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Accommodations, Modifications, and Differentiating Instruction to Promote Student Independence. Presented by: Lori Dehart KEDC. Today’s Agenda R eview Terms & Concepts ` SDI/SAS Differentiated Instruction UDL Accommodations Modifications. Today’s Agenda (continued).

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accommodations modifications and differentiating instruction to promote student independence

Accommodations, Modifications, and Differentiating Instruction to Promote Student Independence

Presented by:

Lori Dehart


Today’s AgendaReview Terms & Concepts` SDI/SAS Differentiated Instruction UDL Accommodations Modifications
today s agenda continued
Today’s Agenda (continued)

Discuss How to Fade Accommodations

  • Practice
    • Review a case study
today s outcome
Today’s Outcome
  • Gain knowledge and skills to train staff how to fade accommodations
individuals with disabilities education improvement act of 2004 idea
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)

Section 300.347 on IEP content, IDEA – There should be:

“. . . a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child –

  • To advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals;
  • To participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities; and
  • To be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children in the activities described in this section.”

Section 300.342 of IDEA also states that the IEP must be in effect at the beginning of each school year so that each teacher and provider is informed of "the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with the IEP.”

implementing and lesson planning
Implementing and Lesson Planning

High Expectations

Plan for all

Planning for individual needs

high expectations
High Expectations

In order to participate with success in the general curriculum, students with disabilities, as appropriate, may be provided additional supports and services, such as:

  • Instructional supports for learning based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which foster student engagement by presenting information in multiple ways and allowing for diverse avenues of action and expression
  • Instructional accommodations (Thompson, Morse, Sharpe & Hall, 2005) changes in materials or procedures which do not change the standards but allow students to learn within the framework of the Common Core.
  • Assistive technology devices and services to ensure access to the general education curriculum and the Common Core State Standards.
plan for all universal design for learning udl
Plan For AllUniversal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Provide multiple means of representation
  • Provide multiple means of action and expression
  • Provide multiple means of engagement

The principles of UDL align with the purpose and intent of accommodations.

plan for all udl
Plan For All UDL

It does this by providing options for:

  • Presenting information and content in different ways (the "what" of learning)
  • Differentiating the ways that students can express what they know (the "how" of learning)
  • Stimulating interest and motivation for learning (the "why" of learning)
universal design
Universal Design

The design of the instructional materials and activities that makes the learning goal achievable by individuals with a wide difference in their abilities to see, hear, speak, move, read, write, understand English, attend, organize, engage, and remember.

  • Built in, not added on!

Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)

differentiated instruction
Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction is an instructional concept that maximizes learning for ALL students—regardless of skill level or background.


Teachers might believe that, if they are using differentiated instruction or Universal Design for Learning (UDL), they do not need to provide accommodations for students with disabilities.

planning for individual needs
Planning for Individual Needs
  • consideration of individual student needs in relation to the disability.
  • Analysis of expectations for all students will further guide the anticipated need(s) the student will have in preparation, participation, and application of skills included within the learning target for all.
specially designed instruction sdi
Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)
  • SDI in its simplest form is “what the teacher does” to instruct, assess, and re-teach for the student to make progress in the general curriculum.

If instruction is required for students to benefit from a material, resource, aid, strategy or service, it should be described as specially designed instruction.

supplementary aides and services sas
Supplementary Aides and Services (SAS)

in its simplest form is “what the student needs” in order to

  • advance appropriately toward attaining their annual goal(s),
  • be involved and make progress in the general curriculum,
  • participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities and
  • be educated with non-disabled peers.

