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Individualized Education Program Accommodations

There are multiple ways to deliver the curriculum to students. Despite the fact that only one Ontario Curriculum is applicable at schools, the teacher can accommodate and modify it so as to respond to the existing diversity of the class and address the needs of every student so that no child is left behind (Bennett, Dworet, & Weber, 2013). It should be noted that students can demonstrate the skills that they have attained in different ways, and it is the educator’s task to implement such strategies and methods that allow students to manifest what they have learned. In order to orient the educational activities at the student on an IEP, it is advisable to differentiate instruction according to the student’s needs to be able to support his or her individual learning patterns (Bennett et al., 2013).

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All of the teacher’s efforts should aim at letting the student meet the grade level requirements through age-appropriate activities and tasks. It is worth mentioning that it is rather common that educators mix accommodation with modification; thus, it is essential to differentiate the two domains. The first notion implies that the curriculum activities promote equity while the second one means that the study plan is altered to respond to the needs of a child that are drastically different from those expressed in the curriculum. For instance, altering the expectations for a specific grade is a modification whereas providing a child with extra time to complete an assignment is accommodation.

Activity Description

The proposed activity is aimed at elementary school children aged 7-13. The description and implications of it can be presented to the adult staff teachers at a staff meeting or in a demonstration with parents whose child is on an IEP to ensure they do not have concerns about the inclusion of him or her in the educational process (Learning for all, 2013). It should be stressed out that the content of the activity does not relate to a specific age while, at every stage, the expectations are different; therefore, the proposed variant of the task can be changed according to the setting.

The integrated activity that can be implemented in class is called Jigsaw. A functional learning practice enables to group the students into small subgroups for the purposes of analysis of a text. Several ways can be adopted to complete this activity. For instance, each group can be assigned a task and then will share the findings with the rest of the students or every student within the team will be assigned to a question and then the team will bring together all the results to find a solution to the problem. In both approaches, the assignment should be divided into equal parts to ensure that all the students have the same amount of work to complete. This type of activity implies the engagement of all the students, the development of critical thinking, mutual learning, and an opportunity for students to collaborate under the teacher’s guidance.

The main advantage of this activity is the opportunity to reach the learning outcomes of children with various literacy levels so that the students on IEP are involved in reading comprehension to the same extent as the rest of the class is. With this approach, the teacher can support the reading proficiency through differentiated texts and questions (Teaching strategies for students with special needs, n.d.). After the students acquaint themselves with their reading part, they will gather together in heterogeneous teams to discuss what they have found out. Each text will be provided according to the reading level of the child, and the educator should make sure that it is done discreetly. One of the ways to implement such activity can be furnished in six steps.

The students should be divided into the groups consisting of four to six children. The text for analysis can be divided correspondingly into four or six parts respectively, and it should be assigned to the students according to their reading skills. Each student will be given time to read and process his or her part. After everyone has gone through the reading, the children with the same parts to read will gather together to discuss what they found out and ensure that they understood everything correctly. Afterward, the team will assemble and then consider all of the parts together. When the discussion is over, the students will be asked to complete an assignment and discuss the results of their activity.

The role of the teacher is to ensure that every student understands his or her task and to provide assistance to those students having difficulty in understanding their role. Extra time can be given to the children who require more time to process the task. When the students start the discussion, it is crucial that the educator guides this process though not affecting the flow of the work. If students with difficulty in comprehension do not follow, the teacher should support or provide an explanation to what is unclear. Moreover, it is essential that, in the beginning, the students discuss their reading with those children who have read the same parts so that they do not get a limited perspective on the text and clear out what they were unable to comprehend. Importantly, the children with lower reading levels should work with those students who are more advanced prior to returning to their Jigsaw team.

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Accommodation and Modification Details

Prior to the Jigsaw, it is necessary to remind the students of the topic. It is advisable to aid the students on IEP with visuals to ensure that they gained an insight into it. The class can brainstorm about this question to relate the new material to the background information that they already knew. This approach will enable children on IEP to remember the key concepts and notions that are related to the texts that they are to read (The individual education plan, 2004). The sample questions to support students’ comprehension throughout the activity can be found in the Attachment section.

During the Jigsaw activity, the students should be provided with the visual aid to promote easier understanding. Moreover, it is essential that students on IEP have an opportunity to use dictionaries, thesauruses, and other sources. After everyone has read his or her part, the team members will discuss their reading section with those who have read the same piece and the advanced readers will discuss the reading with those children who have difficulty in comprehension (Learning disabilities, n.d.). It is necessary that the teacher will keep track whether advanced learners support their partners. After that, the students can return to their initial groups and start the discussion.

At this stage, the group debates on the important concepts and such a discussion allows automatic support of those students on IEP since each team member is responsible for the team comprehension and he or she should support the understanding of the peers. Those students with the lower level of reading skills will be able to ask questions to gain a better understanding of the content. It is crucial to note that the student on an IEP can be assigned to read the text at home prior to the lesson so that he or she has more time to read and analyze the text without getting anxious or negligent (The individual education plan, 2004). Another way to promote differentiation is to provide the student with an audio tape of the text. If the situation requires so, the educator can ask students to prepare visuals or cue cards to aid their team members.

In order to assess the student’s understanding, the teacher will keep a written dialogue with all the students where they will be able to reflect on their experience, ideas, comprehension and ask questions. The educator will assess the understanding of the students on IEP by evaluating the content of their writing rather than the form and will respond to the questions to allow them to understand what has remained unclear (The individual education plan, 2004).

Conclusion

Thus, there is a strict distinction between accommodations and modifications while the first one defines how to educate and evaluate while the second one implies alterations to what is taught and evaluated. Accommodations imply utilizing such strategies that aid the student in learning but do not change the expectations for the educational level. Whereas modifications are related to the changes that affect the learning expectations characteristic of a specific age or grade.

References

Bennett, S., Dworet, D., & Weber, K. (2013). Special education in Ontario schools. Thorold, Canada: Highlands Press.

Learning disabilities. (n.d.). 

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Learning for all. (2013). Web.

Teaching strategies for students with special needs. (n.d.). Web.

The individual education plan. (2004). Web.

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