Free Workshop Opportunities for September

As a back-to-school welcome, we are offering the following workshops for free in the month of September:

Download this FLYER for details!

  • Bilingual Special Education Evaluation Institute
  • IEP Best Practices: FIE to IEP – 2 Day
  • Guided Reading for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
  • Early Childhood Outcomes & PreK Guidelines Alignment: Accessing the Curriculum
  • Classroom Organization and Routines for Students with Significant Disabilities
  • Emergent Writing for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
  • Math for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
  • Accessing the General Curriculum in English Language Arts/Reading
  • Dr. Jean: Rock, Rhyme, Write, and Read
  • To Drill or Not to Drill? – Morning Addition/Subtraction
  • To Drill or Not to Drill? – Afternoon Multiplication/Division
  • To Drill or Not to Drill? – Full Day
  • Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome
  • Power of Inclusion: One Day Introduction
  • iCan Do iT: iPad Apps iN Support of iEPs & STAAR-Alt (to be published in eCampus)
  • Early Childhood Outcomes SPP7
  • Science for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Download this FLYERfor details! 


Do your students struggle with basic math facts?

Students with working memory difficulties, math disabilities, and other learning disabilities can really struggle with the memorization of the basic math facts.  Even though there are tools like multiplication charts to provide accommodations for students, this deficiency will continue to hinder their mathematical abilities in later grades and in life. So what can we do?

To Drill or Not to Drill? workshop will focus on teaching basic math facts through strategies rather than memorization. Math fact strategies can build a student’s conceptual understanding of numbers and number relationships. The use of strategies also encourages flexible thinking in our students. The strategies taught in this workshop are researched based.

To register visit: Workshop # FA1327345, Sept. 25th 9 am – 4 pm.

Best of all this workshop is FREE and comes along with FREE resources. FACTastic Math Strategy System is a flashcard based system to help teach students the strategies and provide students with effective and efficient practice of the facts. For September only, the workshop and two sets of FACTastic cards (addition/subtraction and multiplicition/division) are completely FREE!

Follow the link to find out more,

Working with Paraprofessionals Guidance Document

The AGC (Access to the General Curriculum) statewide team, in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency, has published a resource document called “Working with Paraprofessionals: A Resource for Teachers of Students with Disabilities”. This document includes sections on:

  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • General and Special Education Settings
  • Non-Traditional Settings
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
  • Documentation
  • Professional Development
  • and Instruction

This document will be a valuable resource for paraprofessionals, teachers, and administrators seeking guidance on the important work that paraprofessionals provide in our schools. It can be downloaded here English or Spanish and it can be viewed, along with other AGC statewide documents, here.

Instructional Accommodations to Unclutter the Web

With so much instructional reading material being web-based, teachers may want a way to simplify “cluttered” web pages for students who struggle with interpreting complex visual layouts. One free tool for this, available for iOS, Android, or traditional web browsers, is called Readability. The app has its own browser that will allow a student to open up a website, like so:

A student would simply press the “Read Now” button at the top of the window and a simplified, uncluttered version of the page would appear. This is what our example would look like in Readability:

This tool, and others like it, might be useful for students who struggle with the oftentimes over-whelming world of website design. Happy reading!

Are You Writing Effective IEPs?

IEP Best Practices: FIE to IEP combines 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 goals.  You will leave this 2 day training with tools to support your efforts for well written IEPs aligned to the standards.

For the greatest impact, both days of this training should be attended by special education assessment personnel AND instructional personnel.

And the best part is, this training is FREE!!!  In fact all of our September special ed training opportunities are free to our Region 13 clients.

Click here for more information on the IEP training.

Click here to see the full list of 15 different opportunities to attend FREE!!!


Help us establish a voice and presence for Special Education at the 2014 SXSWedu conference! Just follow the steps below to vote. Don’t worry, we timed it — the whole process takes less than 2 minutes and is very straightforward!

1. Follow this link to create an account with SXSW: The only information you’ll need to share is your name and email address.

2. Check your email for a confirmation notice and follow that link.

3. Click on the button below to view the submission: “What’s So Special About Special Education”

4. Vote and enjoy!

Spelling Assistance Accommodation Feedback

As we visit with teachers around Region 13 this summer, we notice that many of their students are receiving the Spelling Assistance accommodation for statewide assessments. We would like to share with you some of their experiences.

As you know, the primary use of accommodations is during classroom instruction. We have heard several different approaches to implementing this accommodation and would like to share them below but first, the specifics:

This accommodation is for use on the English Language Arts assessment if students meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • ˆreceives special education or Section 504 services, ˆ
  • routinely, independently, and effectively uses this accommodation during classroom instruction and testing,
  • andˆ is capable of organizing and developing ideas and understands the basic function and use of written language conventions (e.g., sentence structures, irregular verbs) but has a disability that is so severe that he or she cannot apply basic spelling rules and/or word patterns (e.g., silent letters, base words with affixes) to written responses.

This accommodation may include ONLY

  • frequently misspelled word list (e.g., student-made, teacher-made, commercially produced)
  • spell check function on a word processor
  • pocket spellchecker
  • word-prediction software
  • text-to-speech software or devices (i.e., software or devices that read aloud student-generated text)• speech-to-text software (i.e., software that converts the student’s spoken language into print)

Teachers who implemented this accommodation by distributing pre-made lists of words to students reported minimal to medium effectiveness. Teachers who implemented this accommodation by allowing students to use the spell check function on a word processor reported medium effectiveness but mentioned a number of challenges in successful student use.

Teachers who implemented this accommodation by allowing students to create their own frequently misspelled word list, which they carried with them in a notebook and used across content areas during instruction, reported maximum effectiveness and were eager to start implementing this accommodation right from the start of the coming school year. Students who take personal responsibility for their own accommodations are more likely to put them to use in an effective manner. One teacher compared this approach to allowing each student to maintain “his own personal word wall”.

For more information on Spelling Assistance and all other allowable accommodations, visit

Please share your own experiences with the Spelling Assistance accommodation in the comments below.

Intensive Service Delivery Model: Jarrell Elementary School

It is time to garner our excitement and SLP-passion for the 2013-2014 school year. As we prepare our brains to aspire towards the most effective year of speech-language pathology services, I challenge you to think of your current service delivery models. A survey conducted by Brandel and Loeb (2011) reported a majority of school-based speech-language pathologists use traditional service methods. What is this traditional service method we speak of? Therapy sessions are conducted one or twice a week for 30 minutes. Is this what is best for our students? In other words, do they make the most progress this way? Did we use the least amount of time in a specialized classroom? Is this the best use of our time as service providers?

The following video is a story about an intensive service delivery model piloted at Jarrell Elementary School in Jarrell ISD during the 2012-2013 school year. Following an intensive, daily intervention schedule, students, on average, scored 18 standard score points higher on their post-tests after nine weeks. Story retells, following intervention, contained introduction of characters, a setting, initiating event, attempts at resolving the problem and a conclusion. Writing samples started as a few lines of text to two-full pages of written text containing all story grammar components. Take a look at the data we obtained.

Then, start thinking about how you can make the most impact as a speech-language pathologist.