UDL Series: Universal Design for Learning and Teacher Appraisal Systems

In this blog series we’ve shared information about how UDL provides a framework for focusing instruction on learner variability, ways that planning with UDL can optimize student learning, and where UDL is mentioned in federal laws and plans. But what about teacher appraisal; how do the UDL guidelines connect to T-TESS?

This short video uses a side by side illustration that shows where UDL and T-TESS connect to help create a more student-centered environment. Showing the UDL guidelines matched with T-TESS in this manner helps demonstrate that the implementation of UDL can result in improved practice and performance.  

Reflect: How can applying a UDL lens to the T-TESS rubric support you in your efforts to move from teacher-centered actions to student-centered actions?

Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement. This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak, our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!

UDL Blog Series:

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

STAAR Alternate 2 Updates

TEA has shared their Fall Update: New Features of the STAAR Alternate 2 for 2017-2018! 

  • Large print student booklets are now available and can be ordered by districts through the enrollment collection process.
  • Student booklets will feature limited color images.
  • An image card set will come with each standard size student booklet.  Cards contain the same images that appear in the student booklet.
  • An Exit Survey must be completed upon the submission of all student responses and can be found in the Assessment Management System.

Revisions

  • Medical Exemption Form:  Under the section, Specific Medical Condition Eligibility Criteria, the form now states that a student meets the criteria for medical exemption if they are unable to respond to test questions due to a “terminal or degenerative illness.”  Previously, students met the criteria if they were unable to answer a test question due to a “chronic illness.”
  • In The Test Administrator Manual, under the Medical Exemption score coding section, what previously read, “The student is receiving non-academic homebound services due to medical issues and does not receive academic instruction,” now reads, “The student is unable to receive sufficient or consistent homebound services due to medical issues.”
  • Some prerequisite skills have been added to the Curriculum Framework and Vertical Alignment documents.
  • The “Confidential Student Report” will now be known as the “STAAR Alternate 2 Student Report Card,” and will include parent resources.

Key Dates

  • NEW Enrollment Collection: October 23rd-November 10th, 2017
  • October 20th- Essence Statements and Test Blueprints will be posted (projected)
  • Last Date for STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Training: March 16, 2018
  • Preview Window: March 19-30, 2018
  • Assessment Window: April 2-20, 2018
  • Verification Window: April 23 & 24, 2018
  • Students who transfer/move to a new district AFTER the first day of the STAAR Alternate 2 testing window (April 2nd, 2018) do not have to be tested.
  • Region 13 will be presenting two free workshops focusing on STAAR Alternate 2 administration

To learn more about these updates, please join the Accommodation Central Community for a Live Chat on October 31st from 3:30 – 4:00.  Visit Accommodation Central to reserve your spot.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Russell, Low Incidence Disabilities Education Specialist, 512-919-5206 or email jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net 

Darcy Schiller, Autism Education Specialist, 512-919-5224 or email darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net

Are you wondering how to effectively choose and use accommodations for students with disabilities?

Then come to Accommodations Central workshop on December 1, 2015!

In this workshop you will acquire tools to implement a five step accommodation process that includes selection, administration, and evaluation of accommodations in the classroom. You will also learn how to link appropriate classroom accommodations to appropriate testing accommodations.

Region 13 Specialists will provide updated information about STAAR Accommodations Triangle and STAAR A.

This workshop will look at accommodations suitable for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The accommodation process is applicable to any subject area and meaningful to special education teachers as well as general education teachers.

We hope to see you there!

To register visit, ecampus.esc13.net and search for Accommodations Central or workshop #FA1532296

Do you have questions about allowable supplemental aids for STAAR assessments?

Texas Education Agency (TEA) has posted an up-dated Power Point training for the use of allowable supplemental aids for STAAR assessments.

To review the Power Point from the TEA website click here.

Remember any allowable accommodation for STAAR must be routinely, independently, and effectively used as an accommodation during classroom instruction and classroom testing before it meets the criteria as an accommodation for the STAAR assessments.

