UDL Institute Resources July 3 - 7, 2006

The UDL Institute Resources Blog provides general resources, including the cases, links to other sites and general institute information.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Group2 Notes July 4, 2006

Notes from UDL July 4 and 5
Discussion: July 4, 2006 Group 2CAST.org click on link “Teaching Every Student” then “Tools and Resources”. There are many there, but we were interested in “Class Profile Maker”.Cultural diversity discussion.The level of technology wasn’t surprising.In the US every child goes on while in other countries there is a filtering system that decides who goes on and who doesn’t.There are some issues with vocational education as it has been cast in the US, although it is changing in MA. They have also built new state-of-the-art vocational schools. This has caused public schools to develop quality vocational programming for all kids. They have to have a clear transition plan for ALL kids.There may be increased programming for LD types of kids due to the pressure of Exit Exams – these kids will need alternative programming in the public schools in order to have a pathway after high school.The pressure in MA was because the kids that didn’t have effective programming were a continuing financial drain on the system.AssessmentShould the same accommodations be available to students during testing as are available in the classroom?Yes – Theoretically.? – practically.Best “knower” of the students.Logistically it is a problem.Should measure the kids’ best efforts. WhirlwindWhat happens when we provide students with flexibility and options during testing, as per the tenets of UDL? Improve/compromise comparability? Reduce/Introduce construct irrelevant variance?Format, length, chunkie.Test anxiety.Start to introduce in the classroom – positive self-talkCell phoneWhat does it take to ensure assessment results meaningfully to inform subsequent instrutciotn?Eliminate FEAR – staff and students- no intimidation *UDL Day 2Brenda Matthis – UDL for Learning: As a mechanism of introduction to culture. A tale of two classrooms: mine and those of Japanese teachers.Her experience teaching Japanese teachers.Taught two undergraduate courses called SPED in the U.S., and Technology in the U.S.Q. Is language the main issue? No. Although this can be a problem, culture may be a larger issue. Culture is the customs, arts, social institutions and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. It also includes what our experience tells us is true. For the classroom, we need to add on definitions of disability and diversity – including PTSD, disease, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD).The challenge is that most students cannot speak English well and instruction was to be in English. How to make the course accessible to these students was critical.*** Check on Inspiration Software for PowerPoint***Technology in everyday life is ubiquitous. Technology in education is somewhat different. Kids were sending email via cell phone. Very few students had access to laptops; cell phones were the predominant mode of communication.Multiple means of representationBilingual lectures and handoutsAttendance via email comments – this was a big success.Final project (paper or PowerPoint) in English or Japanese, up to 5 students per project – so buddy up!She used CAST UDL Curriculum Barriers worksheet for students to work with.Multiple Means of ExpressionHow do you know what Japanese students want?My need for assessmentTheir need for understanding and informationCultural attaché: Prof. Ikuyo IshizakaMultiple Means of EngagementLooking for EnglishLooking for an American experienceLooking for information (U.S. SPED)Looking for novelty – maybe, maybe not.Looking for a good grade.When looking at reading difficulties in Japanese, there were several letters that remind us of “b”, “p”, “d”, and “q”.Disabilities were something to be hidden up until recent times. There is no legislative mandate to serve sped students.Using Powerpoint as software: Teachers were able to design specific things for kids to do based on their unique needs using PowerPointCultural CautionsThe mechanism for instruction is different for every culture.We have preferences athatwe play to, such as working quietly. Silence can be deadly to the student.There are “engagement” common denominators – choose carefully: images, movies, music, prizes, caring, an voice resonance.Cultural TripTikLearn the /a/another language.Suppress your ego.Look for an answer or solution, manual or digital.She uses the film “Innocent Gift” produced by the Cosby foundation. All this information should be on the blog.AfternoonBo DolanUniversal Design for Learning and AssessmentValidity and Construct-RelevanceThere is little problem with the validity of tests per se. The problem is what conclusions we draw from the test results. Construct relevance is paramount.Slide 3. summary of the main pointsThe purpose of all testing must be clearly defined and communicated to all that will use them.UDL can help the design of tests.The landscape is beginning to change – for the better.Educators must plan an active role.Slide 4. We must consider th unintended constructs, ie use of the wrong pencil.Summative v. formativeAccountability v. promotionNorm v. criterion referenced.Slide 5. So how do we create tests that are fair and accurate?Slide 6.In instruction:Standardize goals without standardizing the means for getting thereIn assessmentProvide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of standardized goals, but do we need to standardize the means by which students demonstrate their achievement?Slide 7. UDL provides means…Slide 8. In which Ashley takes an earth sciences test in which she must read a long passage…Slide 9. Ashley’s question…Since the question is so long that it would really become a test of her reading, text-to-speech software was used. This knocks down the unintended consequence of the reading construct. The read aloud accommodation does not allow students to proceed at their own pace. Even though there is a human reader and the offer to have it read again is made, most don’t. It was also pointed out that the human reader can influence the results both in a positive and negative way, thus is not really standardized.Slide 12. The big picture.Manual decoding v. supported decoding (on all but decoding tests)Reading v. listening v. viewing video v. direct interaction v.Slide 13. Marcus sceneHe must compose an essay about 1776. Great role play of Marcus.Slide 14. Improvements in MCAS scores for typically-achieving 4, 8, and 10 graders with minimal keyboarding skills when allowed to use keyboard for open-response questions.Slide 15.Modes of writing: handwriting v. keyboardingModes of expression: writing v. oral narrative v. dramatic representation v. drawing v. …Slide 16. Ashley math test…Slide 17. Actual question and better version that has been simplified.Slide 18. Simplified language free of extraneous information or Properly contextualized problems. Or even better; Give students a choice of representation and mode of response.Giving students a choice can be a double edged sword. In some studies, giving students a choice between writing and using a computer indicated that students don’t intuitively know what the best method for them to use is. Sometimes kids don’t choose alternative representations because they thought they knew the answer. Asking for the question in another way may have been too frightening for them.Slide 19. Limitation of AccommodationsReducing construct irrelevant barriers.. these are retrofits and not the best.They don’t necessarilyCorrect for inappropriate standardization of formatsAllow students choiceMesh with instructional accommodationsSupport all students, not only those with target disabilities or language abilities.Slide 20. Use of test results to inform subsequent instruction.Data driven decision-making at the level of individual classrooms and studentsSlide 21. Assessment Instruction Cycle – GraphicAccountability test will not have the same questions as a formative test.Slide 22. Science writer slide…Slide 23. Changing landscapeUse tech to create more authentic assessment environmentsGuidelines for applying UDL to reduce construct-irrelevant factors while minimizing the introduction of new ones via technologySupports kids in many ways.New forms of psychometrics that have broader concept of comparability based on cognitive models. Retrospective think alouds area providing insight into this area.Understanding the potentials and limits of student choiceSlide 24. Example from Maine math test.Slide 25. What can we do?At the classroom level:Ensure IEP teams decide upon instructional and testing supports and accommodations in tandem.Ensure students actually receive the proper accommodations.Slide 26. At the administrator level:Ensure that teachers and IEP team members are adequately trained on supports and accommodationsSlide 27. At the State level:Advocate for universally designed tests that go beyond basic retrofits and allow diverse students to be tested on their true knowledge, skills, and abilities. Two fronts: the here and now from NCEO, and future oriented that addresses cognitive level supports. We can change these things through the RFP process.Slide 28. At all levels:Establish high expectations for tests so that they are flexible enough to measure…Slide 29. Take home pointsPurpose for testing must be clearly defined and communicatedUDL can inform the creation of tests that are fair and accurate for diverse studentsThe landscape is starting to change.Educators must play an active role in choosing and administering tests.Questions:What do we do when kids simply don’t know the standards or the items. We have to re-write curricula in order to match the test items. The kids only have one year (maybe) to learn the material. We are abusing the use of testing. The real process should be:Establish the standards, teach to the standards, and then test to the standards. An example of problems includes: kids with disabilities are tested on Algebra when they were never taught Algebra. This made the kids mad and caused them to disengage.

