Accommodating instruction to meet individual needs

Differentiating Instruction

accommodating instruction to meet individual needs

Using accommodations can be complicated - the goal is to find a balance that Accommodations use needs to be aligned or matched between classroom . is no special education teacher assigned to take care of individual student needs. Teaching Strategies. Chapter 9 (Accommodate Instruction to Meet Individual Needs). Purpose of Activity: to explore the strategy of flexible grouping. Flexible. Accommodating Instruction to Meet Individual Needs Chapter 9. Carroll's Model of School Learning QAIT Model Quality Incentive Appropriate.

accommodating instruction to meet individual needs

To be ready for young learners whose abilities outrun the rest of the class or who need extra help, Rutz has prepared "math boxes" that offer activities aimed above and below grade-level expectations for each math concept.

During any lesson, "everybody's doing the same work," she points out, "but at different levels of complexity.

accommodating instruction to meet individual needs

Everyone works on something that's going to move them ahead. Some students work better with paper and pencils, some need manipulatives, and some learn best at the computer. Because 4th graders must memorize multiplication facts and Biser knows that not everyone has the same skill at memorizing, she asks her students, "How do you think you could learn this best? Biser also uses contracts as a means to differentiate instruction. Creating contracts requires a lot of advance work, she notes, but once the contracts are ready, students like them because they get to make choices according to interest and ability.

For learning spelling words, Biser provides her students with contracts that list as many as 40 or 50 different activities, each worth between 10 and 20 points, depending on the level of activity.

Students select their own spelling activities and have a week to complete their contracts with their work stapled to them. When she begins the unit on perimeter, area, and volume, Shockley first presents a short, hands-on lesson that defines the whole-class objective and lays the foundation for individual practice.

Special Connections

Together, she and the students measure various sizes of cereal boxes so that everyone is clear about definitions and processes. Then, in groups of two, students receive activity packets. The more concrete learners receive packets with worksheets that direct them to measure their own desks and classroom furniture.

In this highly structured activity, students practice calculating the perimeters, areas, and volumes of things they can actually see and touch. Shockley is on hand to offer help and to extend the activity, for those who are ready, by helping students find a way to arrange the desks so that they have the smallest possible perimeter. Other students with greater abstract reasoning skills receive packets that direct them to design their own bedrooms.

In this more complex and independent assignment, students use their creativity to define the dimensions of an imaginary bedroom and to create scale drawings. They also calculate the cost and number of five-yard rolls of wallpaper borders needed to decorate their rooms.

From catalogs, they select furniture and rugs that will fit into their model rooms. These details provide extensive practice, beginning with such tasks as determining how many square feet of floor space remain uncovered. This open-ended assignment offers higher-ability students an opportunity to extend their learning as far as they want to take it. She notes that all students have the opportunity to earn As within their own level of challenge. At the Secondary Level Teachers in middle schools and high schools are also using strategies for differentiating instruction, experts say.

Then she groups students who are interested in the same titles, usually about four or five students per group, and teaches them how to function as a literature circle—students learn the roles of discussion directors, connectors students who make connections to things in the real worldillustrators, literary luminaries students who point out great figurative languageand vocabulary enrichers those who identify words that most students might not know.

With each new book, students regroup and jobs rotate, but each group sets its own schedule for discussions and assignments. When Raymond's students come together for whole-class activities, they explore themes common to all of the books, followed by assignments that might require students to create their own short literary work that typifies the genre they have just studied.

Accommodating Instruction to Meet Individual Needs

To help all his students succeed with research papers, Frescoln provides science texts at several reading levels and uses mixed-ability groupings. Each of five students in a mixed-ability group might research a different cell part by gathering information from books at her own reading level.

Then groups split up so that all students with the same cell assignment compare notes and teach one another. Finally, students return to their original groups so that every member of each group can report to the others and learn about the other cell parts.

This approach to differentiation helps motivate all students to push themselves just a little further, he says. To start everyone off on the same foot, DeLuca uses an introductory lab activity that allows the whole class to compare the differing weights of identical volumes of sand and oil.

The object is to determine whether a ship could carry the same amount of sand as it could oil, and how this manifests the property of density. From this starting point, DeLuca assigns students an Internet activity that explores the causes of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald—but at different levels of synthesis and analysis, depending on student ability.

