Special Education

Quality Indicator Review and Resource Guides for Literacy

The State Education Department
The University of the State of New York
Albany, NY 12234

Office of P-12 Education
Office of Special Education

Quality Indicator Review and Resource Guides for Literacy - PDF PDF Document (614 KB)

  1. Systemic Support
  2. Early Literacy Instructional Practice
  3. Adolescent Literacy (Middle Level)
  4. Adolescent Literacy (High School)
  5. Specially Designed and Intensive Reading for Students with Disabilities

The Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC) network is one of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) primary resources for school improvement in New York State. This Quality Indicator Review and Resource Guide is one of a series that has been developed for use by the RSE-TASC network to guide their work in assessment of programs and provision of professional development, support and technical assistance to districts and schools to improve results for students with disabilities.

The Guides are intended to be used to support a process that includes:

  • Assessing the quality of a school district’s instructional programs and practices in the areas of literacy, behavioral supports and interventions; and delivery of special education services;
  • Determining priority need areas; and
  • Prescribing and planning activities to change practices and improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

NYSED gratefully acknowledges participation of the following individuals in the development of these documents:
Current Literacy Work Group

Marcia Atwood, SESIS, Questar III BOCES
Michele Boutwell, SESIS, Erie II BOCES
Christina Cloidt, SESIS, Ulster County BOCES
Lynn Gallo, SESIS, Otsego Northern Catskill BOCES
Teri Marks, SESIS, Oswego BOCES
Rae Lynn McCarthy, SESIS, Genesee Valley BOCES
Queenie Nichols, SESIS, Oswego BOCES
Patricia Schwetz, SESIS, Nassau BOCES
Susan Locke-Scott, RSE-TASC Coordinator, Erie I BOCES

Past Literacy Work Group

Cindy Bishop, SETRC, Ulster BOCES
Helene Bradley, SETRC, New York City Department of Education
Naomi Gershman,  SESIS, Nassau BOCES
Sharon Hance, SETRC, Erie I BOCES
Karen Howard, SETRC, Onondaga-Cortland Madison BOCES
Pat Krueger, SETRC, Rochester City School District
Bambi Levine, SETRC, New York City DOE
Laurie Levine, Regional SETRC, Rockland BOCES
Barbara Miller, NYSED/Office of Special Education
Sue Woodworth, NYSED/Office of Special Education
Lori Strong, Ph.D., The College of St Rose

James P. DeLorenzo
Statewide Coordinator for Special Education
NYSED

Patricia J. Geary
Coordinator, Special Education Policy and Professional Development
NYSED

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This document contains hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. These links and pointers are provided for the user's convenience. The Education Department does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links or pointers to particular items in hypertext is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered, on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.

The State Education Department grants permission to New York State public schools, approved private schools and nonprofit organizations to copy this for use as a review and quality improvement guide. This material may not otherwise be reproduced in any form or by any means or modified without the written permission of the New York State Education Department. For further information, contact the Office of Special Education at (518) 473-2878 or write to Office of Special Education, 89 Washington Avenue, Room 309 EB, Albany, New York 12234.


Quality Indicator Review and Resourse Guide
Literacy:  Systemic Support

Key Questions: 

  • How does district leadership maintain coherence among established goals, policies, and daily practices across all buildings?
  • How do building principals use a variety of needs assessments, walk throughs, focus groups, achievement data, and perceptual information to guide ongoing improvement of a comprehensive literacy program?
Indicator:   Systemic Support
Component:  Leadership
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • There are district-wide and building specific literacy goals inclusive of students with disabilities.
  • Ongoing assessments of need are used to allocate resources for scheduling, staffing, and budgeting to support the literacy program.
  • Follow-up and support for implementation of new initiatives or programs and maintenance of established programs are evident.
  • Leaders promote an atmosphere conducive to increasing achievement of students with disabilities.
  • Administrators understand and support programs for struggling learners.
  • A comprehensive coordinated literacy program for students with disabilities exists.
  • Programs, policies, and practices aligned with goals inclusive of students with disabilities
  • Needs assessments and analyses of results for students with disabilities are regularly scheduled throughout the year
  • Principal and teacher leader walk throughs in all special education settings
  • Peer coaching/mentoring
  • Recognition of student success
  • Regularly scheduled collaboration between general and special educators
  • Safe and orderly school environment
  • Published building goals inclusive of students with disabilities outcome data
  • Published building goals for achievement of students with disabilities disaggregated from all students
 

Coherence as defined by Webster means "having the quality of holding together as a firm mass" and "logically consistent".  A reference to educational coherence can be found at: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/13/f9/a9.pdf external link

Leader Walk Throughs is a brief, structured, non-evaluative classroom observation by the principal that is followed by a conversation between the principal and the teacher about what was observed A source for information: http://kwhobbes.wordpress.com/tag/walk-through/external link

Mentoring is defined as the establishment of a personal relationship for the purpose of professional instruction and guidance.  A source of information: http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-924/mentoring.htmexternal link

Peer Coachingis defined as a confidential process through which teachers share their expertise and provide one another with feedback, support, and assistance for the purpose of refining present skills, learning new skills, and/or solving classroom-related problems (Dalton and Moir, 1991).  A source of information: http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/pubs/directions/03.htmexternal link

Key Questions:

  • How are professional development needs of staff members determined and addressed in order to ensure effective literacy programs?
  • How are data driven professional development activities conducted as a comprehensive and coordinated effort?
Indicator:   Systemic Support
Component:  Professional Development (PD)
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Professional development is outcome focused, ongoing and results driven.
  • Opportunities for professional development are differentiated and built into the regular school schedule.
  • Participation is expected of every member of the school community including administration.
  • Professional development activities are facilitated and supported.
  • Professional development is provided for newly hired staff including continued skill development and follow-up.
  • Job embedded technical assistance is a critical element of PD.
  • Monitoring of carryover of PD into the classroom occurs.
  • Diverse professional learning communities
  • Initial planned schedule of professional development
  • Variety of stakeholders attending professional development
  • Participants’ knowledge and use of the new knowledge and skills being evaluated after professional development activities
  • Resources for professional development being readily available and problems are addressed quickly and efficiently
  • Professional development leading to observable changes in the organization’s practices
  • Variety of models in use, including mentoring, peer coaching, modeling/demonstration lessons
  • Instruction being differentiated
  • Study groups
  • Instruction that is relevant to the students
  • Student learning outcomes being measured to determine the  effectiveness of instruction after the professional development activity
 

Demonstration Lessons aim to help teachers actually see what it looks like to teach in particular ways.  They may focus on how the teacher identifies and addresses students’ prior conceptions or on the questions a teacher asks of students as they explain how they solved a mathematics or science problem.

Differentiated instruction is defined as a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process. A source is: http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstruc.htmlexternal link.

Professional Leaning Community is defined as a collegial group of administrators and school staff who are united in their commitment to student learning. They share a vision, work and learn collaboratively, visit and review other classrooms, and participate in decision making (Hord, 1997b).  A source for this is: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/content/currclum/cu3lk22.htmexternal link.

Evaluating Professional Development http://www.ascd.orgexternal link

Study Group is defined as consisting of no more than six individuals who can work effectively to plan common or connected instructional units, propose school-improvement measures, and research new instructional and learning techniques.  A source is: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/educatrs/profdevl/pd2study.htm.external link

Key Questions:

  • How are data from formative and summative assessments used to plan for interventions and monitor student outcomes?
  • How are data from formative and summative assessments used to plan for and improve literacy programs?
Indicator:Systemic Support
Component:Formative and Summative Assessments
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Data from formative and summative assessments are used to monitor student progress and plan consistent integrated interventions over time.
  • Data are presented in visual displays to support evaluation of student learning trajectories.
  • Disaggregated data are used for internal and external evaluation of the implemented literacy program.
  • Data are used to determine the effectiveness of the instruction provided.
  • Frequent progress monitoring
  • Evidence of data analysis for problem solving by classroom teachers, Instructional Support Teams (IST)
  • The Committee on Special Education (CSE) using current assessment data to make decisions for students with disabilities
  • Data from assessments and the implications being included in professional development plans
  • Professional development plans including purposeful assessment data
  • Visually presented student learning trajectories
  • Use of curriculum based measurements (CBM)
  • Flexibility of groupings based on student assessment
 

Disaggregated data simply means looking at test scores by specific subgroups of students.   A source is: http://www.schoolboarddata.org/chapter_three/disaggregated_data.pdf external link

Formative Assessment is often done at the beginning or during a program, thus providing the opportunity for immediate evidence for student learning in a particular course or at a particular point in a program. A source: http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspxexternal link

Instructional Support Teams (IST) are defined as interdisciplinary problem solving teams that assist in the determination of intervention plans for students.  Sources are: http://www.childadvocate.net/instructional_support.htmexternal link   and http://www.interventioncentral.com/external link

Learning trajectories are defined as a path, progression, or line of development of student learning.