Group6 Notes 7/5/2006

7/05/06 Notes

Changing the course: A Universal Design approach to improving literacy and life outcomes

Bridget Dalton www.cast.org, bdalton@cast.org

A response to an invitation to present on literacy and technology

Background- special education teacher in middle and high school; postsecondary teaching at the University of Guam- teaching masters’ level and preservice teachers/ directing learning clinic

From here on in having Bridget’s PPT slides would be useful, so that my comments would simply be a gloss as needed

Focus- literacy in the middle grades and beyond… -based on concerns such as...


8.7 million studentslack the skills to understand high school level text (Kamil 2003)
only 50% of h.s. seniors taking 2005 ACT [already a self selected group] have reading skills adequate for college success (ACT2005)
the NAEP shows that 37% of students at grade 4 and 26% at grade 8 are not able to read at a basic level (NCES 2003)
there is a [now well-documented] reading slump at grade 4 as first discussed by Jeanne Chall in 1986--
the transition from learning to read to reading to learn--
students need to cope with more informational rather narrative text
a higher level of background information and vocabulary (interlocking variables) is demanded for comprehension

ALCATRAZ SLIDE

allusion/ metaphor
not being able to read is like being in prison
incidence of persons with disabilities is disproportionately high in the inmate population
there are no accommodations in prison
REALLY- states are now planning the need for prison beds on the basis of the number of students failing at reading at grade 3

UDL ideas
Apply to curricula, methods, materials
Provide supports from the outset- don’t try to retrofit, fix later
Solutions provide benefit for all

CORE UDL PRINCIPLES
There should be multiple means for
- representing/ acquiring information
- expressing understanding/ processing
- engagement / connection

UDL Frameworks with Digital technology as support &

Informed by research on effective practice: knowledge of how students develop reading skills

Can be utilized in developing STRATEGIC READERS

and is the focus of CAST in their use of UDL- not the improvement of basic decoding skills, which have been more extensively studied [and have dominated the reading agenda lately; particularly as manifested in NCLB/ Reading First]

Goals: *to develop students who read for understanding and who are
strategic engaged self aware as learners
*to support access to participation and progress in the general curriculum with grade and age appropriate material
[avoiding the Matthew effect- use of lower level materials to accommodate weakness in decoding, etc. which restricts exposure to depth and richness of vocabulary and background knowledge]

projects have included developing digital materials for upper elemaentary- middle school that
embed supports
provide strategic instruction and practice

Theoretical & research base includes

CAST’s UDL
notions of scaffolding & Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development
reading comprehension research, esp.
reciprocal teaching- Brown & Palincsar 1984- st
student-teacher dialogue- teacher models predicting, summarizing, etc.
co-construction of meaning
teacher as coach, gradually does less and less
goal is to give students tools for understanding (print or nonprint)
explicit strategy instruction- harder than assumed (M. Pressley)- teachers need 2 years or more to develop skill to teach [Deshler et al say you can only teach a few a year]
multiple strategies helpful--- many have strong research base
30 years of confirmatory research re strategy instruction
need for reader response - there needs to be an affective component, not just cognition

Factors complicating understanding text:

Student- weak decoding skills
lack of fluency
insufficient prior knowledge
ineffective strategies
lack of engagement/motivation (esp. among adolescents who have had # failures
Text- poor writing
complex syntax
unfamiliar vocabulary (esp. technical vocab in science, etc,)
assumed prior knowledge [that students don’t have]
uninteresting content
Instruction- tasks & activities
teacher philosophy, knowledge, practices
discomfort of content area teachers with literacy needs/ instruction

sociocultural `views of literacy in student’s family, neighborhood, school
literacy practices in home, cultural group
roles/ policies re literacy in family, community
In developing programs the need to provide scaffolding for the right amount of support

What do good readers do? They are
strategic
engaged
and they read a lot... it’s important to make reading accessible so that students develop the vocab, knowledge base and engagement

Thinking Reader & the folktale program both utilize similar approaches
use of texts that are popular, rich segments of the general curriculum
scaffolding that provides modeling and instruction in
prediction
summarizing
clarification
visualization
personal response
gradual progression from more support to less eg picking a summary, picking main points, generating a summary.. with feedback at each step


the technology- though important in individualizing support and expanding time- is a tool- or series of tools - not an end in itself...
...though the computer can act as another teacher, an aide or a more advanced peer for struggling readers

great books-great talk- responding to appealing material is key

self assesment and reflection.. worklog conferences
have students answer the question “How am I changing as a reader?”
Students are -engaged in their own diagnosis and treatment decisions
-are developing a common language around their strategies and goals
- develop greater self awareness- understanding of how they learn & appropriate supports


IMPACT OF THINKING READER
increased self-confidence and willingness to respond, participate
near unanimous desire to continue TR
increased in on-task behavior during reading
increased reading comprehension scores on the Gates MacGinitie



Notes on classroom integration
- some formats: whole class with portable laptop lab or to fixed lab- can be
individual choice of books, rate of reading
whole class assignments: today you need to read chapter 10
-small group of computers in back of class: DON’T STIGMATIZE the program- if there’s a group of five, try 3 struggling readers, one typical, one gifted
high level readers appreciate the strategies being explained

NB: While most of the activities can be duplicated in the class or in small groups, the individual computer-based format forces students to respond frequently rather than hide

Teacher comments on project-
kids more confident, offered more responses, had higher self-esteem
kids used strategies off-line: ie reading Harry Potter, “I have a prediction” etc.

Student comments- they understood material better
they liked reading better

NEEDS OF STRUGGLING READERS AT LEAST PARTLY ADDRESSED BY PROGRAMS LIKE THINKING READER

more time devoted to literacy instruction
increased volume of reading [the key to reading is reading]
strategy instruction is a priority
increased engagement

Some additional positive factors in Thinking Reader, et alia
ability to track performance of individual student or of class relative to specific strategies
self assessment aspect prepares studnets for future- being able to ID supports needed
program emphasizes grade/age appropriate content- providing support for understanding. not “dumbing down”

Various additional examples/demos provided with follow-up during tech time

7/05/06 Notes

Changing the course: A Universal Design approach to improving literacy and life outcomes

Bridget Dalton www.cast.org, bdalton@cast.org

A response to an invitation to present on literacy and technology

Background- special education teacher in middle and high school; postsecondary teaching at the University of Guam- teaching masters’ level and preservice teachers/ directing learning clinic

From here on in having Bridget’s PPT slides would be useful, so that my comments would simply be a gloss as needed

Focus- literacy in the middle grades and beyond… -based on concerns such as...


· 8.7 million studentslack the skills to understand high school level text (Kamil 2003)
· only 50% of h.s. seniors taking 2005 ACT [already a self selected group] have reading skills adequate for college success (ACT2005)
· the NAEP shows that 37% of students at grade 4 and 26% at grade 8 are not able to read at a basic level (NCES 2003)
· there is a [now well-documented] reading slump at grade 4 as first discussed by Jeanne Chall in 1986--
the transition from learning to read to reading to learn--
students need to cope with more informational rather narrative text
a higher level of background information and vocabulary (interlocking variables) is demanded for comprehension

ALCATRAZ SLIDE

allusion/ metaphor
· not being able to read is like being in prison
· incidence of persons with disabilities is disproportionately high in the inmate population
· there are no accommodations in prison
· REALLY- states are now planning the need for prison beds on the basis of the number of students failing at reading at grade 3

UDL ideas
Apply to curricula, methods, materials
Provide supports from the outset- don’t try to retrofit, fix later
Solutions provide benefit for all

CORE UDL PRINCIPLES
There should be multiple means for
- representing/ acquiring information
- expressing understanding/ processing
- engagement / connection

UDL Frameworks with Digital technology as support &

Informed by research on effective practice: knowledge of how students develop reading skills

Can be utilized in developing STRATEGIC READERS

and is the focus of CAST in their use of UDL- not the improvement of basic decoding skills, which have been more extensively studied [and have dominated the reading agenda lately; particularly as manifested in NCLB/ Reading First]

