Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative

You Are Cordially Invited to Meet Real Co-Teachers of Virginia

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The Impact of Trauma in the Classroom

By Daria Lorio-Barsten, M.Ed., Kara McCulloch, M.S., and Nick Kier, M.A.T.

You begin your third period class like any other. The students come in, get out their materials, and start the warm-up activity. You notice that when Chelsea walks in, she does not interact with anyone else in the class. She gets out her materials but promptly puts her hood up and lays her head down across her arms. [Read more…]

National Center on Intensive Intervention Resources: Intensive Intervention

Do you want to know how to “close skill gaps” or how to “intensify instruction” for students with disabilities?  If you do, the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) is a wonderful resource to use!  NCII features the data-based individualization (DBI) research-based process to intensify Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions using the following model:

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Cohesive Collaboration for Co-Planning

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

Importance of Co-Planning

The importance of planning cannot be overstated. When identifying 22 high-leverage practices for K-12 special education teachers, McLeskey et al. (2017) pointed to collaboration with professionals to increase student success as the very first. Collaboration calls for “use of effective collaboration behaviors (e.g., sharing ideas, active listening, questioning, planning, problem solving, negotiating) to develop and adjust instructional or behavioral plans based on student data, and the coordination of expectations, responsibilities, and resources to maximize student learning” (McLeskey et al., 2017, p. 17). [Read more…]

Sustaining a Quality Co-Teaching Program — Recommendations by Marilyn Friend

Ever wonder what makes co-teaching easier and more effective to implement?  We asked Marilyn Friend, Ph.D., and her answers may surprise you! Listen to this short, three-minute podcast to discover the top three recommendations that support implementing and sustaining a quality co-teaching program. Marilyn Friend is the author of many books, articles, and resources on co-teaching and inclusive practices, including the video series, The Power of 2.  Many of these resources are available at no charge through the T/TAC W&M leading library. [Read more…]

Planning For Success: Goal-Setting Resource

The I’m Determined (IMD) project, a state-directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities, to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.  A wealth of resources and tools for educators, parents, and youth may be found on the IMD website (imdetermined.org).  The goal planning tool encourages students to plan while teaching them the connection between their goals and authentic implementation to reach those goals. [Read more…]

I’m Determined Youth and Parent Summit and MOVE Youth and Parent Conference

imdetermined2018

I’m Determined Youth and Parent Summit

June 12-14, 2019

 What:   The Youth and Parent Summit is a two-day event held each June and sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Youth with disabilities from across the Commonwealth meet to network and discuss issues of importance to youth and young adults with disabilities. [Read more…]

A Self-Reflection Tool to Facilitate Growth as a Co-Teaching Team (Podcast included within article)

By Daria Lorio-Barsetn, M.Ed., and Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.

Growth and self-transformation cannot be delegated.
Lewis Mumford*

Self-reflection and continual growth are critical to success for educational professionals.  To facilitate this process, this article provides an introduction to a self-reflection tool to guide co-teachers through personalized professional improvement as a co-teaching team. [Read more…]

Learning Goal-Driven Instructional Design: Aligning Student Needs, Goals, Standards, and Specially Designed Instruction

Students with disabilities (SWD) are entitled to learning goal-driven instruction that takes into careful consideration student need, academic standards, and specially designed instruction (SDI).  The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, 2004) and the more recently decided Supreme Court Case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (2017), assert that the quality and effectiveness of a child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) must be “… appropriately ambitious …” and include “… challenging objectives ….”  In short, teachers are required to provide instruction that is adapted to meet the specific needs of SWD so that they can achieve the same educational standards and goals as students without disabilities.  [Read more…]

IEP Accommodations: Choose Wisely

Accommodations are an integral part of a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) when providing access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities. Accommodations do not change the content or expectation of performance outcomes. They do allow teachers to assess students on their “abilities, rather than [their] disabilities” (National Center on Educational Outcomes, Overview, para. 1, 2016). Thus, teachers and school staff make accommodations to the environment or curriculum, based on the needs of individual students, not on the disability category or instructional setting. For instance, Braille is not an appropriate or effective accommodation for all students with visual impairments, just as all students with autism do not require augmentative communication devices. With appropriate accommodations, students with disabilities can independently demonstrate what they have learned during instruction (Virginia Department of Education [VDOE], 2017).

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