Winter Workshops for Educators of Students with Significant Disabilities!

You won’t want to miss these winter learning opportunities in 2019!

1/8/19:  Evidence-Based Practices: Research Based Teaching Strategies for Teachers of Students with Disabilities (SP1939799) $45

In this workshop, participants will learn the definition of evidence-based practices (EBPs), why these high yield strategies are important, and where to find resources on EBPs that can enhance instructional practices. By the end of the workshop, participants will have the knowledge and tools needed to implement the EBPs of prompting, modeling, reinforcement, differential reinforcement, task analysis, visual supports, and social narratives.

1/28/19 and 1/29/19:  Road to Recovery: Supporting Children with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities Who Have Experienced Trauma (SP1939395) $90

Participants will learn basic knowledge, skills, and values about working with children with IDD who have had traumatic experiences and how to use this knowledge to support children’s safety, well-being, happiness, and recovery through trauma-informed practice. Training activities, including small group exercises, analysis of case vignettes, and discussion, will also encourage exploration of assumptions and attitudes that providers may bring to these cases that may help or hinder their ability to do the work needed. The setting will allow providers to immediately apply ideas, practice problem-solving skills, and learn from each other.

2/6/19:  STAAR Alternate 2 Overview (SP1939620) Free

This training is designed for first-time STAAR Alternate 2 test administrators.   In this optional training we will discuss the updated participation requirements, key dates, allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2, planning for instruction using the essence statements,  TEKS Curriculum Framework, and TEKS vertical alignment. Participants will also have the opportunity to practice administering the test using released STAAR Alternate 2 sample test questions.

2/15/19:  Introduction to the Active Learning Approach: Strategies for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities (SP1939624) $45

In this introductory workshop, participants* will explore the fundamentals of the Active Learning approach, including the Dynamic Learning Circle, Active Learning equipment, the 5 Phases of Educational Treatment, and additional training resources.  There will also be a make and take!

*This workshop is appropriate for Life Skills teachers, PPCD teachers, teachers of students with Visual Impairments,  Occupational Therapists, and Assistive Technology Specialists.

2/25/19: Creating Successful Teams for Teachers and Paraeducators (SP1940744) $45

Are you part of a team of educators working closely together in a special education setting? Then this is the workshop for you!

In this workshop, special education teachers and paraeducators will examine strategies and skills for promoting effective communication, collaboration, and team building.  Workshop topics will include ways to improve teamwork, working relationships, communication, leadership, and role clarification.  Participants will also learn strategies to support effective problem solving and decision making.  Teachers and paraeducators are encouraged, but not required, to attend as a team.

For more information, contact jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net or darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net

Write Powerful PLAAFPs and Standards-Based Goals!

IEP picture

IEP title

There are many aspects to writing a complete Individualized Education Program (IEP). This one-day training will focus on writing powerful 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

December 11, 2018

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

$45

Register for this workshop, FA1839269, in Ecampus.

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

Register today for Science for All!

Are you looking for ways to meet the diverse needs of students in your science classroom?

 

The Science for All workshop will explore evidence-based instructional strategies designed to help all students, especially struggling learners, make progress toward success. You will also learn about accommodations and modifications, how to implement supplemental aids, and tips for helping students transfer their knowledge from instructional practices to the STAAR test. This day-long workshop is designed for all science teachers, but is particularly applicable to teachers of STAAR tested grades (grade 5, grade 8, and biology). You will participate in hands-on activities, small-group discussion, and will leave with ideas and strategies you can start using with your students right away!

Date: January 28, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost: $45.00

Register for Science for All in Ecampus by using course number SP1940797.

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

Improving Student Success in Math: FACTastic Video Series #4

How important is math fact fluency?

Math fact fluency is key to success in math at all levels. We know that by 6th grade students are expected to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers fluently (TEK 6.3D). Using the FACTastic Math Strategy System can help students at any level become more fluent with their math facts.

Check out this classroom example of students using the FACTastic cards.

Making 10 is an important strategy that is already taught in most primary classrooms. In this video students use the FACTastic cards, 10-frames, and counters to help them visualize the partners of 10 as they work toward mastery of TEK 1.3D, apply basic fact strategies to add and subtract within 20, including making 10 and decomposing a number leading to a 10. Learning this strategy builds automaticity of addition and subtraction facts that have a sum of 10.

What is the FACTastic Math Strategy System?

The FACTastic Math Strategy System is a comprehensive program for teaching basic math facts through strategy-based instruction. Using the FACTastic Math Strategy System can help students acquire the flexible thinking they need to be 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.