Allowable supplemental aids include:

Mnemonic Devices SA1

Blank Graphic Organizers SA2

Math Charts SA3

Pictorial Models of Fractions and Geometric Figures SA4

Written Composition Rules SA5

Science Graphics SA6

Science Formula Triangles SA7

Blank Maps SA8

Timelines SA9

 

Another important reminder, supplemental aids do not have to be STAAR compliant the first time the aid is introduced to the student. Provide what is necessary for the aid to be meaningful for the student based on the student’s individual needs. Then work to scaffold and adapt the aid to then be test ready by STAAR time.

Are you searching for instructional stategies to help all students in your ELAR class be successful?

4 boys readingJoin us for Accessing the General Curriculum in ELAR!

In this workshop you will acquire tools and practice strategies for teaching grade-level English Language Arts and Reading content to students with disabilities.

You will leave this engaging and fun session with hands-on activities and materials that you will be able to use in your classroom.  The workshop content is appropriate for both general education and special education teachers.

Register in eCampus:  FA1532309 on 11/6/15, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

 

 

Do you teach math?

young clever science children students with abacus and copyspace

If so, check out our upcoming workshop, Math for All: AGC in grades 3-12. You will learn how to accommodate and modify instruction in the math classroom to meet the needs of your  struggling learners. The workshop will also provide information regarding allowable accommodations for the STAAR.  Hands-on experiences will be provided to show how to best meet the needs of a diverse population.

When: October 26th, 9am – 4pm

Where: ESC Region 13

Cost: $85

Register: ecampus.esc13.net, search for Math for All or workshop #FA153245

This would be a great workshop to attend as a teaching team – special education teacher with your general education teaching partner!

Susan Hemphill, Math Specialist and JC Sanders, Special Education Specialist will be your co-facilitators for the day.

 

 

State Assessment for Students with Disabilities 15-16 Update Highlights

tea staara update

Thursday 9.17.15  the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Student Assessment staff shared updates regarding STAAR assessments for students with disabilities.  Though STAAR and STAAR A are moving from Pearson to ETS, there will not be major changes for any assessment this year.

Accommodations for STAAR

The accommodations triangle from previous years has only a few clarification changes.  The accommodations revised are Oral/Signed Administration, Mathematics Manipulatives, Calculation Devices, and Supplemental Aids. To see these changes, reference each accommodation document from the accommodations triangle on the TEA Accommodations Resources webpage. Make sure you select 2016 Accommodations link to see accommodations for the 2016 spring testing session. December 2015 tests will still be under 2015 Accommodations guidelines.

STAAR A

STAAR A for Spring 2016 testing session will be similar to STAAR A Spring 2015 though the testing platform will move to the ETS system. Updated resources for STAAR A, additional resources, and new training opportunities will be posted to the STAAR A Resources webpage as they become available. TEA did project that online student tutorials will not be available until the spring semester because of the changes in test platform. TEA reported that survey results from testing administrators of STAAR A were positive and many felt the online test with embedded accommodations had a positive impact on students.

STAAR Alternate 2

STAAR Alternate 2 will  be similar to Spring 2015. Changes were made to the materials check-out procedures during the preview period. Released test questions are available for educators to become familiar with the test format, practice the presentation instructions, and to determine options for students to access stimulus images.  TEA  added structured reminders to the allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2. These and other allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2 can be found in the Educators Guide to STAAR Alternate 2 and the 2016 STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Manual, which will be posted in October. TEA reported  a majority of positive responses on the STAAR Alternate 2 survey. The three week assessment will is April 4-22, 2016.

Technology Update

STAAR A and STAAR Alternate 2 now have online platforms that support the use of tablets and Chromebooks. It is anticipated that these devices will be allowed for Spring testing administration.  The Technology System Requirements document is not yet posted on the TEA website. Please watch for more information on this topic.  Update:  Unified Minimum System Requirements for the Administration of Online Assessments has been posted.  

December STAAR A ONLY

December STAAR A tests will be administered as a paper test only. There is no special request process for the paper administration of these tests. It is only for EOCs given in December of 2015. After this administration, all STAAR A testing will follow the original STAAR A format and guidelines. It is not necessary to revisit the assessment decision simply because STAAR A will be administered only on paper in December. The secure STAAR A Paper Administration Guide provides specific instructions for how embedded accommodations are to be provided. Allowable test administrator-provided accommodation support is specifically described in the accommodation tables that will be in the guide. These tables allow the test administrator to Say something to the student, to Show the student a visual, or to Indicate to the student specific information in the student’s test booklet.

