Be sure that assessments are adapted to appropriately align with adapted lesson objectives. Your lesson assessments must reflect an appropriate level of challenge and support that allows each student to demonstrate his/her understanding of the objective. An assessment that is effective for one student may not be the best for another. It is important to remember that the assessment techniques you choose allow students to demonstrate their learning effectively. These techniques should play off the students’ strengths and minimize the impact of their weaknesses, so that they can achieve to their greatest potential.
For struggling readers:
- Using text-to-speech technology (or having questions read aloud)
- For struggling writers:
- Access to a scribe or speech-to-text technology
- Oral assessment
- Word prediction software to assist with spelling and idea generation
- Format other than pen/paper (videos, mind maps, comics, models, flip-grids)
- For students struggling with organization of ideas and time:
- Chunk the evaluation into different sections to be completed over several class periods
- Chunk the questions into smaller steps and a logical order for the work required
- Use a countdown timer to help students manage time
- For students struggling with memory difficulties:
- Allow students access to devices such as calculators for math computation; the student will still be required to justify their answer on paper
- For problem solving, have the students read the problem aloud
- a word bank related to the assessment
- a formula list related to a math assessment
- a glossary (images or written definitions depending on the student’s strengths)
- a reference page for calculation processes (division, multiplication, how to use a protractor)
Citation: LD@School, Suzanne Martin, 2016
Your plans need to show how you are providing equal access to mastery of the grade-level lesson objective. This means that a variety of supports may be necessary for all of your students to build understanding; these specific supports must be identified in your plan.
It is in this section of your lesson plan that you share how you plan to differentiate your instruction as you strive to meet the varying needs of all of your learners. By analyzing your pre-assessment data, you will determine the students for which the lesson will be difficult as well as those for whom it will not be appropriately challenging.
Following analysis, describe how you’ll differentiate your instruction to meet these diverse individual needs. Remember that differentiated instruction isn’t a strategy, but a framework that can be used to implement a variety of strategies such as grouping students for instruction. As you begin to differentiate instruction, there are three main instructional elements that can be adjusted to meet the variety of learners’ needs:
- Content – the knowledge and skills students need to master
- Process – the activities students use to make sense of and master the content
- Product – the method students use to demonstrate learning
- Learning Environment– the climate of the classroom
Each of these instructional elements can be differentiated by considering either students’ interests, readiness levels, or learning profiles.
Content differentiated by:
- readiness – materials at varied readability levels
- interest – range of materials that apply key skills/concepts to a variety of real-world situations; sub-topic choice
- learning profile – video or audio notes for students who learn better through repetition
Process differentiated by:
- readiness – mini-workshops
- interest – expert groups
- learning profile – choice of working conditions (alone or with a partner)
Product differentiated by:
- readiness – varied resource options
- interest – use of student interests in designing products
- learning profile – varied modes of expressing learning (PowerPoint; oral presentation; role-playing; game creation)
Environment differentiated by:
- readiness- provide materials that reflect a variety of learning levels
- interest- vary the places where learning occurs (lab, outside, flexible seating), provide materials that appeal to a variety of interests
- learning profile- places to work quietly and without distraction as well as places that invite student collaboration
Citations: Tomlinson and Allan, 2000
It is important to remember that accommodations and modifications refer to a student’s IEP. An accommodation is “an adjustment in what a student is expected to do relative to what most students are doing, but that does not change the content or proficiency level of the content.” (Lenz & Deshler 2004). Accommodations refer to teaching supports and should not change the curriculum or grade level expectation. They are practices and procedures in the areas of presentations, response, setting, and timing/scheduling that provide equitable access during instruction and assessments for students with disabilities. They do not reduce learning expectations but reduce or eliminate the effects of a student’s disability.
Modifications are adjustments, variation, or difference in what a student is expected to do or learn, how a student is expected to demonstrate knowledge may or may not be the same content or conceptual level of other students in the class. (Lenz, Deshler, 2001). Modifications are changes to the curriculum to meet the needs of the students and must be clearly stated in the IEP.