Special Needs – 1 – Developing an Individualized Plan

Basic Math

Developing an individualized plan and/or being able to understand an individualized plan is another important aspect of helping our special needs students.  Consider these two plans Plan-A and Plan-B.  Which plan is better for the online environment?

I would choose Plan-B because it is laid out very well as addresses all the needs of the fictional student Sally Student. Plan B specified the extended time.  It mentioned making sure Sally knew how to use the text-to-speak and zoom features on her computer as well as gave Sally the opportunity to “record oral responses when possible/appropriate to reduce strain to her eyes”.

There are a few aspects of my preferred plan (Plan B) that I would change to be better suited for the online environment.  I would change the extended time for assignments from  “the following school day from the original due date for full credit” to “two days from the original due date for full credit”.

Plan A was too general.  For example, we know that “Sally’s anxiety disorder does surface when she feels she may not have enough time to complete a task and panic sets in” so extended time is a definite accommodation.  Plan B specifies how much extended time on a test or quiz by stating 100%.  Plan A mentions extended time but leaves it in the open.  Plan B specifies that “Sally may turn her work in the following school day from the original due date for full credit” whereas Plan A simply states “Extended time on assignments and classwork”.  Finally, Plan A mentions “preferential seating” which is not an accommodation necessary to the online environment.

These are just a few things to consider when creating an individualized plan for a student in the online environment.  Are there other things you would consider?

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Special Needs – 1- Accommodations in an Online Environment

Teaching Tip Tuesday

As we continue to discuss accommodations for students with special needs one can’t help but think, how can you make accommodations in an online environment?

While I agree that not every child is cut out for online learning, you might be surprised at how well the online environment can support learners with special needs.

Take my student Haley (not his/her real name) for example.  Haley has been diagnosed with ADHD.  This means that Haley has difficulty with: following directions, following open ended writing assignments without clear requirements, turning in assignments on the correct due date, task completion due to issues with focus and time management, organization in general and finally not completing all questions or rushing through a test/quiz.

The online environment would be beneficial for Haley’s disability for three reasons.  First, it would help her with her tests and quizzes.  Second, it would help her focus.  Finally, it would help her with open ended writing assignments.

The online environment would help Haley with her tests and quizzes because since she has a habit to rush through the questions or not complete it, the teacher/parent can enable the show clock feature to show the time left in timed quizzes or tests.  If Haley has the accommodation of extra time, and in this case she does, restrictions could be set up to give her extended time.  Haley gets 50% extended time in my math class and her grades are soaring in the As.

The online environment would help Haley focus more simply because she would be doing her work at home or outside of the regular classroom environment.  Haley and her family would be able to control the environmental factors more, thus helping her to focus.

Finally, the online environment would help Haley with her open ended writing assignments if the teacher enables the rubric feature which allows the student to see precisely what would be graded and how it will be assessed.  Haley might also have the option to submit the assignment orally or by video.  In this case, Haley did not need that accommodation in mathematics.

There are a few challenges Haley might experience if not managed well.  She might experience trouble turning in assignments on the correct due date and time management issues.  As a teacher I post the assignments weekly and reminders.  There are several outside resources that she can use to support her.  If she has a smart phone, utilizing a digital calendar with reminders that pop up would be helpful as well as a schedule.

Haley seems to have managed potential challenges very well and continues to excel in my class with her extended time accommodations.

Are you considering online for your child?  What do you think might be the challenges they would experience?

Special Needs – 1- Applying Strategies and Best Practices

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As an educator I am constantly learning and growing.  I would like to share with you what I am learning through my Special Needs 1 training to help you as a parent or educator think of strategies and best practices to help your child(ren) reach their academic potential.  The following students are fictional characters.

Scenario 1

Imagine that you are Joyce.

Joyce has accommodations for an Emotional/Behavioral Disorder. Her mother informed you that Joyce’s specific diagnosis is Anxiety and Depression, and she sometimes does not respond well to correction. She plagiarized a large section of her essay for your class this week.

How would you handle this situation?