Goals: *to develop students who read for understanding and who are
strategic engaged self aware as learners
*to support access to participation and progress in the general curriculum with grade and age appropriate material
[avoiding the Matthew effect- use of lower level materials to accommodate weakness in decoding, etc. which restricts exposure to depth and richness of vocabulary and background knowledge]

projects have included developing digital materials for upper elemaentary- middle school that
embed supports
provide strategic instruction and practice

Theoretical & research base includes

CAST’s UDL
notions of scaffolding & Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development
reading comprehension research, esp.
reciprocal teaching- Brown & Palincsar 1984- st
student-teacher dialogue- teacher models predicting, summarizing, etc.
co-construction of meaning
teacher as coach, gradually does less and less
goal is to give students tools for understanding (print or nonprint)
explicit strategy instruction- harder than assumed (M. Pressley)- teachers need 2 years or more to develop skill to teach [Deshler et al say you can only teach a few a year]
multiple strategies helpful--- many have strong research base
30 years of confirmatory research re strategy instruction
need for reader response - there needs to be an affective component, not just cognition

Factors complicating understanding text:

Student- weak decoding skills
lack of fluency
insufficient prior knowledge
ineffective strategies
lack of engagement/motivation (esp. among adolescents who have had # failures
Text- poor writing
complex syntax
unfamiliar vocabulary (esp. technical vocab in science, etc,)
assumed prior knowledge [that students don’t have]
uninteresting content
Instruction- tasks & activities
teacher philosophy, knowledge, practices
discomfort of content area teachers with literacy needs/ instruction

sociocultural `views of literacy in student’s family, neighborhood, school
literacy practices in home, cultural group
roles/ policies re literacy in family, community
In developing programs the need to provide scaffolding for the right amount of support

What do good readers do? They are
strategic
engaged
and they read a lot... it’s important to make reading accessible so that students develop the vocab, knowledge base and engagement

Thinking Reader & the folktale program both utilize similar approaches
use of texts that are popular, rich segments of the general curriculum
scaffolding that provides modeling and instruction in
prediction
summarizing
clarification
visualization
personal response
gradual progression from more support to less eg picking a summary, picking main points, generating a summary.. with feedback at each step

the technology- though important in individualizing support and expanding time- is a tool- or series of tools - not an end in itself...
...though the computer can act as another teacher, an aide or a more advanced peer for struggling readers

great books-great talk- responding to appealing material is key

self assesment and reflection.. worklog conferences
have students answer the question “How am I changing as a reader?”
Students are -engaged in their own diagnosis and treatment decisions
-are developing a common language around their strategies and goals
- develop greater self awareness- understanding of how they learn & appropriate supports


IMPACT OF THINKING READER
· increased self-confidence and willingness to respond, participate
· near unanimous desire to continue TR
· increased in on-task behavior during reading
· increased reading comprehension scores on the Gates MacGinitie



Notes on classroom integration
- some formats: whole class with portable laptop lab or to fixed lab- can be
individual choice of books, rate of reading
whole class assignments: today you need to read chapter 10
-small group of computers in back of class: DON’T STIGMATIZE the program- if there’s a group of five, try 3 struggling readers, one typical, one gifted
high level readers appreciate the strategies being explained

NB: While most of the activities can be duplicated in the class or in small groups, the individual computer-based format forces students to respond frequently rather than hide

Teacher comments on project-
kids more confident, offered more responses, had higher self-esteem
kids used strategies off-line: ie reading Harry Potter, “I have a prediction” etc.

Student comments- they understood material better
they liked reading better

NEEDS OF STRUGGLING READERS AT LEAST PARTLY ADDRESSED BY PROGRAMS LIKE THINKING READER

· more time devoted to literacy instruction
· increased volume of reading [the key to reading is reading]
· strategy instruction is a priority
· increased engagement

Some additional positive factors in Thinking Reader, et alia
ability to track performance of individual student or of class relative to specific strategies
self assessment aspect prepares studnets for future- being able to ID supports needed
program emphasizes grade/age appropriate content- providing support for understanding. not “dumbing down”

Various additional examples/demos provided with follow-up during tech time

Group2 Notes 7/4/2006

Group 2 : Notes on Brenda’s Presentation (teaching experiences in Japan)
-Fullbright- (through ESL in Japan)


Grades 1-9- study of English but more conversation is needed, but classrooms are more traditional * (lecture; reading/writing)

Lots of technology is available, but not necessarily used to get for language learning yet.

? (Gram) schools (It’s discouraging to students. It underutilizes their talents & interests.

Use UDL- multiple representations

Prof Ikuy Ishizaka (cultural attaché)

Teacher & students use technology to communicate (emails/ex)
3 alphabets in Japanese

Autism & LD (mostly dyslexia) are going up in Japan

Sense of show for cmo. Prob. Sped, but not for phys. Problems
“Chiva mothers” mothers of sped students who unite to help their children

Cultural Trip Tips from Brenda
1. Learn a 2nd Language
2. Suppress your ego
3. Look for a manual or digital solution
Use UDL

See/ use videos “Hello friend foundation”

The barrier is not technology
Wow!
Future technology ex-

Point at text to learn it read outloud

Gampatah
(Japanese for “Be strong! Keep working”)`

Group3 Notes 7/4/2006

Universal Design
Group 3

Discussion of day’s presentations:
Culture in education
Education in Japan: the issues raised by Brenda
Harey’s experience in Korean school (she went to prep school after regular school until 11 P.M.)
Very structured education of hierarchy, determined by a student’s success of failure early on in their experience, starting in middle school
Many social and cultural pressures in Korea on students
Is the prep school (done after regular school hours) the factor that makes Korean students perform better in math and science? Yes, according to Harey
In the 10th grade, there are two tracks: literature and math/science. Education is considered the most important thing. If there are kids who don’t get it, the teachers ignore them, or if the kids act out, there was also corporal punishment.
Students going to university often just relax completely and ignore academics.

Lynn had 7 languages in one of her classrooms last year in Texas.
They practice immersion in TX
Some of her students would be special education in their own countries
At some points, the help of a special ed. Teacher isn’t specialized enough for content areas requiring knowledge
In TX, it’s called the Power of TWO
They have planning time, good time.
E-reader is a very attractive technology.

Judy worries about too much dependency being created for special ed. middle students.

Discussion on assessment:
There is never enough time to figure out

Presentation Discussion
Ideas
Mini-lesson
Blog: top ten ways to use a blog for teaching and learning

Feedback for Presenters
Move from theoretical to practical seeing some of these theories in action.
How to implement it
Example of success
UDL and how it looks for classroom management
Would like to see video examples (next year maybe)

Extraneous Notes
Learn about actual classroom implementation
Great in theory but would like to see UDL in action
Examples of success
Future institutes: show video of UDL in action

Group8 Notes 7/4/06

Group 8 Notes on Universal Design for Learning and Assessment
Robert Dolan (Neuroscience field- MIT)

Test- multiple choice- volunteer _ valid test
Gave question & 4 options- large inflatable pencil

Tests aren’t inherently valid or invalid- It’s what we do with the results that are valid or invalid.

Validity & construct- relevance
If the construct is fact recall, is the sample question relevant?

4 main points- captured on his Power Point handoug
Test design- still needs work.
Landscape- Publishers are starting to buy in

Clearly Defined Purpose- (see power point handout)
Now referenced tests – still being used- eg. for graduation

Creating fair & accurate tests for all learners
Institution
UDL- flexibility- standardize goals but vary the means to achieve these goals.
Assessment
Students need to demonstrate achievement of standardized goals (comparability when students are taking a test- eg. with enlarging the print.)
Need to go beyond standardization

UDL means for how to go beyond standardization (handout)

Ashley- 5th grade earth science test- lengthy passage. If Ashley had to read the passage, it would test how reading (decoding & comprehension) rather then her science knowledge.

