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Using the WJ III COG Tests to Determine Accommodations and Course Substitutions Helping Students Navigate Academic Success Dr. Paul and Kimberly Nolting Academic Success Press, Inc. http://www.academicsuccess.com pnolting@aol.com (941) 951-8160

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Agenda Which WJ III Cognitive Tests to Use Which WJ III CHC Factors and Clinical Clusters to Use Which WJII Achievement Tests to Use When Jump Courses When and What too Substitute for Math Courses Case Studies

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People with Learning Disabilities

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An Informal Quiz Brainstorm as many ideas as you can about substitutions and waivers What are you doing for the Vets with TBIs and students with ADHD? Separate the myths from the truths about substitutions What strategies you have used to work with math departments What is being done for student who only need math to graduate?

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WJ III COG and ACH Subtests Recommended COG subtests are 1- 9 and 11- 17; ACH tests5.6,10 Test one – Verbal Comprehension is four tests which are Picture Vocabulary, Synonyms, Antonyms, and Verbal Analog. Test two – Visual Auditory Learning measures the ability to associate visual symbols with already known words and to translate those symbols into verbal sentences. Test three – Spatial Relations is a visual test that measures the ability to match different visual shapes like a puzzle.. Test four – Sound Blending Cognitive measures the ability to hear parts of words from a tape recorder and then say the whole word. Test five – Concept Formation measures the ability to identify rules that can apply to concepts and to non-instances of concepts. Test six – Visual Matching measures processing speed of numbers. Test seven – Numbers Reversed measures the ability to repeat back the numbers in the reverse order. Test Eight – Incomplete Words measures is auditory and measures auditory closure of words. Test Nine – Auditory Working Memory measures ability to maintain information in short-term memory and to manipulate that information.

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WJ III COG and ACH Subtests Recommended COG subtests are 1- 9 and 11- 17; ACH tests 5,6,10 Test 11- General Information consists of two subtests call Where and What and measures general verbal knowledge that is in generic memory. Test 12 – Retrieval Fluency has three sections that measures how fast students can recall common information with out thinking. Test 13 – Picture Recognition measures the ability to remember and recognize a set of pictures within a set of similar pictures. Test 14 – Auditory Attention measures how well a student can discriminate in understanding words with an increasing auditory distortion and distractions. Test 15- Analysis and Synthesis measures the ability to analyze logic puzzles to determine the missing parts. Test 16 – Decision Speed measures the processing speed of visual information with some factors of cognitive identification. Test 17– Memory of Words measures the ability to recall a list of unrelated words that are introduced by a tape recorder. apply to concepts and to non-instances of concepts. ACH Test 5 – Calculations is a untimed measurement arithmetic to calculus. ACH Test 6 – Math Fluency measures the ability to quickly solve simple arithmetic problems. ACH Test 10 – Applied Problems is untimed and measures the ability to solve math word problems.

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Definition: Students with auditory process problems have difficulty synthesizing words and understanding words in noisy classrooms. These students may misinterpret words or not “hear” the words. This is not a hearing problem or short term memory problem. It is a problem of misinterpretation of words spoken words. Auditory Processing Disorder Primary Affected Areas: sensory register, short term memory Observable Behaviors: students misunderstanding math vocabulary; difficulty solving word problems; difficulty reading the text and understanding lectures

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Definition: Students with phonemic process problems have difficulty analyzing and synthesizing verbal information. These students have difficulty telling the difference between the sounds of words. This is not a hearing problem or short term memory problem. It is a problem of misinterpretation of words spoken words. Phonemic Awareness Disorder Primary Affected Areas: sensory register, short term memory Observable Behaviors: students misunderstanding math vocabulary; difficulty solving word problems; difficulty reading the text and understanding lectures

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Processing Speed Disorder Definitions: Students with a visual speed processing disorder have great difficulty quickly recognizing numbers and conceptually similar visual objects. A student with visual speed processing disorder is able to visually process but very slowly. Primary Affected Areas: sensory input & register; significantly related to math Common Observable Behaviors: re-reading sentences & paragraphs; scanty notes or no notes at all; very slow in completing homework, very slow in doing on line homework, very slow in completing tests, having difficulty quickly recognizing variables and math symbols, problems with automaticity

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Short-term Memory Processing Disorder Definition: Short-term memory disorder is categorized as auditory memory. It is the difficulty in keeping information in short term memory long enough to transfer it into working or long term memory. Also it is the automaticity of rearranging numbers in your head. Primary Affected Areas: Subsequent effects on the long-term retrieval, working memory, long term memory, and abstract reasoning. Students who cannot hold information for more than a few seconds cannot use it to rehearse or recall from working memory. Observable Behaviors: Auditory: forget oral instructions; difficult to be group learner; ask questions about recent information; can’t hold on to steps long enough in mind to understand concept; difficulty in manipulating numbers in you head; difficulty in switching number in an equation presented verbally; some problems with abstract learning

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Visual-Spatial Thinking Processing Disorder Definitions: A student with a visual- spatial processing disorder has great difficulty in recognizing and synthesizing visual information. The student also has difficulty remembering visual information and remembering it in the correct order. Primary Affected Areas: sensory input & register; short term memory Common Observable Behaviors: re-reading sentences & paragraphs; “chicken scratch” notes or no notes at all; problem solutions all over the page; numbers miss-aligned; copying down incorrectly; difficulty reading tutor/instructor handwriting; facial gestures while looking at something; misreading variables and numbers such as b for d or 9 as a 6 or + for x

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Long-Term Retrieval Processing Disorders Definitions: Students with LTR disorders have minimal ability to input or retrieve information in active memory in order to understand concepts. The LTR process pertains to speed of putting information into/taking it out of long-term memory and abstract memory. Primary Affected Areas: Abstract/fluid reasoning, Long- term memory; Memory output; Any learning task that involves using several pieces of information or concepts; tired after a short period of studying Observable Behavior: Confusion on multiple step assignments; Brain Traffic Jam; spaced out look; student understands step by step problem solving but can not put all the steps together to solve the next problem.