Summative assessment is comprehensive in nature, provides accountability and is used to check the level of learning at the end of the program.  A source is: http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspxexternal link

Visual displays of data are vital representations of student progress over time.  Charts and graphs kept on an ongoing basis can assist in determining the effectiveness of instruction and intervention.  A source for charting tools: http://www.interventioncentral.com/external link

Progress monitoring http://www.osepideasthatwork.org/toolkit/pdf/ProgressMonitoring_InclusiveStandards.pdf.external link

Key Questions:

  • How are the literacy needs of students with disabilities clearly communicated to all involved parties?
  • How do we communicate about students with disabilities' literacy progress and needs?
Indicator:  Systemic Support
Component:  Communication
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Referrals and resulting intervention plans for students with disabilities reviewed by Instructional Support Teams (ISTs) are shared with all stakeholders and are simply formatted, clearly communicated, and consistently applied.
  • Communication between general education and special education staff is ongoing and consistent.
  • All staff working with students with disabilities share and communicate common instructional outcomes.
  • Communication with parents about their child’s formative and summative assessments is ongoing.
  • All staff working with students with disabilities are knowledgeable about their responsibilities in implementing the individualized education programs (IEPs).
  • IST referral forms that are clearly designed, centrally located, and accessible
  • IST intervention plans being shared with all staff who interact with the student
  • Co-teaching teams/consultant teachers and their general education colleagues have scheduled planning time
  • Special education teachers included in team, grade level, and department meetings
  • Published minutes for collaboration of staff
  • Effective meeting structures to maximize productivity being used consistently
  • Numerous opportunities to support literacy development
  • Parental involvement that is consistent and regular
  • Effective use of technology to communicate with all stakeholders
  • Parent nights to share literacy initiatives and student work
  • Recognition of success
  • Systems that are in place to share the students’ IEPs with appropriate school personnel
 

Co-teaching team is defined as a general education and special education teacher that work together to teach a heterogeneous group of students some of whom have disabilities. A source is: http://www.powerof2.org/.external link

Intervention plans should clearly identify procedures and instructional strategies to be used for students that have been referred to a problem solving team at a school. Arrangements such as where and when the plan will be implemented and the materials needed to carry out the plan should be delineated. Persons responsible for all aspects of the plan are identified. It is essential that this plan is written and available to all individuals involved in the implementation of the plan.

Key Questions:

  • How are multiple stakeholders included in the design, evaluation and revisions of the district’s literacy programs?
  • What systems are in place to assure that research based practices are used consistently in the delivery of quality literacy programs?
Indicator:  Systemic Support
Component:  Program Development
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Literacy instruction is explicit, systematic, balanced and integrated.
  • Teachers direct, regulate and adjust their teaching to meet the needs of individuals.
  • A district-wide philosophy and literacy curriculum, as well as a range of instructional strategies to meet the needs of all students, is shared.
  • Staff use multiple ways to measure students’ progress in literacy throughout the school year.
  • Staff use assessments to improve instruction
  • All teachers continue to improve their knowledge of literacy instruction and learn new strategies for helping students meet their literacy goals.
  • Each building allocates and leverages available resources — funding, personnel, time, facilities, technology, etc. — for quality literacy programs.
  • Students with disabilities have access to the full range of general education supports.
  • Staff engaging in ongoing planning to ensure that the student’s literacy needs are being met
  • Data that shows effective identification and intervention strategies are in place to support students
  • General education interventions available for students with disabilities
  • Diverse instructional materials that are available to address students’ identified weaknesses
  • Collaboration between special education, general education and reading specialists to plan and deliver reading instruction that is designed to increase academic performance
  • Program development to meet specific needs that is not limited by availability, scheduling, or funding
 

Multiple measurements – You must guide teams to look at different types of data that is typically broken down into demographic, perception, school processes and student learning. We must consider the context, culture, conditions and competencies in each area. Additional information can be found at http://eff.csuchico.edu/downloads/MMeasure.pdf.external link

Key Questions:

  • What evidence exists that technology programs/devices are consistently available to support struggling learners?
  • What evidence exists that students are working toward their goals through using a variety of tools and media?
Indicator:  Systemic Support
Component:  Universal Design for Learning
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Staff reduce barriers to the curriculum by providing rich supports for learning.
  • Teachers proactively design and plan instruction to meet a wide variety of student needs, and considering individual differences.
  • A variety of materials and/or media/ technology are used as both instructional tools and topic.
  • Instruction is designed with the needs of all students in mind, so that methods, materials, and assessments are usable for all students.
  • Technology is used as instructional reinforcement and to provide opportunities for guided practice in specific deficit areas.
  • A variety of materials and media, including computer-based materials and visual representations, are being used
  • Teacher presentations and student responses that allow for a variety of media, manipulatives
  • Differentiation of methods or student activities such as information presentation methods, learning context, instructional formats, project or presentation formats
  • Multiple and flexible methods of presentation to provide students with diverse learning styles various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
  • Multiple and flexible methods of expression that provide diverse students with alternatives for demonstrating what they have learned
  • Multiple and flexible methods of engagement that tap into diverse learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn
  • Assistive technology and supplemental technology programs that are matched to student need
 

Assistive Technology commonly refers to "...products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities...", according to the definition proposed in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998.  A source is: http://www.rehabtool.com/forum/discussions/1.html.external link

Universal Design for Learning is defined by CAST as: UDL provides a blueprint for creating flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that accommodate learner differences.” Universal" does not imply a single optimal solution for everyone. Instead, it is meant to underscore the need for multiple approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners. UDL mirrors the universal design movement in architecture and product development. Think of speakerphones, curb cuts, and close-captioned television—all universally designed to accommodate a wide variety of users, including those with disabilities. Embedded features that help those with disabilities eventually benefit everyone. UDL uses technology's power and flexibility to make education more inclusive and effective for all. A source is: http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html.external link


Quality Indicator Review and Resourse Guide
Literacy: Early Literacy

Key Questions:

  • What is the sequence of phonological awareness skills identified in the curriculum?
  • What portion of the instructional block is dedicated to the development of phonological awareness?
Indicator: Early Literacy
Component: Phonological Awareness
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence

There is evidence that:

  • Students are evaluated for phonological awareness.
  • A sequence of phonemic awareness skills is taught explicitly:

    Phoneme identification
    Phoneme discrimination
    Phoneme substitution
    Phoneme addition
    Phoneme deletion
    Phoneme isolation
    Phoneme segmentation
    Phoneme blending

  • Daily time is scheduled during the instructional block for phonemic awareness instruction.
  • No more than 2 phonemic awareness skills are taught at one time.
  • Individual documentation of students’ skill achievement is present.
  • Teacher modeling manipulation of sounds
  • Students manipulating phonemes without accompanying print
  • Think Aloud practice to share what to attend to when manipulating phonemes
  • Guided Practiceexternal link in small and large groups
  • Corrective Feedback
  • Say it-Move It Activitiesexternal link, Elkonin boxes, tokens/manipulatives, tapping or finger spelling are used for students to isolate the individual phonemes in words
  • Students counting the number of phonemes they hear in a word
  • Benchmarks and progress monitoring for phonological awareness
  • Benchmarks and progress monitoring for phonemic awareness
  • Kindergarten screening that has a phonological awareness component
 

Phonological Awareness focuses on recognizing and manipulating phonemes as it relates to speech sounds.  A good site for understanding and ideas is: http://www.phonologicalawareness.org/external link.

Corrective feedback is used during reading instruction and intervention to identify errors, provide additional instruction, and allow the student to develop internal thinking skills to utilize when reading independently. The process is meant to be dynamic and student focused.  A link of interest is:  http://www.studydog.com/SDsystematic.aspexternal link.

Phonemic Awareness is a reader's ability to recognize that spoken language is made up of a series of individual sounds.

Think Aloud is a reading strategy wherein the teacher explicitly models the thinking skills being used as a test is approached.  A sample lesson plan can be found at:  http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=139external link.

Phoneme is the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language.

Elkonin boxes are an instructional tool to assist children in understanding the segmenting and blending of phonemes.  For a better understanding and example of their use see: http://bogglesworldesl.com/elkonin_boxes.htmexternal link.

Key Questions:

  • How are word attack skills taught and practiced?
  • What scope and sequence is used to teach the phonetic elements of the English language?
Indicator:  Early Literacy
Component:  Phonics
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:

  • Phonics instruction is explicit and systematic (a sequence of skills is followed).
  • Speech to print correspondence, and letter recognition activities are incorporated daily into the instructional block.
  • Daily practice reading and writing by mapping sounds to letters to read text occurs.
  • Decodable text aligns with the sequence of previously taught skills and phonetically irregular sight words.
  • Individual documentation of students’ skill achievement.
  • Teachers who can describe the scope and sequence that is followed
  • Students reviewing letter-sound previously taught
  • Teacher identifying the new skill to be learned (letter to sound, sound to letter)
  • Students practicing reading and writing words, phrases, sentences and connected text with the new skill
  • Students reading words with previously taught skills
  • Students reading decodable sentences and text
  • Orthography of English spelling being taught along with phonics
  • Students spelling words and sentences from dictation
  • Phonetically irregular words being taught/practiced to mastery
  • Students mastering the spelling of phonetically irregular sight words
  • Students moving from controlled text to uncontrolled text as they become more proficient
  • Reference Charts external linkthat are posted to show the sounds that the elements make
  • Word analysis or word study activities
  • Students doing more reading than the teacher
  • Benchmark and progress monitoring of Nonsense Word Fluency, advanced phonics skills and Oral Reading Fluency
 

Decoding readers use their knowledge of letter-sound relationships to identify words.  Decoding is automatic for good readers who identify most words rapidly, even good readers use decoding skills with unfamiliar word. http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/html/mcshane/index.htmlexternal link

Orthographic or Orthography is a complete writing system for a language or languages. Orthographies include the representation of word boundaries, stops and pauses in speech, and tonal inflections. Source: http://www.sedl.org/reading/framework/glossary.htmlexternal link

Phonics is the understanding that there is a pattern and relationship between the sounds (phonemes) of spoken language and the letters and spellings (graphemes) that represent those sounds in written text.

