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Students with Special Needs - Can They Make the Grade?

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  1. Students with Special Needs -Can They Make the Grade? Pam Tupy, Program Specialist Getting Results Conference 2006 Orange County Department of Education

  2. Our Group Norms • Be respectful of one another and of our mutual learning • Commit to active participation • Turn cell phones off or on silent mode Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  3. Agenda: Key Questions • Why is effective reading instruction important and what does it look like? • What are some effective strategies for building academic language and writing skills? • How does this relate to Response to Intervention? Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  4. Why Are We Here? Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  5. Why Are We Here? • 55% of all special education students in California are identified as having a specific learning disability (California Department of Education CDE - 2005) • It is estimated that 75%-85% of these students are not actually in need of special education services (Alice Parker, CDE- 2005) • These students show academic deficits because they never received scientifically-based reading instruction or a reading intervention early on • Effective prevention and intervention programs can increase the reading skills of 85-90% of poor readers to average levels Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  6. Think-Pair-Share • Think of a student in your class who struggles with reading • What are some of that student’s challenges? • What are some preventative measures that could have helped him or her early on? • What is that child’s attitude about reading? • Share your reflections with a partner Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  7. According to the California Special Education Reading Task Force, Students With Disabilities Need: • Effective reading instruction • Early intervention and prevention • Assessment that drives instruction • Access to the core curriculum and reading instruction The California Reading Initiative and Special Education in California 1999 Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  8. Effective Reading Instruction • Reading does not develop naturally (Lyons 2000) • Reading failure begins early, takes root quickly and affects students for life (Moats 2000) • Language instruction needs to be systematic, structured, cumulative and match the developmental needs of students as it applies to age-appropriate texts (Moats 2000) Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  9. Effective Reading Instruction • Older students need to be taught the foundational skills they at all levels- sound, word, sentence, and passage, so that they can unpack the building blocks of words (Moats 2000) • Special educators need research-based instructional tools that support effective instruction and should receive the same training and support as general educators (CA Special Education Task Force 1999) Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  10. Critical Reading Skills Requiring Explicit Instruction: • Phonemic awareness • Phonics • Fluency • Vocabulary • Reading comprehension • Oral language skills (receptive vocabulary and syntax) • Prior knowledge for comprehension of text • Spelling and orthography Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  11. According to the1999 Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools Kindergarten through Grade Twelve: • The ultimate goal of language arts programs is to ensure access to high-quality curriculum and instruction for all students in order to meet content standards • A balanced approach for special ed students involves considerable time dedicated to intensive direct teaching of phonemic awareness, phonics, blending skills, and reading fluency while including meaning-based aspects as well • Language arts programs must be balanced and comprehensive, giving time and attention to each student based on individual needs and assessment Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  12. Assessment that Drives Instruction The better we use data, the better we teach. California Special Education Reading Task Force 1999 Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  13. Norm-Referenced Tests Useful for: • determining eligibility • developing IEP goals • evaluating changes over time but we need more diagnostic information to guide instruction and set measurable goals and objectives. Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  14. Informal Diagnostic Tests Informal assessment should be used to assess specific skills to set individual goals and objectives for students. For example, it can be used to identify a student’s frustration, independent, and instructional reading levels. Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  15. Other Skills Informal Tests Should Assess: • Phonemic awareness • Phonics • Fluency • Vocabulary • Reading comprehension • Oral language skills (receptive vocabulary and syntax) • Prior knowledge for comprehension of text • Spelling and orthography Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  16. Motivation DECODING COMPREHENSION Word Recognition Strategies Fluency Academic Language Comprehension Strategies Automaticity Concepts about print (Re)Organizing text Comprehension Monitoring Phonics Background Knowledge Sight Words Phoneme Awareness Syntax Text Structure Vocabulary Shefelbine’s Framework 1999 California Reading/Language Arts Framework, page 20 Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  17. Academic Language “Accelerating Academic English: A Focus on the English Learner” -by Robin Scarcella Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  18. Academic Achievement at Three Levels of Academic Background Knowledge Marzano 2004 Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  19. Developing Academic Language Vocabulary: • Factors affecting vocabulary development • Ways we learn words • What it means to know a word • Choosing which words to teach • Characteristics of effective vocabulary instruction • Research-based instructional strategies Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  20. Developing Academic Language Reading Comprehension: • Comprehension Monitoring • Graphic and Semantic Organizers • Generating Questions • Recognizing Story/Text Structure • Summarization • Reciprocal Teaching National Reading Panel, Put Reading First p. 49-54 Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  21. Developing Academic Language Writing: • Writing is a skill, and skills need practice • Writing should be a regular part of the curriculum • Writing should be purposeful • Writing should be read Darin Hallstrom, Tustin USD Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  22. Ten Suggestions for Creating an Effective Writing Program for You and Your Students • “ There is a difference between assigning writing tasks and teaching writing skills.” • If you don’t do this, you are inviting disappointment • Be crystal clear with your kids: what do you want? Darin Hallstrom, Tustin USD Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  23. Response to Intervention • It is • A structure for allocating instructional resources efficiently, targeting them to specific student needs • A commitment to use our current knowledge base in our instruction • A commitment to use a logical decision-making framework to guide our instruction • A function of General Education W. David Tilly, The Special Edge Winter/Spring 2006 Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  24. Features: High-quality research-based instruction and research-based interventions Universal screening and continuous progress monitoring Fidelity measures Tiers of intervention Implementation of differentiated curriculum Instruction delivered by staff other than classroom teacher only Varied duration, frequency, and time of interventions Categorical and noncategorical placement decisions Structure for allocating resources Response to Intervention Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  25. Important Points to Remember Without proficient reading [and writing] skills, students’ access to subject content areas and prospects for academic and life success are greatly limited 1999 Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools Kindergarten through Grade Twelve Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006

  26. For More Information • ptupy@ocde.us Tupy-Orange County Department of Education 2006