If the student requires specific materials, resources, aids, strategies or services to gain access to the general education curriculum, it should be described as a supplementary aid and service.

differentiating sdi and sas
Differentiating SDI and SAS

Keep in mind that many of the instructional strategies and supports suggested can be both the SDI and SAS

instructional strategies and materials for accessing the kentucky core academic standards
Instructional Strategies and Materials for Accessing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards:
  • Pages 33-39
problems fuchs fuchs
Problems(Fuchs & Fuchs)
  • Accommodations not routinely provided
  • When they are provided, teachers do not know how to select accommodations
    • Most accommodations randomly selected
  • Accommodations not matched to student need
five essential steps for selecting administering and evaluating accommodations1
Five essential steps for selecting, administering, and evaluating accommodations:
  • Expect students to participate in assessments and achieve grade-level academic content standards.
  • Learn about accommodations for instruction and assessment.
  • Select accommodations for instruction and assessment for individual students.
  • Administer accommodations during instruction and assessment.
  • Evaluate and improve accommodation use.
step 1 expect students to participate in assessment1
Step 1: Expect Students to Participate in Assessment

The law:

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB)

“… the participation in such assessment of all students [Sec. 1111 (3) (C) (i)]. (The term “such assessments” refers to a set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments.) The reasonable adaptations and accommodations for students with disabilities—as defined under Section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—necessary to measure the academic achievement of such students relative to state academic content and state student academic achievement standards [Sec. 1111 (3) (C) (ii)].”

step 2 learn about accommodations for instruction and assessment
Step 2: Learn About Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment

Accommodations are commonly categorized in four ways:




timing and scheduling



  • Modifications

Do not fundamentally alter or lower

expectations or standards in instructional

level, content or performance criteria.

Do fundamentally alter

or lower expectations or

standards in instructional level,

content or performance criteria.

Changes are made in order to provide equal

access to learning and equal opportunity to

demonstrate what is known.

Changes are made to provide

student meaningful &

productive learning experiences

based on individual needs &


Grading is same

Grading is different



Though educators often confuse the terms accommodations and modifications, the terms should not be used interchangeably.

accommodations assumptions
Accommodations Assumptions
  • Allow the student to earn a valid score, not necessarily an optimal score
  • Produce a differential boost
  • A single accommodation is not valid or beneficial for all students
  • A student may need more than one accommodation
  • Testing accommodations and instructional accommodations should be similar
selecting accommodations
Selecting Accommodations
  • Document Accommodations on a Student’s IEP or 504 Plan
  • Consider
    • Student characteristics
    • Involving students in selecting, using, and evaluating accommodations
    • Prior accommodations use
    • Accommodations for instruction vs assessment
instructional accommodations
Instructional Accommodations
  • Supports provided at the beginning of the instructional process are designed to help students’ first experience, learn, and practice a new skill.
  • The long term purpose of instructional accommodations or other early supports is to ultimately help the student learn to become as fluent and as independent as possible in performing that skill.
instructional accommodations1
Instructional Accommodations
  • should incorporate a scaffoldedfading process that provides much more support early in the learning process as skill acquisition is just beginning.

For example, if a student has a certain type of visual processing difficulty, he or she may need (for some years) to use a straight edge to guide visual tracking while reading, but eventually learns to perform the actual reading task with full independence to the extent of his or her capability. At the point of testing, this student no longer has a person holding the tracking tool or reading the passage to him or her. This has become the independent responsibility of the student; yet remaining student needs for support are still being met. Independent use of the visual tracking tool has become the least intrusive accommodation for the student at this point.

assessment accommodations
Assessment Accommodations
  • When used properly, appropriate assessment accommodations remove barriers to participation in the assessment and provide students with diverse learning needs an equitable opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
assessment accommodations1
Assessment Accommodations
  • Assessment accommodations should be those accommodations that are the least intrusive accommodations possible to meet the needs of the student while allowing the maximum level of independence possible for that student.
assessment accommodations2
Assessment Accommodations
  • Assessment accommodations represent the current balance point the instructional fading process has achieved. Assessment accommodations, therefore, represent the highest point of independent skill acquisition that has been achieved with that student to date through the instructional process.
assessment accommodations3
Assessment Accommodations

Assessment accommodations do not necessarily represent the instructional end point, but they do represent a point in time that lies beyond the earliest phases of skill acquisition.

Some skill independence should be seen if instruction has been effective.


Teams must remember to carefully consider long term independence and thoughtfully design the process of fading supports when choosing and planning instructional methods.


The key IS finding the right balance of supports for a given student and actively, consistently, and constructively supporting the growth of student independence.


Implement, evaluate, and adjust the adaptation.