Word Analysis or Word Study is an activity conducted during instructional reading time wherein the sounds and patterns learned during phonics instruction are utilized in reading words and text.

Key Questions:

  • How much daily time is dedicated to the development of fluency during the instructional block?
  • How is student fluency assessed, recorded, and monitored systematically at grade level and at the instructional level?
Indicator: Early Literacy
Component: Fluency
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Teachers monitor fluency at every level (letter name, letter sound, phonetically irregular high frequency words, phonetically regular words, phrases, sentences, passages).
  • Instructional materials are available on independent and instructional levels for all.
  • Fifteen minutes of daily oral reading practice is scheduled in the literacy block.
  • Daily practice of phonetically irregular high frequency words is scheduled in the literacy block.
  • Individual students’ skill achievement is documented.
  • Students’ fluency rates and rates of improvement being readily available
  • Repeated readings of lists of regular wordsexternal link
  • Drilling of high frequency phonetically irregular wordsexternal link
  • Buddy reading – buddies provide feedback
  • Repeated reading of text
  • Timed readingexternal link of words and passages
  • Whisper Reading
  • Echo readingexternal link
  • Reading modeled by teacher in many genres
  • Prosody is practiced at leisure reading levels
  • Use of poetry
  • Readers Theater
  • Benchmark and progress monitoring of oral reading fluency
  • Assessment of fluency at every level (letter name, letter sound, phonetically irregular high frequency words, phonetically regular words, phrases, sentences, passages)
 

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. They group words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read.  Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression.  Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking.  Fluency = Accuracy + Rate + Expression  Sources: http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/reading_first1fluency.htmlexternal link  and http://www.linkslearning.org/reading_links/readingmanuals/FLUENCYPARTICIPANT.pdfexternal link

Prosody is using the features of rhythm, intonation, and phrasing when reading.

Repeated Reading is a strategy that involves student's reading a passage aloud or silently several times to improve fluency and correct errors.  Related link: http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/literacy/ImplementALiteracyProgram/UsingRepeatedReading.htmexternal link

Whisper reading is a fluency strategy wherein all students are reading/whispering aloud at their own rate.  The teacher monitors by walking around and listening. 

Key Questions:

  • How many high utility vocabulary words are targeted for explicit instruction and practiced weekly?
  • What strategies are students taught to construct meaning of unknown words while reading?
  • How is vocabulary development assessed?
Indicator:  Early Literacy
Component:  Vocabulary
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Vocabulary instruction is explicit and systematic.
  • Multiple opportunities to learn and utilize the new words are incorporated throughout the school day.
  • Vocabulary instruction is focused on high utility words that mature readers and writers use.
  • Grade level curricula identify specific academic vocabulary to be learned.
  • Continuous practice/exposure to previously taught words in a variety of contexts is provided.
  • Individual students’ skill achievement is documented.
  • Contextual methods of vocabulary instruction are used to verify comprehension.
  • Specific words being taught
  • Students using new words independently
  • Visual Aidsexternal link /concrete models for learning new words
  • Academic and high utility vocabulary lists are available
  • Students identifying synonyms, homonyms, antonyms of new words
  • Word Boxesexternal link
  • Multiple meanings of words being taught
  • Co build dictionaryexternal link for kids, Personal dictionariesexternal link, Word Journalsexternal link, Longman Dictionary external link
  • Charts or word walls
  • Instruction in word meaning, grammatical features, examples, non-examples & visual representation
  • Integrated vocabulary instruction in reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Modeling the correct use of new words
  • The interrelationship between and among words being explored (use of semantic webs)
  • Deliberate integration of words to be learned being evident in a variety of activities
  • Benchmark/progress monitoring of vocabulary skills

Direct vocabulary instruction refers to students learning vocabulary when they are explicitly taught both individual words and word-learning strategies. Direct vocabulary instruction aids reading comprehension.

Vocabulary means the words we must know to communicate effectively http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/reading_first1vocab.htmlexternal link.

High Utility Words are words that are found often in print but not specific to content areas.

Academic Vocabulary is the vocabulary that allows students to understand the concepts that are taught.  A good site to understand this is http://www.u-46.org/roadmap/files/vocabulary/acadvoc-over.pdfexternal link.

Key Questions:

  • What portion of the instructional block is dedicated to explicitly teaching comprehension?
  • How often and for how long during the instructional block do teachers planfully interact with students as they read?
Indicator: Early Literacy
Component: Reading and Listening Comprehension
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Reading comprehension strategies for specific purposes are planned for and explicitly taught.
  • Students can articulate the characteristics of different texts and are taught how to read them.
  • Background knowledge is considered and planned for in instructional areas.
  • Connections to text (text to self, text to author, text to text, text to world) are planned for and explicitly taught.
  • Idiomatic language is explored and explained.
  • Sentence syntax is taught.
  • Individual student's skill achievement is documented
 

Comprehension is understanding a text that is read, or the process of "constructing meaning" from a text.  Comprehension is a "construction process" because it involves all of the elements of the reading process working together as a text is read to create a representation of the text in the reader's mind. www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/adult_reading/glossary/glossary.htmlexternal link

Idiomatic Language is defined as an expression that does not mean what it literally says.  Hence, its meaning is often quite different from the word-for-word translation and this can impact a student's comprehension. 

Story Retell is a classroom based strategy to check and monitor student comprehension of materials read.  Story retells consist of a series of open ended questions that the student responds to (e.g.  What happened at the beginning of the story?).

Think Aloud is a reading strategy wherein the teacher explicitly models the thinking skills being used as a text is approached.  A sample lesson plan can be found at:  http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=139external link.

QAR is a reading strategy in which students utilize where they found information to answer comprehension question and the relationship between the material read and the answer.  A good site can be found at: http://www.indiana.edu/~l517/QAR.htmexternal link.

Anchor Charts are posters or visual aids created and posted within classrooms to illustrate and/or remind students of a skill or strategy and its use. 

Dialogic Reading an interactive method of reading picture books in which the child becomes the storyteller with assistance from the adult.  A good site to reference is http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/early_ed/dial_read/external link.

Text Talk is a method in which young children talk about the text in order to improve comprehension and understand vocabulary. http://www.schools.utah.gov/curr/readingfirst/text_talk.htmexternal link

Key Questions:

  • What portion of the instructional block is dedicated to daily writing?
  • How much time is dedicated to explicitly teaching each writing strategy?
  • How often are students required to express their ideas in written form across the curriculum?
Indicator:  Early Literacy
Component:  Written Expression
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Several approaches are used for building sentences.
  • Grammar, sentence composition and paragraph organization are emphasized.
  • Students write for a variety of purposes/audiences.
  • Writing is connected to all curricular areas.
  • Use of voice and expanded vocabulary are modeled and present in student writing.
  • Students utilize authentic writing for a variety of purposes.
  • Students are taught to plan, revise and regulate.
  • Individual student’s skill achievement is assessed and documented.
  • Writing instruction is evident in the instructional block.
  • Journals external link– students writing across the curriculum and summarize what they have learned
  • Structured Approachesexternal link or strategies being taught to guide students through the writing process; steps are taught one at a time
  • Graphic Organizersexternal link- students planning and organizing their content
  • Writing Rubricsexternal link – teacher being specific and modeling expectations, students self-assessing using the rubric
  • Mentor/Anchor Text
  • Connections to text- students reading works in the genre they are writing about to develop vocabulary, knowledge, concepts and activate prior knowledge
  • Teacher prompting the student to write more 
  • Students setting goals for writing
  • Students writing individually, in pairs and in groups
  • Students using word processors for writing
  • Students practicing sentence combining
  • Feedback that is explicit and skill based
  • Benchmark and progress monitoring of writing skills
 

Cloze activities require students to read a passage with missing key words and use context to fill in the correct words.  Some cloze activities have a word bank for students to select from and others require students to use their own vocabulary.

Graphic Organizers are visual aids for organizing thoughts prior to writing.

Mentor or anchor texts are student writing samples used as benchmarks, displaying rubric traits for a particular prompt.  A separate set of anchor papers is needed for each writing prompt. Source: http://www.schoolworld.com/information/anchor-paper.htmexternal link

Rubrics are a set of scoring guidelines for evaluating student work.  A link to information and sample rubrics: http://www.sites4teachers.com/links/redirect.php?url=http://www.relearning.org/resources/PDF/rubric_sampler.pdfexternal link

Word wall folders are portable, student specific versions of classroom word wall.  Students can refer to the word wall folder when creating written work.

Written expression refers to the understanding that what one thinks can be spoken and what is spoken can be written down.

Key Question:

How closely does spelling instruction of phonetically irregular and regular words follow the phonics scope and sequence?

Indicator: Early Literacy
Component: Spelling
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • The spelling program is based on students’ knowledge of the English language structure, as opposed to rote memorization.
  • Teaching the component skills of spelling is systematic and explicit.
  • Spelling rules of the English language are taught.
  • Students have multiple opportunities to practice the component spelling skills until they can apply them automatically.
  • Students are assessed at the sound/letter stage to determine the need for instruction.
  • Repeated practice of phonetically irregular words is planned for to increase automaticity.
  • The student's individual skill achievement is assessed and documented.
  • Practice Time
  • Students practicing spelling by incorporating all of the component skills that they are taught
  • Students being assessed on how well they apply the component skills they are taught, as opposed to memorizing a list of words
  • Benchmark and progress monitoring of spelling skills
 

Automaticity in reading and writing refers to the ability to recognize without expending cognitive energy on processing the individual letters or words.