Want to learn more? Register today!

To learn more about how to use the FACTastic Math Strategy System in your classroom, register today for To Drill or Not To Drill? Math Fact Strategy Instruction.

All attendees will receive a set of the FACTastic Math Strategy System. Day 1 attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for addition/subtraction and Day 2 attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for multiplication/division. Check out this video to learn more about the FACTastic Math Strategy System.

Date: November 12 & 13, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Price: $90.00/day

Go to Ecampus and search for the following course numbers.

  • Day 1, November 12, Addition and Subtraction, #FA1840432
  • Day 2, November 13, Multiplication and Division, #FA1840433

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

Improving Student Success in Math: FACTastic Video Series #3

How important is math fact fluency?

We know that by 6th grade students are expected to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers fluently (TEK 6.3D). We also know that math fact fluency is key to success in math at all grades. Using the FACTastic Math Strategy System can help your students become more fluent with their math facts.

Check out this classroom example of students using the FACTastic cards.

In this video students use the FACTastic cards to practice doubles plus one addition, which is helping them master TEK 1.3D, apply basic fact strategies to add and subtract within 20, including making 10 and decomposing a number leading to a 10. Using the FACTastic cards is a great way to increase student engagement and participation and to improve student academic success.

What is the FACTastic Math Strategy System?

The FACTastic Math Strategy System is a comprehensive program for teaching basic math facts through strategy-based instruction. Using the FACTastic Math Strategy System can help your students acquire the flexible thinking they need to be 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.

Want to learn more? Register today!

To learn more about how to use the FACTastic Math Strategy System in your classroom, register today for To Drill or Not To Drill? Math Fact Strategy Instruction.

All attendees will receive a set of the FACTastic Math Strategy System. Day 1 attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for addition/subtraction and Day 2 attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for multiplication/division. Check out this video to learn more about the FACTastic Math Strategy System.

Date: November 12 & 13, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Price: $90.00/day

Go to Ecampus and search for the following course numbers.

  • Day 1, November 12, Addition and Subtraction, #FA1840432
  • Day 2, November 13, Multiplication and Division, #FA1840433

Stay tuned to the What’s So Special … blog for more videos featuring classroom examples of FACTastic in action!

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

Updates for 2018-2019 Accessibility Features

Where can you find the updated Accessibility Features for the upcoming STAAR?

To get the most up to date information concerning STAAR testing and the Accessibility features, visit the new District and Campus Coordinator Resource online at http://txetests.com/dccr.

What is accessibility?

Ensuring that each student can interact appropriately with the content, presentation, and response mode of the test.

Assessments should allow all test takers to demonstrate their knowledge of the content being tested without the format of the assessment, non-tested language, or the type of response needed to answer the questions being barriers.

In order to meet this goal, various features and supports are made available on paper and online tests to students who use the same or similar supports during classroom instruction.

Accessibility Features

The Accessibility features can be found in the District and Campus Coordinator Resources website.

  • Available to any student who regularly benefits from the use of these procedures or materials during instruction
  • No need to document use of Accessibility Features in student paperwork, the answer document, or in the Texas Assessment Management System.
  • A student may need to complete the test in a separate setting in order to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure that the security and confidentiality of the test is maintained.
  • A student cannot be required to use them during testing.
  • Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that test administrators understand the proper implementation of these procedures and use of these materials.

Typing a student’s response to the writing prompt into the online test for any grade 4 student who is taking STAAR writing online and cannot type proficiently has been added as an Accessibility Feature.

Eligibility for Basic Transcribing does NOT need to be determined for 4th grade students taking the STAAR writing online test and using this feature; however, the procedures for Basic Transcribing MUST be adhered to.

Stay tuned to What’s So Special… for the following blog posts:

  • Updates for 2018-2019 Designated Supports
  • New Online Features for 2019 STAAR

Have a question? Contact the Special Education Instructional Support Team at hello@acentral.education.

Improving Student Success in Math: FACTastic Video Series #2

Check out this classroom example of students using the FACTastic cards to learn 10 minus 1 addition. 

How quickly can you add nine to a number? In this video, the FACTastic cards are used to teach a strategy that helps students learn to flip their thinking of “9,” and are given a cool tool to succeed in their math fluency. The flexible thinking students gain by using these strategies enables them to see a number in several forms and use the knowledge and skills they already possess to find a solution for an unknown fact. Using the FACTastic cards is a great way to increase student engagement and participation and to improve student academic success.

