Don’t Miss this Beat the Heat Line Up!

Beat the Heat 2019 is almost here!  This summer conference is dedicated to providing professional development to educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant intellectual and low incidence disabilities.

Don’t miss out y’all (and it’ll be hard to because we have so many user-friendly registration options). 2019 has another great line up of content from amazing national and statewide presenters! Here’s a peek:

  • Anne Meeker, Ph.D. will present “WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE:” Songs and Strategies to Support Young Children with Challenging Behaviors 
  • Erin Sheldon, M.Ed. will present Inclusive Classroom Strategies, AT, and Peer Supports for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities
  • Crystal Bell will present Charting the LifeCourse: Key Principles, Concepts, and Practices
  • Barb Hobbs, M.Ed. will present Let’s Open a Can of Worms: Sexuality, Safety, and Disabilities
  • Randy Foederer and Vicki Foederer, CAPE will present Getting to the Goals in Adapted Physical Education 
  • Sara Kitchen and Scott Baltisberger, VI Outreach Specialists @ TSBVI will present Active Learning: Interactions

We hope to see you there! Use this link https://www4.esc13.net/lowincidence/beat-the-heat/ to register. Stay tuned; additional details about breakout sessions, keynote, maker faire, and our finalized schedule will be coming soon.

Questions? Contact: Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net 

STAAR Alternate 2 Testing Window EXTENSION

Region 13’s ESC Testing Coordinator received this message today. Please share this news from TEA with all associated with the STAAR Alternate 2 administration.

To the District and ESC Testing Coordinator Addressed:

This communication is to inform you of the following update for the 2019 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) Alternate 2 administration.

Due to the concerns some districts have expressed about the new STAAR Alternate 2 registration and ordering process,  the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is extending the testing window to Friday, April 26, 2019. This extension should allow districts that received its materials orders late in the testing window to complete the STAAR Alternate 2 administration for all eligible students.

Districts that plan to use the testing window extension do not need to contact TEA or Pearson. If you have questions about this extension or STAAR Alternate 2, please call the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536. Thank you.

 

Texas Education Agency

Student Assessment Division

512-463-9536

*Your Region 13 contacts from the Special Education department for questions about the administration of the STAAR Alternate 2 are Jennifer Russell (jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net, 512-919-5206) and Darcy Schiller (darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net, 512-919-5224).

 

 

FIE to IEP – the ABCs of a Well-Written Plan

Team workFIE to IEP picture

There are many aspects to writing a complete Individualized Education Program (IEP). These documents, when well-written, can be assets to the students they are designed for as well as their teachers.  It takes a multidisciplinary team to create such dynamic and effective plans.

This two-day training will focus on combining the details of a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) with the knowledge of good instructional practice to write powerful PLAAFP statements which will lead to student-focused goalsTeams that include both assessment personnel and special education teachers will benefit from working together during these two days.

Participants will leave with tools to support their efforts for well-written IEPs aligned to the standards.  This intensive instruction will allow time for participant practice, reflection, and  individual questions.

IEP Best Practices: FIE to IEP

March 28 and 29, 2019

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

$90.

Register for this workshop, SP1939444, in ecampus.

For additional information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net or Lindy Frazer, lindy.frazer@esc13.txed.net

 

Two Ways to Beat the Heat: In Person & Online! Register Now…

Beat the Heat 2019 is just around the corner!  This summer conference is dedicated to providing professional development to educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant intellectual and low incidence disabilities.  Can’t attend in person? Want to attend in your pajamas? Wish you could see more than one session in the same time slot? Well, you can…

ATTEND 2 DAYS IN PERSON

Attend any session in person for credit. Also, view any/all of the recorded sessions for a limited time after the event (no credit, for content only).

_______________________________________

ATTEND 2 DAYS ONLINE VIA LIVESTREAM

Choose and watch a variety of livestreamed sessions for credit. After the event, view the other recorded sessions for a limited time  (no credit, for content only).

WHEN: June 19-20, 2019

WHERE: Education Service Center Region 13 & Online
5701 Springdale Road
Austin, TX  78723

Stay tuned for our exciting presenter line up…

STAARtling Teacher Hacks in Preparation for STAAR Online

Here are four cool things teachers and administrators have been doing to help students feel better prepared for STAAR Online:

  1. Print a poster-size picture from the Educator Guide to Accessibility within the STAAR Program (like the image below) to make explicit connections to what the tool will look like and where to find it on the screen even when using paper-based instruction.  It might sound like this:”Guys, as you read raise your hand to ask me about words or phrases that are you don’t understand. During STAAR online anytime you see a blue underlined word/phrase or an arrow button, be sure to click on it to see the helpful clues.”