Practice Time - Strategies to practice spelling http://www.resourceroom.net/readspell/6waysspelling.pdfexternal link or computer supports http://www.spellingcity.comexternal link.

Key Questions:

  • What handwriting program is used consistently throughout the district?
  • How much time is dedicated to daily handwriting instruction and practice?
Indicator: Early Literacy
Component: Handwriting
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Handwriting instruction focuses on fluency of strokes - early assessment, identification and intervention is provided.
  • Handwriting is taught explicitly and systematically from letter, to word, to sentence.
  • Time is allotted daily for handwriting practice.
  • Handwriting instruction for cursive writing includes explicit instruction in teaching connections between letters and single letter formation.
  • The student’s individual skill achievement is assessed and documented.
  • Handwriting instruction focusing on teaching one letter per day with continued practice on previously learned letters
  • Students not being expected to write until they have been taught to properly form the letters
  • Handwriting instruction that is integrated with instruction on letter sounds
  • Students using lined paper with arrow cues to start out
  • Handwriting fluency and accuracy being assessed
  • Benchmark and progress monitoring of handwriting skills
 

Handwriting http://www.handwritinghelpforkids.com/expert.htmlexternal link

Explicit instruction in handwriting from assessment through to planning, implementation and review is intentional. Resources http://www.sacsa.sa.edu.au/ATT/%7B21AB4BA7-0C50-4F6E-9600-2F699503E1E2%7D/4HSACAHandwriting.pdfexternal link

Assessing handwriting by collecting and analyzing handwriting movements to teach and assess handwriting performance. Resources for handwriting http://www.peterson-handwriting.com/Publications/ResourceLibrary.htmlexternal link

Key Questions:

  • How are assessments used to provide appropriate information to adjust instruction?
  • What evidence indicates appropriate adjustments are made to instruction based on assessment results?
Indicator: Early Literacy
Component: Progress Monitoring
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Assessment is a regular extension of instruction and is ongoing, used to identify student's strengths and needs, determine progress, and inform instruction.
  • Data are used to group/regroup students for instruction on an ongoing basis.
  • Teachers are trained to administer, score, and interpret assessment measures they administer.
  • Valid, reliable, efficient, and meaningful assessments are selected for specific purposes.
  • Progress reports are linked to progress monitoring data.
  • Rates of improvement are used to project annual goals that will decrease the achievement gap.
  • Lesson plans and instructional materials and/or methods are modified based on assessment data.
  • Adherence to published programs is flexible for students whose performance falls below their expected level.
  • Informal assessments
  • Curriculum-based assessment
  • Universal screening measures (general outcome measures)
  • Rubrics
  • Portfolios
  • Conference Notesexternal link
  • Student intervention plans being maintained and accessible
  • Assessment schedule exists
  • IEP present levels of performance statements that are measurable and include progress monitoring data
  • Annual IEP goals that are determined by the student’s current rate of improvement and necessary rate of improvement to close the achievement gap
  • Lesson plans and progress chart indicating instructional adjustments
 

Informal assessments are not data driven but rather content and performance driven. Running records are informal assessments because they indicate how well a student is reading a specific book. Scores such as 10 correct out of 15, percent of words read correctly, and most rubric scores are informal.  Additional resources http://www.paec.org/itrk3/files/pdfs/readingpdfs/cooltoolsall.pdfexternal link

Curriculum-based assessment is direct observation and recording of a student's performance in the local curriculum as a basis for gathering information to make instructional decisions.  Resources for CBM http://easycbm.com external link

Student Intervention plans Individualized, targeted plans of action to address the identified weakness that includes specific strategies and progress monitoring data.  Sample plan http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/title1/sam2.pdfexternal link


Quality Indicator Review and Resourse Guide
Literacy: Adolescent Literacy

Key Questions:

  • How is skill development of students with disabilities assessed?
  • In what ways do assessment results inform instruction?
Indicator:  Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component:  Formative and Summative Assessment
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • A variety of valid, reliable, efficient and meaningful assessments are selected for specific purposes to inform instruction.
  • Data are used to group and regroup students for instruction.
  • Teachers are trained to administer, score, and interpret assessment measures.
  • There is standardized scoring of writing and literacy measures.
  • Universal screening measures
  • Student data profiles for literacy
  • CBM measures
  • Rubrics
  • Portfolios
  • Conference notes
  • Student intervention plans and records of implementation and outcomes
 

Formative assessment is often done at the beginning or during a program, thus providing the opportunity for immediate evidence for student learning in a particular course or at a particular point in a program. Classroom assessment is one of the most common formative assessment techniques.  Source: http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspxexternal link

Summative assessment is a process that concerns final evaluation to ask if the project or program met its goals. Typically the summative evaluation concentrates on learner outcomes rather than only the program of instruction. Source: http://e3t.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/5/2/1052598/summative_assessments_list1.pdfexternal link

Rubrics are a set of scoring guidelines for evaluating student work.  A link to information and sample rubrics: http://www.rubrics4teachers.com/external link

Key Questions:

  • What tools are used to measure and monitor students’ baseline skills in vocabulary, spelling and phonics?
  • How is the instruction of phonics, vocabulary and spelling integrated so it is meaningful for students with disabilities?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component: Word Study
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Language skills and content concepts are in meaningful context.
  • Vocabulary is introduced in a variety of contexts.
  • Instruction emphasizes word elements and structural analysis.
  • A variety of independent word study strategies are used to teach unfamiliar words.
  • Teacher leads regular discussions about words and how they work.
  • Instruction capitalizes upon the reciprocal relationship between reading and spelling
  • Students are provided a systematic way to study spelling words.
  • Syllable types and division rules are taught in decoding and encoding words.
  • Relevant and age-appropriate word building activities
  • Word walls
  • Use of dictionary, thesaurus
  • Questioning related to vocabulary
  • Use of think aloud strategies
  • Evidence of multiple exposures to new vocabulary words
  • Concept attainment activities
  • Opportunities to practice unfamiliar words
  • Word analysis activities ( root word, prefixes, suffixes)
  • Conversations about words
  • Frequent practice reading and writing commonly used words
  • Word consciousness
  • Syllable division rules being used independently to identify and spell unknown words
 

Word Study research based approach to teaching phonics, vocabulary and spelling. For further information see http://www.meadowscenter.org/vgc/downloads/primary/booklets/Word_Study.pdfexternal link

Word Analysis is using the relationships between spelling and pronunciation at the letter, syllable, and word levels to figure out unfamiliar words http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/buildingreading.cgi?showrecord=21&l=descriptionexternal link.

Word Consciousness is a curious and playful interaction with words. A student is word conscious when they are interested in words and gain enjoyment and satisfaction from using them well and from seeing or hearing them used well by others. http://www.textproject.org/franklyfreddy/word-consciousnessexternal link

Key Questions:

  • How does the literacy program transition students with disabilities as they move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”?
  • What do teachers demonstrate and scaffold students’ application of comprehension strategies?
  • How is vocabulary taught across the curriculum?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component: Comprehension
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Instruction and assessment addresses literal, inferential, critical and/or applied comprehension.
  • A variety of comprehension strategies are taught (e.g., questioning, clarifying, inferring, predicting, making connections and summarizing).
  • Instruction includes the use of graphic organizers for specific purposes.
  • Metacognitive strategies such as comprehension monitoring are taught.
  • Strategies are applied in multiple contexts.
  • Vocabulary instruction is direct and extended with multiple exposures and opportunities for usage.
  • Sentence syntax and semantics are elements of instruction.
  • Teachers document individual student's skill achievement.
  • Comprehension instruction includes the development of background knowledge, grammar and figurative language.
  • Direct instruction (teacher modeling, guided practice, independent practice) of strategies
  • Explicit feedback by teacher
  • Scaffolding
  • Think Alouds
  • Utilization of visual heuristics (graphic organizers, visual prompts)
  • Directed Reading Thinking Activities(DRTA)
  • Multi media resources
  • Word walls (reflective of vocabulary instruction across the curriculum)
  • Scope and sequence for grammar
  • Evidence of teaching and activating background knowledge in lesson plans
  • Benchmarking and progress monitoring of comprehension skills
  • Writing and conversation about texts
 

Explicit feedback is used during reading instruction and intervention to identify errors, provide additional instruction, and allow the student to develop internal thinking skills to utilize when reading independently.  The process is meant to be dynamic and student focused. A link of interest is:  http://www.studydog.com/SDsystematic.aspexternal link

Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA) are lessons designed by teachers to engineer stopping and thinking points in a text.  A source is: http://www.learningpt.org/literacy/adolescent/strategies/drta.phpexternal link

Metacognition literally means "big thinking." You are thinking about thinking. Questioning, visualizing, and synthesizing information are all ways that readers can examine their thinking process.
Scaffold or Scaffolded instruction means that during instruction, teachers assist and guide students so that they can read, learn, and respond to text in ways they may not be able to do without support. A source is: http://www.learner.org/channel/workshops/readingk2/front/keyterms3.htmlexternal link

Think Aloud is a reading strategy wherein the teacher explicitly models the thinking skills being used as a text is approached.