Homework assignments ask higher-ability students to design cargo boats, grade-level students to float an egg, and below-level students to determine which is more dense: They must perform a water displacement experiment to come up with the correct answer.

accommodating instruction to meet individual needs

All students complete lab reports that DeLuca evaluates using a rubric. Analytical writing is the most important element of the rubric, but students can earn an A grade as long as they support their conclusions with evidence found in their own particular assignments. The tests DeLuca gives are also differentiated according to the tiered homework and lab activities. The important thing is for everyone to have a certain degree of challenge. Even though this is an honors class, Bushe finds that there is a wide variance in abilities, so he tries to differentiate instruction according to interest, task, and readiness.

He finds that mock trials offer opportunities for all three modes of differentiation. Dividing his class of 30 into three groups of 10, Bushe gives each group a court case involving a legal concept such as beyond a reasonable doubt.

Students choose whether to be lawyers, witnesses, or defendants—whichever they feel most comfortable with. Every student has at least two roles, because each trial group also serves as the jury for another trial group. To prepare for their roles, students must complete individualized reading and writing assignments, but they all learn the basics of trial by jury. One factor of Bushe's mock trials that heightens interest is that each jury deliberates in a fishbowl environment—that is, the rest of the class gets to observe the deliberations but may not speak or interfere.

But of course, they can't say anything. But Bushe insists that by differentiating, "you're guaranteeing that more kids will understand what you're doing.

accommodating instruction to meet individual needs

In the face of these challenges, how can an administrator encourage teachers to move in this direction? Administrators also need to provide "flexibility of funds" so teachers can use a variety of resources and are not stuck with one textbook. But "the critical factor is [sustained] staff development," Allan emphasizes.

Three years ago, when she started pitching the idea to elementary teachers, McAdamis met with "terrible resistance. When McAdamis broached the idea to middle school teachers, "they almost threw me out," she recalls.

The teachers objected, saying that they lacked time, that they were dealing with large class sizes, and that differentiation ran counter to the middle school philosophy.

Differentiated instruction is not a form of tracking, Tomlinson states; it is "intended to be the exact opposite. McAdamis notes that some of the middle school teachers who were initially the biggest resisters have become the biggest supporters. One science teacher was dragged into differentiated instruction "kicking and screaming," she says.

Then the teacher tried a tiered activity and was stunned by the outcome. Principals' attitudes and the amount of support they provide are critical. In her district, principals have found money to hire substitutes, allowing teachers to make school visits and do peer coaching. Two staff members from each school took the course, then led staff development activities at their respective schools, he says.

At Riverheads, each teacher was asked to create or modify a unit of instruction in keeping with the principles of differentiated instruction. Bateman gave the teachers feedback on their units, then met with them again after they had taught the units.

Accommodating Instruction to Meet Individual Need by Brooke Bowers on Prezi

Bateman also helped develop two sample units—one on oceans, one on regions of the United States—that were given to teachers as a guide. Through creating these sample units, "we learned a tremendous amount," he says. Similarly, McAdamis has compiled a book of teacher-developed activities and lessons that represent "best practices" in differentiated instruction.

A Challenge Worth Meeting No one claims that differentiating instruction is easy. If kids are not in a place where they can learn, they let us know loud and clear," she says. Teachers are inspired to persevere with differentiated instruction when they see the results, Allan says. Students are more engaged and make more rapid progress.

Bright students are no longer bored, and struggling students are finding learning more accessible—and hence their sense of self-efficacy is rising. In response, "I see veteran teachers becoming energized, and new teachers becoming enormously excited," Allan says. As one veteran teacher told her: Some students have had limited experience expressing personal preferences and advocating for themselves. Speaking out about their preferences, particularly in the presence of "authority figures," may be a new role for students, one for which they need guidance and feedback.

Teachers can play a key role in working with students to advocate for themselves in the context of choosing and using accommodations. In addition, these skills can be used throughout a student's daily life, and on into post-secondary education, career and community life.

For example, college students may be required to complete a formal application for accommodations and request permission from the instructor. These are critical skills for students to learn while still in high school. Students need to know what accommodations are possible, and then, based on knowledge of their personal strengths and limitations, they need to select and try accommodations that might be useful for them.

