Accommodations and Modifications Making classroom instruction work for all students.
The challenge is to see this as an opportunity to raise aspirations for all students by creating a unified education system that works for all students. In decreasing the separation between the worlds of special and general education, there are really two sets of related questions:
1. How can special education programs help students to meet the challenging education standards, curriculum, and assessments that are now being developed in the general education system? 2. How can the general public education system be tailored and individualized to better serve its diverse learners-whether or not those students have disabilities? Special and general educators have much to offer one another in finding answers to these questions.
√ IDEA regulations expect all teachers to use different learning strategies to accommodate the individual needs of all students, whether disabled or not. √ The IEP team is required to identify what accommodations and modifications will be applied when instructing the student in all learning situations. √ The specific, detailed times and environments when accommodations are necessary for the student will be left to teacher discretion.
The methodology of instruction and content to be learned will be left to the regular teacher with the expectations that the accommodations and modifications will be incorporated into the instructional outcomes for each student. Good teachers know how to reach/teach most all students. Some teachers will struggle with how they must accommodate and modify instruction. Ideally teachers will assist each other to understand how to provide the support for the disabled student and use these strategies for all at-risk learners. The changes will come slow. This is to be expected.
Accommodations n -are supports or services provided to help students progress in the general education curriculum and demonstrate their learning. These do not mean big changes in the instructional level, content, or standards. Rather, support is provided so that students have an equal opportunity to learn and to demonstrate what they have learned.
ACCOMMODATIONS - Provisions made in how a student accesses/demonstrates learning n They do not substantially change instructional level or content n Provides student an equal access to learning n Provides student equal opportunity to demonstrate what is known n Based on individual strengths and needs n May vary in intensity and degree
Accommodations are: n Techniques utilized to help students access curriculum n Strategies that validly demonstrate what students have learned n Methods used that alter the academic setting or environment so students can easily access information
Accommodations are also: n Approaches to information that level the laying field for students with disabilities u Extended time u Large print u Braille u Signed instruction
Other Accommodation Definitions - (Eshilian, & Hibbard, ‘98) n Appropriate arrangements that allow for access to same information, activities, opportunities, ex: books on tape, computer writing programs, tape recorders, calculator, checklists, dictation of answers, etc.
Accommodations do NOT: n Change the information to be learned n Change the amount of information that is to be learned…modifications do this!
MODIFICATIONS - Changes in what a student is expected to learn and demonstrate n Change in the instructional level or benchmark n Change in the number of key concepts mastered within a benchmark or unit of study n Changes in content
Modifications n -change the content and performance expectations for what a student should learn. For example, a student may work at a different level ( for example, at a 4th grade level instead of a 6th grade level in reading) or study fewer concepts or skills.
Don’t be fooled by “Adaptations” for this refers to: n Accommodations and Modifications n Changes made in instructional and assessment practices to facilitate student success. For example: u Size √ Participation u Time √ Level of Support u Input √ Alternate Goals u Output √ Substitute Curriculum u Difficulty
Meeting the California Framework Standards √ Academic Standards are to be addressed for all special education and at risk students. √ The California Frameworks are guides for schools to use to identify what all students should learn. √ These Frameworks will address the delivery of content-rich curriculum to special needs students and at-risk learners.
Individualized Goals: 1) Which standards closely relate to the educational concerns / needs identified? 2) How will the student meet the standard? Regular Modified Regular with Accommodations Expanded
What are the primary grade level expectations? How will the student meet these content standards? (Not IEP Goals) Regular Modified Regular with Accommodations Expanded
Regular The student can meet the age appropriate standard in the same way as general education students with no changes.
Regular with Accommodations Provisions are made in “how” a student accesses information or demonstrates the standard. The student can meet all of the components of the regular standard if necessary accommodations are provided. Examples: oral tests, assignments read orally or taped assignment shortened yet reflects all of the required components; access to a word processor for written assignments/tests, etc.
Modified Standard Changes the expectation of “what” the student is to learn. Examples: change in the number of key concepts learned within a standard or benchmark, change in the instructional level, limit in the number of concepts expected to master within a unit of study, etc.
Expanded Standard The learning is aligned with the standard, but performance of the standard varies significantly from “traditional” performance. Examples: functional reading using picture symbols or single words for grocery lists, menus, schedules, vs. reading books / stories; writing functional lists, letters using single words / pictures vs. writing paragraphs or essays; developing mobility skills vs. traditional geography, etc.
Any accommodations must be linked to the IEP and necessary (not just helpful) based on the student’s disability. Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement has categorized accommodations in the STAR program as standard or nonstandard. Standard- No accommodation used Standard-Flexible setting Standard- Large print test Standard- Revised test directions Standard-Out of level testing (one grade level above/below only) Nonstandard-Braille test Nonstandard-Flexible scheduling Nonstandard-Revised test format Nonstandard-Use of aids and/or aides to interpret (or respond) to test items Nonstandard-Out of level testing (more than one grade level above/below) Classroom/District Wide and STAR Testing Requirements
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