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Adapting Curriculum
Up Adapting Curriculum 10 IEP Mistakes IEP Adaptations IEP Planning


ADAPTING CURRICULA FOR PRIMARY-AGE CHILDREN

I. Develop an Appropriate IEP

A. Curricula for students in regular education are determined by the school district; for students receiving special education services, curricula are  determined by the student: the IEP is the student's curriculum.

B. Based on the child's current skills, functional and academic, and the skills he/she needs in order to be  successful in the environment, prioritize goals and  objectives.

C. Determine the school and community environments in which  each goal and objective will be a priority.

II. Develop a Plan to Integrate the Student's Goals and  Objectives in the Regular Class Setting (Johnson City School District, 1990, cited by Gallucci, 1990)

A. Develop daily/weekly schedule for the regular class.

B. Identify activities that will occur in each time block  and transition.

C. Match the student's objective s with each activity and transition.

D. For each match, identify the level of adaptation needed:

l. Unadapted: same activity, same objective .

2. Regular-Adapted: same activity, different objectives (student participates at a different level, and/or with adaptations, as different response modes).

3. Regular-Embedded: same theme/concept, different objectives (objective may not be to master subject area and content, but rather to participate in group  instruction and develop social, motor and  communication goals).

4. Functional different activity, different objectives  (objectives are not drawn from the regular  curriculum, but have immediate use in the student's  daily experience).

E. Determine which times in the day have limited or no  match; plan for separate instruction.

F. Determine who will support and/or provide instruction for
each match: 

1. Regular education teacher

2. Peer support (peer tutoring, peer buddies, cooperative learning groups)

3. Support staff (speech clinicians, therapists, counselors)

4. Educational assistant

5. Classroom volunteer

III. Develop Adaptations

A. Determine how the existing skills of the learner can be used in the adaptation (communication, reading, writing, spelling, math, basic concepts).

B. Consider the learning style of the students

1. Some students with disabilities may learn best with use visual stimuli

2. Some students with disabilities may have difficulty with auditory memory and auditory processing

3. Some students with disabilities may have fewer short- term memory channels

4. Some students with disabilities may learn best by doing

C. Be sure that the material presented is meaningful and useful for the child - motivation is very important

D. Use the principles of programming:

1. Move from the simple to the complex

a. match
b. select
c. name

2. Allow the child to succeed

3. Be sure criterion for performance is reached at one level before moving to the next level

4. Provide feedback - and make it positive

E. Use special education techniques when needed:

1. Task analysis
2. Chaining
3. Stimulus supports/Fading
4. Prompting
5. Modeling
6. Physical assistance

F. Plan for the stages of learning:

l. Acquisition
2. Practice to proficiency (fluency)
3. Transfer and generalization

G. Plan for ways to give the child status with peers - plan adaptations to put him/her in a leadership role when  possible (one teacher made her pupil with a disability the computer expert: other pupils had to consult with him in order to learn programs).

H. The adaptation should be planned to build the learner's  independence and competence.

IV. Implement Your Plan

A. Be sure that planned adaptations are in place and that the support staff implementing the program understands how to implement the program and use adaptations effectively.

B. Be sure that support staff responsible for each program are scheduled when and were the adaptation is to take place.

V. Evaluate

A. Take data:

1. Determine the best way to measure pupil progress toward each objective - teaching the student to keep his/her own data, using charts, is an excellent  adaptation for the use of math and reading skills.

2. If the pupil reaches criteria for mastery (80% and above for 2 or 3 days considered mastery), MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STEP - DO NOT ALLOW THE STUDENT TO GET STUCK DOING THE SAME THING DAY AFTER DAY - CHALLENGE HIM/HER
TO MOVE FORWARD AND MAKE PROGRESS.

3. If the pupil is not making progress (below 50% for 2 or 3 days), DO NOT ALLOW THE CHILD TO CONTINUE TO FAIL THE ADAPTATION IS TO MAKE THE LEARNER SUCCESSFUL - IF  SHE/HE IS NOT SUCCEEDING, THEN THE ADAPTATION IS NOT DOING ITS JOB; IT IS HANDICAPPING THE LEARNER. Consider these options:

a. Slice back

b. Break the task down into smaller steps

c. Change your feedback - it may not be reinforcing to the pupil

d. Try new materials and novelty

e. Make new adaptations - perhaps the task needs to be more functional and meaningful for the student

f. Put it aside for now - it is possible that the student is unable to do the task - work at a level at which the student can succeed -come back to this task later, if this skill is a priority

Johnson City School District (1990). Curriculum Integration process & Continuum of curricular approaches  (Meyer R Janney, 1989), reprinted in: Project MESH: Making Effective School Happen for All Students  (A Summary of Current Literature on Effective School Integration), Compiled by Chrysan Gullacci, 1990.
 

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Last modified: 06/29/10

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