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 

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

 

Beat the Heat 2019 Call for Presentations: Teachers Teaching Teachers

 

Beat the Heat 2019 is coming soon!  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. We are seeking teachers, para-educators, and support staff (SLP, OT, PT, AT, VI, COMS, APE, RN, etc) who are interested in teaching others about the terrific strategies, tools, and plans they use in their classroom!

Submit your proposal to become a Beat the Heat local presenter and, if selected, earn free registration to the conference! This is a terrific opportunity to share your hard-earned professional expertise with your colleagues while developing new professional skills. Presenters of accepted proposals will have the option to complete a self-paced, online course specifically designed to support local Region 13 presenters in developing and delivering professional trainings. Those who complete this course will receive a certificate of endorsement as a presenter from ESC 13. Develop yourself by developing others and build out your résumé with this great opportunity!

We are seeking engaging sessions in the following areas of special education:

  • Behavior
  • Collaboration & Leadership
  • Communication
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Early Childhood/PPCD
  • Inclusion
  • Sensorimotor
  • Transition

Your work matters! Please consider providing a breakout presentation for this year’s Beat the Heat conference. Even better, grab a co-worker and both of you submit a proposal!

Deadline for submissions: Monday, March 25, 2019

Questions or just want some help brainstorming ideas?  Contact me!

Nichole Kertis Barton – nichole.kertis@esc13.txed.net

STAARtlingly Helpful January PD!

It’s almost here…!! Wishing you a warm, wonderful, and peaceful holiday season!

Understanding that when the break is over, educators and students will be that much closer to high stakes testing days, we want to highlight an upcoming workshop designed to bring clarity around the most current STAAR accessibility resources.

When focused on teaching, preparing for and deciding between paper and online STAAR accessibility options can feel overwhelming.

In this interactive workshop you will become familiar with the updated STAAR accessibility policies. You will learn about expanded student eligibility criteria, expanded allowability of technology tools, and how to meet the technology guidelines. Most important, you will learn how to integrate technology into your content area/s that simulates the online accessibility resources, enhances your teaching, and addresses students’ need to routinely and effectively use their supports during instruction.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the STAAR Accessibility updates
  • Explore STAAR Online Practice Tests and the embedded supports
  • Discover tech tools that simulate STAAR embedded supports and choose the tech tools that are applicable to your content area and your students
  • Practice using instructional/assistive technology tools
  • Discuss classroom implementation strategies to ensure students have opportunities to use supports routinely, effectively and independently
  • Understand the parameters of the 2018-19 Technology Guidelines and test security processes
  • Familiarize yourself with the resources of Accommodation Central

Note: There will be a focus on the following Designated Supports as well as the Calculator and Dictionary Policies:

  • Basic Transcribing
  • Oral Administration
  • Spelling Assistance
  • Content and Language Supports
  • Calculation Aids

Whether you’re a special or general educator, administrator, or related service provider we hope to see you at one of these dates:

  • Jan 22, 2019 registration details here
  • Jan 23, 2019 registration details here
  • Jan 29, 2019 registration details here

Please contact Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5246 for any questions.

 

Maker Faire @ Beat the Heat 2018

beat the heat, every child matters logo

When we say “maker,” you say “faire!” Why do our teachers and paraeducators love the maker faire at Beat the Heat? So many reasons; here’s a few:

  • Items are tied to content from sessions participants have just attended
  • Activities address functional and academic areas/skills
  • Items are designed to be engaging and span grade bands
  • Instruction templates include why the activity is beneficial to students, how to make it, instructions for use, application to adulthood, making it meaningful extensions, and additional resources
  • Serves as a networking, problem solving, and interactive brain break station

Here are ideas of what’s to come…

  • make a repetitive line nursery rhyme book with an unexpected twist adding environmental print
  • self-determination folder “games”
  • ten frame math puzzle activity
  • “active learning” interactive wrist bands
  • portable behavioral supports as pictured below
  • and MORE

We hope to see you there! For details and registration information please visit the BTH 2018 WEBSITE http://bit.ly/BTH18.

 

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

Beat the Heat 2018 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.  Can’t attend in person? Want to attend in your pajamas? Wish you could see more than one session in the same time slot? Yes, you can…

Beat the Heat Every child matters.

