CBM: Due December 3rd

Based on the module and what you have learned over the last three classes, how might you use CBM in your own classroom?  What strategies or tips might you use?  What questions do you still have about using CBM?


CBM stands for Curriculum-based measurement. It is a type of progress monitoring used to assess student performance throughout an entire year’s curriculum. CMB can help teachers with planning, it shows teachers where students are struggling and where students are excelling. Instead of waiting for the end of the year, teachers can constantly be keeping track of their students progress. CBM can help teachers see if their teaching methods are working on their students, or maybe it is working for some but not others. If students are constantly behind, teachers can recommend those students get intervention. If intervention is not working they can get special education. CBM is a great tools for teachers to see if students are going above and beyond the goal, these students might be placed in the gifted and talented program. The teacher can find the class average and graph the information week after  week. Teachers can easily share this information with other teachers, principles, parents, paraprofessionals, and special educators.  All and all, this is a great tool for teachers to use all the time.

For each grade there is obviously different information that students area learning about. All different types of information and learning can be used in the CBM graph. Through the year, and even though multiple years, if used that much, students can be monitored in all subjects. Teachers can see how students are doing compared to peers but also if they are improving, decreasing, or staying at the same level.

Reading tests are also called probes. Students at different academic levels can use different level probes in CBM. Students who are at the reading grade level that they should be at can be monitored with a different leveled probe that is appropriate for them.

Teachers must be experts at using probes. They should be good at timing and marking down all of the information that they need. Teachers may not let students see the probes. Probes should be a part of the students regal classroom routine. They should be familiar with probes and comfortable when teachers are testing them.

After collecting data, it is time for the teacher to graph the information they got from the probes. Graphing the students frequently will help the teacher see where each student is and where he or she needs to improve teaching instruction. Using Excel is the best way for graphing this information, teachers should be familiar with Excel. It is also important that the teacher comes up with a goal for the students to meet by the end of the year. This goal should be set from prior knowledge, common core standards, and help from other teachers and the principle. It is essential to change instruction if the student is not meeting the goal line. If this is happening, teachers should communicate with other teachers, parents, and the student.

I will definitely be using CBM in my own classroom. I think this is a great way to track students in a quick and easy way. I am familiar with Excel so I am comfortable using the results in this program. It is very helpful for teachers to see where students are in the class!

Who would be able to see the graphs that the teacher makes. Would the paraprofessional, special educators, and tile two teachers all have access?

Do a lot of teachers use CMB? I have seen teachers graphing students but I am not sure if they were using this exact program.


Using Assessment: Due November 24th

Based on what you have read, as well as the other tools that are in your toolkit from your other classes, how might you use assessment in your classroom?  What tips and tricks (strategies!) might you use to keep track of where your students are?


Since IDIEA has been created more and more students are receiving instruction in the general education classroom. In fact, there are 57% more and 80% in total. Assessment can be categorized as formative or summative. Classroom teachers use summative assessment at the end of a unit. They use formative to see where students are. Special educators are constantly using both formative and summative assessments. Summative occurs at the end of a unit or lesson to see what the students have learned. Formative is done in the middle of a unit or lesson to see what the students know and what they need to improve on.


To get the best results in assessments, teachers should consider Anecdotal seating charts, daily score cards, and objective grids. Teachers can take anedotal notes as they walk around the class during an assessment. The teacher may mark down if the students are focused or unfocused during that time. For example, is John looking out the window or is Mary kicking other students. This would also be a good tool to give to a substitute. The sub can take note of what students are doing. It is a good way for teachers to know how the class was while they were gone. Attached to Teaching Exceptional Children are templates that teachers can use in the classroom to help students do better on assessments.


On the National Center of Intensive Intervention there are links to all different subjects. This is a website for teachers who need help in assessing students in specific subjects.

Assistive technology: Due November 19th

For Thursday, think about how you might use assistive technology in your classroom.  How can it be useful?  Who can it support?  What questions do you still have about assistive technology?


There were a lot of interesting facts and good information posted on the module! Teachers who only use traditional classroom instruction and materials rather than technology will not be giving students what they really need. Many students with disabilities need to use assistive technology in the general education classroom. Students can start using assistive technology at any age! There are ways that teachers and parents can keep the technology safe when younger students are using them. Keeping the ipads in waterproof cases or bags will be very beneficial!


It is important that the teachers go over all different assistive technology options with parents, teachers, and students to pick what is going to be best for the student. There are options to buy or lease different types of technology. For example, what size, what brand, etc. All of this will be talked about in an IEP meeting. The school has to pay for the technology if the student needs it! At the IEP meeting, everyone will need to decide if the device can go home or not. I strongly believe that the device should go home so the students can communicate at home. They will also be practicing in general, which is also important. Teachers need to monitor the work that the students are doing on their technology to see if it is really working or not.


