Topic: Special Education: Individual Education Programs (IEP)

Week 3 – Individual Education Plans

This week we provide an introduction to the IEP and the IEP team. In addition, we’ll provide additional details regarding your SMART IEP Project, with a focus on CBM. Finally, you will explore some of barriers and pitfalls associated with the IEP process.
This week contains:
o 1 instructor-designed powerpoint (in audio and pdf formats)
o 1 video showing the IEP team in action: please watch the entire video and identify the team leader(s)!
o 1 article on evidence-based IEPs (Hedin & DesPain, 2018)
o 1 video on accommodations/modifications
o 1 article on Curriculum Based Measures
o 1 article from The Atlantic
IEP Meetings
IEP Team Meeting structures can vary significantly from school to school. This video, compiled by the ECAC, Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, shows what an ideal IEP meeting could look like. Watch this video to meet the IEP team members and move through the IEP process with them.
As you watch, consider the following questions:
• How are the various members of the team engaged in the process?
• What methods are put in place to structure the meeting and facilitate a shared experience?
• What norms appear to be in place for this team that may not be shared in the video, but support the success of the meeting?

How to write a SMART IEP
IEP goals are the heart of the IEP. They should be used to plan out instruction, assessment, scheduling, etc. Various structures can be found to support effective IEP goal development, but one commonly used structure is following the idea of SMART goals.
• S – Specific
• M – Measurable
• A – Action Verbs
• R – Realistic
• T – Time Limited
Carefully read this article by Hedin and DesPain (2018) that outlines how to write effective IEP goals by organizing your thinking by four categories:
• Conditions
• Learner
• Behavior
• Criteria
As you read pay careful attention to the example language and non-examples as you will use this article heavily as you engage in the SMART IEP project for this course.
Article AVAILABLE HERE: Hedin_DesPain_smart IEPs 2018(1).pdf

Accommodations and Modifications
Understanding the differences between Accommodations and Modifications is essential for participating on any IEP Team.
An accommodation is a change that helps a student overcome or work around the disability. These changes are typically physical or environmental changes. Allowing a student who has trouble writing to give his answers orally is an example of an accommodation. This sort of accommodation extends across assignments and content areas.
What are accommodations? Here are a few examples:
• Teacher provides notes/outlines, allows type-written work, allows printed work, provides a peer note-taker, allows the use of wider lined paper for written tasks, provides highlighted text, allows the use of spell-checker,
• Daily agenda checks between home/school, additional progress reports
• Preferential seating, ability to leave room without permission, peer buddy, behavior reward system
• Extended time on assignments, shortened assignments, simplification of directions
• Tests read aloud to student, verbal response acceptable in lieu of written response, fewer multiple choice responses (2 instead of 4), multiple -choice response instead of fill -in -the -blank or short answer/essay, word banks provided for fill in the blank questions
Modifications are generally connected to instruction and assessment;, things that can be tangibly changed or modified. Usually a modification means a change in what is being taught to or expected from the student. Making the assignment easier so the student is not doing the same level of work as other students is an example of a modification. This change is specific to a particular type of assignment. Making a slight modification to an assignment can drastically improve a student’s ability to be academically successful. Changing what is being taught could make the difference in whether a student becomes proficient in the general education curriculum, which in turn could result in the attainment of a regular diploma as opposed to achieving an IEP diploma.
What are modifications? Here are a few examples:
• Reduction of homework, reduction of class work
• Omitting story problems, using specialized/alternative curricula written at lower level, simplified vocabulary and concepts, alternative reading books at independent reading level
• Tests are written at lower level of understanding, preview tests provided as study guide, picture supports are provided, use of calculator
• Grading based on pass/fail, grading based on work completion
Definitions from the National Center for Children with Disabilities.
Watch this video from Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center for more detail on the difference between accommodations and modifications. As you watch, consider the kinds of supports that are discussed for the students in the video. Do they fall under accommodation or modification supports?

Curriculum-Based Measurement: Monitoring Student Progress in IEPs
Curriculum Based Measurement is a highly effective way to both develop IEP goals and benchmarks, as well as monitor student progress on the skills encompasses in those goals and benchmarks. Review this brief article about the process for implementing CBM and how the information collected can be used in the IEP process. This article focuses on implementation in both reading and math.
As you read, consider how it could be used in other areas of need, such as writing or behavior.
Article AVAILABLE HERE: Stecker. (2004). Monitoring student progress in individual educational programs using curriculum-based measurement.pdf
Need more support with CBM? Looking for a more in depth tutorial? Check out these optional resources:
Jim Wright, of and Syracuse, NY Schools, has a manual that provides in depth, step-by-step instructions on how to implement curriculum based measurement on several topics in reading and mathematics. This resources includes CBM templates at the end that can be printed and used in the classroom.
Optional Resource AVAILABLE HERE: Jim Wright. Curriculum based measurement-A manual for teachers.pdf
The IRIS Center, out of Vanderbilt University, has amazing professional development modules that will walk you through the learning process to better understand how to implement assessment in the classroom. This link will offer you two different modules: Reading or Mathematics.
Optional Resource AVAILABLE HERE:
Why don’t IEP teams work as they were designed to work?
This week you have covered some of the best practices for developing effective IEPs. You had the chance to observe a strong example of an IEP team meeting, looked at structures for supporting students through accommodations and modifications and got to explore assessment structures that drive the IEP process.

Now, read this article from The Atlantic that presents a different perspective. We have so many structures and supports to make IEPs an effective, supportive, and collaborative experience for all involved, so why do they sometimes not go how we expected and end up associated with negative feelings? Consider this question as you read.

Type of service : Academic Paper Writing
Type Of Assignment : Coursework
Subject : Education
Pages / words : 1/275
Number Of Sources : 0
Academic Level : Junior(college 3rd year)
Paper Format : APA
Line Spacing : Double
Language Style : US English

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