Text-to-speech social studies example- Ashley could have whole test read or unidentifiable words read. – can vary speed

Read- aloud accommodation- Drowbooks-
Doesn’t allow for independence- done in a group
Students can ask for re-read (some will hesitate to do this)
Allegedly standardized but not really (accents, adult cueing)

Study (n=10) Gloucester
Test results- see p.11 handout

Technology is neither necessary or sufficient for UDL (not always a component- some states have tests written in two languages. Many students have difficulty with this.

Implications: If testing content, use manual decoding or supported decoding. Can use multiple modes of recognition (reading vs. listening, vs. viewng vs. video vs. DI)

Marcus example- written history essay. - role play.

Written work- set a good mode-
Better model- computer- see Boston college study results. Students are used to computer usage so use them for testing ( Decrease barrier of unintended construct- eg. spelling)

Other options- big pictures- see pg.15- handout

Ashley ex. Idle school math- Example is atypical # of calls/day. Second example is the same conduct- but decontextualized- some students might do better with 1st option.

Could give students a choice- answer first or second- psychometrically not the same, but if used not as a word problem- tests some content

BC study- no correlation between what students choose (computer vs. pen & pencil) & what they should have chosen.

His ongoing qualitative Movie study- choice- did not ^ test scores- Sue now looking at individual student. Students who

Group 8: Discussion Groups

Began discussion on what to do for Friday’s presentation
· Clever, engaging
· 7 minutes
· Positive highlights, implementation ideas, etc.

· Barb’s idea - Top 10 Reasons to Implement UDL (similar to David Letterman…)
-Or-

· Top 10 Easiest Ways to Start Using UDL Random Thoughts

How can you reduce behavioral issues?
· UDL helps engage all students
· Increases motivation in Students
· Can be less expensive (see Jon Dyson for details)

Smartboards

· (Interactive whiteboards) are very helpful. The website has lessons ready-
made. [www.smarttechnology.com I think or type “smart technology” in a
Search engine].

Presentation Title:
· Top 10 Reasons to Implement UDL… (in other words) What’s in it for me?

· What do we think of reading?
· Wish we had books prior to coming so we could have better questions
· Hard to find time to read

v
There’s that UDL!Blog is just to give us experience. Not a requirement. Might be an idea to implement in your classroom to engage your students.

Group1 Notes 7/4/2006

Group 1: Universal Design for Learning as a Mechanism of Introduction to Culture

A Tale of Two Classrooms: Mines and there of Japanese Teachers
Presented by Brenda Matthis

All about Brenda

· Brenda started the lecture by introducing herself in Japanese. From her introduction we learned the following about Brenda:

She Is from Milwaukee
She is a Harvard Alum
She currently lives in Cambridge and teaches at Lesley University
She has worked with a variety if districts including TITLE 1 district.
She has worked with teachers and student in Japan since 2001.

v Brenda’s Question

· What is the main issue, teaching language or culture?

Brenda’s Definition of Culture

· The customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people or other social groups (Oxford American Dictionary)

· What we each know for sure (our experience).

· Definitions of disability -including PTSD, AIDS, HIV, and CLD (What other major groups are included in this definition? Do UDL supports and materials change based upon the culture of students?)

The Challenge of Working/ Teaching in a Different Culture

· Full bright foundation requires instruction in English.
· Every student in Japan studies English in school through grade 9.
· Most students cannot speak English well.

Brenda explained the UDL supports Japanese students use and how they adapted technology to help them.

Elements of UDL in Japanese Technology

· An ATM fingerprint reader prototype

· A safety cell phone created for children which contains a non-removal alarm feature. The phone was developed in response to a rash of kidnapping and murders of children. Frightened parents, some of whom did not previously use cell phones, bought the phone. Technological, response to an urgent need (Meyer and Rose, 2003).

· Cell phone with bar reader capabilities which connect consumers directly to Amazon.com

· 7 Eleven convenience stores provide additional services pay bills, buy event tickets send money to friends.

· Educational Technology in Japan

· Students email comments and questions to Brenda from their cell phones in English or Japanese.

· Brenda introduced PowerPoint to students as an alternative form of a project. Japanese faculty and students discover that PowerPoint is a wonder alternative to the traditional paper report.

Additional examples of UDL in everyday life

· Yellow lines are on every street or path possible in Japan. The lines contain a code used by blind people to help them move about as freely as possible.

· Walkways, which also can be accessed by wheelchairs.

· Every denomination of Yen has a raised making so that blind people can know the denomination of money.

Challenges for Japanese Students

· There is not much support for students with disabilities at the university level.

· Until recently, there was a shame factor associated learning disabilities. Learning disabilities were not recognized by the Minority of Education until 2002.

· There is special education policy but no special education legislation in Japan.
· Depending upon their disability, some students are sent to special schools instead of schools with their grade level peers.

Cultural Cautions

· The mechanism for instruction is different for every culture
We have our own preferences that we play too. Our preference may not be well suited to the cultural learning styles of other cultures.

· Choose your “engagement” common denominators carefully: images, movies, lecture, etc.

· Give students the option to use their native language or English.

· Cultural Trip Tik

· Learn the /a/ another language

· Suppress your ego-focus on students

· Look for an answer on solutions, manual or digital media


Group 1: Discussion Group

· How is blogging going?
§ No access by some
§ Some used inspiration/kidspiration

· Can practice text/speech on Thursday if we like
· Discussion of Accelerated Reader
§ Cost?
§ Text to speech?
§ Can write your own quizzes
§ Not necessarily UDL

· Discussed textbooks with digitalized disks or web access
§ Very interactive

· Friday’s presentations
§ Got an idea, I will work more on it tomorrow.
§ Assigned some responsibilities.

· Any concern for leasers?

1. Not all kids have computers/internet connection. How do you demonstrate UDL without technology?
2. Want more on assessment-options?
3. Want more on emotionally disturbed - How to deal with them while still keeping others going.
4. Classroom management with UDL
5. Hungry for the “nitty gritty”-practical examples/strategies.


Suggestion: Start small & build.

· Discussion on Problem Based Learning.
§ Start with real life problems/scenarios
§ Kids are doing projects that solve the problem (letter writing, reading, research [good fit w/ UDL], and high engagement)

· Jon will share a blog idea tomorrow.

Text-to-Speech

Supported Reading Software

ReadPlease 2003 reads any text you see on your screen. It is all-purpose text-to-speech software—available in free and plus versions.
http://www.readplease.com/ Free/$59.95

Natural Reader Available in both Free and Professional versions, Natural Reader reads any selected text and reads & highlights in its own window (Free version) while the Professional Version provides a toolbar for all Office products and converts synthetic speech to MP3 Audio files. Free/$39.50 http://www.naturalreaders.com/download.htm

Mozilla Firefox with FoxyVoice
is a stripped down, streamlined rebuild of Mozilla offering tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, and significantly increased security over and above Internet Explorer. Firefox is customizable and extensible, and by adding themes and extensions can be configured for each user. The FoxyVoice extension provides text-to-speech support on all web pages.
(IMPORTANT: This extension only works with FireFox version 1.0.7)
www.mozilla.org/products/firefox; http://foxyvoice.kenche.info/ Free

The E-Text Reader is designed to be a reading tool. You can use it for opening up and reading existing documents in your computer or you can cut and paste from any program on your computer. You can even insert pictures into the text. It is an “easy to use” reader that gives you the ability to change voices, read at any speed, and even make notes into the document you are reading.
(IMPORTANT: Premier is currently offering a FREE download of E-Text Reader. January, 2006)
http://www.premier-programming.com/elib/etext_reader.htm $39.95

Microsoft Word Using the Macro capabilities of Microsoft Word. It is possible to add a “Speak Text” toolbar to that application. For specific instructions, see http://www.gmayor.com/word_text_to_speech.htm

The Universal Reader is a very easy-to-use utility that reads to you. The best part is that it works with virtually any application. Use it to read your email, your Word documents, and even Web pages. Just select what you want it to read and then click on the floating toolbar and it starts to read. It takes about two minutes to install and even less time to learn how to use. http://www.premier-programming.com/UR/Ureader.htm $39.95

