As standards based education has grown up over time, we’ve found ways to align our classroom lessons to Common Core Standards. Our expectations have been raised for our kids (the whole point). A sticky subject at one time was how we are going to assess our kids at the same levels as “regular kids.” “They can’t do it,” we said. We’ve found ways to alter classroom and testing environments so our kids can compete fairly and be held to high standards.
We’ve seen accommodations to the testing environment over time to help SPED kids take the high stakes tests all students must take.
Some of these adaptations include
- Reading tests word for word to students (one on one, in a group, or recorded)
- Allowing shorter testing periods
- Altering test format (from an essay to fill-in blank, multiple choice, etc.)
- Allowing answers out loud
- Writing test answers for student (scribing)
- Allowing open book or open notes exams
- Providing testing in an isolated location
There are many accommodations states have allowed in classroom environments too. Using tape recorders, specialized computer software, and using tablet devices top the list of assists that have proven to be helpful for learning.
Accommodations for classroom assignments can include:
- Providing step-by-step directions
- Rote copying from textbooks
- Providing additional written directions to support oral instructions
- Adjusting length of homework and lessons
- Substituting a different format for a quiz (matching, multiple choice instead of essays, etc.)
- Chunking assignments into smaller pieces
- Allowing paper and pencil assignments instead of computer, or vice versa
An accommodation is a change in environment or format of lessons, a modification is a change in the curriculum itself.
- Providing sign language or interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing students
- Employing computer text-to-speech software systems for visually impaired or dyslexic students
- Allowing additional time for students with coordination challenges, visual, or learning disabilities
- Large-print written material
- Altered keyboards or trackballs for children with problems using a mouse
- Changing the size of fonts on a computer display
The explosion in the use of touch screen technologies has helped SPED students adapt to classroom assignments.
There are many more examples of ways teachers have adapted to new standards so their SPED kids aren’t left out.
Grant Name: IWP Foundation Educational Grants
Funded By: Innovating Worthy Projects Foundation
Description: Giving on a national basis. The Foundation makes grants to organizations dedicated to serving developing innovative programs, disseminating ideas, or providing direct care or services for children with special needs, acute illnesses or chronic disabilities.
Program Areas: Disabilities, Early Childhood, Special Education
Eligibility: Public School, Private School, Other
Proposal Deadline: 12/31/2016
Annual Total Amount: $100,000.00 - $200,000.00
Average Amount: $1,000.00 - $10,000.00
Address: 4045 Sheridan Avenue, Suite 296, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Availability: All States