Characteristics of Students with Physical and Health Impairments and Math and ELA Strategies to Teach Individuals with PHI
Benchmark Assessment and Rubric
Targeted Essential Learning
An effective teacher will have an in-depth knowledge of their content area and is able to successfully individualize instruction for students with disabilities by modifying the learning environment. Effective teachers recognize instructional planning involves adaptations of general and special curricula and the selection of appropriate modifications. (InTASC 4, 8; CEC 2, 3)
Assessment Tool Selected
- Adapt instruction based on student needs. (InTASC 4f)
- Select, adapt, create, and use curricular materials. (CEC 3.1)
- Select and apply evidenced-based instructional strategies to serve students with specific disabilities. (InTASC 8(a))
- Select, adapt, and use techniques to modify learning environments. (CEC 2.2)
- Design instruction to meet individual student needs. (InTASC 4(f))
Relevancy of Task to Teacher Candidate
Special Education teachers must be able to identify, evaluate, and implement accommodations and/or modifications to assist learners with physical and/or health impairments.
Assessment: Student Prompts/Teacher Directions
- Individual: Accommodating Physical and Other Health Impairments (Benchmark Assessment)
- General practicum information:
- Students’ practicum experiences should follow the practicum experience requirements, including the diversity and hour requirements for this course on the Practicum Placement Form.
- Students should fill out the Practicum Placement Form and Observation Record. Complete the form with the names of the schools and grade levels where the observations took place and document the hours spent in the classroom. Submit the form to the course instructor along with your Benchmark Assessment.
- Select 3 classrooms that serve students with physical and/or health impairments. Two observations must be in different grade levels and one placement must be in a Title 1 school. Each observation will be a minimum of 5 hours (20 hours total practicum experience). Let the classroom teacher know you are working to identify and evaluate instructional, behavioral, and social skills accommodations/modifications for students with physical and/or health impairments.
- Note: You may choose to do one of the 5-hour observations in a regular educational setting which serves at least one student with a physical and/or health impairment.
- Benchmark Assessment:
- Identify a minimum of 10 accommodations and/or modifications that the teachers used to assist students with physical and/or health impairments. Describe them in detail and then evaluate them according to research findings from a minimum of five references. Use the GCU eLibrary for your research. Make suggestions regarding more appropriate accommodations and/or modifications. This section of your essay is entitled Research-based Evaluation of Accommodations and/or Modifications.
- Select three accommodations/modifications to implement with a student who has a physical or health impairment (you may use three different students if desired). Implement them under the auspices of the mentor teacher. Conduct the implementation with the following questions in mind for the section of the essay entitled Self-evaluation of Accommodations/Modifications Implementation:
- What were the accommodations/modifications you implemented? Why did you choose them?
- Did the implementation of the accommodations/modification unfold smoothly and effectively? Why or why not?
- What element(s) of the accommodations/modification was/were most effective?
- What aspect(s) of the accommodations/modification was/were difficult to facilitate? Did it negatively impact the overall success of the lesson? How so?
- How did you interpret the level of student engagement and motivation during the implementation of the accommodations/modifications? How would you suggest it to be modified to heighten its effectiveness?
- Defend your use of, or your rejection of, each accommodations/modification within this section of the essay.
- General practicum information:
- Obtain parental permission to access the student’s IEP (or choose one of the three students). Analyze the student’s IEP and answer the following questions as the third section of your Benchmark Assessment essay entitled IEP Analysis:
- Which accommodations/modifications are listed in the IEP that would be effective to use with this student?
- Which accommodations/modifications are listed in the IEP that would not be effective to use with this student?
- Are there any modifications/accommodations that are not considered or discussed in the IEP that would be effective to use with this student? Explain.
- Write a 1250-1500 word essay that encompasses the three sections. Ensure that responses to the above questions are inherent within the essay and not simply short answer. Use standard essay format in APA style, including an introduction, conclusion, and title page. An abstract is required. Cite in-text and in the References section.
- Submit the following materials to your instructor by Module 8.