  • Test administrators who have not administered a paper version of STAAR A must be trained according to the STAAR A Paper Administration Guide.
  • Individual or small group administrations are necessary because test administrators respond to student requests for reading text aloud and presenting additional accommodations, .
  • Students taking a paper administration of STAAR A cannot be grouped with students taking other assessments.
  • Students record their responses to test questions on the answer document.

For a complete copy of the TEA presentation, go to http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/special-ed and scroll down to Training Information Fall Update TETN.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact JC Sanders, jc.sanders@esc13.txed.net for STAAR accommodation triangle or STAAR A questions, Joanna Ryan, joanna.ryan@esc13.txed.net for STAAR Alternate 2 questions, or Nichole Kertis Barton, nichole.kertis@esc13.txed.net  for Assistive Technology questions.

 

Dyslexia Conference 2015 – Awesome Opportunity – Attend Day Two for FREE

The 2015 Fall Dyslexia Conference, September 23 and 24, will offer two days of innovative presentations with a focus on helping students “Connect to Text.”

On Day One, Dr. Jill Allor, Ed. D., professor and chair of the SMU Department of Teaching and Learning, will provide the keynote address. Dr. Allor will share her research and successes with students’ transfer and application of skills to connected text reading.

Day 1 Breakout sessions include: Top Tech Tools for Struggling Readers, Second Language or Something Else? Special Considerations for ELLs, Dialogic Reading and Beyond, Transitioning Section 504 Students to Post-Secondary Education, The Lexile Framework and Post-Secondary Demands, and more!

Day 1 will also provide a preview of the upcoming fall release of the Texas Dyslexia Academy trainings.

To register visit eCampus

WORKSHOP ID: FA1531557 $125.

On Day Two, Dr. Allor will present a full-day, intensive workshop: Effective Strategies for Teaching Reading to Students with Intellectual Disability: Current Research and Implications for Instruction.

This interactive workshop will focus on the critical role of the teacher in providing instruction that is both evidence based and specifically designed to meet the needs of individual students. Participants will learn about ongoing research at SMU and practical strategies for effectively teaching students with ID to read.

We are able to offer a limited number of special education teachers serving students with intellectual disabilities FREE register to Day Two, Dr. Allor’s session. To request a 100% discount code for the Day Two workshop, complete and submit the form in this link: http://bit.ly/DC2015sped

"FREE" in text hanging from clouds

To register visit eCampus

   Workshop ID: FA1531558

 

Using MS Word to Simulate STAAR A- Extra Practice and Prep for Students

If your eligible students have already practiced and practiced with the STAAR A Student Tutorials, yet you’d still like them to continue to receive and use similar digital accommodations during instruction or for end of unit tests, then this resource may be of help-  How to use Built-In Features of MS Word to Simulate STAAR A: Extra Practice and Preparation for Students

In actuality, this resource could help other students, ANY student, but realize that there is particular anxiety around preparation for STAAR A currently.

Please contact me if you have questions or need assistance. Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net / 512.919.5246

 

 

Making Good Use of Audio/Text-to-Speech In The Classroom

Bill Keeney of the Delaware Valley Friends School joined Learning Ally on 12/9 for a webinar focusing on strategies for teachers to use audio in the classroom. Keeney discussed why audio is the killer app for his students and how he ensures it becomes a powerful tool for reading.

“Teaching with audio is just good teaching,” explained Keeney. “Audio is a supplement, not a substitute.” He described why audio is important and how educators can introduce it in the classroom to empower students to use it habitually.

During this free webinar, Keeney discussed:

  • Myths and truths about using audio in the classroom
  • Which students will benefit the most from audio
  • Strategies to ensure students become avid audio users
  • Tips for instructing students to use audio affectively

Click here to view the webinar and download the handout- https://go.learningally.org/webinar-make-audio-killer-app-classroom/ 

Should you have questions or need additional support, feel free to contact me.

Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net