Monday, August 18, 2008

Teacher Tips 1st Two Weeks of School

I feel satisfied today knowing that I was able to do things as planned. I went to the Special Education Conference by OSSE this morning and saw some of my past co-teachers at Jefferson now going to teach in DC Charter Schools, even one of our former Assistant Principals was there. I participated in one of the sessions on IDEIA and asked them my burning question:
"I have special ed students every year who show significant improvements using other evaluation tools like the Brigance, WJIII, and/or portfolio assessments (classroom). But they would always fall Below Basic with the DC CAS, because of their disabilities-- difficulty with computation and basic fact retrieval and poor memory skills, etc -- despite testing accomodations stated in their IEPs. This may not be the right test for their skills. I really want to help them, maybe you can help me figure out what can be done.
This reasearch found that, " Although many students with disabilities received accomodations, the impact of these accomodations....was generally small, failing to reduce the gap in performance between students with and without disabilities."
If I use the DC CAS with accomodations again in spring, I'm afraid that just like the previous years, majority of them will get BB again...we must be doing something wrong. Any advice you can give will be appreciated."
I did not get a definite answer from the presenters. I was told to email him to follow up on it.
After lunch I went to my school at Jefferson and found my classroom newly waxed and shining! I started cleaning up, arranging the desks, closets, computers, etc. My friend, our new Math Professional Developer, helped me move my stuff from Room 100 to Room 118. I met my new neighbor, the 6th grade Social Studies teacher. I left at past 5:00pm tired but satisfied for what I have accomplished today. I'm getting ready for tomorrow's mandatory training.
Now here's 5 tips to help teachers get ready for those first few weeks of school.

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