“Students, right now we’re using our red pens to cross out options we know are not correct. During STAAR Online, you will find the eliminator tool at the top (teacher points to the X icon),”

or “Class, I want you to take your highlighters out and mark the key words. During STAAR Online, you will do the same thing by selecting the word with your mouse to make the highlight option show up.”

or “Guys, as you read raise your hand to ask me about words or phrases that you don’t understand. During STAAR online anytime you see a blue underlined word/phrase or an arrow button, be sure to click on it to see the helpful clues.”

2. Place a page protector or clear contact paper over students’ monitors, turning the screen and cover into scratch paper. Students use the same math strategies as they do on paper but can generalize this skill into an online environment. Love it!

3. Eanes ISD and Desmos collaborated to develop a “test mode” for the popular iOS and Chrome app providing a secure, allowable graphing calculator to use on STAAR paper or online.

4. Campuses and districts have decided to replace one of their district benchmark tests with the STAAR Interim Assessment. Students get to practice using the same supports they’ll see on STAAR and districts get to plan from the data they receive.

If you know of a different STAAR prep “hack,” please share! Contact Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net

Preparing Your Students for STAAR Online During Classroom Instruction: Easy Peasy!


You’ve determined that STAAR Online will best match the accommodations your student receives in class that have been successful. You’ve provided your student time to take the STAAR tutorials and practice tests, and even helped personalize settings as part of using the STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist.

Now you’re wondering how the in-class supports you’re providing, traditionally without technology, will transfer into an online environment. How can we accomplish and duplicate these by using technology in class to improve the odds that students will use the online supports come test day?

First, we can put ourselves in a mindset of normalizing the use of digital accommodations. After all, how many of us use spellcheck or ebooks and audiobooks?

Regarding practice opportunities for Content and Language Supports provided primarily through rollovers and pop-ups, really it’s as easy as the ideas demonstrated in this table.
Content & Language Supports… …with Technology
provide clarifying information for a graphic organizer, political cartoon, or map

provide a visual representation in the selection, question, answer choices, or in the writing prompt by adding graphics, photographs, or animations

isolate specific text or information in a selection that is referenced in the question or answer choices

reword complex question or answer choices to condense text

define or clarify construct-irrelevant words, phrases, and sentences using plain language, synonyms, definitions, examples, and consistent language

reorganize and simplify historical excerpts, respecting the TEKS based academic vocabulary

get materials into a digital format and insert a hyperlink to a map, graphic organizer, or cartoon

get materials into a digital format and insert a hyperlink to a picture, video, etc.

 

bookmarking the selection and hyperlinking to that selection in the answer choice

use a website called Rewordify -this tool simplifies difficult English words

explicitly teach students to use the built-in “synonym” tool within MSWord,  a thesaurus add-on in Google Docs, or a thesaurus Chrome extension by selecting the word, right clicking and choosing “find synonym.”

use websites such as Newsela or CommonLit which automatically levels text, and has text-to-speech and other STAAR-like features.

Regarding practice for oral administration via text-to-speech (TTS), really it’s about providing lots of opportunities for students to experience text-to-speech and any form of TTS practice is useful!

 

Think about tools you already have. Many of these have text-to-speech:

  • online textbooks
  • TextQuest’s database
  • subscription-based ebooks such as Learning A-Z’s ebooks
  • Bookshare or Learning Ally’s books
  • the built-in “speak selected text” in iPad, Chromebook, and MSWord
  • or perhaps your district has a text-to-speech plugin for web browsers

Text-to-speech options are available everywhere, wherever there is text to read, it’s just a google search away! Or an email question away… don’t forget to ask your campus edTech/AT/librarian in case there is a district license to a commercial product that you didn’t know about (e.g. Snap&Read Universal, Read&Write for Google, Kurzweil, etc.).

Of course, using worksheets and other paper materials is problematic for TTS. Here are some steps to consider: are your instructional materials available in a digital format (.rtf, .doc, .pdf)? If not – scan, copy and paste, or type it manually. Not enough devices? Figure out grouping, stations, splitters for headsets, etc.

