Standard T

Meta-Reflection: Standard T: KNOWLEDGE OF TEACHING (T1-T4)

T1: Informed by standards-based assessment – Analysis using formative, summative, and self-assessment.

In the special education classroom standard-based assessment is extremely important due to the difficulty for many of our students to complete traditional testing, and our students are much more likely to fail when graded on a curve or not allowed accommodations. Teacher observation and documented data is one way of receiving accurate assessment and results. In my lessons try to include areas that I can use formative assessment to adjust the instruction and to avoid student frustration, otherwise we reach a summative level that shows no progress due to reaction or behavior.

Math Lesson Plan, Assessment Excerpt:

Description of formative assessment activity Evaluative criteria What the assessment is designed to assess Feedback to students
Pre-TestIntroduction of coins 








Guided Practice/Independent and Group Practice





Application Practice

Does the student know the names of coins? Or the difference between them?Showing different coins or plastic coins to show differences. 



Does the student show understanding of the coins?





Can the student add pennies and nickels using the appropriate value?

Background knowledge and comprehension.Can students understand the differences, physically and value, of the coins. 





Student’s ability to apply learning of coins.





Student’s Independent or Application level of understanding and generalization of coins to addition.

The teacher affirms or correct name and value verbally.The teacher will ask clarifying questions, give suggestions, respond and affirm students’ descriptions of coins.The teacher will validate, evaluate, encourage, clarify and confirm. The teacher will coach and assist as needed.

The teacher will acknowledge each student’s grasp of concept.  The teacher will help student set goals and/or reteach.

Description of summative assessment activity Evaluative criteria What the assessment is designed to assess Feedback to students
End of unit week worksheets. Independently add using pennies and nickels. Student’s Independent or Application level of understanding and generalization of coins to addition. Adapt future lessons in response to assessment.

Handwriting & Writing Assessment: These worksheets show formative and summative assessments on knowledge base, handwriting, and using drawings to brainstorm ideas for writing.

Reading lesson plan: This lesson plan states the EALR and GLE standards, and throughout the lesson there are formative and summative assessments to check understanding.

WIAT presentation: This presentation introduces the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test and points out our opinion of the positive and negative aspects of it.

The fact that assessment tests such as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJIII) and WIAT do not give a whole picture of a student with disabilities is why I encourage more of everyday formative, summative and curriculum base assessments. These ways of assessing levels also give specific areas to create and update IEP goals.

T2: Intentionally planned – beneficial standards-based planning that is personalized.

One of the necessary strategies we use in our classroom is differentiated instruction, which is imperative when teaching children with disabilities. Even when students have similar academic levels their IEP’s are written to address specific goals, and many of them are aimed different results, such as behavior, academic, or social skills. Because of this each student has different strategies and objectives even when they are in the same instructional level or group.

Here are two examples of differentiated lesson plans in my classroom. The first is for a one-on-one fine motor skills lesson and the second is aimed at first grade writing skills:

Motor skills & Writing skills

Number lines lesson plan: This lesson plan integrates reading, math, and writing aimed at addressing individual needs and levels. It also combines other subjects, such as drawing (fine motor skills, communication) and small group social work (behavior modification, socialization).

Tradition vs. Inventive algorithms: This PowerPoint presentation compares the pros and cons concerning these different teaching approaches and how they are used to assess students’ work.

T3: Influenced by multiple instructional strategies – Addressing ability levels and cultural backgrounds.

As stated in T2 it is required that we differentiate instruction for each student. In my math group (4 students) we use TouchMath at a prekindergarten level, but the goal for one student is to generalize math skills such as counting money while another student’s goal is double digit addition. A curriculum that we use is TouchMath, which has a wide range of levels. These can include comparing sizes (big vs. small) for pre-K learning to division for upper level students. One of the main principles of TouchMath is creating counting points on the numbers, which is very helpful for concrete thinkers who have difficulty in conceptualizing the idea of abstract numbers, and it also integrates multisensory learning by using their fingers. I’ve also implemented a game we call “Dice Math” in which different students each roll a die, and then we write down each number and make them into an addition equation. Some students draw their own “touch points” on their numbers while others count the dots on the dice.

TouchMath: This is an example of a Kindergarten level worksheet that include counting objects (fish), placing those objects on a number (7), and then changing those objects to touch points, which the student can generalize to regular numbers.

Concrete example: While working with my small group on single digit and nickel/penny addition using TouchMath I wanted to use some manipulatives to give some concrete examples. I used real nickels and pennies to cover the illustrations on the worksheets, and then I decided to create a game like “Dice Math” except we would slap a handful of pennies on table, separate heads and tails, and then add them. Here is an example from a student with multiple disabilities. I wanted to point out that he draws the touch points on his numbers; the next step is to count the points without drawing the dots, and to eventually not have to use the touch points at all.

Reading- Whale lesson: This long form of the SPU lesson plan outlines how extremely diverse my students are academically (section 1.7) and culturally (section 1.12), and how important it is to address each of them individually.

T4: Informed by technology – Designed to create technologically proficient learners.

This is an area of strength for many students with disabilities. I mentioned in my section S3 reflection that there is an inclination to overuse technology within special education. I equate it to the analogy of parents using the television as a babysitter, and even though many students, especially children within the autism spectrum, have an affinity for computers it cannot replace human interaction. This being said, technology used properly can be a huge benefit for the student, and also for the teacher when concerning data collection. We use two software reading programs in our classroom, one is the Edmark Reading Program and the other is IntelliTools Balanced Literacy, and both engage the student and leave the teacher free to observe, help with problems, and take notes. Both of these reading programs can include modifications for the computer when working with a student with severe physical capabilities, such as a switch adapted mouse and an adaptive keyboard. They also give individual student reports that when coupled with instructor notes help to pinpoint areas of strengths and weakness for the student. The IntelliTools software has a brief report with results or a more detailed report that specifies which areas the student is having troubles with, such as CVC pronunciation or sight words. Once again I must stress that these programs are used with an instructor for prompting, and I feel like I am working with the student not just observing.

Adaptive mouse: This is a photo of the switch adapted computer mouse that allows students with limited fine motor skills to ability to use our reading programs by cycling through and picking the correct answer. Most of the students refer to it as the “BigMac” since it reassembles a hamburger

Reading- Whale lesson: This long form of the SPU lesson plan outlines how extremely diverse my students are academically (section 1.7) and culturally (section 1.12), and how important it is to address each of them individually.


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