Let’s first think about the difficulties Joyce might be experiencing as an online student with Emotional/Behavioral Disorder.  She has a hard time adhering to acceptable rules of online etiquette, etc..  She might also be struggling with feelings of depression over low grades or feelings of being overwhelmed with work when viewing the schedule all at once which is why she might have plagiarized.  Since she is online and as a teach you are unable to read her facial expressions or body language in class, it would be hard to know that unless the student told you and with her anxiety, she would NOT want to tell you because of the internal struggles she might be dealing with.

So how can we help Joyce?  

We can help Joyce by avoiding direct confrontations: rather, state the issue
objectively and provide them with a choice or suggested course of action to correct it . Suggest strategies to get started on doing the essay again and communicate what she should do in the future if she needs help so that she does not feel the need to plagiarize again.  I would then address it, document it, and move on.

Scenario 2

 

How about if you were Hopper?

Hopper has an IEP with accommodations for Dysgraphia. Your class requires written reports in each unit on various topics. Hopper expresses concern over his grade in your class because of the written reports. You know Hopper is putting forth effort, but he still is not passing your class. He asks what he can do to improve his grade.

How do you respond?

Since Hopper has dysgraphia Hopper has difficulties such as omitting words or letters, not completing words or sentences once started, not following proper grammar and spelling conventions, difficulty copying written items or diagrams or taking notes or thinking while writing.

So how can we help Hopper?  

To help Hopper I would allow him to use the video or audio tool in the online course to present projects, assignments, or assessments orally.  I would encourage him to show mastery using other modes rather than written expression.  Finally, I would provide copies of instructional materials not included in the content specific to helping him with the written reports.

Does your child or student struggle with a learning disability and you need specific strategies to help them?  Click here to check out the Specific Strategies Chart.

 

2019 Standardized Testing Dates

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Dates

The Study Hall Education Consulting Company will be administering the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) during the following dates:

  • May 20-22, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 3rd Grade – 8th Grade

Cost

The cost for our location, materials, results AND administration of the test is listed below for Group Testing. EPIC HSN members receive a 10% discount on all testing.

  • K5–3rd grade students- $100 for the first child, $80 for each subsequent child.
  • Grades 4–12 students- $80 for the first child, $60 for each subsequent child.
  • Special Needs students must be administered separately – $150 each child.

Preparation materials for the ITBS can be found at www.rainbowresources.com.

Location

South Cobb Regional Library located at 805 Clay Road, Mableton, GA 30126.

Registration

To register please email Andrea Hall at ahall@thestudyhalledu.com.

Registration must be received at least 4 weeks prior to the testing dates.

Happy Pi Day

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Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Sometimes it’s hard to find math in the Bible but when you start training yourself to look, you’d be amazed of how much you’ll find.

Today is March 14 and as a mathematician I could not let the day go by without talking about pi. Pi is the Greek name of the symbol that represents the irrational number π that we truncate to 3.14. Today is 3/14…get it 😁.

But where did pi come from? The abbreviated version is that around 250 BC the Greek mathematician Archimedes created an algorithm for calculating it.  HOWEVER, civilizations including Egyptians and Babylonians were calculating it WAY before that.

In fact it’s in the Bible! In 1 Kings 7:23  it states “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about…and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about” (KJV).

You see pi is the ratio of the Circumference (the distance AROUND the circle) to the diameter (the distance across the middle of the circle).

In 1 Kings 7:23  the “ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about” lets us know the diameter is 10 cubits. The phrase “…and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about” let’s us know the Circumference is 30 cubits.

To calculate pi we would do C/d and get 30/10=3. It is also known as pi at 3.

What you will notice is that this number is not quite pi but perform this experiment with a variety of circles and you will notice a pattern of 3.14…. emerging.

Try it out and let me know!

Here is a link to local pi deals today!
https://www.ajc.com/blog/atlanta-restaurants/how-celebrate-national-day-atlanta-deals-recipes-and-more/AYNq4li4wuvTce3YcWrIDO/

NASA Renames Facility after a Hidden Figure in Black History

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According to CNN,  The Independent Verification and Validation Facility has been renamed the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in honor of Katherine Johnson, a hidden figure in African American history.

