000)
Childcare Plus: Curriculum on Inclusion, Mulligan, Morris, Green and Wahlen (1999)
Inclusions 101: How to Teach all Learners, Bauer and Shea (1999)
Preschool Inclusion, Cavallaro and Haney (1999)
Quick Guides to Inclusion 2: Ideas for Educating Students with Disabilities, Giangreco (1998)
Teachers’ Guides to Inclusive Practices: Modifying Schoolwork, Janney and Snell (2000)

                                     View Library Holdings

                                                                                                  Page 8
                 T-TAC ODU Informational Resources Library Request
        Library materials are loaned on a first-come, first serve basis. Requested library item(s) loaned to other
                professionals will automatically be mailed to those requested as materials are returned.

 Please Print or Type:

            Administrator, General Education         Paraprofessional                Transition Coordinator
            Administrator, Special Education         Parent/Family                   University Professor/Student
            Guidance Counselor                       Physical Therapist              Vocational Teacher Administrator
            Human Services Agency Staff              Speech Pathologist              Other:
            Occupational Therapist                   Teacher, General Education       _______________________
            Other Related Service Provider           Teacher, Special Education

School Name:

School Address:

City:                                                               Zip Code:

School District:                                                    School Phone Number:       (       )

School FAX Number             (        )                            e-mail:

Your Program Affiliation (check all that apply):
            Early Childhood Special Education        Adult Ed./Family Literacy       Occupational Child Care
            Early Intervention                       Even Start                      Preschool Initiative
            General/Regular Education                Head Start                      Title 1
            School Age Special Education             Homeless
            Other                                    Migrant Education

Students Disabilities You Serve:
            ADD/ADHD                                 Learning Disability             Severe Disabilities
            Autism                                   Mental Retardation              Speech/Language Impairment
            Deaf Blind                               Multiple Disabilities           Traumatic Brain Injury
            Deafness                                 Other Health Impairment         Visual Impairment
            Developmental Delayed                    Orthopedic Impairment           All of the Above
            Hearing Impaired                         Emotional Disturbance

                                           REQUESTED LIBRARY MATERIALS:
                                           PLEASE LIMIT REQUEST TO 4 ITEMS MAXIMUM

1.   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

2.   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

3.   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

4.   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Please mail this form to: Library Checkout, T-TAC ODU, Old Dominion University, Child Study Center, Room 224,
                                 Norfolk, VA 23529-0164, or FAX: (757) 683-3115.

                                                                                                                   Page 9
                            Coming Soon…….
                          T/TAC Online Website
       By Lucinda Zimmermann at George Mason University and updated by Mary Wilds at ODU

In September 2003, an exciting new website, T/TAC Online, will be available to professionals and families
across Virginia. T/TAC Online is a dynamic, easy to use, web-based community that offers training, resources
and assistance to people working or living with children and young adults with disabilities. This innovative
solution addresses the need for professional development and information about helping children with
disabilities and will offer the flexibility to professionals and families that only the Internet can provide. Due to
the nature of the Internet, the resources will be available to everyone at any time on any day. Professionals and
family members will be able to access the information and receive training information at their convenience.

In 2000, the Virginia Department of Education, the T/TAC's and George Mason University partnered to create
this online forum aimed at professional development for the special education community. Over several
semesters, various teams of graduate students in the GMU Instructional Design & Development Immersion
Program collaborated with T/TAC specialist, subject matter experts, teachers and other stakeholders to design
and develop a site that meets the needs of the community serving children with special needs. Through the
Instructional Design process, the students created a vehicle for T/TAC Specialists to provide online instruction,
to highlight resources and to post workshops and events across the state.

The primary function of the site is to provide online training on special education related issues. Upon the initial
launch of the site, online workshops, or webshops, will be available to all interested people. The self-paced
webshops are designed by T/TAC Specialists located throughout Virginia and are intended to be a collection of
15-minute segments of instruction (modules), which break the overall content down into smaller, more
manageable pieces. Future plans for the site will include access to courses or longer, more developed training

Also available on the site will be online resources suggested by T/TAC Specialists and a listing of events and
workshops across the Commonwealth. In addition, a community forum will be available to provide a bridge for
communication among experts and stakeholders. This forum will allow community members to dialogue with
each other about special education topics and to recount experiences with T/TAC that have enhanced the
education of a child with special needs.

Keep a look out for the launch of T/TAC Online this fall! As the website moves closer to the launch date in
September 2003, the URL (website address) will be publicized. If you have any suggestions or questions about the
development of the site, please contact Lucinda D. Zimmermann at lzimmer1@gmu.edu or Mary Wilds at

                                                                                                             Page 10
                              (for paraeducators serving students with disabilities)

    Helping Special Education Students Access the General Curriculum
                                        by Robin Slopnick and Pam Hurley

The role of a paraeducator has been described as “to assist and enhance the educational process of all students in
both instructional and non-instructional activities.” Many students use adaptations in order to accomplish tasks
more efficiently and to participate more fully in classroom activities. Adaptations are defined as “any adjustment
to or modification in the curriculum, instruction, environment, or materials in order to enhance the participation
of a member of the classroom community” (Udvari-Solner, 1992, p.3). In an inclusive setting this means that a
paraeducator will need to understand and implement the adaptations planned by members of a child’s
educational team.

There are three general categories of adaptations to consider when assisting students:

   Adaptations that are consistent over time. They are used frequently throughout the day and for an
      extended time. Examples include: computers, wheel chairs, communication systems, individual picture
      schedules, positioning equipment, adaptive switches, behavior plans and calculators. Although a
      paraeducator will need to be familiar with these adaptations and assist in the implementation of them,
      certified members of the team (special education teacher, occupational therapist, physical therapist,
      speech therapist, etc.) need to design or acquire them.

   Adaptations that are short term and preplanned. They are usually specific to an instructional unit or
      activity. Examples include: modified worksheets, vocabulary specific communication boards or
      recordings on a voice output device, and modified spelling lists. Although paraeducators may be
      implementing these adaptations, general and special education teachers are responsible for their planning
      and design.

   Adaptations that need to be developed on the spot. These are used when you have not had a chance to
      plan or when what you preplan does not work. Although a team should not rely on this type of
      adaptation when assisting a student, they are a necessary part of instruction. Paraeducators will need to
      learn how to make adaptations on the spot and are invaluable members of the team when it comes to
      sharing ideas and information with the other professionals.

For more information, please call Pam Hurley (683-6175) or Robin Slopnick (683-3140).

 Adapted from The Paraeducators Guide to the Inclusive Classroom: Working as a Team by Mary Beth Doyle (1997)
 Baltimore, MD: Brooks Publishing.

                                                                                                                Page 11
                 Focus on Severe Disabilities
                                           Taking Stock:
An Inventory to determine the quality of your inclusion program for students with Severe Disabilities.