Teaching Students with Disabilities
Access to education does not only mean admission to a
learning institution. It means being able to provide students with the
necessary tools required to achieve success in their higher education. This should
be the case for all students, including those with learning disabilities. It is
important for all persons to be given an equal chance of accessing education
regardless of their disabilities. Course waivers, physical substitutions, and
classroom presentations modifications, course and testing requirements are some
of the ways in which access to education can be effected in the case of
students with disabilities. When the educators fail to establish these
reasonable accommodations, not only is the learning of students hampered, but
the institutions face the risk of violating the law and facing penalties. As
such, this paper involves a review of the various accommodations that are
adopted by teachers when handling students with physical disabilities to
promote the accessibility of education.
The learning process is highly sophisticated when it comes to students with physical or health impairments. In most cases, such students attend special institutions which are fully customized to ensure proper delivery of learning content to the students. Nevertheless, such students face a great challenge when they attend general schools where they interact with other students without impairments. In such cases, it is upon the teachers to ensure that they take the proper measures to ensure that such students are when included in the learning process through adoption of accommodative learning. In a twenty hour observational practicum at an institute of students with physical disabilities, various accommodations were identified, which were adopted by the educator to ensure that each of the students is well included in the learning process and that their differing disabilities are not obstacles to their learning process.
Research-based Evaluation of Accommodations and/or Modifications
During the placement, the author observed instructional approaches in three classes with students with movement impairments including those with spinal or limb disabilities. These classes included a grade two class, a grade four class, and a grade six class. One of the aspects that was noted in each of the class settings was that the instructors do not make any assumptions concerning the capabilities or disabilities of the students. It is important to note that most individuals with disabilities express frustrations with most other individuals assuming that they cannot or can do certain things (Dev & Haynes, 2015). As much as individuals with disabilities could be linked with a certain set of needs, each of such individuals is different in terms of their needs and expectations. As such, it is essential for the teacher to make sure that they understand the needs of all the students and they establish a conducive environment that will not only include all the students but will allow the students to open up more on their needs and expectations (Dev & Haynes, 2015).
One of the accommodations that was noted at the beginning of the course in all the three classrooms is that the teacher engaged each of the students in a discussion that was deemed confidential, whereby the teacher wanted to note if the students were experiencing accessibility problems (Pedersen, Cooley, & Rottier, 2014). The teachers did not allow me to observe as they discussed with each of the students as they held that such conversations were to be kept private in order to allow the students to open up more. Nevertheless, after discussing with each of the students, the teaches were able to inform me that they had noted various students noted that the slopes of the ramps in the institution were very steep, an aspect that made it difficult for most of their powered wheelchairs to navigate. This was a common issue among students attending the newly built classes and the teachers confirmed that this was a concern that had been raised the previous year. As such, the teachers forwarded the issue to the administration suggesting a demolition and rebuilding of the ramps. Meanwhile, the students were relocated to a different building with less steep ramps.
Another important accommodation that is commonly used when dealing with students with physical disabilities involves not only identifying but also expressing key course contents and ensuring that the students show an understanding of the key areas of the course content in different ways (Mumford & Chandler, 2009). During the practicum, the teachers diversified the assignments that they gave to the students and in some cases allowed for exceptions through upholding other approaches such as written assignments, poster presentations, or oral presentations, in order to all the students to show their various talents. On the other hand, the teachers insisted on a civil and professional conduct among their students. This allows the students to develop great respect for each other and their differences, and to establish an inclusive environment (Shevlin, Winter, & Flynn, 2013).
In the grade two class, the teacher was keen on providing the students with information concerning the various accessible features within their immediate environment. This included information on the locations of the washrooms around the institute, automatic doors, and elevators. Such information is important in making the students understand that their navigation needs have been catered for within the school environment (Erkilic & Durak, 2013). In addition it allows the students the ease to access such features within the institution, making them feel more at ease in the institution. Another accommodation involved allowing some of the students to use note-takers or assistive technologies in the classroom. This is especially important in cases where some of the students with physical impairments are easily fatigued or have limited dexterity (Coates, 2012).
In addition, the teachers always maintained an eye contact with the students who had upper-body weakness, especially when the teacher was asking questions as such students are not able to raise their hands to respond to questions (Dev & Haynes, 2015). The teachers had also established breaks that were to be taken during lectures to allow the students to freshen up and sink whatever they had leant. Another accommodation observed included starting classes a bit late to allow the students who stayed across the institution enough time to make it to the class as they took longer. Lastly, the teacher allowed the students to work in small groups during discussions and group assignments (Gargiulo & Kilgo, 2011).
