Tag Archives: accommodation

What is the difference between an accommodation and differentiated instruction?

Accommodations and differentiated instruction are often confused by teachers. Many teachers believe they are the same thing but they are not.

Accommodations are given to students who  have a physical disability, a learning disability or students who are labeled ELL. Accommodations for students with disabilities stem from interventions that were tried during the SST process or the RTI process. These accommodations are written in the IEP. Once the accommodations are written in the IEP, it is mandatory for all teachers to provide them to the student. Accommodations are intended to even the playing field for students with disabilities so that they can be successful in school and in the inclusive classroom. As mentioned before, ELL students are also provided accommodations to help them learn English as well as the content.

The following are examples of accommodations that can be used for both SPED and ELL.

  • Provide flashcards at the beginning of a unit
  • Provide reference sheets with all content at the beginning of the unit
  • Provide a study guide at the beginning of the unit and assign sections based on the material covered in class that day
  • Preferential seating
  • Repetition
  • Spell checker
  • Spanish-English Dictionary or Thesaurus
  • Interactive Writing that guides them through the writing process

Differentiated instruction applies to all levels and all learning styles from gifted to SPED. Teachers can differentiate instruction by using the same content and deliver it different ways either by using leveling or the Multiple Intelligence Theory. When differentiating instruction using leveling, teachers will simplify the content and use repetition for those students on a lower ability level while going into more detail and using more critical thinking for those with a higher ability level. This is often done with reading assignments but can also be done easily with a co-teacher using the parallel teaching technique while providing mini-lessons to students.

Differentiated instruction can be used to introduce and repeat content in different ways during a mini-lesson. Differentiated instruction using the multiple intelligence theory can provide multiple options of activities that work with the same content. This type of differentiated instruction can encourage the use of student choice which usually leads to an increase in student ownership in education as well as interest.

Accommodations and differentiated instruction have the goal of helping students be successful in the modern classroom. The difference is that accommodations refer to helping a single student with a specific disability and differentiated instruction includes all students in a class learning the same content all being challenged at their ability level while using their multiple intelligence learning style.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico offers social studies differentiated instruction materials.  Check it out!

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

http://www.socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

kasha@socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico

 

What accommodations can be given for GA Studies?

 

Accommodation Ideas for SPED in GA Studies

GA Studies or Georgia History is a social studies class for the 8th grade in the state of GA. Accommodations are given to students who are considered to be SPED or ELL. An accommodation is different than differentiated instruction because accommodations are given to a specific student for a specific need. Accommodations can also be given to students who are going through the SST process. In this case the accommodation acts like an intervention.

One accommodation I gave to students when I was the content teacher as well as when I was the SPED teacher in a co-teaching situation was to provide flash cards with the vocabulary, important events or people on them. I gave the flash cards out at the beginning of the unit. The students were allowed to use them before the class started or when they had extra time in class. They also used them to study at home with their parents.

Another accommodation I used to give for GA Studies was a preview, reference and review page for each unit based on the GA Studies State Standards. This is a multipurpose packet. I used this packet in the following ways:

  • Breaking it up and handing out the review sheets (keys) at the beginning of every unit to SPED and ELL as an accommodation. They then used this as a reference sheet throughout the unit which saved time in class during opening and closings, note taking, class discussions, activities and helped the parents help their children with homework and studying.
  • Study guides as note sheets
  • Study guides as study guides before unit tests for all students
  • Study guides and review sheets were handed out as a big packet for studying for the CRCT.
  • Catch students up on content due to transfers, sickness, absences etc.

This packet goes through every GA History state standard in the order that the state of GA framework suggests but does not include the Connecting themes in GA History unit 1 of the frameworks.