 Ask Yourself:                                                       How can I improve?
 Are the activities you are providing Authentic and                  Activities should be hands-on not solely worksheets or
 Meaningful to the students with disabilities?                       lecture.
 Are the activities, accommodations and adaptations                  Provide activities that make sense for the student’s life,
 student-centered?                                                   goals and are parent preferences.
 Are the activities providing real-world experience?                 Are the skills the student is learning, applicable to the
                                                                     real world and a focus is on generalization of the skills?
 During the activities, can the student learn from other             The students with disabilities and without disabilities
 students?                                                           should be allowed to learn in cooperative groups and
                                                                     teach each other during the school day. The students
                                                                     with disabilities should be seated among his/her peers.
 During the activities, can the student use communication            The student’s use of communication, motor and social
 skills, social skills, and motor skills?                            goals should be embedded across the day during all
 Are the lesson plans collaboratively planned so that some           The general education teacher and the special education
 students use adaptations, accommodations?                           teacher should be planning lessons together--in addition
                                                                     to how to adapt the lesson and what will be evaluated.
 Are the lesson plans collaboratively planned with the               Both the special education teacher and regular education
 regular education and special education teacher and do              teacher should adopt the belief that all learning is
 they value the concept for partial participation?                   valuable. This includes students who can only participate
                                                                     in portions of skills or activities independently.
 Are the activities and materials age appropriate?                   The activities within the inclusive setting should always
                                                                     be the same activity and materials with adaptation,
                                                                     accommodations as much as possible, while applying the
                                                                     idea of partial-participation. If the student is doing a
                                                                     different activity, then the materials should be ones that
                                                                     the same-age peers would use given the same activity.
 Do the activities and lessons teach skills to all students so       Be sure the student is learning skills that will prepare
 that they will be prepared for future environments?                 him/her for the current and future environment (e.g., the
                                                                     next classroom, school, community, and career).
 Do activities and lessons allow for self-determination?             Allow the student opportunities to learn about his/her
                                                                     rights as an individual, personal preferences that will
                                                                     enhance his/her quality of life and to make choices.
 Do the activities provide access to the general education           Ensure that what the student is learning can be linked to
 curriculum?                                                         the Virginia Standards of Learning.
 Are goals and objectives addressed during the lessons and           To ensure learning, a student with severe disabilities
 activities (embedded or directly taught)?                           should be taught a skill directly. The skill should also be
                                                                     taught embedded into other activities or environments to
                                                                     ensure generalization.

Adapted from Providing Access to the General Education Curriculum: Teaching Students with Mental Retardation. Michael L. Wehmeyer,
2002, Paul H. Brookes.

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                                           Brown Bear, Brown Bear
                                           Bill Martin, Jr. explains that he wrote Brown Bear while riding on a
                                           train. This may, in part, explain the very strong rhythm that is
                                           present in this classic text.
                                           English/Language Arts: Activity: Language Development: Experiencing &
                                           enjoying patterned text
                                           SOL: K.1; K.2; K.3; K.4; K.5; K.6; K.7; K.8; K.9; K.10; K.13; 1.1; 1.2;
                                           1.3; 1.4; 1.5; 1.6; 1.7; 1.8; 1.9; 1.10; 1.11; 2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 2.4; 2.5; 2.6; 2.7;

 Suggested Activity Order:
 Provide pictures to represent the characters in the book.
 Show the children the pictures.
 Distribute the pictures of the characters to the children.
 Read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, encouraging the children to join in.
 Read Brown Bear, Brown Bear multiple times, telling the children that they are to stand when their character’s name
 is first announced, and may sit when their turn for “answering” the question is over.
 Materials Needed: Brown Bear, Brown Bear Book, Pictures /Picture Cards of the Book’s

Math: Activity: Patterning
SOL: K.1; K.2; K.7; K.16; K.17; K.19; 1.1; 1.8; 1.19; 1.20; 2.21; 2.24
Use construction paper to make several of the animals in the story. Glue the animals to heavy cardboard, and cut them
out. Label the three types of animals, such as sea animals, farm animals and desert animals, to do patterning. Sort the
animal pieces by each type. You may use an apron and store one type of animal per pocket. It is best to keep all of the
animals to a size of about two inches square, otherwise they will be too large to fit an adequate number in the apron.
Have students create a graph identifying the number of each: sea animals, farm animals, and desert animals.
Materials Needed: Construction Paper, Cardboard, Markers

History & Social Studies: Activity: Understanding Diversity in the Classroom
SOL: K.1; 1.1; 2.2
Use the children’s photo as manipulatives to teach about diversity. Help children describe the variations in appearance
within their class. For example, you might say, “I see children with curly hair and straight hair, children who wear
glasses, girls and boys, etc. You may want to write a list of the describing words your students think of to use in the
classroom during other activities.
Materials Needed: Photos of the Children

Science: Activity: How Are Homes Different
SOL: K.6; 1.5; 2.4
Have each student draw a picture of where they live and where animals live. Provide each student with a Venn Diagram
so they may compare and contrast each shelter. Be sure to provide students with key words, such as, roof, ceiling,
walls, floors, doors, windows, etc.

                                                                             “TAC IT UP” is developed by T-TAC ODU

                                                                                                                     Page 13

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