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dimeo dimeo is offline
 
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dimeo
 
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Spec-Ed. assessment
Old 01-11-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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Any others interested in working on improving their assessment tools/methods / strategies in the Special Ed. classroom? I'd like to work with some other professionals on this critical area which a few of us appear to have a difficult time with, or plan to deal with 'later'.

I teach a self-contained class of 8 teenagers with mental disabilities in the bottom 2% of IQ. The parents are *strongly* advocating that their children recieve academics. As educators we see the necessity to teach more life-skills. But most of all we are under increasing pressure to teach to observable and measureable assessement tasks. Most of the time we're putting out fires all over the place and dealing with difficult behaviours.

I've read too many poorly done assessments on IEP's like:
"Jane enjoyed her swimming this semester"
"6/10 in grocery math"
"John continues to find Primer level vocabulary difficult"

I've read so many example IEP year end assessments that I'm not happy with. So I've been doing research to find more information on assessment and evaluation for a self-contained classroom like mine. It seems like there's not much out there for us. Everything refers to the 'mainstream' or integrated student, who's capable of recieving a meaningful education in the regular classroom.

Sound familiar? Any thoughts or suggestions?


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Sixtiesbabe
 
 
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My take on it
Old 01-14-2006, 07:55 AM
 
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I also teach students with severe-profound disabilities.
The new state and federal laws are driving me nuts!
Right now I am trying to understand just what the impact is for our students. My impression so far is that their Civil Rights may be violated.
Is it right to deny them a diploma just because they can't take do a culminating project or successfully complete the Science requirements?
I am most likely going to quit at the end of the school year because everything I face professionally goes against my beliefs and values.
Good luck on the assessment part. I have not found anything out there
"ready made." With this population, it is best to have them demonstrate a skill. With parent permission, it could be documented by photograph or video tape. IEPs that have truly measurable goals and objectives sure help. I use a lot of task analysis type check lists. Good luck, and God bless Sp Ed teachers everywhere.
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angela angela is offline
 
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Yes it does!
Old 01-16-2006, 03:29 AM
 
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I also teach in a SCI room and face many of the challenges you describe. The assessment piece is so difficult with this age. I use the AUEN to develop my goals and develop goals from the ASA-A for those students with autism. Fortunately, my parents understand that their child may never learn academics but I throw "some" in there. Like tracing letters, and identifying colors. The trouble I am running into is finding age-appropriate activities. This has been and will be, I believe, a life-long problem.
I wish you luck in your journey. Try different assessments, or ask your administrators for ideas. Good luck with the parents! That can be the most challenging part of all!
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dimeo dimeo is offline
 
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:19 AM
 
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Thanks for your feedback. Some of us are not familiar with the acronyms...

I found out that the AUEN is the document called "Addressing Unique Educational Needs of Individuals with Disabilities: An Outcome Based Approach" by W. D. Frey, L. Lynch, P. Jakwerth, & R. Purcell. (1991). Disability Research Systems, Lansing, MI, 208 pp
Michigan appears to be working closely with this document in developing SpecEd. curriculum.

What is the ASA-A that you refer to for developing your goals for students with autism? I'm assuming that it's from the Autism Society of America.
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TRELLIS
 
 
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assessments
Old 02-12-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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demeo,
My district (Philadelphia, PA) uses Brigance (Early Childhood Development
level II--'Yellow book') for low incidence populations. I work with autistic
population ages six thru eight. I have found that the Brigance measurement is adequate, but that the language used in the interpretation
of measureable scores is inflated...i.e., Brigance uses "proficiency" when
a child does xyz task independently. The way I interpret "proficient" is
when a child does xyz task across environments independently..Brigance
does not take into account the "across-environments" range and, as such,
when parents see the word "proficiency" on the levels-column, they get very excited and happy...then I have to give them a reality check based
on exactly where, within a range of environments, the child is actually
performing xyz task independently..and this information is based solely
on my observations from which I collect incidental data. To base a
"proficiency" level via data collected in discrete trial instruction is a waste..it has to be measured within the function of the task within
the range of environments creating the opportunity to do the task.

But...for the sake of the State/district having an "official" and "standardized" assessment tool for low incidence, autistic population
at elem. age, the Brigance is the best I've seen/used. It is also
relatively easy to administer compared to other assessments I've
dealt with. It's the teacher's job, though, to make sure the parents
and iep team comprehend the limitations of the language used in
the measurement ranges or else they'll think Joey's going to Harvard.

Hope this helps.

TRELLIS


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