  • Fade the accommodations when possible
  • How to use and apply the accommodation to their learning
    • explicit (directly taught),
    • systematic (sequenced so that skills build on one another, not left to incidental learning),
    • scaffolded(supported instruction that is gradually withdrawn as students become more proficient) and
    • modeled (teacher models both the task/skill and the thought processes to complete the task/skill)
so how do you fade an accommodations
So how do you fade an accommodations?
  • Identify the process that will be used to fade
  • Identify criteria that will indicate that the accommodation can be faded (I.e., 80% accuracy over three days)
  • Implement the accommodation
    • Teach skills needed for the student to access and use the accommodation
  • Collect data
    • Use of the accommodation
    • Effectiveness of the accommodation
  • Fade the accommodation as planned
  • A strategy for BUILDING skills while fostering and teaching Independence
fading is a part of learning
Fading is a part of learning

New Skills:

  • Direct instruction
  • Support
  • Decreasing or eliminating the supports
fading means to gradually disappear
Fading means to “gradually disappear”
  • We teach or are taught
  • We support or are supported
  • We fade or are able to complete the task without support
  • We use that newly acquired skill to build the next one
fading means reducing
Fading means reducing
  • Type of support
  • Level of support
  • Frequency of support
  • Intensity of support
keep in mind
Keep in mind…
  • Specific methods used in fading will vary, depending on the type of accommodation provided.


All range from least restrictive to most restrictive

least restrictive to most restrictive

accommodation journal
Accommodation Journal

Documenting all of the following:

  • Accommodations used by the student in the classroom and on tests
  • Test and assignment results when accommodations are used and not used
  • Student’s perception of how well an accommodation “works”
  • Effective combinations of accommodations
  • Difficulties of accommodations use
  • Perceptions of teachers and others about how the accommodation appears to be working
metacognative annotations to improve writing
Metacognative Annotations to Improve Writing
  • My student with executive functioning deficits does not understand how to recognize what he is thinking while he is reading.
  • Give the student a copy of the article with thinking stems and lines in the margin where I want him to think.
  • Evaluate depth of each annotation using a rubric.
  • Move from giving him thinking stems and lines, to just lines, then to nothing.
fading intensity level of grouping
Fading: Intensity Level of Grouping

Teacher/Student One-on-One 

Teacher Small Group 

Teacher Whole Group 

Peer Small Group/Cooperative Group Individual

fading level of prompt
Fading: Level of Prompt
  • Hand over Hand: Doing the skill with the student
  • Talk and Help: Verbally explain each step as you are doing it with the student
  • Talk and Show: Explain steps while you demonstrate first then guided practice
  • Talk and Point: tell and point to each action or steps as needed
  • Talk only: tell your student what to do
  • Observe: watch and reinforce

  • P. 36

Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

In kindergarten, Michelle’s teacher found she needed to frequently repeat the directions for any activity as Michelle was often not listening carefully when they were first given. (input A)

The teacher also frequently paired Michelle with a diligent worker once seatwork activities began second semester. (level of support A) Sometimes Michelle did not finish her seatwork, so her teacher allowed her to take it home to complete and return the next day. (time A)


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

In first grade, Michelle began receiving speech/language services for articulation errors. It was also found that Michelle had minor auditory processing difficulties. Her therapist decided to pre-teach some concepts that would be introduced on the following day, hoping that this would improve her listening skills.

(input A)

Michelle was purposefully placed next to students with excellent attending skills, as she tended to be quite “chatty” during seatwork.

(level of support A)


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

Sometimes Michelle’s teacher had her come to the front of the room to hold the pointer during large group lessons as this appeared to aid in focusing on the key parts of the lesson, rather than distracting to extraneous details around her. (participation A)

Michelle was noticeably slower than her peers in finishing any written assignment, so her teacher often sent homework to finish and return so Michelle would not miss recess or other fun activities, trying to finish assignments. (time A)


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

In second grade, Michelle’s reading decoding skills were not up to her peers. Adult classroom volunteers often worked with her to reinforce previous skills (flash card drill, extra oral reading time with adult corrections and quizzes: who, what, where, when). (level of support A )

and (input A )

Due to her slow acquisition of phonics, Michelle’s teacher decided to reduce the number of spelling words she would study each week from 15 to 10, although the words Michelle learned were the same as her peers.