ReadingBar2 Internet Explorer Add-in reads any Web page aloud to you, highlights words in Internet Explorer, creates .mp3 or .wav files from Web pages, generates text-only versions of any Web page, magnifies information (pages, text, pictures and scrollbars), and translates Web pages into four languages. It also has a dictionary function, add your own pronunciation function, a Reading Window (just like ReadPlease Plus 2003), and text-to-speech support with several voice options (including Mike, Mary, and Sam). It is for Microsoft Windows only and is AT&T Natural Voices compatible. http://www.readingbar.com/ $79.95

Read&Write (v.8) GOLD is a “one stop solution” for reading and writing needs, with comprehensive literacy support and a unique set of features for the user with literacy or learning difficulties. It allows users to work in a truly inclusive environment using standard Windows applications. This mainstream compatibility means there is no need to learn a whole new way of creating and editing text, as the program works seamlessly within Windows applications like Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer. http://www.texthelp.com/ $645.00

PDFaloud. PDFaloud merges with the Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader toolbar discreetly and simply, and allows users with literacy difficulties to comprehend the information by transferring the text to an audio format. PDFaloud can be purchased online on a per desktop basis. This online version is able to read any PDF. http://www.texthelp.com/ $110.00

Microsoft Reader (with Text-to-Speech) boasts accessibility features that are bringing eBooks to more communities and providing a richer on-screen reading experience with additional TTS and Verbosity functionality. To enable Microsoft Reader to take advantage of existing speech technologies, you must install the new Microsoft Reader Text-to-Speech (TTS) Package 1.0. This enhances texts with highlighting, bookmarks, notes, and drawings, and you can view your annotations and rename or erase any of them at any time. Activate Microsoft Reader on your desktop and mobile devices and take your eReading library wherever you go. You can create your own eBooks from Microsoft Word documents using the Read in Microsoft Reader add-in for Microsoft Word 2000 and higher. www.microsoft.com/reader Free

WYNN is the innovative literacy software tool designed to enhance success for individuals with reading challenges and writing difficulties. WYNN was developed with the help of special educators and individuals with learning difficulties. By using a bi-modal approach—simultaneous highlighting of the text as it is spoken—WYNN transforms printed text into understandable information that benefits readers of all ages. There are two versions of the tool, WYNN Wizard and WYNN Reader. WYNN Wizard, the premier product, includes optical character recognition (OCR), the ability to scan printed pages and convert them into electronic text. Speech synthesis enables this scanned text to be read aloud. Additionally, WYNN Wizard can read word processing documents, PDF files, text files, and the Internet. WYNN Reader includes all features of WYNN Wizard except OCR, or scanning. Additionally, files that have been previously scanned and saved using WYNN Wizard can be read with WYNN Reader.
www.freedomscientific.com/LSG/products/wynn.asp Wizard $995.00, Reader $425.00

Kurzweil makes three different accessibility products. Kurzweil 1000 is reading software that makes printed or electronic text accessible to people who are blind. It converts a PC and scanner into an advanced reading machine. Kurzweil 3000 for Windows Professional Color provides for the creation and delivery of electronic documents. Documents can be scanned in color or black and white or opened from another application and saved into Kurzweil 3000 proprietary format. Kurzweil 3000 users who only have one copy of the product typically find it best to have a Kurzweil 3000 Professional which allows them to create and prepare documents as well as use the powerful reading, writing and learning tools. Kurzweil 3000 for Windows LearnStation allows users to open previously scanned documents as well as other electronic documents. Kurzweil 3000 LearnStation provides the same powerful reading, writing, and learning tools as the Kurzweil 3000 Professional product. Users who have more than one copy of the product often have a combination of Kurzweil 3000 Professionals and Kurzweil 3000 LearnStations. www.kurzweiledu.com/products.asp Kurzweil 1000 $995.00, Kurzweil 3000 Professional $1495.00, Kurzweil 3000 LearnStation $395

SOLO combines all the proven, industry-standard interventions from Don Johnston Incorporated—Co:Writer, Draft:Builder, and Write:OutLoud—to introduce Read:OutLoud. One completely integrated solution to differentiate instruction and assist in the learning process, SOLO helps teachers present grade-level curriculum to students of differing abilities with guided support for reading comprehension and structured models for writing. With SOLO, teachers have one central location to direct their students' overall reading and writing development across the curriculum—Teacher Central. You can meet the needs of a diverse classroom in SOLO's Teacher Central by creating customized assignments for individual students or groups of students. Set individual student preferences to meet every student's needs and fulfill UDL requirements. http://www.donjohnston.com/ $785.00

7/4/2006 Group Notes

David's Wednesday Morning Highlight

http://del.ioi.us
What is del.icio.us?

  • del.icio.us is a collection of favorites - yours and everyone else's. Use del.icio.us to:
  • Keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, restaurant reviews, and more on del.icio.us and access them from any computer on the web.
  • Share favorites with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Discover new things. Everything on del.icio.us is someone's favorite - they've already done the work of finding it.
  • Explore and enjoy.

Where do I start?

  • Anyone can browse del.icio.us and see what others find interesting.
  • To keep your favorites on del.icio.us, you must first create an account.

Diigo (www.diigo.com) - a beta program that allows you to tag web information

  • the best way to collect, share and interact on online information from anywhere
  • Invitation-only beta. If you're interested in an account, please send your inquiry to info@diigo.com

7/4/06 Group6 Notes


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Suggested Resources from Participants

from Marilyn Minnaar, Group1 facilitator

7/3/2006 Group 1 Notes

July 3, 2006
9:00- 10:30 Part I
Tom Hehir/David Rose
Introduction
Dyslexia: later intervention = less success
Approach behavior consistently to ensure success /makes schools run better and all students are receive the benefits

UDL Concept
Matthew/extreme case –

Assistive Technology (switches) Used chin and became successful

Stairs became a barrier – ramps when added later also have their own problems
Best to have several ways to move around


Books became the next barrier/couldn’t hold book, turn pages
Electronic books (Wiggleworks)


§ Best to start with design rather than fix up strategies
§ Provide alternatives
§ Increase opportunities for all

Examples:
Ramps
Curb cuts
Electric doors
Captions for TV
Easy grip tools

Focus: Where is disability in the curriculum?
Provide environments that give options

UDL Principles:
Derived from: cognitive neuroscience
Purpose is to meet the challenge of individual differences

Three basic principles
1. Use multiple means of representation (recognition networks)
Disability is defined as the interaction between the person and his environment
2. Use multiple means for action and expression (strategies) (planning) (muscle movements/ fluency)
Schools tend to have only a few means of learning/is limiting for the individual/
narrow the way we express things.
3. Use multiple means for engagement. This is what we value/evaluation process
§ People look for novelty and are different for various individuals. So we can’t engage students all the same way.

Setting objectives
§ Everyone must understand the objective
§ Provide alternative examples
§ Set realistic objectives so student can achieve goal, specify ends not means.
§ Provide alternative starting points and paths
§ Motivate students - provide alternate levels of challenge and support, make reachable steps to reach objective

Direction Finder Example: (NeverLost)
§ Want same destination using different paths to get there
Multiple means of representation
§ Sensory/perceptual alternatives (multiple means of representation)
§ Linguistic alternatives (different languages)
§ Alternatives to spoken language (bong sound)
§ Cognitive alternatives

Multiple means of action/expression
§ Motor option
§ Tools for media and expression
§ Alternative scaffolds for practice
§ Mentoring and modeling
§ Articulates big things into smaller steps
§ Immediate feedback

Multiple means of engagement
Recruit interest
Sustain effort
Reward success

Neverlost not a good curriculum
Could include best route for understanding
Could include best route for history
Could include best route for myself (strategies)

Digital format provides more alternatives and many ways to access it

Lecture medium
Multiple representations of notes
Images (digital, drawings)
Embed links to Web
Put notes right onto slides
Letter format
Cartoons






July 3, 2006
Part II
10:45

Overall direction of educating children with disabilities

Research (anthropologists) Study:
Deaf individuals on Martha’s Vineyard an example of an ideal goal of disability policy.
Goal is to enable people with disabilities to interact in a natural way.

