Testimonials from SOA Pilot Programs

As you may know, a number of campuses participated in a pilot program for the online Standardized Oral Administration accommodation option last year. This pilot program allowed TEA to evaluate the effectiveness of the SOA option for the STAAR test with a smaller group of schools before making it available statewide. The following feedback is from teachers, students, and test coordinators who participated in the pilot program:

From Teachers:

They really liked taking it on the computer. They liked being able to go at their own pace.

The kids don’t like one teacher reading to a whole group. They don’t like having to stand out by asking you to go slower or to repeat a question.

If they wanted something re-read, they didn’t have to call somebody over. The biggest thing was being able to rewind and hear at their own pace.

Whenever they have the option, the kids always say they want it read on the computer.

This generation is so technology-based, they just feel more comfortable being on the computer. And anything we can do to alleviate their stress is a good thing.

From Students:

I liked being able to go at my own pace.

I liked it better because some teachers are better at reading tests out loud than others.

You can speed it up if you already know what something says.

Definitely liked this better than having a teacher read.

From District Testing Personnel:

I had campuses that were scared to do the pilot program since it was a live test and they had never done it before. But the interface has been live for several years with STAAR-L and even longer with TELPAS, so there shouldn’t be an issue with functionality.

For the kids that they used it with, it was fantastic. Worked great. The kids seemed to like it and there were no issues.

They spent some time with the students on the practice site – which is how they determined if it was an appropriate mode for each student.

For students who have a reading disability, and maybe even attention issues or trouble focusing, I got a lot of positive feedback about increased levels of engagement because of the online delivery method.

For more information on the accommodation, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/soa/

For an in-depth look at these options, share the SOA webinars on the Region 13 webinars page: http://www4.esc13.net/agc/webinars/

For specific assistance on planning and implementing the SOA student tutorial, contact the Region 13 Access to the General Curriculum team:

jc.sanders@esc13.txed.net
kim.west@esc13.txed.net
matthew.holloway@esc13.txed.net

 

Register Now for IEP Best Practice: FIE to IEP

The purpose of an IEP is to improve the educational results for children with disabilities.

There are many aspects to writing a full Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This document, when well written, can be an asset to the students they are designed for as well as their teachers.  It takes a multidisciplinary team to create such an effective document. 

This 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 goals.

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 and access to experts in the field to help answer your individual questions.

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

Thursday and Friday, February 27 & 28, 2014,  9 – 4pm

Register at ecampus.esc13.net

Workshop ID # SP1427325 – IEP Best PRactices:  FIE to IEP (2 day)

Contact:

Cathy Miller  cathy.miller@esc13.txed.net

Joy Hunsucker   joy.hunsucker@esc13.txed.net

Math for All – AGC in Math

 

 

 

 

STAAR – Modified is going away. What does that mean for my students in math next year?

In this workshop you will learn how to accommodate and modify instruction in the math classroom. Develop a plan for preparing all your students for higher expectations.

Hands-on experiences will be provided to show you how to meet the needs of a diverse population. Various resources and tools will be shared at this training.  Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate and network with other math and special education teachers.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 9 – 4pm

Register at ecampus.esc13.net

Workshop ID # SP1426974 – Math for All

Inclusion Support in Social Studies – Rescheduled

What is this picture and how can I use visuals like these to enhance my instruction? 

Due to the ice day, Accessing the General Curriculum in Social Studies: Inclusion in the Age of STAAR has a new date, Monday, February 24, 2014.

In this workshop:

  • Participants will receive a copy of “Social Studies Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites” by Marcia Tate.
  • Develop instructional strategies such as use of Graphic Organizers, Visual Aids, Mnemonic Devices, Movement, and Storytelling for teachers in inclusive Social Studies classrooms
  • Align accommodations available to students with disabilities on Social Studies assessments with classroom instruction
  • Engage in brain-based strategies and learn how to apply them in the classroom so all students can better retain and apply information

Research on Computer Based Accommodations

Special educators may be interested in this study of student attitudes towards computer-based oral administration of tests: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/arra/cteag_lessons_learned.pdf

Pages 10 and 11 contain some very interesting findings. Some highlights:

  • 75.1% of students with disabilities agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I found it easier to think on the computer test than a paper and pencil test” compared to 65.2% of students without disabilities.
  • 86.5% of students with disabilities agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “It was easy to have words read to me” compared to 78.4% of students without disabilities.
  • 73.6% of students with disabilities agreed or strongly agreed with the statement:“I found it easy to think when listening to the computer text reader compared to 58.3% of students without disabilities.

Food for thought for educators having conversations about implementing the Standardized Oral Administration on this year’s STAAR test. For more information on that accommodation, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/soa/

For an in-depth look at these options, share the SOA webinars on the Region 13 webinars page: http://www4.esc13.net/agc/webinars/

For specific assistance on planning and implementing the SOA student tutorial, contact the Region 13 Access to the General Curriculum team:

jc.sanders@esc13.txed.net
kim.west@esc13.txed.net
matthew.holloway@esc13.txed.net

Autism Needs Assessment

In order to plan for training and technical assistance for individuals working with students with autism, the Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training has a needs assessments to gather input from all school districts and charter schools across the state.  This survey is short and does not require any personal information from you.

We would like to have responses from a variety of educational professionals, such as teachers, paraprofessionals, SLPs, OTs, PTs, Behavior/Autism Specialists, Assessment Staff, Administrators,  etc.  Please forward this information and survey link to others who work with this population.

We would appreciate your response to this survey by February  17, 2014.

The needs assessment is located at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/autismneeds2014

If you have questions regarding the survey, please contact Cyndi O’Toole at Education Service Center Region 13.  cyndi.otoole@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5180

Thank you for your participation and for distributing this to your programs, teachers, staff, colleagues, etc.

Sincerely,

Cyndi O’Toole, MA, BCBA
Statewide Lead Autism Training
Education Specialist Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Education Service Center Region 13
5701 Springdale Road
Austin, TX 78727

What is Universal Design for Learning?

 

You may have heard the term “Universal Design for Learning” and wanted to know more about it. UDL is an approach that draws inspiration from architectural principles that call for buildings to be made accessible to people of various needs. The idea behind Universal Design for Learning is that students learn best when they are presented with multiple modes of:

  • Representation (the way instruction is delivered)
  • Expression (the way students show what they know)
  • Engagement (the way that students are engaged and motivated through a lesson)

If you are interested in a more concrete explanation of Universal Design for Learning, the 15-minute video and module on the page below highlights the concepts as they are used in classrooms:

http://udlseries.udlcenter.org/presentations/learner_variability.html?plist=explore

Finally, click here for a downloadable chart that lays out all of the elements of Universal Design on a one-page display: Universal Design for Learning Guidelines

If you would like more information, you may want to access the CAST website: http://www.cast.org/index.htm