Katherine Johnson was one of the main characters portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures which was nominated as the Best Motion Picture of the Year which was based on the book by that same title by Margot Lee Shetterly. (Download a Movie Analysis and Film Review Here or the Reading Guide for the Young Readers’ Edition Here)

Katherine Johnson is the mathematician behind calculating trajectories for the shuttle launches.  She has published over 26 scientific papers and is considered a pioneer in space science and computing.

According to an oral history archived by the National Visionary Leadership Project:

At first she [Johnson] worked in a pool of women performing math calculations. Katherine has referred to the women in the pool as virtual “computers who wore skirts”. Their main job was to read the data from the black boxes of planes and carry out other precise mathematical tasks. Then one day, Katherine (and a colleague) were temporarily assigned to help the all-male flight research team. Katherine’s knowledge of analytic geometry helped make quick allies of male bosses and colleagues to the extent that, “they forgot to return me to the pool”. While the racial and gender barriers were always there, Katherine says she ignored them. Katherine was assertive, asking to be included in editorial meetings (where no women had gone before). She simply told people she had done the work and that she belonged. (Oral History Archive: Katherine Johnson”National Visionary Leadership Project. 2005. Retrieved December 29, 2016.)

Homeschool Coaching

Do you need some help with home schooling?  Whether you are new to homeschooling, a veteran homeschooler or just interested in homeschooling, I will come along side you step by step. We can go as slow or as fast as you want as I give you actionable items and tangible resources. In addition to monthly 30 minute coaching sessions and unlimited email support in this course you will find:

  • Action Items
  • Audio Tracks to you can listen while you work
  • Templates for Routines, Schedules and Calendars
  • Templates for Attendance, Report Card and Transcripts
  • Steps and Tools to Create Your Own Homeschool Curriculum

You will also find additional tools such as samples of lunch menus and other resources to get your home and school running smoothly.

To learn more go to https://thestudyhalledu.teachable.com/p/homeschoolcoach.

Hidden Figures in African American History

220px-percy_lavon_julianA lot of students know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X and Rosa Parks.  However, there are so many hidden figures in African American history.  One hidden figure is Percy Julian.

Percy Julian is to soybean, what George Washington Carver is to the peanut.   He made several discoveries from the soybean one of which is how we synthetically make hormones such as progesterone and testosterone.

He was one of the first African-American chemists elected to the National Academy of the Sciences, in 1973. He was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 1999 his synthesis of physostigmine was recognized by the American Chemical Society as “one of the top 25 achievements in the history of American chemistry” (http://www.biography.com/people/percy-julian-9359018).
Percy Julian received more than 130 chemical patents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Lavon_Julian. n.d. 20 May 2016). However, that does not compare the number of lives he saved and health regained by countless individuals.

Julian said “I have had one goal in my life, that of playing some role in making life a little easier for the persons who come after me” (Lisa Yount).

Join us this February for Hidden Figures in African American History: A Book Study & Film Review  as we uncover other hidden figures in African and African American History while unlocking your child’s reading comprehension, writing and artistic skills.  To learn more click here.

hiddenfiguresbookandmovie

My Passions Aligned

One of my passions in addition to teaching is creating!  From a child I could be found drawing or writing.  I loved to do both.  For a long time I wanted to be an artist or an art teacher when I grew up.   Then I thought about being an English teacher because I loved writing.  In the end I ended up being… a math teacher!  Weird huh!

But I really love teaching that too!

One of my biggest thrills is being able to teach the courses I design on Outschool.

foundations of algebra

Since I started my teaching career I decided that I wanted to get back to creating so I took my passion for writing and my background in mathematics and received a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in 2011.  Since then I have designed curriculum for school districts such as Fresno County School District, private schools like Oaks Christian Academy and public virtual schools like Georgia Virtual School.

Recently I re-launched my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  My mission is to create a love for learning, one equation at time.

There you can find book study guides, graphic organizers and other helpful handouts.

For example, we have a Reading Guide and Movie Analysis for the book Hidden Figures.

hiddenfiguresbookandmovie

If you are looking for something in particular, let me know here.

#specialrequest

I look forward to providing products and  services to help your child reach their academic potential!