It is also important as a classroom teacher that the teachers explain to the other students why a student in special education gets to use technology when others do not. It is important to explain that some students need the technology to do their work. One of my questions is what happens if some students become really upset about this and also want to use technology?



There were some types of assistive technology that I thought was surprising to be considered technology. These included, glasses and pencil grips. However, there are many students who need these accommodations in order to work well in the classroom.


This summer I got to go to a small summer school in my home town where I worked with three different middle school students who all used assistive technology: I-pads with communication applications. It was really amazing to see these students use the communication devices when they wanted to needed something. As teachers, we were able to add more words into the application as well. For instance, we went to ice cream one day and the students could either choose chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla. While we were there one of the teachers go pistachio. The student really wanted to try it because of the color. After he tried it, he loved it!!! We were able to add it into his ice cream section so the next time he gets ice cream he can get that if he would like. It was also very helpful for the students to tell us their emotions, if they were hungry, tired, etc. It was really such an amazing learning experience to work with these students and see how they used their communication devices! One question I have is what happens if the students break the devices? These students would sometimes get upset and throw them. I was always worried if it breaks. Who’s fault is it, who pays for a new one?

Gifted and Talented: Due November 17th

What do you understand about gifted and talented or twice exceptional students that you didn’t before?  What specific strategies might you use to meet the needs of these students?  What questions do you still have about gifted and talented students?


Teaching strategies for twice-exceptional students:

Before now, gifted and talented was sometimes thought of as gifted and sometimes as a learning disability. We know now it is “twice exceptional”. Many students who are twice-exceptional also have ADHD or a LD. These students do not get the credit they deserve for being gifted. The teachers should be giving them more difficult work. There are a few tips mentioned in the text that are written for teachers.

  1. Teach students to appreciate individual differences.
  2. Be aware that many students who have learning difficulties are global learned who prefer visual and tactile-kinesthetic formats for learning success.
  3. Always teach content by teaching concepts first and details second.
  4. Teach students how to set realistic short-term goals and to take credit for reaching those goals, even if they represent only a partial amount of the entire task.
  5. Teach in a way that ties past learning to new con- tent.
  6. Immerse all the senses in learning activities
  7. Provide specific instruction in organizational techniques.
  8. Find and use any available technology that will improve a student’s productivity.
  9. Allow students to take tests in separate, super- vised environments so they can either read the test aloud to themselves or have someone else read it to them

The most serious challenge is that the giftedness will go unnoticed and unaccommodated in favor of attending to learning deficits.


Myths about gifted and talented:

  • Gifted students need a lot of help in the classroom. Many think that they will do fine on their own, however, that is not the case. These students need guidance from well-trained teachers that can challenge and support them.
  • Many teachers have not recieved professional development and have not been taught how to properly teach gifted students.
  • Some teachers may think that all students are gifted. However, this is not the case. All students have strengths but not all students are gifted.
  • Some may think that acceleration placement is harmful for gifted students. Since these students are ahead of their peers, they will connect with older students better than students their age.
  • If a student is getting poor grades, he or she can still be gifted. Students can become bored or frustrated and purposely do badly on work.
  • Many gifted students have a difficult time fitting into school.
  • AP courses are not considered a gifted and talented program. AP is a college level course and is very different than a gifted and talented program.


In the myths and truth article I learned a lot! I always assumed a lot about gifted and talented that was not accurate. For instance, I would have thought that AP leveled courses were for gifted and talented students. It is interesting that gifted and talented students have a learning disability. It makes sense that they could have ADHD, since it seems like they are always active and always in the need for learning more. As a teacher, how can you tell if a student is gifted and talented and not trying or if they are really struggling in school? What if a student is really good at some subjects but not others, can they still be considered gifted and talented?




Autism: Due November 3, 2015

What specific accommodations or modifications might you use with students with autism (hint: answer to this question can copy/paste to your A&M project)?  What concerns or questions do you have about working with students with autism (I will compile a list of these and bring it to class)?  Make sure to reference the readings in your answer.


Autism is defined as a neurological disorder that typically appears when a child is three years old. There are many symptoms of autism depending on the child. However, there are three areas of development and impact of a child’s ability to engage in reciprocal social interactions with others, communicate with others in developmentally appropriate ways, and participate in a range of activities and behaviors typical of the child’s age and stage of development. However, no two children of Autism are the same!!!

Over the past 30 years, Autism has become more prevalent in schools and there is an unknown reason for that happening. It has been concerning to parents and teachers that there has been no cause found for why Autism happens to some children.