Disability exists in context!

What should the role of schools be when it comes to disabled kids? Leads to confusion that impact decisions for individuals.

Clinton Administration:
All programs for individuals with disabilities would be administered by people with disabilities
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was to bring down the barriers to access
IDEA (Federal Disabilities Act) up for reauthorization (funding) Uses law to foster change, special education most regulated –
Low expectations defined as a characteristic for special needs kids
Ableism: used in disability community - ingrained cultural prejudice (racism)
Way society views disability and not providing means to participate on an equal level
Vast majority of deaf children are functioning at a low level unlike Martha’s Vineyard example. Vast majority of deaf kids did not maximize language development (oral approaches were used which does not work for most deaf kids) Deaf kids need to learn language in a natural way and efficient. Most parents have hearing so parents wanted children to lip read and speak, language development not stressed.
Blind and visually impaired kids:
Most effective with this population.
Multiple disabilities missing
Biggest educational issue Braille: Many kids aren’t being taught Braille even though it is most efficient for VI kids

LD kids:
Even with good intervention by third grade, 3-5 % still struggle to read
MRI research: LD kids are slow and laborious readers
Digitized text not available uniformly
Vast majority need access to curriculum that exists
The longer the kids are in school their IQ goes down.
We expect these kids to be something that they are not


ED:
Best attainment levels but awful outcomes
Require kids to behave in ways that they can’t without support

MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Goal and Purpose of Sp. Ed.
Minimize impact of disabilities
Maximize opportunities to participate
Should not be to fix the child!
Physical therapy a fix up strategy
PT pulls kids out of educational environments

Should not
Fix
Deny
Shelter

Interventions and Access


§ Kids need to learn skills to use alternate formats at an early age

Think about disability as a diversity issue.

July 3, 2006
2:15
Case Study Morgan (Cognitively Impaired) 5th grade

Set goal: Answer comprehension questions about a story
What problems might she have?
Readability is too high
Strategies
Preteach vocabulary (Preprogram vocabulary for her)
Be clear about where she is in terms of comprehension
Use Chunking
Digital copy in order to focus on meaning will help with recognition issues
Engagement
Read with peer

Organizational Issue
What do teachers need to do? Teachers need clear ideas of what participation should be for Morgan. Does school expect CI kids to read? What are the parents’ expectations?
Give opportunities to participate socially.
Principals need to be explicit with teachers that social skills need to be stressed.
Inappropriate to give a student an aide and have the aide read to her. (Bad practice! Builds dependency!)

Use the aide to help students to learn the skills needed to use the technology.
General ed and special education teacher need to collaborate about what is most important for student and goals need to be realistic.
Kids with mild cognitive impairment should probably do alternate assessment

Marcus
7th grader
Executive Disability (organizational issues)

Thinking Reader
Reading is chunked: “Stop and think about what you have read”
Gives immediate feedback
Student Not impaired in video game format
Gives choices of answers

Organizational School Issues:
Need to vary how we approach students
Is there support for parents who don’t want to medicate?
Schools should be viewed as problem solving institutions not professional bureaucracies
Teachers should not be isolated
Successful schools provide a lot of time for teachers to meet and problem solve

7/3/06 Group 8 Notes





7/3/06 Group 7 Notes


7/3/06 Group 1 Notes

Monday, July 03, 2006

Blog Session

Session Goals
  1. Understand basics of blogging
  2. Create your own blog page
  3. Make your page inviting and informatve

Session Elements

  1. Show the course blog - http://uldsummerinstitute.blogspot.com
  2. Create an account - http://www.blogger.com
  3. Enter a title for your blog
  4. Choose your template
  5. Start posting and introduce yourself
  6. Republish entire site

Tidbits

  1. You can always go to the Dashboard (control panel) to see your blog information
  2. There are four tabs for creating/editing, and viewing your blogs
  3. Blogger's help screen is very helpful - if you have questions about blogs, you can do a search for more information
  4. You need to sign in to create, edit, delete, and save your blogs

Institute Facilitators

Marilyn Minnaar, Group 1
Charlotte DiStefano, Group 2
Judy Robinson, Group 3
Brian Cavanaugh, Group 4
Janine Styrde, Group 5
Matthew Behnke, Group 6
Linda Rubinstein, Group 7
Susanna Hall, Group 8

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Institute Case: Morgan, 5th grade

Morgan is a short, active fifth grade student who was diagnosed with mild mental retardation in the second grade, after an initial early diagnosis of developmental delay. While she has not shown many of the physical manifestations of mental retardation – for example, she is well-coordinated, and rode her bike without training wheels at an early age – she demonstrates significant verbal communication delays, and has had an inordinate amount of difficulty learning and understanding social rules and problem-solving skills.

Morgan has been included in regular classes at school full-time since she was five, and as a result is well-known (if not particularly well-liked) by her peers. Her relationships with her classmates have changed over time. Early on, Morgan was somewhat protected and accepted by her peers, who acknowledged her differences; over the last two years, however, she has faced increasing differentiation and isolation. Some of her peers have expressed frustration at the difficulty Morgan has had in understanding new materials or following complex directions; a few have even suggested that she ‘really doesn’t belong’ in class anymore. While it’s not completely clear why this has happened, Morgan’s fourth and fifth grade teachers both mentioned that they ‘didn’t feel well-equipped’ to teach Morgan, and both largely deferred to the judgment of the classroom aides the school has assigned to Morgan when making instructional decisions.

Morgan’s mother Theresa expresses concern that ‘…she just doesn’t seem happy with school anymore.’ She adds that Morgan has recently been gaining weight, has stopped riding her bike in the driveway, and doesn’t come home and run around outside like she used to – but instead often takes a nap after school or watches television for hours. Theresa adds that she’s a bit sad that Morgan seems to have very few friends from school, and that she only sees her play with other children at church on Sundays, where she often plays with much younger children.
Morgan’s academics are a source of concern. While Morgan did reasonably well in the early grades, where a large amount of time was spent on art projects, physical activity, and other creative endeavors, her ability to ‘keep up’ has markedly dropped off. For example, Morgan learned to decode words quite well during the second and third grades – but last year and this year’s focus on comprehension have not gone so well. Morgan has also struggled with a new classroom emphasis on written production, where she is far behind her peers, and a recently increased expectation of uninterrupted seatwork. She seems less willing to try new challenges, complains more often than she used to, and seems fidgety or openly noncompliant when her teachers attempt to sit with her one-on-one.

At Morgan’s annual IEP meeting in November of her fifth grade year, Theresa and Morgan’s teachers agree that there are two overarching concerns for Morgan at school. First, she is struggling to make and keep friends. Second, she is struggling to make progress in reading and writing, which is holding her back in most other academic areas as well. The team further identifies inclusion in a regular class as a priority for the family – although Morgan’s primary teacher is a bit less than convinced that a full inclusion approach is Morgan’s best option. They all want to come up with strategies for supporting Morgan’s social and academic learning over this year, and then into middle school in the year beyond.

Institute Case: Brian, 9th grade

Brian is an bright young man who is about to enter the 9th grade. He has been in and out of the public schools in town over the years, and has for the past year and a half been homeschooled by his mother Pamela; the district has been providing an at-home tutor twice weekly to provide some academic support. Brian was diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder two years ago – after a relatively disastrous 7th grade, during which his mother pulled him out of middle school, while threatening to sue the district for failing to diagnose the Asperger’s, and for not providing appropriate accommodations. Brian has a clear love for all things computer-related – particularly Apple-related – and interestingly, runs his own software beta-testing company out of his bedroom, from which he earns enough to keep buying the latest hardware on the market.
Brian’s struggles with social interactions seem to be at the root of why he’s been in and out of the public schools over the years. Pamela cheerfully describes Brian as ‘a little weird,’ and perhaps the same could fairly be said of Pamela herself. They both appear a bit physically disheveled, and do not make eye contact when they speak to people; Brian often misses the main point of conversations, and does not read body or facial language well. Brian rarely acknowledges other people around him, and tends to speak in monologues; he often appears impatient when other people speak. This has gotten him in trouble at school, when he has ignored teachers in class, or has openly described their lessons as ‘stupid’ or ‘irrelevant.’
Pamela is wary of the school district’s intentions with respect to Brian’s education, and feels as if the district has done everything in its power over the years to either ignore her or to provide a bare minimum of services. Pam does say that she was quite happy with the past year, when she homeschooled Brian’s English, P.E., and social studies classes under contract to the district (Pamela is herself a certified music teacher), and Brian was bused to school for three half-days per week for computer, advanced math, and orchestra classes. A district tutor visited Pamela and Brian twice weekly last year. The original intent was to help support Brian’s reading and writing skill development – but the tutor has reported that mostly Pamela had him editing and correction Brian’s homework.