The more input students have in their own accommodation choices, the more likely it is that they will actually use the accommodations - especially as students reach adolescence and the desire to be more independent. Self advocacy skills become critical here.

Students need opportunities to learn which accommodations are most helpful for them, and then they need to learn how to make sure those accommodations are provided in all of their classes and wherever they need them outside of school. Many college students are surprised when they find out that the only way they can receive accommodations is by asking for them - there is no special education teacher assigned to take care of individual student needs. Colleges have disability services available, but only for students who request them.

Assertive self-advocacy is especially important when confronting instructors and employers who do not understand why a person should be given "special privileges.

These decisions need to be reviewed at least annually. Accommodations needs change over time! Students can work on decreasing the need for some accommodations or increasing the variety of accommodations they can use across multiple settings and situations. As students gain academic skill and knowledge of their learning strengths, some accommodations will no longer be needed e.

IEP teams need to work with students to continually refine their use of accommodations - using only what is most necessary and useful for the student and continually improving efficiency. Most accommodations should become transparent - that is, known only to the user, without disrupting other class members or providing overwhelming burdens to teachers.

accommodating instruction to meet individual needs

The figure below shows an example of a way to document accommodations use on a student's IEP. In this case, the student uses an oral reading accommodation for assistance in content area instruction and assessment while receiving direct instruction in basic reading skills. Present level of performance Tom comprehends grade level academic content that is read aloud to him via human reader, cassette or compact disc, or computerized text reader.

However, Tom has not yet developed decoding skills to read grade level material independently. His progress will be monitored using curriculum based measures.

Services and Accommodations Tom will receive individualized direct instruction in reading from a reading specialist for 30 minutes per day. Tom will use this accommodation on all test items that do not test the skill of decoding words in print.

Differentiating Instruction

Documenting Accommodations on a Student's Accommodations Plan Section of the Rehabilitation Act of requires public schools to provide accommodations to students with disabilities even if they do not qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA.

No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States Each student's unique set of accommodations should be understood and supported by all school personnel involved with a student, including general and special education teachers, paraeducators, and support staff such as speech clinicians, school psychologists, and therapists.

Support for the use of accommodations also needs to be provided by family members, employers and coworkers, and other community members who interact regularly with the student.

V3-2: Implementing Instructional Accommodations

Some accommodations are easier and less time consuming for teachers to provide than others. Research has shown that the attitudes and willingness of teachers to provide accommodations often varies depending on the difficulty of providing the accommodations.

For example, finding a quiet room and test proctor and arranging for extra time for every classroom test might seem too much of a burden for an already overwhelmed general education teacher. This is where the importance of a team is so critical.

First, it must be determined that a student really needs the accommodation. Every student who receives special education services does not need to take tests in private settings.

A simple form describing a student's accommodations could be updated regularly and shared with everyone who assists a student in the implementation of his or her accommodations. Keeping Track of What Works One way to keep track of what accommodations work for a student is to support the student in keeping an "accommodations journal. Just think of how much easier it would be for an IEP team to decide which accommodations to document on a student's IEP if the student came to the IEP meeting with a journal documenting all of these things: Accommodations used Test results when accommodations are used Student's perception of how well the accommodation "worked", What happens when the student doesn't use the accommodation, What combinations of accommodations work better, Perceptions of teachers and therapists about how the accommodation appears to be working Increasing Access in Other Ways There are other important ways to increase a student's access to academic content standards through instruction in the general curriculum.

This website describes many of these excellent research based strategies, including: Learning Strategies and Study Skills There are many ways to assist students in becoming proficient on grade level content that do not lower expectations. Content Enhancements These include advanced organizers, visual displays, study guides, mnemonic devices, peer mediated instruction, and computer assisted instruction.

Universal Design for Learning We are learning to think more carefully about the design of instruction from the beginning to be sure that it can be accessed by the today's diverse student population. Assistive technology The definitions of assistive technology and accommodations overlap and it is not necessary to sort out the details, as long as the goal of increasing access is met as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Assistive technology is defined as, "Any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individual with disabilities" Technology-related Assistance for Individual with Disabilities Act, Non-academic accommodations These include specific accommodations for individual students in certain situations that may come up during a school day.

For example, when there is a fire drill, a student with a wheelchair may need to use an elevator or be carried down stairs by more than one adult.