Understanding the development and individual differences of students with disabilities allows special education teachers to respond appropriately during instruction, utilizing supportive instructional strategies and technologies to meet student needs. Using assistive technologies, such as alternative and augmentative communication systems, to support instructional assessment, planning, and delivery, is essential to the language development and communication of students with disabilities.
Read the case study below to inform the assignment.
Case Study: Stephanie
Stephanie is a fifth grade student who is intellectually disabled and also has a severe language disorder. She is 10‐years‐old and spends a great portion of her day in self‐contained settings. She receives speech therapy from a speech pathologist for a minimum of 30 minutes, four days a week. The rest of the time her language needs are supported by the special education teacher. She does attend a general education fifth grade classroom daily for 60 minutes for English language arts instruction, per her parent’s request. An instructional assistant accompanies her to class.
Stephanie’s oral expression skills are in the below average range. She struggles with oral expression speech, expressive language, and meanings of words. Her speech is limited and she usually has poor decoding and reading comprehension skills. Her reading level is at a low first grade level, reading simple stories with a Lexile level of 275‐400. Her favorite book is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. Stephanie writes very little and relies on the Picture Exchange System as her primary form of communication.
Stephanie attends the fifth grade English language arts class for exposure to more appropriate grade level content and socialization. She requires frequent breaks and one‐on‐one support from an assistant when participating in the general education setting. The special education teacher and assistant work with the general education teacher and follow the modified curriculum from the state department of education.
For standardized grade‐level testing, Stephanie participates in the yearly Alternate Assessment. The assessment is administered orally by the teacher and a proctor is present. The assessment is multiple choice and the administrator can accept eye gazing, finger pointing, and verbal responses to answer questions. The assessment is not timed and the teacher can apply the 10 response rule: If the student does not respond after 10 questions, the teacher can end the assessment.
Use the “ELA Mini‐Unit Template” to complete this assignment.
Part 1: Student Goal
Write a measurable reading comprehension goal for Stephanie’s IEP. Within the goal, incorporate an alternative and augmentative communication system to support her communication and learning.
Part 2: Mini‐Unit
Compose a mini‐unit of three ELA lesson plans for the general education classroom that incorporates your ELA standards for teaching reading comprehension to fifth graders.
For each lesson plan include differentiated activities and assessments for Stephanie that use the AAC system identified in Part 1 to allow her to access the curriculum and address her measurable IEP goal.
Part 3: Rationale
Provide a 250‐500 word rationale that explains how your mini‐unit instructional choices are developmentally appropriate for teaching the content standards, and how the differentiated activities and assessment will allow Stephanie to meet her goal and fully access the curriculum. Address how your accommodations and differentiation create a supportive learning environment that encourages self‐advocacy, increases independence, and emphasizes safe and ethical use of information and technology for Stephanie.
Support your rationale with 2‐3 scholarly resources on best practices regarding semantics/language disorders and the use of assistive technology.
APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.
This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
College of Education (COE) program competencies and national standards assessed in the benchmark assignment:
Create a supportive learning environment that encourages self‐advocacy, increases independence, and emphasizes safe and ethical use of information and technology.
Modify general and specialized curricula to make them accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Use technologies to support instructional assessment, planning, and delivery for individuals with disabilities.
Evaluate and select appropriate augmentative and alternative communication systems and a variety of assistive technologies to support the communication and learning of individuals with disabilities.
Use strategies to enhance language development and communication skills of individuals with disabilities.
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