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. Using the FACTastic Math Strategy System can help your students meet this goal. The FACTastic Math Strategy System is a comprehensive program for teaching basic math facts through strategy-based instruction. In addition to building flexible thinking, teaching of strategies to recall basic facts improves math calculation skills which are necessary for success on STAAR.

Register Today!

To learn more about how to use the FACTastic Math Strategy System in your classroom, register today for To Drill or Not To Drill? Math Fact Strategy Instruction.

All attendees will receive a set of the FACTastic Math Strategy System. Day 1 attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for addition/subtraction and Day 2 attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for multiplication/division. Check out this video to learn more about the FACTastic Math Strategy System.

Date: November 12 & 13, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Price: $90.00/day

Go to Ecampus and search for the following course numbers.

  • Day 1, November 12, Addition and Subtraction, #FA1840432
  • Day 2, November 13, Multiplication and Division, #FA1840433

Stay tuned to the What’s So Special … blog for more videos featuring classroom examples of FACTastic in action!

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

LSLS – Bullying Prevention Part 3: Tips for Victims of Bullying

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This is a three-part blog. Part 1 included tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 included tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 includes tips for students who are victims of bullying.

Part 3 is particularly useful for supporting students with disabilities, who are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers.)

Implement modifications and accommodations. These might include preferential seating on the bus, counseling services, increased supervision, speech and language therapy, and regular meetings with team members to ensure that protections from harassment and bullying are being used consistently and effectively.

Amend the IEP or 504 plan. Since so many students with disabilities are bullied, education teams should add the following to a student’s IEP or 504 plan: “If a student is vulnerable to bullying, the team will determine accommodations, services, and interventions that are needed to prevent bullying and obtain a FAPE.” Then, as a team, write measurable goals for teaching the student verbal and nonverbal social skills, self-management, emotion regulation, and self-advocacy skills.

Teach identifying/reporting skills. Ensure that students understand and master the skills for reporting bullying to an adult. Supervise and give feedback when you first teach new skills, and then fade your support over time. Try these structured, multimedia teaching methods:

  • Video modeling. Show students videos of appropriate verbal and nonverbal interactions and imitate the social-communication behavior of the model.
  • Role playing. Have students practice and dramatize social-communication skills in a controlled small group. (Videotape sessions to give students a chance to analyze the interactions and identify key skills.)
  • Scripting. Provide students with short, one- or two-sentence scripts that teach them what to say and do in social situations.
  • Social narratives. Give students clear descriptions of social situations, highlighted with visual icons and symbols to help guide appropriate behavior.
  • Self-monitoringTeach students to record their own behaviors and use a self-assessment to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors during a conflict

Build self-confidence. To empower students and reduce the long-term effects of bullying and harassment, focus on self-advocacy and self-determination. Help students recognize and build on their strengths, and work with them to set goals and pursue interests, hobbies, and activities. You might encourage students to participate in community-based activities (volunteering at a charity, tutoring younger children) to build their self-esteem while giving back to the community.

Check out this Stop Cyber Bullying Guide for tips on how to spot, report, and prevent cyberbullying.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

Updates for 2018-2019 Locally Approved Designated Supports

The Texas Education Agency has made updates to the Locally Approved Designated Supports for the 2018-2019 testing year.

Locally Approved Designated Supports are the 12 supports available to students who meet eligibility criteria.  Eligibility decisions are made by the appropriate team of people at the campus level (ARD committee, 504 committee, LPAC, RTI team) based on the eligibility criteria for each support and are documented in the appropriate paperwork.

Policy Documents for each accommodation are organized the same way:

  • Description of Accommodation
  • Assessments
  • Student Eligibility Criteria
  • Authority for Decision and Required Documentation
  • Examples/Types
  • Special Instructions/Considerations

The full list of designated supports and current policy documents are available in the District and Campus Coordinator Resource at http://txetests.com/dccr

The following designated supports have no changes for 2018-2019:

What’s New and What has Changed?

Manipulating Test Materials

Recording notes in the margins per student directions has been moved to the Basic Transcribing policy.

Basic Transcribing

The student dictates or signs information to be recorded in the margins of the test booklet or in the notes tool for online tests (does NOT apply to math calculations or responses to the written composition). Moved from Manipulating Test Materials.

Braille/Refreshable Braille

For students who take a braille test and are also eligible for Content and Language Supports, a request for a paper version of STAAR with Embedded Supports should be submitted to TEA. Accommodations specific to braille test takers will be provided in the STAAR with Embedded Supports Paper Administration Guide accommodation tables and identified for the test administrator as “Braille Instructions ONLY.” Samples of how these accommodations will appear will be provided in the non-secure front matter of the STAAR with Embedded Supports Paper Administration Guide.