Visual heuristics are learning aids with a graphic presentation.  A definition can be found at: http://m-w.com/dictionary/heuristicexternal link

Key Questions:

  • How are students’ word recognition and decoding accuracy measured prior to providing fluency instruction?
  • How is fluency measured and monitored over time?
  • How much daily instructional time is provided for fluency development?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component: Fluency
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Instruction in decoding and word recognition is provided for students whose accuracy is below 95% at grade level and the fluency rate is below the 50th percentile.
  • Fluency instruction is not a stand alone intervention but is part of a total reading program.
  • Accuracy, rate, prosody and endurance are taught and measured.
  • Extensive practice in oral reading is provided with material and in activities that are of interest to the students.
  • Students are expected to make more than one year’s progress during one year of school
  • Oral reading fluency instruction focuses on imitating oral language not just speed.
  • Prosody is explicitly taught.
  • Word recognition accuracy in isolation and connected text being measured weekly
  • The reading program containing all elements that students have not yet mastered
  • Passages at the instructional level that are long enough to measure sustained reading for 45 minutes to measure endurance (accuracy/ rate over time)
  • Students self-selecting books at their independent and instructional levels
  • Reading materials that are varied in genres and background knowledge
  • Paired reading opportunities
  • Fluency data being used to modify the intervention to make it stronger
  • Fluency instruction continuing until the student scores +or – 10 words correct per minute (wcpm) of the 50th percentile for his grade level
  • Repeated, assisted reading practice (limited to 5 rehearsals)
  • Reading to students, reading with students, and listening to students
  • Students reading with correct expression using phrasing and attending to punctuation
 

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. They group words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking. Fluency = Accuracy + Rate + Expression  Sources: http://www.linkslearning.org/reading_links/readingmanuals/FLUENCYPARTICIPANT.pdf external link

Prosody is using the features of rhythm, intonation, and phrasing when reading.

Repeated Reading is a strategy that involves student's reading a passage aloud or silently several times to improve fluency and correct errors. Related Link: http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/literacy/ImplementALiteracyProgram/UsingRepeatedReading.htmexternal link

Key Questions:

  • How is writing instruction purposeful, meaningful, and relevant to students with disabilities?
  • How is writing integrated across the curriculum?
Indicator:  Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component:  Writing
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Reading and writing activities are connected.
  • Writing instruction is direct and explicit in all curriculum areas.
  • Note-taking, outlining strategies and summarization strategies are taught across the curriculum.
  • Opportunities are provided for students to participate in collaborative writing activities.
  • Instruction emphasizes not only forms, conventions, and grammar, but also writing for varied purposes and audiences.
  • Teacher documents individual student’s skill achievement in writing.
  • Rubrics
  • Student observation data
  • Student writing sample analysis
  • Quick writes
  • Peer conferencing
  • Guided writing
  • Collaborative writing
  • Instruction in the conventions of written English
  • Metacognitive strategies such as R.A.F.T.S. - role, audience, format, topic, strong verb to set tone; self-regulated strategy development
 

Quick Writes are a literacy strategy designed to reflect on learning. This type of writing assignment can be use at the beginning, middle, or end of a lesson and takes three to five minutes. Short, open-ended questions are usually given.

Rubrics are a set of scoring guidelines for evaluating student work. A link to information and sample rubrics: http://www.rubrics4teachers.com/external link

Self regulation is the ability to assess affective, behavioral, and cognitive characteristics, strengths, and needs and apply strategies to make meaning. A source: http://www.ldonline.org/article/6207external link

R.A.F.T. is a strategy in which students address role, audience, format, topic and use of a strong verb to plan their writing.  The following are websites that can assist with this strategy.  RAFTexternal link

Key Questions:

  • What types of teaching aids (visual prompts, graphic organizers, reference charts, technology) are used to promote understanding, mastery of content, and generalization of skills?
  • What strategies are used to promote content area vocabulary understanding?
  • How is instruction in various structures of text taught across the curricula for students with disabilities?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component: Literacy Instruction Across the Curricula
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Various text structure types are taught.
  • Heuristics and mnemonics are utilized to facilitate and enhance acquisition of content.
  • A variety of instructional materials and formats are used to accommodate students’ needs.
  • Content area and academic vocabulary is explicitly taught.
  • Teaching aides (visual prompts, graphic organizers, reference charts, technology) are used before, during and after reading as an integral component of instruction.
  • Fully accessible versions of textbooks are readily available.
  • Teachers assess student's skills, reading levels and deficits.
  • Read alouds
  • A purposeful variety of student groupings (large group, small group, dyad, etc.)
  • Word walls
  • Think alouds
  • Scaffolding
  • Asking and answering questions using Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Explicit instruction on the text’s structure
  • Individual student profile
  • Varied instructional materials at student’s instructional level (e.g. newspaper articles, magazines, picture books, computers)
  • Braille, large print, audio and digital text being available to students who need them at the same time that other students have their textbooks
 

Heuristics are learning aids. A definition can be found at: http://www.literacyleader.com/?q=textstructureexternal link

Mnemonics are devices to help us remember (memory aide). They come in many varieties and flavors, and can aid memorization of many types of information. This section concentrates on mnemonics related to words and numbers.

Text structure refers to the semantic and syntactic organizational arrangements used to present written information. A source is: Text Structure Resources | Literacy Leaderexternal link

Bloom’s Taxonomy: is classifying thinking according to six cognitive levels. Examples of questions related to Bloom’s Taxonomy can be found at: http://officeport.com/edu/bloomq.htmexternal link; www.edselect.com/blooms.htmexternal link; www.teachers.ash.org.au/researchskills/Dalton.htmexternal link.

Key Questions:

  • What is the continuum of intensity of direct reading instruction for students with disabilities?
  • How is instruction aligned across the curriculum to address students’ needs?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component:Support for Struggling Readers
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Instruction is provided to different groups/classes based on need – word level skills, advanced decoding/fluency, vocabulary, comprehension strategies, critical thinking/analysis in reading and writing.
  • Scaffolded instruction is provided until students have mastered and applied skills.
  • A variety of formal and informal measures are used to monitor students’ progress and guide instruction.
  • Accommodations and modifications are made to allow access to the curriculum.
  • General education and special education teachers communicate consistently to discuss struggling student needs.
  • Comprehensive literacy/language arts program
  • Smaller group and/or classes
  • Focus on word level skills
  • Group reading practice
  • Fluency building activities
  • Explicit vocabulary instruction
  • Directed reading thinking activities
  • Systematic, explicit instruction
  • Technology such as text-to-speechexternal link software and/or screen reading programsexternal link
  • Common planning time that is scheduled and consistently utilized, grade level meetings on student or group of students
  • Varied, accessible texts at students’ instructional levels
 

Scaffold or Scaffolded instruction during instruction, teachers assist and guide students so that they can read, learn, and respond to text in ways they may not be able to do without support. Teachers continue to provide this support until students are able to effectively read or write independently. Scaffolding student learning is especially important when students are reading a challenging text or writing a difficult piece. Examples of scaffolded instruction are: helping students to sound out the letters in unfamiliar words; providing a graphic organizer and discussing the major parts of a text before reading; supplying a beginning sentence or idea as a start for writing; and reading aloud with students as they are reading.  Source: http://www.learner.org/channel/workshops/readingk2/front/keyterms3.htmlexternal link

Text-to-speech software and screen reading software packages are assistive technology items which allow students to access electronic texts independently while the computer reads the text aloud.

Key Questions:

  • What instructional strategies are used to promote and sustain student engagement?
  • How are instruction and materials differentiated to address student with disabilities' interests and needs?
  • How are students with disabilities encouraged to monitor their own learning and/or mastery of skills?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 4-8)
Component: Motivation
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Instruction is interactive and engaging.
  • Delivery of instruction takes place in groupings of varied sizes (dyads, small and large groups).
  • Students self-select text when possible.
  • Scaffolded instruction is used to facilitate mastery.
  • Relevant background information and authentic purposes for learning are provided.
  • Instruction and materials are provided to students to support successful self-progress monitoring.
  • Time is allotted for conversations about texts and learning objectives.
  • Formative assessments are conducted to insure learning of content objectives.
  • Modeling of strategies
  • Vocabulary building
  • Cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching
  • Self-selected reading materials for highly engaging content
  • Classroom libraries with materials at multiple levels and formats
  • Reading logs
  • Peer interactions about texts
  • Corrective feedback and reteaching
  • Distributed practice for long-term mastery
 

Dyad refers to a pair.  A definition can be found at: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/dyadexternal link.

Scaffold or Scaffolded instruction during instruction, teachers assist and guide students so that they can read, learn, and respond to text in ways they may not be able to do without support. Teachers continue to provide this support until students are able to effectively read or write independently. Scaffolding student learning is especially important when students are reading a challenging text or writing a difficult piece. Examples of scaffolded instruction are: helping students to sound out the letters in unfamiliar words; providing a graphic organizer and discussing the major parts of a text before reading; supplying a beginning sentence or idea as a start for writing; and reading aloud with students as they are reading. Source: http://www.learner.org/channel/workshops/readingk2/front/keyterms3.html external link

Key Questions:

  • How is learning assessed for students with disabilities?
  • In what ways do assessment results inform instruction?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 9-12)
Component: Formative and Summative Assessment
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • A variety of assessment strategies and tools are used on an ongoing basis to inform and modify instruction.
  • Data are used to group and regroup students for instruction.
  • Teachers are trained to administer, score, and interpret assessment measures.
  • There is standardized scoring of writing and literacy measures.
  • Valid, reliable, efficient, and meaningful assessments are selected for specific purposes.
  • Curriculum-based measures
  • Rubrics
  • Portfolios
  • Conference notes
  • Student intervention plans and records of implementation and outcomes
  • Student profiles
  • A variety of assessment tools for specific purposes
  • Lesson plans showing different groupings
 