Pamela is concerned that Brian will be ‘lost’ in high school, and wants to continue the current setup of a majority-homeschool schedule at least through freshman year. It is tough to know what Brian wants, as Pamela has so far not allowed him to attend IEP meetings. There is some concern among teachers at school that Brian’s mother, while well-intentioned, has not been a very rigorous English teacher at home, and that his disrupted schooling and weak reading and writing skills are putting him at high risk of school failure across subject areas.
Complicating things is that Brian has recently undergone part of his three-year re-evaluation with the district psychologist; testing indicates that, while Brian’s IQ appears to be above-average, Brian’s achievement scores in written expression, spelling, and reading comprehension are lower than would be expected. The psychologist adds that Brian did not seem terribly motivated to complete the achievement testing, and hurried through the reading and writing tasks without checking his work at all.

The high school would like to honor the family’s wishes in designing an appropriate educational environment for the upcoming year, but isn’t sure exactly what the ‘best’ or most appropriate environment for Brian might be…

Institute Case: Ben, 11th grade

Ben is a tall, extremely bright 11th grade student who was diagnosed with severe emotional disturbance back in middle school. Ben was referred for evaluation by his mother after a series of incidents at home and at school that culminated in his running away for three days. Though there is sparse information from Ben’s mother about the referral, his teachers reported at the time that he could be “up and down, sometimes in the same class,” but that he was “a good kid: he has friends, and is well-liked.” They also report that Ben is “incredibly creative – he draws all the time, all over his notes and often up and down his arms.”

Back in middle school, which was organized in a collection of small ‘houses,” Ben’s IEP team decided that he really just needed accommodations in his classes for some of the behaviors that were getting him in trouble, so they allowed him to take ‘time-outs’ when he needed them, and they set up a check-in system, in which he had to see his house leader every morning when he got to school, and every afternoon when he left. There is also a note in Ben’s IEP folder indicating that some flexibility was granted in Ben’s grades after he missed an excessive number of days in class during the winter of 8th grade. Ben’s eighth grade exam scores were at or near the top of his class, across the board.

After the move to high school, Ben’s 9th and 10th grade teachers report that he “typically has weeks and months where he’s a model student,” but then also report “…periods where he either stops coming to class, or where he’s so withdrawn he might as well not be here.” Ben earned credits for only about half his classes during his freshman and sophomore years, but managed to score in the top decile on the state mathematics exam in 9th grade, and won a creative writing award from his 10th grade English teacher.

All of Ben’s current 11th grade teachers report awareness of his diagnosis of “emotional disturbance,” but also say that they’re not really sure how it impacts what they’re supposed to do with him in class. One teacher reports that when Ben “seems depressed or agitated in class,” she gives him extra days to turn in his homework. Most report that they’ve had to send him out of the room for inappropriate or aggressive behavior towards peers, and that he seems isolated from most of the other students.

Ben’s homeroom teacher, Brian, sees Ben from 7:55-8:00 each morning before first period. Brian reports that some days this year, Ben has shown up at school and “seemed extremely depressed, maybe like he was on drugs or something.” and on other days has acted “hyper and challenging to his peers and to me.”
During the last few weeks, Ben has also missed a great deal of school, and is starting to fail his classes again. His teachers have, over the past month, referred him to the principal for skipping class, for ‘talking back,’ for “nonparticipation,’ for ‘rude and sarcastic comments,’ and finally for smashing the glass in a doorway between halls. This last incident got Ben fourteen stitches in his left hand, and got him a three day out-of-school suspension. His teachers are starting to mention to the special education department, and to the principal, that they’re uncomfortable having him in class.

“He’s so unpredictable,” says his science teacher. “At this point, for me, it’s a safety issue. I just don’t know if I can trust him in chemistry lab when he doesn’t listen to me… he acts like he’s in his own little world sometimes. He does all these little annoying things to his classmates, and when they tell him to quit it, he either sulks or blows up on them. I wonder if maybe he ought to be in another class, with a bit more supervision.”

Institute Case: Marcus, 7th grade

Marcus is an enthusiastic, gifted 7th grader who attends a neighborhood middle school that offers “academic enrichment” programming after school, but which does not have any formalized gifted programming. Marcus is extremely energetic, and loves the newly formalized sports opportunities his middle school offers. He’s been a member of the football team, the baseball team, the cross-country team, and most recently, the basketball team. His coaches have described Marcus as a “non-stop kid,” and at the same time, “sort of annoying.” He was kicked off the basketball team two weeks into the season, for what his coach Bill Jackson described as “ignoring my whole program. He wouldn’t practice like the other kids, he wouldn’t drill… he’d always want to run around and play pick-up games… he just wasn’t a team player. Just shoot, run, shoot – me-first kind of basketball…”

Perhaps worse than getting kicked off the basketball team, Marcus has also been struggling with his schoolwork for the past two years, as the expectations for homework and classwork have increased. His frequent small mistakes on homework, and his inattention to details such as due dates and headings on papers have earned him increasingly lower grades through the course of the school year. Often he hasn’t been turning in his homework at all, and the work he does turn in is often so messy and incomplete that his teachers want him to re-do it.

“Marcus is a mess,” reports his math teacher Tammy Pelli. “I think he means well, and he’s smart! But he’s just so disorganized. Have you seen his backpack? It’s a total black hole. He even stayed after school for an hour last week with me, punching holes in all his papers, and putting together a math binder. But this week? He left his binder on a shelf at the back of my room – and it’s got papers from Language Arts, history, life science, and even P.E. hanging out of it. And he turned in exactly one of this week’s four assignments!”

Marcus’s history teacher chimes in: “Marcus needs to shape up, or he’s in for trouble. He’s not in elementary school anymore, and I know that high school teachers won’t put up with any of the things he does in class. It’s like he’s nine years old sometimes! He bothers the other students, always tapping his pens on his desk or talking out in class; he butts in on discussions we’re having without raising his hand… I mean, sometimes he has some really insightful things to say, but he drives me crazy! It’s like he’s got to be either talking, or moving, or both! I don’t know, maybe he’s got some sort of internal motor set at about a hundred miles an hour or something...”

Marcus’s mother and father have both been in to see his teachers and the principal of the school on several occasions. His mother, looking a bit frazzled, confirms that Marcus is non-stop at home, and has been that way since early childhood. She indicates that Marcus was identified and served successfully by the gifted program at his elementary school since the first grade, where he was already reading at a third grade level. She says “…he picks things up real quick. He’s always been that way.” She adds that the school, and the family doctor, made a diagnosis of ADHD last year, when he started failing classes – and that Marcus had tried a course of Adderall for a few months – but that it made him “sick to his stomach, and he didn’t feel like himself, so we stopped.” Marcus’s father adds that “I don’t really like the idea of medicating my boy anyway. He needs to learn how to behave in school, in normal situations… and he’ll never learn that if we just give him drugs. Is he supposed to take those for the rest of his life? He just needs to grow up.”