Online screen reader support for refreshable braille displays will be available in Spring 2019 in reading/language arts and social studies assessments.

The state will provide both contracted and uncontracted braille test materials in UEB ONLY (begins with the December 2018 administration).

Calculation Aids

Scientific and graphing calculators are no longer listed as allowable example/types for  2018-2019.  

  • Basic (i.e., four-function) handheld calculator or calculator application, including large-key or  speech-output
  • Basic calculator available as an online embedded support on STAAR
  • Abacus or Cranmer modified abacus
  • 0-9 addition grid without special number (e.g., even numbers) indicated
  • Grade-appropriate multiplication grid without special numbers (e.g., perfect squares) indicated

Beginning with the spring 2019 administrations of math and science for STAAR and STAAR Spanish, the basic calculator (i.e., four-function) will be offered as an embedded PNP support on the STAAR online assessment for students who meet the eligibility in grades 3-7.  For questions about the functions allowed on a basic calculator, refer to the calculator tool in the online 2018 STAAR released tests.

Content and Language Supports

STAAR Spanish online available with text-to-speech (TTS), Content and Language Supports, Spelling Assistance, basic calculator, and dictionary tool.

STAAR Spanish with embedded supports paper version available through the Special Paper Administration Process.

Oral/Signed Administration

Student Eligibility Criteria has been clarified for ELs who take the English version of STAAR:​

  • “The student is a current EL and takes the English version of STAAR.”
  • A student who is taking a Spanish test may still receive an oral administration if they meet one of the other eligibility criteria.

 ​

New for 2019

ASL videos are available as an online PNP option for STAAR.

For STAAR Spanish online TTS is offered as a tool for oral reading support.

For STAAR and STAAR Spanish paper assessments, the revising passages, revising test questions and answer choices, and embedded supports can be read aloud.

Beginning with the spring 2019 administrations, the revising passages and test questions on paper STAAR and STAAR Spanish writing tests (including the writing portion of the English I, English II, and English III tests) can be read aloud. The revising section of the test will be indicated so that the test administrator knows what they may read aloud. Test administrators may NOT read aloud any part of the editing section on a writing test.

Spelling Assistance 
Available on the STAAR Spanish online as an embedded PNP support for grade 4 writing.

Stay tuned to What’s So Special… for the following blog posts:

  • New Online Features for 2019 STAAR

Be sure to check our Community page on Accommodation Central to receive all the latest information on STAAR updates and other great tips. Visit ACentral.Education to join. 

Have a question? Contact the Special Education Instructional Support Team at hello@acentral.education.

LSLS – Bullying Prevention Part 2: Tips for Students Exhibiting Bullying Behavior

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This is a three-part blog. Part 1 included tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 includes tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 will include tips for students who are victims of bullying.

Model caring and respectful language. Don’t label students as “bullies.” When you model respect for all students, you discourage rejection of students who may exhibit aggressive behaviors.

Investigate the causes. There are many factors that can contribute to students exhibiting bullying behaviors. They may lack understanding of acceptable, age-appropriate social behaviors because of an intellectual disability or impairment of social-communication skills. They may have learned negative attention-seeking behaviors from their peers, or violent and aggressive behaviors from poor role models in their home life. A negative and unsupportive school climate may also be a contributing factor to bullying behaviors. Investigating and understanding the root causes of the bullying will help you choose appropriate solutions, from adjustments to the student’s IEP to a concerted effort to improve the school climate.

Use graduated consequences. In this model, students who exhibit bullying and harassment behaviors are held accountable for their actions, but harsh, zero-tolerance punishments aren’t doled out at the first offense (research shows they increase dropout rates and negatively impact the overall school climate). Rather, the consequences grow increasingly serious with repeated and egregious offenses. Dr. Ernsperger provides this example of what graduated consequences might look like:

  • Verbal reprimand or warning
  • Contract with the student to “cease and desist” and have no contact with the victim
  • Parent phone call to alert them of the incident
  • Conference with parent and teacher
  • Additional counseling or meetings with the administrator or school counselor
  • Alternative lunch detention or in-school lunch suspension
  • Student restitution/compensation for damaged items
  • Community service
  • Loss of extracurricular privileges
  • Before-or after-school detention
  • Referral to the school resource officer

Consider a referral for specialized services. Students who persist with bullying behaviors and don’t respond to traditional measures may have more severe psychological problems that require the expertise of a mental health professional. Cognitive behavior therapy, stress management interventions, and counseling to manage anger and aggression and can increase students’ coping skills and help them amend their thoughts and behavior.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.