Self-evaluation of Accommodations/Modifications Implementation
In a review of the effectiveness of the applied accommodations, three students, one with lower limbs disability, one with one-sided paralysis, and one born with spinal bifida were engaged in a class setting. Three accommodations were applied including the use of diversified assignments, allowing them to work in a small group, and maintaining an eye contact with the students. These accommodations were chosen considering their multiplicity, whereby they allow for inclusion of different parties regardless of their differences. In terms of implementation, the accommodations were applied smoothly, an aspect that could be attributed to their flexibility, whereby they allowed each of the students not to strain but to use their own approaches to learning and allowing the educator to respond to the differing ways of learning. Diversifying the assignments allowed the students to respond to them in ways that they deemed fit and comfortable. Case in point, the students with spinal bifida and the one with one sided paralysis were only comfortable with responding to the questions using oral presentations while the remaining students responded using a written response.
Maintaining the eye contact, which was mainly aimed at including the student with spinal bifida and that with one sided paralysis, who had difficulties raising their hands, in the learning process, proved to be difficult to facilitate especially given that the cues offered by the students could be misinterpreted and such mention the students name as a sign of picking them out to provide the answer proved to be embarrassing to the students especially in cases where they did not have such answers. The students were highly motivated and engaged in the learning process during application of the accommodations. Nevertheless, it is important for adaptive technologies that as magnification screens to be used to allow the students to clearly see and understand the concepts explained by the teacher. Allowing the students who work in small groups allowed them to interact with each other more, and promoted the development of a relationship among them, and hence an inclusive environment.
In Paul’s IEP, the student with one-sided paralysis, one of the accommodations that had been listed, which is effective for his case is allowing him to use oral presentation in giving responses to assignments as he was not able to use his weak hands. Another highly effective approach was the use of assistive technologies such as the note taker and the tape recorder to record lectures as he could note write notes. Lastly assignment of lab assistant to the student during laboratory practical is important in facilitating his learning. On the other hand, one of the accommodation included in the IEP that would not be effective for Paul is granting him permission to use computer software, as this would require the use of his hands to navigate most of the software. Another ineffective listed accommodation is the use of a quiet separate room for testing. This would create a sense of isolation within the student. In addition, communication using electronic mail would likely be ineffective as it would require Paul to use his hands in typing responses. An important accommodation that has not been included in the IEP involves preferential seating as the students can hardly navigate the classroom and hence needs to be seated at a more convenient place like next to the door.
It is important to note that students are more likely
to learn when they feel as part of the class. In the special education learning
institutions, the teachers are well versed with the special needs of the
different students that they interact with and hence they have proactively put
in place proper measures to ensure that such students are well catered for in
terms of their facility navigation needs, their learning needs, and their
assessment needs. Nevertheless, there is need for the educators to consider
personalizing the learning process, apart from creating an all-inclusive
environment, through identifying the needs and barriers of each student to
learning and effectively addressing them.
Coates, J. K. (2012). Teaching Inclusively: Are Secondary Physical Education Student Teachers Sufficiently Prepared to Teach in Inclusive Environments? Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17(4), 349-365.
Dev, P., & Haynes, L. (2015). Teacher Perspectives on Suitable Learning Environments for Students with Disabilities: What Have We Learned from Inclusive, Resource, and Self-Contained Classrooms? International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 9, 53-64.
Erkilic, M., & Durak, S. (2013). Tolerable and Inclusive Learning Spaces: An Evaluation of Policies and Specifications for Physical Environments That Promote Inclusion in Turkish Primary Schools. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(5), 462-479.
Gargiulo, R., & Kilgo, J. L. (2011). An Introduction to Young Children with Special Needs: Birth Through Age Eight (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Mumford, V. E., & Chandler, J. P. (2009). Strategies for Supporting Inclusive Education for Students with Disabilities. Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, 22(5), 10-15.
Pedersen, S. J., Cooley, P. D., & Rottier, C. R. (2014). Physical Educators’ Efficacy in Utilising Paraprofessionals in an Inclusive Setting. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(10), 1-15.
Shevlin, M., Winter, E., & Flynn, P. (2013). Developing Inclusive Practice: Teacher Perceptions of Opportunities and Constraints in the Republic of Ireland. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(10), 1119-1133.