Quanity (Number)


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

In math, Michelle often grasped the concepts readily, so her teacher had her complete less worksheets before taking a test to demonstrate mastery of the concept. (Quantity A)

This bought some extra time, her teacher explained, for Michelle to practice her handwriting with additional worksheets, as she still took an extraordinarily long time producing letter formations. (Quantity A)

The pre-teaching begun in first grade continued for new concepts, and was believed to be helping Michelle. (Input A)


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

By the end of third grade, Michelle was evaluated for special education services as a student with a learning disability and found to be eligible in written language. Her math skills were found to be well above her peers, while her reading skills were found to be at 2.1 grade level. All previous accommodations were found to be helpful and were incorporated into her IEP. Additionally, Michelle was now to be taught keyboarding, and allowed to produce most written work at the keyboard due to her poor fine motor skills. This often required her to take work home to produce on a home computer. Her teacher also decided that…


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

…Michelle’s work group (3 students) would produce a play to illustrate concepts learned in a social studies lesson, rather than a written product. (Other groups wrote reports, constructed a diorama, and produced a video skit). Although this was an acceptable alternative, her teacher decided to list this accommodation on Michelle’s IEP so future teachers would be aware of this need.


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

Her accommodations were listed as:

Reading seatwork time: level of support

Math seatwork time: quantity

Large group work, where new concepts are introduced: input

Written language tasks: output

Social Studies report: output


Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

By sixth grade, Michelle was participating in an after-school homework club where adult volunteers helped her to plan task approach for long assignments, and helped her to complete most work with one on one assistance.

(level of support A) (input A) (difficult A or B depending on whether Michelle was completing the tasks fundamentally herself or whether the adult was essentially doing the work)

Her teacher found pre-teaching no longer as helpful for Michelle, and speech language services were no longer found necessary by her IEP team. Graphic organizers were extensively used by this teacher, and found to be quite helpful for Michelle. (input A)

activity michelle s accommodation history
Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

Michelle’s IEP team found the reading level of the texts well beyond her skill, despite extensive continued remediation for reading difficulties. Michelle’s teacher decided to try text-on-tape and text-on-CD with Michelle, as she grasped the concepts better this way than reading the text alone.

(input A)

She also found that choral-responding techniques, every-pupil response techniques(participation A) allowed Michelle, and her classmates, to focus better during whole group instruction. Her teacher also began PALS teams for social studies and science text reading, and found higher achievement and time on task outcomes. (input A)

(level of support A) and (participation A)

(output A)

activity michelle s accommodation history1
Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

In eighth grade, Michelle was found to be unable to complete written tests on concepts very well. Orally, she knew the material, but somehow in the writing task, even with keyboard responses allowed, she was unable to demonstrate mastery in concept-laden work. Her teachers agreed to try oral testing in the RSP classroom, although this often meant her testing could not occur until later that day due to scheduling constraints. To their astonishment, Michelle’s motivation and achievement skyrocketed!

(level of support A) and (input A)

and (output A) and (time A)

activity michelle s accommodation history2
Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

By September of tenth grade, unfortunately Michelle had now begun to associate with known gang members, and her counselor became concerned. Although she still maintained some earlier friendships, she did not “seem to be the same child any more,” her parents stated. Parent conferences occurred, and it was agreed that counseling would be a good idea for Michelle. A referral to a local clinic was made at parent request. During those sessions, her counselor became aware of low self-esteem issues related to her incomplete understanding of her learning profile. (Although depression was suspected, after several sessions, Michelle’s counselor decided this did not apply.)

activity michelle s accommodation history3
Activity: Michelle’s Accommodation History

Demystification sessions about her learning profile were conducted, and Michelle and her counselor decided to approach the school staff to discuss the feasibility of a school-wide program, such as the Learning Strengths Seminars.

Family therapy sessions were conducted, and Michelle has discontinued her association with gang-involved youth. Michelle is interested in getting a job, she stated. Her family and other IEP team members will be meeting to develop a transition plan soon.