WHEN

  • June 21, 2018 9-4
  • June 22, 2018 9-4

WHERE

Education Service Center Region 13 + Online
5701 Springdale Road
Austin, TX  78723

FEATURING    

BTH 2018 WEBSITE
http://bit.ly/BTH18

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 5 livestreamed sessions for credit. After the event, view the other recorded sessions for a limited time  (no credit, for content only).

The following sessions will be available online via Livestream.  Every participant will be able to choose and view 5 livestreamed sessions for credit during the live event.  The other sessions may be viewed after the event for a limited time* for content only (no credit given).

THURSDAY LIVESTREAM OPTIONS 6/21/18  (pick 1)

9:00-4:00

  • Topic: Linking Behavior Interventions for Young Children to Their Function– Susan Catlett, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • *60 days

9:00-4:00

  • Topic: Alright, Alright, ALL Write: Differentiated Writing Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities- Janet Sturm, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • *60 days

9:00-4:00

  • Topic: Taming the Data Monster– Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • *5 days

FRIDAY LIVESTREAM OPTIONS 6/22/18  (pick 1 for each time slot)

9:00-10:00

  • Keynote: “Changing the Narrative through Opportunity and Raised Expectations”– Liz Plachta and Mark Hublar
  • * 60 days

10:15 – 11: 45 AM Sessions

  • Topic: Instructional Routine for Achieving Early Counting  Claire Greer, Ph.D.  (*60 days)
  • Topic: Promoting Comprehending Hands Through Active Learning– Patty Obrzut, OT and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children  (*60 days)

12:45 – 2:15 PM Sessions

  • Topic: Building Independence Through Structured Work Systems – Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D  (*5 days)
  • Topic: Early Learning & Movement: An Active Learning Perspective – Patty Obrzut, OT and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children (*60 days)
 2:30 – 4:00 PM Sessions
  • Topic: Building Cohesive Classroom Teams– Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D  (*5 days)
  • Topic: Let’s Open a Can of Worms: Sexuality and Disabilities– Barbara Hobbs, ESC 16  (*60 days)
Note: You will NOT select the sessions you want to watch when registering.  You WILL be able to choose sessions on June 21 after logging in to Region 13’s ecampus/workshop registration system, finding the course SU1839863 and selecting the Launch button.  Once launched, you’ll be able to navigate to the sessions you want to attend. This will also be the pathway to recorded sessions afterwards.

Please let me know if you have any questions- nichole.kertis@esc13.txed.net.

 

Register + Save the Date for “Beat the Heat 2018”- Your Wintry Reminder!

Graphic for Beat the Conference

Beat the Heat 2018
June 21 & 22, 2018

ESC Region 13  

Workshop # SU1836780

*Register now for this exceptional learning opportunity designed for educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant disabilities.

Thursday ♦ June 21, 2018 ♦ 9 am – 4 pm

Full day, in-depth workshops on topics including: challenging behavior, communication/AAC, individualized instruction, transition and more!

Friday ♦ June 22, 2018 ♦ 9 am – 4 pm

  • Keynote = what topics/who would you like to have keynote this year?  Click here to submit your idea!
  • 90 minute breakout sessions presented by the best and brightest from Region 13 and around the state

Here’s why you should attend!

  • Attend one of the largest conferences in the state focusing on students with significant disabilities
  • Learn first-hand from experts in the field
  • Improve outcomes for your students by learning new strategies and tools from other classroom professionals
  • Network with your colleagues
  • Lunch provided each day

Bonus for ESC Region 13 Parents and Paraeducators!

Receive a discount code to attend Beat the Heat for $10 by contacting Maria Daniel (maria.daniel@esc13.txed.net).

*Congrats to 2017’s QR Code Scavenger Hunt Winners who won free registration to this year’s conference!!

  • Courtney McBride – Leander ISD
  • Jennifer Blair – Llano ISD
  • Isabel Bahena – Giddings ISD
  • Rosa Reese – Manor ISD
  • Abbey Smith – Pflugerville ISD

Got Skills?  We’d love you to present!  Stay tuned for our Call for Presenters