Do You Provide Visual Supports in Your Classroom?

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

Happy New Year! Now is that time of the school year when teachers start to rethink their classroom behavior management systems. We wonder, “How effective is our current classroom management system and does it address the needs of all of our students?” We might also ask ourselves, “Have I provided visual supports within my behavior system?” These questions are helpful to consider before assessing or implementing your need for visual supports within your class.

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Classroom Management & Behavior Management Resource Guide

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

I’m Determined Youth Summit Application

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.

When: June 13-15, 2018

Where: James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Who: Virginia youth with disabilities ages 13-21 and parent(s)

Application Due Date: 5:00 pm on March 9th, 2018

Reference Due Date: 5:00 pm on March 12th, 2018

Applications will be reviewed and acceptance letters will be emailed by March 31st.

Complete Application

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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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…]

Increasing Opportunities to Respond: Tools for Teachers and Administrators

Think back to your days as a student and visualize your favorite class or teacher.  What did the teacher do in that class?  What did the students do?  In all likelihood, you did not sit quietly for the entire class period while the teacher talked.  You probably focused more of your effort on creating new products or sharing ideas with your peers than on sitting still.  Unfortunately, for many students, including those with disabilities, the effort needed to sit quietly for long periods of time overrides any effort to learn.  Yet, active engagement is the strongest predictor of academic achievement (Dotterer & Lowe, 2011). [Read more…]

Giving Students the Tools to Grow: Lifelong Learners and Productive Members of a Global Society

How would educators reply if asked why they originally entered and remain in their professional positions? Most likely, their answer would be that they care deeply about the success, happiness, and safety of their students in school and in life. A word cloud, like the one pictured below, prominently displays those words in a group that occur with the highest frequency. This word cloud was created by pasting mission statements of school divisions from across the Commonwealth of Virginia into a word cloud creator. As one might expect, the word “students” appears as the most important focus in schools.

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I’m Determined Tools: Web Apps Now Available!

I’m Determined, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities for students to learn and practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. Many students have used the One Pager, Good Day Plan, and Goal Setting tools to support self-determined behaviors such as choice-making, self-awareness, and self-advocacy (Wehmeyer & Field, 2007). The IMD3 app has a dashboard that allows teachers to keep track of individual student progress on all three tools. [Read more…]

Developing Self-Determination Skills Through Student-Led IEPs

The purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is “… to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living …” (IDEA, 2004, §601(d)(1)(A)). In order to prepare students for these future endeavors, IDEA requires the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) defined as a written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting in accordance with 34 CFR 300.320 through 300.324, and that must include:

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Teacher Practices That Support Positive Academic and Behavioral Outcomes for Students

Teacher practices that increase students’ engagement in instruction are critical to improving their academic and behavioral performance (Harbour, Evanovich, Sweigart, & Hughes, 2015). Modeling, increasing opportunities to respond (OTR), and providing feedback are three simple, yet powerful, practices that teachers can incorporate into existing instructional routines (Harbour et al., 2015).  When applied consistently and effectively, these three techniques have been shown to strengthen teacher-student relationships, increase student participation in learning activities, and nurture student self-confidence and motivation to attempt and succeed at academic tasks (Harbour et al., 2015). [Read more…]