There are many ways that teachers can help students who have Autism in their classrooms. Teachers should educate themselves and prepare for having a student with Autism, collaborate with the parents, support all leaners in the classroom, collaborate with your team to support the student with Autism, and much more!

There are many modifications and accommodations that a teacher can use in the classroom with students who have Autism.

  • Individual schedules
  • Providing visual directions
  • Using swing or monkey bars: anything to be active
  • Fidget toys: but be careful it is not a distraction
  • Make sure the room is quiet and the lighting is not too bright
  • Incorporate exercise into the day
  • Have group assignments
  • Give the student choices and control
  • Limit distractions around the room
  • Develop clear boundaries
  • Provide comfortable areas for learning
  • One on one instruction and support
  • Develop rules

Something else that is important to take into consideration is teaching the other students about Autism and what is means. It is important that they feel comfortable to interact with that student. There can be some students with Autism that can be violent and then at the other end there can be some students who are shy and don’t like to interact. Whatever the case, the teacher should make the student with Autism feel welcomed in the classroom and have the rest of the students understand their classmate’s personality.

Communicating Disabilities: Due October 29th

Based on what you read and what you now know, what are some key strategies you are going to want to use when working with students with communication disabilities?

Communication is receiving, understanding, and expression information, feelings, and ideas. This is such an important and natural part of our days that we sometimes take this for granted. Although we mostly communicate by speaking, we can also communicate by using sign language, gestures, and other nonlinguistic cues such as body posture, facial and vocal expressions, eye contact, and body movements. Communication can be spoken or written. A student with a communication disorder can have challenges with social interactions, instructional disclosure exchanges, acquisition of knowledge and language, and the development of literacy skills.

There are several different communication disorders:

Speech and language disorder: communication disorder that affects speech and or language. It entails difficulty receiving, understanding, and formulating ideas and information. Speech and language disorders are often associated with other disorders (such as cleft palate or cleft lip)

Cultural diversity in communication: students from different cultural backgrounds may have speech and or language differences that affect them from participating as much as they should be in the classroom. Though many individuals have speech or language differences, they do not necessarily have a language or speech disorder. Some students are bilingual while others just have accents. Every language has a dialect which is a language variation that a group of individuals use that reflects shared regional, social, and or cultural and ethnic factors.

There are also speech disorders:

  • Childhood Apraxia
  • Dysarthria
  • Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
  • Speech and sound Disorders: Articulation and Phonological Processes
  • Stuttering
  • Voice

Language Disorders:

  • Language-based learning disability
  • Preschool language disorder
  • Selective Mutism

Out of all of these different braces of communication disabilities, I would use similar accommodations and modifications to help these students. For example I would use shorter phrases, I would check in with the listener, speak loudly and slowly, reduce noises in the background, pay attention to the speaker, look the person in the eye as they are talking, repeat part of the message if needed, ask the speaker to write down the message.

What questions or points of confusion do you have about working with students with communication disabilities?


There is a student in my practicum now that has a serious communication disability, but has not yet gotten a 504 or an IEP for his disability. He is going through the process now to get a 504 or an IEP. The teacher have not been able to decide what he should get because he is excelling in math and falling behind only sometimes in literacy. He has been getting Title I in literacy and has been improving a lot since the beginning of the year. The teachers soon think he will not need any help in math or literature. That being said, he has such a hard time communicating with the teachers and his peers. When I am working with this student I cannot understand anything he is saying. My teacher said this is the most severe case she has ever seen in all of her years of teaching. What should I do as a practicum student working with this student? He is in first grade so he can’t communicate through typing or anything else like that just yet. How can I help him and better understand him?

Attention Deficit Disorder: Due October 27th

There are two types of ADHD:

Predominately Inattentive

These students have difficulty with:

  • Off task behaviors
  • Remembering directions
  • Doodling
  • Missing details for an assignment
  • Academic and social activities
  • Listening when someone speaks directly
  • Organizing task and activities
  • Sustaining mental effort
  • Keeping track of necessary supplies

Teachers can help by:

  • Setting organization time
  • Adequate transition time
  • Modeling organization
  • Scaffolding
  • Written copy of directions
  • Give one or two step directions
  • Limit distractions on the wall
  • Strategically place students in class

Prominently Hyperactive/ Impulsive:

These students have difficulty with:

  • Keeping hands and feet still
  • Staying seated
  • Resisting running and climbing in appropriate situations
  • Participating quietly
  • “On the go”
  • Talking excessively

Teachers can:

  • Give students balls to sit on
  • T-chairs
  • Reminders to stay quiet in class
  • Give time to move around and talk during recess
  • Teachers should not take away students recess time!
  • Give students balls to sit on
  • T-chairs
  • Reminders to stay quiet in class
  • Give time to move around and talk during recess
  • Teachers should not take away students recess time!