Institute Case: Olivia, kindergarten

Olivia is a shy, five year old soon-to-be-kindergarten student with spina bifida and hydrocephaly with a surgically placed shunt who has some paralysis on her left side. She uses a push wheelchair for mobility, uses some spoken English to communicate, and needs some physical assistance getting into and out of her chair, and with toileting and dressing. She has not attended formal pre-school prior to kindergarten, but has met some other students occasionally when her mother, Lydia – who is single and who has no other children or nearby family members – was able to get respite care. Lydia reports that she has applied through a number of agencies for help getting Olivia an electric wheelchair, but has to this point been unsuccessful.

Olivia’s physician has indicated some concern – privately – to school officials over her language development, since she has not had much opportunity to play with other children over the years. He further indicates that Olivia is starting to demonstrate some amount of nystagmus – uncontrolled shaking of the eye – that may be impacting her vision.

When asked, discreetly, about Olivia’s alphabet recognition or experience with books, Lydia reports that she has been “just too overwhelmed with the basics” to do much bedtime reading with her, though she adds that “I talk to her all the time, tell her stories… tell her what I’m doing. All the time. And I let her watch Sesame Street, which she loves… she’s always laughing and giggling along to that.”

After Olivia registers for school in August, a rather rushed evaluation from the school psychologist indicates that Olivia, though initially withdrawn and reluctant to participate, quickly established good rapport with the tester, and seemed to make genuine efforts at success. However, she showed a good deal of trouble following directions during the testing, and her vocabulary seemed limited to a very few descriptors beyond ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘that.’ Olivia smiled and occasionally giggled at the feedback and praise she received during the testing session, but the psychologist reported that “…ultimately I don’t feel that this testing was indicative of Olivia’s true capabilities, given the struggles we both faced with communication.” He recommends a re-evaluation in six months, after Olivia has been engaged at school in a ‘typical’ kindergarten class.

There are four kindergarten classes at Olivia’s school in which she might be included, and as you make a list of her needs, you start to wonder which of them might serve her best, and how you might support her in the classroom. Perhaps the largest issue is the teachers; none of them has had a student with spina bifida or any significant mobility impairment before. One teacher mentions that she’s had a student on crutches once, and that the other students “were darlings, all wanting to help out.” Though they all seem willing to have Olivia in class, they agree that they’d like “as much training as the district can give, and support in the classroom for her special needs.” They all seem worried about how to go about including a student who is significantly different from the other students in the class.

Institute Case: Ashley, 4th grade

Ashley, who is 9 years old and about to begin the fourth grade, was referred for a full evaluation by the school psychologist at the end of last year, after her third grade teacher watched her struggling and falling behind her peers.

During the initial data collection process, Ashley’s first and second grade teachers and classroom assistants reported that her phonemic awareness and decoding skills, while a bit delayed compared to her peers, have improved dramatically. She can now quickly and accurately decode unfamiliar, multisyllabic words in English, and her fluency in reading age-appropriate passages out loud to her teachers is excellent. However, Ashley’s comprehension of what she reads is very weak. While she can sometimes tell (or find in the text) the specific, factual details of a passage she has read aloud, she struggles with questions relating to inference, causality, or sequence.

Ashley’s third grade teacher, Dawn Parham, reports some concern that Ashley’s struggles with reading comprehension are “interfering with her learning in other areas, like math.” Dawn has seen Ashley struggling to isolate important details or sequences in story problems – and sometimes struggling to figure out what’s being asked in the first place.
“Her strategies for figuring out what’s happening in story problems are very weak,” classroom assistant Julie Greenwood notes; “…if there was one thing I’d recommend for her fourth grade teacher, it would be to work on that. She needs to develop ways to begin problems or passages she finds difficult, and persevere until something makes sense.”

Perhaps worse, Ashley seems to be noticing that she’s falling farther and farther behind her peers. Dawn and Julie heard Ashley referring to herself as ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ on a number of occasions, and were disappointed to see her behavior changing towards the end of the year. They note that while Ashley had usually been friendly with peers and considerate with teachers, she gradually stopped volunteering in class, and began to get into arguments with her friends more quickly than before. One argument, which seemed to be over something another student had said to Ashley during recess, was loud and disruptive enough that Ashley was sent to the principal, and her mother Sarah was called in for a conference.

At that conference, Sarah reported that Ashley “doesn’t seem to be as excited about school as before,” and added that “she sometimes doesn’t bring her book bag home.” Sarah worried aloud to the principal that Ashley’s older sister was also getting failing grades at the high school, and that she doesn’t want the same thing to happen to Ashley. She asked the school to provide whatever help they could, so that Ashley didn’t fall through the cracks…

Institute Case: Elena, 1st grade

Elena is a sweet, sunny six-year-old first-grade student who has recently moved back into your district and your school from rural southern Mexico. Elena was born here in the United States – as was her older sister Adrianna – and she is a U.S. citizen – but struggles with immigration authorities have split the family. Here in the U.S., Elena lives with her mother Carmen – who works for the school district as a paraprofessional at the high school. In Mexico, Elena lives with her father Nicolás and her grandparents. Carmen has mentioned how difficult it has been on the girls to divide their time between countries, but feels that it is very important for the girls to stay close to their father and grandparents while they wait for their papers to be processed. She has also told you that in Mexico the girls attend a local school – but your district has never been able to get either records or a clear picture of the scope or sequence of curriculum there.
The teachers and students at your school know Elena well, since she was a student here for several months last year, during the fall. By all accounts, Elena was a delight for her kindergarten teacher, who described her as “always willing to help other students,” “a very thoughtful little girl,” and “she has very good English, even though I think she uses Spanish with her mother and sister at home.”

School begins, and through September and October, Elena’s first-grade teacher Kate reports that things are “going well,” and that “Elena knows all the letters of the alphabet,” and “can say most of the sounds each letter makes.” By November, however, Kate reports that Elena is falling a bit behind her peers in learning how to blend sounds together, and that “she seems to be struggling to sound out consonant/vowel combinations that most of her peers can say with ease.” After talking more with Kate about the specific struggles Elena is having, it becomes apparent that, although Elena does have some phonemic awareness skills, she doesn’t seem to have mastered the full range of English-language sounds each letter can make. Further, while Elena’s sight-word vocabulary is as good as (or better than) many of her peers (for example, she readily identifies words like “cat,” “dog,” and “mom”), she doesn’t seem to have a way to approach new words like “toe” or “slow.”Kate mentions that some of Elena’s struggles match what she’s read about dyslexia, and is wondering aloud if she should make a referral for evaluation by the school psychologist.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Institute Faculty


Co-Chairs
Thomas Hehir, co-chair
David Rose, co-chair

Presenters
Bridget Dalton
Robert Dolan
Nonie K. Lesaux
Brenda Matthis
Grace Meo
George Sugai

General Resources

Literacy
ReadWriteThink website is a partnership of the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the MarcoPolo Education Foundation to provide educators and students with access to free-of-charge content regarding best practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.

Math
Web-Based Resources for Mathematics: Tools and Activities for Teaching and Learning are a valuable resource including a large annotated list of free web-based math tools and activities.

Social Studies
Picturing Modern America: Historical Thinking Exercises for Middle and High School by the Education Development Center provides historical thinking exercises for middle and high school students.

Graphic Organizers
One way to help make a curriculum more supportive of students and teachers is to incorporate graphic organizers. Graphic organizers come in many types and have been widely researched for their effectiveness in improving learning outcomes for students with and without disabilities. This paper examines the research on educational applications of graphic organizers in grades K-12 and explores points of intersection with Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a curriculum design approach intended to lower the barriers that traditionally limit access to information and learning for many students. Also several valuable resources are available to support the use of graphic organizers. Read Graphic Organizers with UDL at http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_goudl.html.

Blogs
What is a Blog? Learn about blogs and its use in educational setting at http://www.supportblogging.com/.

Take a look at Kathy Schrock's Educational Technology Blog Listing at http://kathyschrock.net/edtechblogs.htm. Kathy offers a listing of blogs that she finds interesting and informative.

David Rose's students from his Harvard graduate course provide two types of blogs for the course. There are media blogs and topic blogs. http://universaldesignforlearning.blogspot.com/

UDL
Learn more about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) by browsing through the FAQs at http://www.cast.org/research/faq/index.html