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Working Memory Processing Disorders Definitions: Students with working memory disorders have minimal ability to retain a large amount of information in active memory in order to understand concepts. Students also have problems manipulating that information to solve problems. Low RAM Primary Affected Areas: Abstract/fluid reasoning, Long-term memory; Memory output; Any learning task that involves using complex pieces of information or concepts; math problems that require using multiple concepts at the same time to solve; significantly related to math Observable Behavior: Confusion on multiple step assignments; Student may understand each concept but can not organize the steps in order to solve the problem. tired and frustrated after a short period of studying

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Definition: Students with long-term memory problems have minimal ability to store information for a long period of time. The length of time for which students can hold information may vary. For instance, a student may learn material during one monthly unit and not remember it during the next unit. On the other hand it could be that a student remembers how to work a math problem one day and then forget how to do it the next day. Comprehension-Knowledge (LTM) Processing Disorders Primary Affected Areas: working memory, abstract reasoning and long term retrieval; significantly related to math Observable Behaviors: holes in the foundation of concepts needed for further learning --- have to relearn information but remembers bits and pieces

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Fluid /Abstract Reasoning Processing Disorder Definition: Abstract reasoning disorders keep students from being able to form concepts and solve abstract problems that include novel situations and extrapolating information. It is also the inability to identify relationships with unfamiliar concepts and making inferences. Primary Affected Areas: working memory, long term memory, memory output, all dependent on the level of critical thinking required highly significantly related to math Covalent bonding compared to ionic means... Covalence Atomic structure Electron s Observable Behaviors: need for repeated instruction as if information was never learned; repeated blank looks; ability to mimic processes but not apply them, not making inferential leaps; can’t generate alternate problem solving strategies

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Additional COG Useful Clusters Verbal Ability: The student’s ability for language development that includes the comprehension of individual words and the comprehension word relationships. Thinking Ability: The student’s ability to process non language based information that is placed into short-term memory but needs additional processing to be understood. Cognitive Efficiency: The student’s ability to cognitively process information accurately and automatically. For example, student’s visual/auditory speed in processing numbers (frees up working memory). Cognitive Fluency: The student’s ease and speed in performing cognitive tasks of recalling information. Faster fluency means more working memory can be use to solve math problems. Broad Attention: The student’s ability to input and process auditory information for a short period of time. Students with low scores may have a memory input deficit.

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Useful Achievement Tests and Cluster Calculation: This test measures mathematics achievement based on the student’s ability to perform mathematical calculations that start with arithmetic problems and ends with calculus. The test is not timed and students can get all most the arithmetic problems correct and score around the 12 th grade level. Math Fluency: This test measures the student’s ability to automatically process simple addition, subtraction and multiplication problems quickly. The test measures mathematics automaticity. Applied Problems: This tests measures the student’s ability to analyze and solve math word problems. It measures math achievement and can be another measurement of fluid reasoning. Quantitative Concepts: This test measures the student’s mathematics knowledge and quantitative reasoning. It measures the student’s ability to recognize mathematical symbols, terms and formulas. It may be considered as a mathematics vocabulary test. Broad Math: This cluster consists of Calculation, Math Fluency and Applied Problems and measures over all math achievement.

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Math Problems to Solve to Graduate Factor: 2 3 4 21X - 11x - 2x Solve: 12 + 12 = 5 r + 1 r - 1 Cube: 3 (y+ 4) Divide: 3 2 X - 6x + 7x – 2 X - 1

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Significant CHC Factors & Clinical Clusters for Course Substitution Working Memory Not Enough RAM Long-Term MemoryNot Enough Facts Abstract ReasoningNot Enough Logic

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Alternative Math Course Sequence Elementary Algebra Statistics Elementary Algebra Liberal Arts Math Elementary Algebra Topics in Math

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Course Substitutions Introduction to Computers Accounting I Macro-economics Philosophy Environmental Science Business math Astronomy Oceanography Logic

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Developing a Course Accommodation and Substitution Policy What are you now using to process course substitutions? What are you now using to process course accommodations? Guidelines for developing these policies How do students find out about making a request? Who determines student eligibility to make the request? Who informs the student about documentation for the request? Who helps the student prepare the request? Who receives the students request? Who is on the committee? Faculty, counselor, DRC, chairs, expert? Who receives the recommendation for approval or non approval? Who receives the appeal for due process? How does the institution record the decision? How is the student notified about the decision? How can you be consistent in the decisions?

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Mathematics Accommodations and Course Concerns What are your concerns? What can you do about it?

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Conclusion Each student with learning disabilities is unique; therefore, it is important to continue learning about the processing deficits and how they affect learning in specific disciplines. As a result, an instructor or tutor can take the suggested strategies and adapt them to meet an individual’s special learning challenges. Let’s continue the conversation. Email us at PNolting@aol.com whenever you have questions or when you have success stories! PNolting@aol.com

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