  1. Early Natives in GA and Geography
  2. Exploration and Colonization
  3. Statehood
  4. Civil War-Reconstruction
  5. The New South
  6. The 20th Century
  7. Post WWII Georgia
  8. Civil Rights
  9. Modern GA
  10. State and Local Government
  11. Adult and Juvenile Justice System
  12. Personal Finance

It lists the standards and then either lists or charts the facts, events, people, etc. that are in the standard along with a definition, importance of, or explanation of whatever is listed or charted. There are study guides that can be filled out by students and a key to go with it. It is written in Word so it is easily modified to meet your needs as a teacher. This is available at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/GA-History-Study-Review-and-Reference-Packet.

Accommodations for vocabulary and content can help students who are labeled as SPED as well as ELL by providing the assistance they may need to flourish.

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico (Connect with me on Linkedin.com)

http://www.socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

kasha@socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico

What is the SST?

An SST in some states stands for student support team but I have also heard them referred to as student success team.  The goal of an SST is to try to find academic interventions and accommodations that might help an individual student be successful in a specific area. SST meetings usually occur once a month. The teacher is in charge of implementing the intervention strategy or accommodation for the student and documenting any results. If this is not done correctly, the SST process is stalled.

Contrary to popular belief, the SST process is not necessarily the precursor to being tested for a learning disability. If certain interventions are successful, they are documented and should be used for years to come to help the student be successful. SST‘s should be revisited monthly and if they are no longer necessary, they should be classified as closed. An SST can be reopened at anytime in the future if an educator or parent sees it as necessary. Even if an SST is considered closed, it should remain in the student’s permanent file for future teachers to review and be aware of.

If there is no improvement after all SST intervention strategies and accommodations are considered, tried and documented, the possibility of having a student tested for a learning disability should be considered.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Leveled-Expository-Writing-System-867302 offers a leveled writing  system that can be used as an intervention strategy during the SST process. Check it out!

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

http://www.socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

kasha@socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico

Why should parents be a member of a student support team?

Why should parents be on the Student Support Team?

I was recently not invited to my son’s SST meeting and I’m very unhappy about it. Prior to me changing my career to entrepreneur, I was a teacher. I was a SPED teacher. At one time I was the SST Coordinator for the grade I taught and of course I have had to go to SST meetings for every student I taught that had one over the past 10 years. I can safely say that I have experience with the SST process. I have a lot of experience with providing the correct intervention accommodations for students. One of the reasons why I switched careers was because we adopted a special needs son who needed more than I could give him when I was teaching. I wanted to be able to help and focus on him and be there as a supportive parent, something that he hadn’t had before. I feel robbed of that opportunity because I was denied the right to be an advocate for my son and his education. Education is something I feel is one of the most precious gifts a parent and society can give to a child.

So what do I think I could have added to that SST meeting that the other members couldn’t? How about that the doctor picked up on the fact that my son has a speech delay in a matter of minutes. She asked if he was being served in speech and then why not? She was upset that the school wasn’t giving him the accommodations that he needed and that it wasn’t related to the ADHD, which is what the teacher is convinced of. She is the only person with daily contact with my son so her word was taken. If I were invited, I could have countered that statement.

Any time there is an SST meeting, the parents should be invited. When I was the coordinator, it was standard practice to contact the parents three times to try to get them to the SST meeting. They are valuable resources. After all, they do know their children the best. Parents should help teachers decide what the best intervention accommodations are for their children. Parents and teachers need to work together to get the best results for the student and child. The SST or RTI meeting is a great starting point.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Leveled-Expository-Writing-System-867302 has a leveled writing system that can be used as intervention accommodations during the SST process because it tracks improvement. Check it out!

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

http://www.socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

kasha@socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico

Accommodations for Gifted Learners?

Do you think accommodations should be given for gifted learners? If a teacher differentiates instruction correctly by leveling the content and then using learning styles to help students learn, they are. With special education, the IEP contains accommodations a teacher MUST do to help students learn. Should that be extended to gifted students too? Should there be an IEP for gifted students? I often complain that there are not programs for my gifted daughter but that there are for kids at the opposite side of the spectrum. What do you think?

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico offers social studies differentiated instruction lesson plans that challenge ALL students. Check it out!

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

http://www.socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

kasha@socialstudiesdifferentiatedinstruction.com

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico