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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Welcome to your Special Education group

Welcome to your Special Education group

Related Tags: Special Education
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Hi, and welcome to your group. I say your groups because, while I'm the moderator, you get to determine what we talk about. This is a place to get to know each other, share ideas, resources, problems, joys and frustrations. If you're classroom is anything like mine there will be a lot of all of those. I hope you will enjoy the time you spend here and benefit from joining this learning and sharing community.

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JMC's picture
JMC
Special Education teacher K-12 specialization LD

This is like a special education think tank! Just wanted to introduce myself and tell you what an honor it is to meet you all.

Juanita Pritchard's picture

I work in a large school system doing support for teachers who have students with significant intellectual disabilities. In our state we must align instruction to general education standards - it's a challenge. Wondering if there is anyone else out there in this situation?

Deven Black's picture
Deven Black
Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

[quote]I work in a large school system doing support for teachers who have students with significant intellectual disabilities. In our state we must align instruction to general education standards - it's a challenge. Wondering if there is anyone else out there in this situation?[/quote]

In my school we are getting mixed signals regarding standards. We are told to teach to the student's IEP goals but that our lessons and assessments have to have the state or city standard they address notated on them. This is really not possible with many of the lessons dealing with interpersonal relations, behavior, and some other areas.

Gene A.R's picture
Gene A.R
Christian teacher and lifelong learner

Hello,

I did most of my teaching in southeast Asia with missionaries' children. I became interested in helping kids that were struggling and earned my special education endorsement in Illinois two and a half years ago.

Deven Black's picture
Deven Black
Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Welcome to the group. Where in southeast Asia did you work? How is schooling there different than it is here?

Melinda Matewa's picture

Hi there, I'm a brand new Special Ed teacher and I work in a strictly inclusion setting, no pullout - except for high stakes testing. I know that I am supposed to be doing progress monitoring and meeting IEP goals, but mostly I feel like an Aide. Is there anyone who can give me some guidance?

However, you should know I'm not in a co-teaching situation. I am the resource person. I come into the classroom, not as a co-teacher. I see about 13-14 students in a week all with varying exceptionalities. I don't work in just one or two classrooms; more like 8 or 9. Some of the teachers understand what I'm in there for (if they have special ed degrees), some see me as an extra pair of hands and don't understand that I'm there to meet IEP goals. I'm not sure what I should do about it, but I am worried that I'm not giving my ESE students what they need to survive because when I walk in the "teacher" tells me...so and so is working on this...can you help them? All they see is the classwork these students aren't completing and honestly some of it is TOO much for these poor little babies.

However, some teachers have agreed to let me start planning with them.

Deven Black's picture
Deven Black
Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Welcome to the group, I don't have fond memories of my first year or two of teaching and I don't envy your position.

Try to find a time when you can meet with each teacher, before or after school if necessary. At that meeting explain what it is that you are expected to do for the student: adjust the lesson material to reflect the student's IEP goals. Explain, nicely, that while it might be possible for an experienced teacher to adapt lessons on the fly, it is impossible for a new teacher to do that. Ask for their help by, at the very least, sharing their lesson plans and teaching materials in advance, or better, letting you co-plan with them.

The problem with the latter is that most teachers do their planning at specific times and you may not be available at those times. Getting them to change planning time will be a lot harder than getting them to agree to co-plan with you.

cherie wolcott's picture
cherie wolcott
Recent MS grad in special ed K-8

[quote]AIMS is the name of our state test and stands for Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards. In February 2010 the AZ Dept. of Ed. will be field-testing the first administration of the AIMS EA. This test will be for reading and math and has been designed for special education students. It will make the state test more accessible to students with learning disabilities, and will have enhancements that will allow greater access to the performance objective that is being assessed. (Yea Arizona!!!) Specific criteria will be necessary for test eligibility and the team will make that decision.Testing a student at grade level when we already know that we have a federal law saying that we have to teach and test at their level of performance is an act of stupidity that sets these children up for failure. (My 2 cents worth). There is no validity in that. The AIMS EA is actually an accommodated test and will help a student demonstrate better what they actually know.Some of the enhancements are:- Simplified questions and directions- Greater white space- Boxed items and answer choices- Mathematics formulas within the items- Reading questions embedded within passages- Additional graphics where appropriate- Elimination of a separate answer documentSpring 2011 is the target date for the first 7th, 8th and high school AIMS EA assessments. Spring 2012 is the date for elementary school students.Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for assessing students with learning disabilities.It's been a long time coming.[/quote]

Deven Black's picture
Deven Black
Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Thank you for this information, Cherie. The AIMS EA does sound like a large step in the right direction even if it perpetuates pencil & paper testing when many of us are moving to multiple forms of assessment.

Please keep us informed of other developments regarding this exam and anything else of interest you come across.

Jan Kirby's picture

I taught the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities. I believe I have a lot of knowledge about special needs children and their families. Although I am now retired, I enjoy keeping up with what is going on in Special Ed.

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