Formative assessment is often done at the beginning or during a program, thus providing the opportunity for immediate evidence for student learning in a particular course or at a particular point in a program. Classroom assessment is one of the most common formative assessment techniques. Source: http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspxexternal linkSummative assessment is a process that concerns final evaluation to ask if the project or program met its goals. Typically the summative evaluation concentrates on learner outcomes rather than only the program of instruction.Source:http://e3t.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/5/2/1052598/summative_assessments_list1.pdfexternal link

Rubrics are a set of scoring guidelines for evaluating student work. A link to information and sample rubrics:http://www.rubrics4teachers.com/external link

Key Questions:

  • How does the literacy program transition students with disabilities as they move from learning to read to reading to learn?
  • How are students with disabilities assisted in comprehending diverse texts?
  • What criteria are used in selection of instructional materials and readings across the curricula?
Indicator:Adolescent Literacy (Grades 9-12)
Component: Comprehension
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Texts written at a range of readability levels to access the curriculum in each discipline are available.
  • Students read texts written at a range of readability levels in order to access the curriculum in each discipline.
  • Students have many opportunities to apply comprehension strategies, in isolation and context, when reading for literal, inferential and critical understanding.
  • Students use a variety of tools for learning the meaning of unknown vocabulary.
  • Teacher documents individual student’s skill achievement.
  • Conversations between teacher and students with probative questions, queries, and other critical thinking prompts (e.g. Authentic conversations)
  • Diverse texts of varied genre available
  • Texts written at a range of readability levels
  • Application of learned comprehension strategies (e.g., reciprocal questioning, note-taking, paraphrasing, graphic organizers, making connections, and drawing conclusions)
  • Use of definition maps, semantic mapping, semantic feature mapping, comparing and contrasting, and/or the teaching of word parts
 

Diverse text uses alternative resizing materials, short stories, songs, menus, recipes, advertisements, different levels of text, highlighted text.

Authentic conversations are natural compelling conversations among students that result in increased information, encouragement and understanding is accomplished by asking simple, yet deep, questions that are meaningful to the students. Resources for this can be found at http://www.compellingconversations.com/external link

Key Questions:

  • What approach is used to increase the vocabulary skills of students with disabilities?
  • What instructional strategies or approaches are used to enable students with disabilities to decode unfamiliar words independently?
Indicator:  Adolescent Literacy (Grades 9-12)
Component:  Vocabulary
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Grade level curriculum for high utility and academic vocabulary is established for all students.
  • Teachers provide direct instruction in the structural analysis of words.
  • Teachers model independent word-learning strategies (through context, affix and root word instruction and application).
  • Teachers provide direct, explicit instruction, in word meanings.
  • Teachers introduce vocabulary in a variety of contexts.
  • Teachers spend time reading aloud to students.
  • Students connect vocabulary to new concepts and new concepts to previously learned words.
  • Students are expected to learn words, use words and remember words for the long-term.
  • Students gain vocabulary through indirect means by having the opportunity to read and listen to a wide variety of material.
  • Direct instruction of academic and high utility vocabulary within and across curricula in a variety of contexts
  • Displays of academic and high utility vocabulary
  • Use of dictionary and/or thesaurus
  • Use of poems, puns, riddles, anagrams
  • Word sorts and categorization
  • Materials written at a range of readability levels
  • Use of graphic organizers to create connections of words
  • Instruction in morphemic analysis including prefixes, suffixes, root words, synonyms, antonyms, multiple meaning words
  • Consistently scheduled time for reading aloud to students
  • Students represent new words using visual symbols
  • Use of response logs and journals
  • Questioning relating to vocabulary
  • Use of think aloud strategies
  • Evidence of multiple exposures to new vocabulary words
 

Morphemic analysis is being able to break words into the smallest units of meaning in a language.http://www.litandlearn.lpb.org/strategies/strat_4morph.pdfexternal link

Key Questions:

  • How are writing tasks integrated for students with disabilities in curricula specific learning?
  • In what ways are all students challenged to use analytic, high level writing skills within all content areas?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 9-12)
Component: Writing
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Teachers model a variety of forms and conventions of written English.
  • Teachers provide instruction and model application of writing strategies including graphic organizers in various genres and disciplines.
  • Teachers integrate activities, including technology, into content areas to create meaningful areas for student practice and attainment of skills.
  • Teachers provide students with immediate, explicit, specific and appropriate feedback.
  • Teachers assign writing tasks that incorporate critical thinking about content area knowledge.
  • Instruction is given in the use of rubrics and anchor papers with discussions of their design and outcome.
  • Students write for different purposes, audiences and points of view across curricula.
  • Pre-, during-, and post-writing tasks
  • Use of technology to support student writing
  • Varied writing assignments
    • Responsive writing
    • Independent writing activities
    • Writing in conjunction with reading
    • Written summaries
    • Note taking structures (2 column notes)
    • Lab reports, scientific writing, research papers
  • Students identify and use appropriate graphic organizers to plan writing
  • Student responses reflect critical thinking
  • Use of student-created and teacher created rubrics
  • Teacher/students discussion of rubrics with comparison to anchor paper to assess writing
  • Specific strategies practiced across curricula
  • Metacognitive strategies such as R.A.F.T.S. - role, audience, format, topic, strong verb to set tone
  • Writing for a variety of purposes
 

Purposes for writing are to inform or teach someone about something. Authors sometimes write things to entertain people. Still another reason is to persuade or convince their audience to do or not do something. The writer should use proper form and conventions to enhance readability.  Examples can be found: http://www.education.ky.gov/KDE/Instructional+Resources/High+School/English+Language+Arts/Writing/default.htmexternal link

Forms and conventions include spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and paragraphing. http://www.egusd.net/cpl/pdfs/ELD/9-12conv.pdfexternal link

Appropriate feedback quality, appropriateness, and timing are important factors to consider when providing feedback.  It needs to be specific rather than general, descriptive rather than judgmental/evaluative, directed toward remediable behavior, and designed to elicit an appropriate response.

Technology to support writing tasks include tools for word processing and multimedia software, to organize information, for physical and sensory access, for creating text, for reviewing text. References can be accessed at http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id=108external link

Responsive writing organizes thoughts, explores what the writer thinks, and generates ideas. It is a process of writing down ideas, then sentences and finally organizing them into a paragraph or a report.  For responsive prompts see http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/Word_Docs/DEPS/Career/business/responsive_writing.docexternal link

R.A.F.T. is a strategy in which students address role, audience, format, topic and use of a strong verb to plan their writing.  The following are websites that can assist with this strategy.  Reading Rockets: RAFTexternal link

Key Questions:

  • How are literacy strategies for students with disabilities incorporated across all curricula?  
  • What pre-, during-, and post-reading comprehension strategies are taught to increase discipline knowledge?
  • How are students’ vocabulary and background knowledge increased?
Indicator:  Adolescent Literacy (Grades 9-12)
Component:  Literacy Instruction Across Curricula
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Teachers integrate vocabulary and background knowledge during content instruction.
  • Teachers explicitly model comprehension strategies using discipline materials in multiple contexts.
  • Teachers differentiate instruction (e.g., content, process, product) to meet student need.
  • Teachers use knowledge of students’ skills, reading levels, and skill deficits for grouping and instruction.
  • Students practice specific comprehension strategies in isolation and in context (pre-reading, during reading, post-reading).
  • Direct instruction of literacy skills within the content areas
  • Explicit instruction in academic vocabulary occurs
  • Variety of instructional grouping formats (e.g., large group, small group, individual, dyad)
  • Cooperative learning, peer assisted learning
  • Materials written at a range of readability levels
  • Variety of products that demonstrate student learning
  • Use of heuristics such as reader’s marks, two-column notes, graphic organizer
  • Metacognitive strategies (e.g. metacognitive strategies such as R.A.F.T.S. – role, audience, format, topic, strong verb to set tone ; self-regulated strategy development)
 

Pre-readingstrategies activate and build upon background knowledge, and teach vocabulary words/concepts. During-reading strategies increase comprehension, and Post-reading strategies summarize and consolidate knowledge and concepts. Example of strategies can be found at LiteracyAccess Online - Reading Strategiesexternal link

Differentiated instruction is purposeful planning that maximizes each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process. Teachers adapt their methods for instruction to the diverse interests and abilities of learners. Additional information can be found at http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstruc.htmlexternal link.

Direct instruction is explicit, sequenced, planned lessons designed for student mastery.  For more information refer to http://www.nifdi.org/external link

Explicitly Modelexternal link - provides students with a clear, multi-sensory model of a skill or concept by the teacher.

Metacognitiveexternal link refers to thinking about cognition or to the thinking and reasoning about one's own thinking.

Key Questions:

  • What instructional strategies are used to promote and sustain student engagement?
  • How is instruction differentiated to address student interests and needs?
  • How are materials selected and utilized in order to meet the needs of individual students?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 9-12)
Component: Motivation
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Instruction is student-centered
  • Students have multiple opportunities to self-select some of the texts used in each curricula (i.e., autonomy).
  • Instruction is relevant to students’ lives (i.e., relatedness).
  • Instruction is matched to students’ differing skills, abilities, knowledge, and interests.
  • Instructional supports and aids that facilitate student access to curricula and facilitate student success are used (i.e., competency).
  • Teacher documentation of assessment is ongoing and used to target  the student’s strengths, as well as needs.
  • Time is allotted for conversations around texts.
  • Common Learning goals
  • Student choice in materials, activities, and products
  • Varied models of instruction (e.g., direct instruction, group investigation, discovery learning)
  • Access to reading materials written at a range of readability levels and interests
  • Varied instructional groupings
  • Varied types of assessment both formative and summative (e.g., projects, presentations, papers, reports, exams, self-assessment)
  • Technology such as text-to-speech software and/or  screen reading programs
  • Peer interactions around texts
 

Student-centered environment means classrooms focus on the needs and abilities of students and on topics that are relevant to the students’ lives, needs, and interests. Students are actively engaged in creating, understanding, and connecting to knowledge and learning. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED398556&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED398556external link

Direct Instruction is a series of explicit, sequenced, planned lessons designed for student mastery. For more information refer to http://www.nifdi.org/external link

Group Investigation method of instruction in which students work collaboratively in small groups to examine, experience, and understand the topic. Group investigation is designed for all students’ abilities and experiences relevant to the process of learning, not just to the cognitive and social domains.

