Implementing Specially Designed Instruction in the General Education Classroom

Authors:  Shelley Littleton, M.Ed., and Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.

Specially designed instruction (SDI) must be delivered to address the unique needs of students with Individual Education Programs (IEPs) (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act [IDEA], 2004).  SDI may be delivered within the general education classroom.  Removal to a separate classroom is NOT necessary to provide this type of instruction and may in fact impede access to the general education curriculum.

Access to the general education curriculum is one of the most compelling rationales driving construction of appropriate IEPs besides being a legal requirement of IDEA, 2004.  The following three IEP requirements are designed to move student involvement and progress in the general education curriculum forward:

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Tools for the Teacher’s Toolbox on Classroom Routines and Procedures

Authors:  LaShauna Britt, M.Ed., Daria Lorio-Barsten, M.Ed., BCBA, and Kara McCulloch, M.S.

At this time of the school year, you most likely have classroom routines and procedures in place. But is your classroom running as effectively and efficiently as you would wish, or do you find yourself saying the same things over and over? Are there students who still need frequent reminders about where to get a pencil or what to do once they have completed assignments? [Read more…]

Data Analysis Resource Guide

T/TAC W&M has a new resource guide to help newsletter readers find valuable educational resources related to the topic of data analysis.  We have compiled current online resources, arranged them by media type, highlighted the five we found most helpful to practitioners, and identified those that are most family-friendly.  View the Data Analysis Resource Guide, compiled by Nick Kier.  We will share additional guides in the upcoming 2017-18 editions of Link Lines.

Teacher & Parent Support for Student Engagement Resource Guide

Co-Teaching Demonstration Sites in Regions 2 and 3

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has identified co-teaching demonstration sites throughout the commonwealth in the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. There are ten demonstration sites locally in Superintendents Regions 2 and 3 (see Table 1).  These model sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners across the state to observe effective co-teaching. The sites highlight research-based inclusive practices to meet the needs of all students within the general education classroom. At each model site, the co-teaching teams share with visitors co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that have helped their students succeed.

For more information about the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, or to arrange a visit to a model site near you, please contact Donni Perry or Shelley Littleton, at T/TAC, College of William & Mary. Co-Teaching and Inclusive Practices materials are available on the VDOE website and at Real Co-Teachers of Virginia at T/TAC Online.

Co-Teaching Excellence Demonstration Sites regions 2 & 3 (2017-2018)

Co-Teaching Excellence Demonstration Sites in Region 2
Division School Subject/Grade T/TAC Liaison
Chesapeake City Greenbrier Middle School Math 8 ODU
Chesapeake City Western Branch Middle School Science 8 ODU
Isle of Wight County Westside Elementary School 5th grade Language Arts and History W&M
Suffolk John Yeats Middle School Math 8 ODU
Virginia Beach City Three Oaks Elementary School Math 4 ODU
Virginia Beach City Three Oaks Elementary School Math 5 ODU
Co-Teaching Excellence Demonstration Sites in Region 3
Division School Subject/Grade T/TAC Liaison
King William Cool Springs Primary 2nd Grade All Subjects ODU
Gloucester County Page Middle School 8th Grade Civics W&M
Spotsylvania County Livingston Elementary School Math 5 W&M
Gloucester County Gloucester High School English 10 W&M

Building Positive Relationships With Students

Each new school year brings excitement and hope for a great year. It also brings much hustle and bustle for teachers as they dedicate significant time to planning for success. Before open house, teachers’ “to-do” lists seem ever-growing: develop or review classroom procedures and routines, organize physical structures, plan lessons, and more.  One of the most important items on that list is creating a plan for building relationships with the students.

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Maximizing Instructional Time through Structured Conversations

Every school year teachers ask themselves, “How can I create a class where students collaborate with one another as well as with me?” The answer to this question is cooperative learning. [Read more…]

Laying the Foundation for Standards-based Data-driven Specially Designed Instruction

Specially designed instruction (SDI) provides students with disabilities (SWD) the opportunity to make progress in the general education curriculum (IDEA, 2004). A student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is supposed to provide the roadmap for special and general educators. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for special educators to become overwhelmed with the simultaneous demands of IEP development, scheduling IEP meetings, and standardized testing in the spring. [Read more…]

Inclusion: What, Why, and How?

Inclusive practices are vital to providing students with authentic experiences in diversity and meeting the unique needs of all learners (McGregor & Vogelsberg, 1998; Staub & Peck, 1995). With ongoing collaboration and strategic planning, school communities embrace inclusion by adopting a growth mindset to address student needs. Inclusive schools welcome all local students, with varying performance levels and learning styles, to attend their neighborhood schools, which is why a shared ownership mentality is imperative for success (Janney & Snell, 2013). [Read more…]

Building Positive Classroom Relationships to Engage Students: Video Introduction

Every school year presents a new opportunity for teachers to establish positive relationships with each student on their rosters.  Supportive relationships between teachers and students promote both visible and psychological engagement (Quin, 2017).  When teacher-student relationships are positive, they favorably affect academic achievement (Hattie, 2015). [Read more…]