Using these tools routinely will help build stamina, familiarity, and good habits with online content and supports. In the same way,  the more you can embed digital formative or summative assessment using online tools such as Google Forms and even Kahoot, the more prepared your students will be. 
For questions, contact Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net.

Benefits of STAAR Online Versus Paper


If your instruction looks like this (and we know for many students it does)

…then your student(s) should be taking STAAR online!

Why? Because these supports are only available in the STAAR Online Content and Language Supports.

Sure, you might be thinking about the potential for technology glitches. Online testing might feel risky, but the benefits outweigh the risks. When students receive the same supports on STAAR that they need and routinely use in the classroom their outcomes will benefit.

For another perspective, please click to see this side-by-side document: STAAR Online Benefits.  Then, get with your team to consider classroom instruction, student data from STAAR Online released tests, interim assessments, and other online assignments to make the best decision for each student.

Please let us know if we can be of any assistance. Contact Kim.West@esc13.txed.net

 

Are Your Students Taking STAAR Online?

If so, it’s important that they familiarize themselves with the online testing environment and embedded tools. One great way to do this is to use the STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist while completing the STAAR online tutorials and practice tests.

STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist

It’s important to explicitly teach students how to use the features and supports available as part of the STAAR online assessment. This checklist breaks down the general navigation tools, accessibility features, and designated supports so you can target your students’ practice time and track their progress toward proficiency. The checklist can also be used to keep track of student preferences, such as the speed of the text-to-speech and color background. In addition to helping students, the checklist is a great tool for parents to learn about the STAAR online assessment. Parents can download the STAAR Online Testing Platform to their home computer and practice with their child.

STAAR Online Tutorials

The tutorials are the first step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The tutorials show students how to navigate through the test, respond to the different question types, and access the available tools. In addition, short videos illustrate how to use the various features and tools. Tutorials are available for various grades/subjects and courses.

STAAR Online Practice Tests

The practice tests are the second step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The practice tests are released STAAR test forms that have been previously administered. These tests provide students with an opportunity to interact with the test interface, respond to questions, and locate and use available tools. Practice tests are available for various grades/subjects and courses.

Resources

The STAAR Online Testing Platform operates through a secure browser that must be installed on a desktop or tablet in order to access the tutorials and practice tests. Links to the secure browsers are available at https://www.texasassessment.com/technology/.

The Educator Guide to Accessibility within the STAAR Program provides information about the features and supports that make the STAAR accessible to all students. The guide also includes specific examples of the online features and supports offered on STAAR online.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

 

Write Powerful PLAAFPs and Standards-Based Goals!

IEP title

There are many aspects to writing a complete Individualized Education Program (IEP). This one-day training will focus on writing powerful Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) statements which will lead to student-focused goals.  Participants will leave with easy-to-use tools to support their efforts for well-written IEPs.  This intensive instruction includes participant practice and reflection.  This training is for ANY special education teacher (PPCD to high school) who writes IEPs.

IEP Best Practices: PLAAFP and Goal Writing

February 12, 2018

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

$45

Register for this workshop, SP1939270, in Ecampus.

For additional information, contact Kim West at kim.west@esc13.txed.net

Register today for To Drill or Not to Drill? Math Fact Strategy Instruction!

Do your students struggle to learn math facts?

We know that by 6th grade (TEK 6.3D) students are expected to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers fluently. In this workshop you will learn effective and efficient strategies for students to use in order to build automaticity of the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. Teaching of strategies to recall basic facts builds flexible thinking in a student. Students with flexible thinking are able to see a number in several forms and use the knowledge and skills they already possess to find a solution for an unknown fact. In addition to building flexible thinking, teaching of strategies to recall basic facts improves math calculation skills which are necessary for success on STAAR.

All attendees will receive a set of the FACTastic Math Strategy System, a comprehensive program for teaching basic math facts through strategy-based instruction. Full-day attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. Half-day morning attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for addition/subtraction. Half-day afternoon attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for multiplication/division. Check out this video to learn more about the FACTastic Math Strategy System.

Register Today!

Date: February 26, 2019

  • Full Day: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Half Day (Add/Sub): 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Half Day (Mult/Div): 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Price:

  • Full Day: $75.00
  • Half Day: $45.00

Go to Ecampus and search for the following course numbers.

  • Full Day: SP1940756
  • Half Day (Add/Sub): SP1940810
  • Half Day (Mult/Div): SP1940811

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.