Discovery Learning an approach where students interact with their environment by exploring and manipulating objects, wrestling with questions and controversies, or performing experiments. http://www.instructionaldesign.org/models/discovery_learning.htmlexternal link

Common learning goals are concrete, reasonable outcomes that can be easily measured that states what do you want all students to take away from the class.  This includes course content, skill attainment, thinking and problem solving skills.

Key Questions:

  • How are faculty, staff, and resources organized to maximize achievement for students with disabilities?
  • What supports are available to effectively integrate technology into the various curricula?
  • What expanded opportunities for research based literacy instruction are available for all students?
Indicator: Adolescent Literacy (Grades 9-12)
Component: Extended Learning Opportunity(ELO)
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • The school schedule and resources are utilized to allow extra time for literacy throughout the day.
  • Qualified teachers are assigned to intervention classes.
  • Technology is used for instructional reinforcement.
  • Opportunities for guided practice in specific deficit areas in at least one area of literacy and for enhancement of content are available.
  • Expanded learning opportunities are directly linked to general education program/content/instruction.
  • Individualized instruction is provided.
  • Teacher documents individual student skill achievement.
  • A variety of text/materials are used to accommodate student diversity and differentiation.
  • Students have multiple opportunities to self-select some of the texts used in each curricula.
  • Instruction is relevant to students’ lives.
  • Instruction is matched to students’ differing skills, abilities, knowledge, and interests.
  • Instructional supports and aids that facilitate student access to curricula and facilitate student success are used (i.e., competency).
  • Varied and flexible scheduling (e.g., lengthening classes, second time and extended time in schedule, block scheduling) Extended time for interventions
  • Evidence of additional reading opportunities (i.e. book clubs, lunch-time reading, literacy homeroom activities)
  • Use of integrated technology (e.g., electronic and visual media, Internet, instructional software, distance learning, videography)
  • Small group and individual intervention (e.g., direct instruction in reading, targeted, individualized instruction for struggling students, strategic tutoring)
  • Multiple opportunities for active engagement
  • Multiple measures used for assessment of students
 

Integrated technology includes strategies, procedures, and ideas to plan and implement technology programs that will help students be successful.  Examples http://www.literacy.uconn.edu/littech.htmexternal link

Expanded opportunities include: after school, summer learning, and other out-of-school time programs, as well as extended day and year initiatives.

Quality Indicator Review and Resourse Guide
Literacy: Early Literacy

Outcomes for students with disabilities do not differ essentially from those expected for all students.  Specialized curricula and instructional practices may be necessary to address the wide variation of educational needs within the students with the disabilities population but do require an increased intensity of instruction and practice that is more intentional than what may be present for other students.  To create successful reading instruction for students whose disabilities more profoundly impact literacy achievement, this indicator needs to be used in conjunction with other indicators.  The previous indicators articulate the research and best practices surrounding literacy instruction that hold true for students with disabilities as well as their typical peers.  The intensity of instruction, the strategies and approaches identified in the Specially Designed Quality Indicators synthesize what research tells us is essential for students with disabilities, acknowledging that there are substantial individual differences present within each person.

 Key Questions:

  • How is reliable, individual communication between teacher and student assured during instruction?
  • What opportunities are provided for students with disabilities to interact with the teacher and their peers during literacy instruction?
Indicator:  Specially Designed Intensive Instruction
Component:  Communication and Interaction                                                                  
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:

  • Communication opportunities are planned, intentional and purposeful for students to interact during literacy instruction.
  • There are support mechanisms in place to assure that communication systems are effective and reliable.
  • A sensory-based approach is incorporated to promote student interaction and active involvement in the lessons.
  • Critical stakeholders involved in the students’ education communicate about expectations and progress.
  • Direct instructionexternal link of the form, content and function of communication is directly taught with increasing intensity.
  • Culturally and linguistically relevant media are used to provide direct and contextual methods (authentic or hands on) of instruction.
  • A wide variety of opportunities to interact with text is intentionally present throughout the day.
  • Problem solving strategies are directly taught and practiced during instruction as well as in authentic settings.
  • Language competency is assured.
  • Planned opportunities for play and social interactions
  • Planned opportunities for performance practice in literacy activities
  • Routines and structures that are evident and adhered to
  • Presence of visual cues to organize instruction, scheduling, expectations
  • Collaborative communication and team planning with all stakeholders using a child centered approach
  • Parental involvement being invited
  • Progress reports that are objective and measurable
  • Planned and facilitated peer interactions
  • Alternative ways of communicating answers ideas, wants and needs
  • Transferring skillsexternal link learned from one setting to another
  • Intensive modeling and guided practice of problem solving steps and the communication of ideas, wants and needs
 

Direct instruction refers to an explicit, scientifically-based model of effective instruction with a focus on curriculum design and effective instructional delivery.  Also see the term DI (Direct Instruction) used in similar contexts and while some features are the same DI refers to specific program components developed by Siegfried Engelmann.  A source is: Instructional Strategies Online - Direction Instructionexternal link

Time on task is the period of time during which a student is actively engaged in a learning activity.  A way to measure time on task is http://www.newfoundations.com/SYLMODELS/SocFdns/StudPapers/TonT.htmlexternal link.

Transfer of Learning is the application of skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes that were learned in one situation to another learning situation.  This increases the speed of learning http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/learning/transfer.htmlexternal link.

Language competency refers to the ability to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences.  The definition is evolving and research in the area has been generally oriented towards English Language Learners.  A source is: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-860491071.htmlexternal link

   Key Questions:

  • What is the most effective continuum of levels of intensity of literacy instruction for students with significant disabilities?
  • What is the systematic process for modifying the intensity of literacy instruction?
Indicator:  Specially Designed Intensive Instruction
Component:  Cognition and Learning
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • A system is put into place to modify the intensity of instruction that is recommended and provided for students with significant disabilities that affect literacy achievement.
  • Technology is used in specially-designed instruction to meet individual needs.
  • Instruction is sequenced and systematic.
  • Intensity of instruction focuses on acquiring, retaining, applying, and generalizing skillsexternal link.
  • Scaffolding of instruction is provided until the student masters the necessary skills.
  • Instructional routines are used that maximize student engagementexternal link.
  • Explicit teaching of the research-based aspects of literacy (see other LQI’s).
  • Spelling and writing are directly linked to reading
  • Flexible programming options are available.
  • Meta-cognitive approaches are emphasized.
  • Instruction is conducted by highly trained professional staff.
  • Multi-modal approach to instruction in which a variety of strategies are used.
  • Intensity of instruction being modified by frequency and/or duration of instruction, time on task, instructional tools, instructional settings, numbers of repetitions and amount of practice and size of the group
  • Chunking of instruction
  • Use of multi-media and technology
  • Repetitive and cumulative learning opportunities
  • Distributed practice
  • Continuum of scheduling and grouping options for students
  • Planning sheets, organizers
  • Writing frames
  • Story maps
  • Teacher modeling of cognitive strategies
  • Explicit Instruction of thinking skills
  • Task analysis of skills
 

Generalizing skills is the ability to complete a task, perform an activity or display a behavior across settings, with different people, and at different times.  Further information http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6888/is_4_1/ai_n28461355external link

Instructional Routines are systematic procedures that are consistently used to introduce or practice information, skills or strategies.  More information:  http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108035/chapters/Appendix@-List-of-Instructional-Routines.aspxexternal link

Student Engagement describes as a student's willingness to actively participate in routine school activities, such as attending class, submitting required work, and following teachers' directions in class http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Using_Positiveexternal link

Key Questions:

  • What data are used to determine instructional levels for students with disabilities?
  • How are the results of assessments used to change the intensity of instruction and consistently monitor fidelity to implementation of interventions?
  • How are diagnostic assessments sensitive to the student’s language competency and instructional deficits?
Indicator:  Specially Designed Intensive Instruction
Component:  Formative and Summative Assessment
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Progress monitoring of skills is frequent enough to determine the efficacy of instruction quickly so that changes can be made.
  • Summative skill assessments are conducted at both instructional and grade levels.
  • Diagnostic reading assessments are used to identify specific skill deficits.
  • Data from ongoing gap analysis of student performance are used to guide instruction.
  • Valid, reliable, efficient and meaningful assessments are selected for each specific need of the student.
  • Curriculum based, criterion and norm-referenced measures guide instruction.
  • Rigorous rates of improvement establish long-term objectives and goals.
  • Students self-monitor their progress.
  • Progress charts or rubrics
  • Diagnostic check lists
  • Student intervention plans (used to target individual student’s reading levels and skill deficits)
  • Weekly progress monitoring of skills
  • Self-regulation strategies that are intentionally taught
  • Daily error analysis of student responses and the provision of feedback in the formative assessment process to improve the focus of classroom instruction and the selection of instructional strategies
  • Curriculum-based assessments
  • Frequent assessment directly tied to instruction
  • Variety of curriculum based measures used daily
  • Student progress being measured against individualized goals and expected grade/age performance
 

Curriculum-Based Assessments is a set of measurement procedures that use direct observation and recording of a student’s performance in a local curriculum as a basis for gathering information to make instructional decisions (in Shinn, 1989; p. 62).  A source is:  http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_curriculumbe.htmlexternal link

Diagnostic assessment includes basic measure of skills to defining the problem and taking the required action to resolve the problems.  A source: http://www.justreadflorida.com/educators/PrimSecDiagChart.aspexternal link

Error analysis is used during as well as between instructional sessions to give corrective feedback to students as well as to determine if a pattern exists and should be addressed in the instructional intervention.  http://specialed.about.com/od/literacy/a/msicue.htmexternal link

Gap analysis refers to comparing the student's current performance against expected performance.  The intervention plan is then designed to "close" the gap between current performance and expected performance.  http://www.e3smallschools.org/documents/GapAnalysisModel_SamploeonLeadership.docexternal link

Self monitoring is the ability to regulate control and keep track of one's self. Sample  http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/de/pd/instr/strats/selfmonitoring/index.htmlexternal link

Key Questions:

  • What school-wide supports are utilized to insure that the individual needs of students with disabilities are met?
  • What systems are put into place to insure that the intensity of a student’s instruction can be changed quickly and efficiently?
Indicator:  Specially Designed Intensive Instruction
Component:  School-wide Supports
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • All educators maintain responsibilities for and are fully knowledgeable of all students.
  • Educators use a variety of interventions that target students with disabilities’ intense needs.
  • Administrative leaders insure that interventions are research-based and implemented with fidelity and intensity by highly-trained (in reading) staff.
  • A collaborative process is used to design or select intensive interventions for at-risk students.
  • General education teachers, special education teachers and support staff are receiving yearly professional development in the areas of intervention for literacy.
  • Student data drive decision-making.
  • Individual student skill achievements are documented.
  • Instructional materials are available in a variety of formats.
  • Students are grouped according to similarity of need.
  • Student progress charts
  • Teacher mentors
  • Professional learning communities for data analysis and instructional adaptations
  • Instructional support team process (IST, SBIT)
  • Targeted professional development for special education staff for intensive reading instruction
  • Shared responsibility for IEP goal implementation
  • Multiple formats of materials
  • Adaptations and modifications consistent with the IEP and implemented as prescribed
  • Student instructional groups and schedules driven by assessment data
  • Flexible building/grade level grouping
  • Schedule of professional development based on current research
 

Instructional Support Teams (IST) are defined as interdisciplinary problem solving teams that assist in the determination of intervention plans for students.  Sources are:  http://www.childadvocate.net/instructional_support.htmexternal link and http://www.interventioncentral.com/external link

Metacognition literally means "big thinking."  You are thinking about thinking.  Questioning, visualizing, and synthesizing information are all ways that readers can examine their thinking process. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/21160external link.

Self regulation is the ability to assess affective, behavioral, and cognitive characteristics, strengths, and needs and apply strategies to make meaning.  A source: http://www.ldonline.org/article/6207external link

Data decision making http://www.slideboom.com/presentations/100155/How-to-Use-Data-to-Drive-Instruction external link

Key Question:

How do we plan for the social, emotional, behavioral and sensory needs of students with disabilities?

Indicator:  Specially Designed Intensive Instruction
Component:  Affective Development
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Skills of social interaction and active participation are directly taught.
  • Self-advocacy skills are taught, modeled and supported.
  • Opportunities for individuals to develop independence are present daily.
  • Positive reinforcement is used to increase motivation and persistence.
  • Students are taught self-management to increase independence and competence.
  • Students prioritize their own learning objectives.
  • Students are provided with on-going information about their progress.
  • Students are provided with direct instruction on the rules of school.
  • Students are provided with instruction on the relationship of school performance and life time achievement.
  • Self-monitoring strategies directly taught
  • Number of positive interactions increased by at least four times the number of corrective feedback
  • Self-awareness and self-reflection intentionally modeled and practiced
  • Skills that promote independence being explicitly taught and practices daily
  • Structured reinforcement
  • Active learning every lesson
  • Integration of social and emotional development with academic growth
  • Goal setting and monitoring
  • Age-appropriate materials, activities and interactions
 

Metacognition literally means "big thinking."  You are thinking about thinking.  Questioning, visualizing, and synthesizing information are all ways that readers can examine their thinking process.  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/21160external link

Self-regulation is the ability to assess affective, behavioral, and cognitive characteristics, strengths, and needs and apply strategies to make meaning.  A source: http://www.ldonline.org/article/6207external link

Structured reinforcement behavioral management systems that provide the structures students need to manage their own behaviors on a daily basis.  Further overview can be found at http://www.mnstate.edu/severson/reinforc.htmexternal link

Active Learning refers to techniques where students do more than simply sit and listen during instruction.  Students need to be something like discovering, processing, and applying information.  Further information and examples http://cte.umdnj.edu/active_learning/active_general.cfmexternal link

  Key Questions:

  • What motivationexternal link/engagementexternal link strategies are employed to enhance students with disabilities investment in literacy?
  • How do professional staff effect and monitor student engagement?
Indicator:  Specially Designed Intensive Instruction
Component:  Motivation and Engagement  
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • Students have an active part in their learning.
  • High interest, relevant, and personalized materials are used at all levels.
  • A variety of differentiated instructionalexternal link methods and activities are utilized.
  • Students and teachers collaborate to set attainable goalsexternal link.
  • Corrective, explicit and elaborate feedback and positive reinforcementexternal link are given consistently during instruction.
  • Students' interests and preferences are used as a foundation.
  • Real world purposes are emphasized.
  • Frequent feedback (early and positive) that is intentionally done
  • Differentiated instruction (to ensure student success)
  • Personalized instruction based upon students interests and experiences
  • Goal setting
  • Specific positive reinforcement
  • Intentional use of student choice
  • Frequent and immediate use of Incentives
  • Choices are given
  • Personalized reading materials that are developmentally appropriate to individual students
 

Incentives Some additional resources can be found at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/publications/quickreviews/qrreport.aspx?qrid=68external link.

Active Learning refers to techniques where students do more than simply sit and listen during instruction.  Students need to be something like discovering, processing, and applying information.  Further information and examples http://cte.umdnj.edu/active_learning/active_general.cfmexternal link

Personalized learning materials tailoring teaching and learning to individual need, interests and preferences helping children to achieve the best possible progress and outcomes.  Additional materials http://www.theaplus.org/personalized_learning.htmlexternal link

Feedback is quick, concise recognition of progress towards desired goal, evidence about present performance, and an understanding of a way to close the gap between the two.  http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=L2LXMxW3VGDQfy7vBtxLGGkPx0RLfYwNdTGTzK0BGpvn93ng0sX2!-294124474!1335989983?docId=5000230612external link

Student choice increases student interest and motivation by allowing options for students based upon their interests and abilities.  Further information  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept10/vol68/num01/Choice-Is-a-Matter-of-Degree.aspxexternal link

Monitoring student engagement - Student engagement occurs when "students make a psychological investment in learning.  They try hard to learn what school offers. http://ti_sp.alsde.edu/qt/Classroom%20Management%20Part%201/Classroom%20Management%20Part%201%20Handout%208.docexternal link

Key Question:

What are the expectations for the design of classroom environment to maximize the learning outcomes for all students with disabilities?

Indicator:  Specially Designed Intensive Instruction
Component:  Environmental Issues
Quality Indicators Look For Comments/Evidence
There is evidence that:
  • The entire classroom is planned to be a literacy rich environment.
  • Organizational and physical features of the classroom are easily accessible to all students and limit distracting and uncomfortable situations.
  • There are adaptations to the environment to increase active participation in learning.
  • Collaborative decision making based upon the students’ environment to determine assistive technology needs.
  • Literacy materials written at a variety of instructional levels are easily accessible by students.
  • Students are not expected to perform publicly unless they are fully prepared.
  • Student success is celebrated.
  • Competitive Instructional activities provide equal opportunities to meet the objective
  • Word walls
  • Object labeling
  • Safe and orderly school environment
  • Classroom intentionally organized to minimize distractions
  • Adaptations implemented to the environment to increase access
  • Active learning maximizing engagement
  • Continuum of assistive technology being used in the classroom
  • Visual cues and prompts given throughout the lesson
  • Limited classroom distractions
  • Diverse materials available to teach concepts
  • Students who are mutually accepting of individual differences
 

Adaptations to the environment adjust for differences of students with disabilities by changing factors in the classroom that may not favor the students' progress.  This may include furniture, equipment, seating, noise, distractions.  Some examples for ELL http://www.readingrockets.org/article/14312external link and for Sensory considerations.

Active Learning refers to techniques where students do more than simply sit and listen during instruction.  Students need to be something like discovering, processing, and applying information.  Further information  and examples http://cte.umdnj.edu/active_learning/active_general.cfmexternal link

Continuum of assistive technology increase independence and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through access to Assistive Technology for work, school and community living from low tech devices to high tech equipment http://www.gpat.org/resources.aspx?PageReq=GPATConsiderexternal link.

Visual cues visual representation or reminder of information being delivered that prompts or reminds a student what to do.  Some visual strategies that may be used are http://autism.healingthresholds.com/research/using-visual-cues-classroom-learners-autism-method-promoting-positive-behaviorexternal link.

Last Updated: June 10, 2011