Powerful Practices for High-Performing Special Educators

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This valuable resource addresses the unique challenges faced by special education teachers in today’s inclusive classrooms by offering powerful, research-based tools and strategies.
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Editorial Reviews

Rachel Aherns
"This is a great book that would be handy for teachers, novice or veteran, to have in their professional library. The ideas really cause the reader to evaluate what they do in the classroom and try new ideas to meet the needs of ALL students!"
Mary Reeve
"The Wisdom of Practice sections are realistic and help scaffold learning for novice teachers. The self-assessments and reflections are powerful."
Renee Bernhardt
"Every teacher and administrator should own a copy! This collection of valuable insights and strategies is a must-have and will serve as a favorite reference tool for many years to come. The authors share real-life experiences, ready-to-use materials, and current resources to guide you every step of the way!"
Betty Rivinus
"This is a book you will find yourself referring to frequently, as it is full of resources to enhance your options for engaging studentsas learners. A must-read for not only new and experienced special education teachers but all educators dedicated to reaching ALL students in their classes."
Dawne Dragonetti
"Readers will find a wealth of information as well as easy-to-use strategies, tools, and ideas that can be used across the curriculum and at all grade levels.This is an all-in-one reference book that you will continually refer to whether you are a new teacher or a seasoned professional."
Alison Martins
"This book has ideas, tools, and starting points for all the situations you could encounter on your first day of teaching or on your thousandth! It is practical and up-to-date on what it is like to be a special educator in schools today!"
Nancy Yost
"The authors have done an excellent job of providing new teachers with very concrete ideas to make their first year successful. The book pulls together material that teachers have covered in various coursework during their university careers. This book can be a new teacher's first stop for everything from'What should I do to get my room set up for the first week of school?' to 'What types of assessments should I be using for this material?'"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412968072
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 4/21/2010
  • Pages: 189
  • Sales rank: 1,319,712
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberta Kaufman has been a P-12 special educator and university administrator in the Midwest where she has worked in both rural and urban settings. Her professional experience includes coordinating a partnership between multiple school districts in a metropolitan area and a university to design and implement a teacher preparation program for under-represented populations. Dr. Kaufman initiated a program providing instructional seminars followed by coaching support for individuals hired as special educators in a diverse urban school district. Practices described inPowerful Practices for High-Performing Special Educators were implemented throughout the seminars and observed in classrooms with follow-up coaching. As a result of the coaching and seminars, a dramatic increase in the retention of new special education teachers was documented and maintained beyond two years. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Education at the University of South Dakota.

Robert Wandberg currently serves as the Language Diverse Literacy Coach for the Columbia Heights School District in Minnesota. His responsibilities include providing classroom teachers with effective, best practice strategies for working with English language learners, special education students, and low-literacy learners. He is a former middle and high school classroom teacher and state curriculum specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education. In addition to his numerous state, national, and international presentations, Dr. Wandberg has authored 12 middle/high school level textbooks for low-literacy students. He has also co-authored two university-level textbooks focusing on effective classroom practice and several professional journal articles, many of which focus on diverse students in the general education classroom. He also teaches graduate education courses at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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Table of Contents

Publisher's Acknowledgments vii

About the Authors ix

Introduction 1

1 Working with Diverse Students 5

Wisdom of Practice: The Technicolor World of Truman Armstrong 6

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 6

Changing Student Diversity 6

Language 7

Race 7

The Impact of Diverse Populations in Special Education Programming 7

Disproportionate Representation 8

Teacher Attitude 8

Teacher Preparation 8

Professional Practice 9

Special Education Teacher Competencies When Working With ELL Students 9

Effective Strategies and Student Achievement for Diverse Learners 10

Discovering the Cultural Context of Disabilities 13

Myths Associated With Teaching Diverse Students with Disabilities 16

Analyzing Personal Skills and Competencies 18

Legal Considerations for ELLs 19

Effective Strategies: What Works? Answers to the Activity 20

Summary 21

Self-Assessment and Reflection 21

2 Organizing a Classroom for Instruction 23

Wisdom of Practice: Ms. Delacatto-See How She Runs! 24

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 24

Professional Practice 25

Organizing a Classroom 25

Organizing Instructional Materials 28

Organizing Important Information 31

Organizing Schedules for Yourself and Others 36

Using Time Effectively 39

Staying Organized and Managing Stress 40

Summary 42

Self-Assessment and Reflection 42

3 Managing Student Behavior 43

Wisdom of Practice: Mr. Downing-The Principal is Watching! 44

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 44

Professional Practice 45

Doing the Right Thing: Professional Ethics 45

Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports 46

Level 1 Preventing Student Misbehaviors 47

Level 2 Intervening When Misbehavior Occurs 50

Level 3 Maintaining Appropriate Behaviors 59

Summary 61

Self-Assessment and Reflection 62

4 Designing Effective Instruction 63

Wisdom of Practice: Mr. Rodriquez Makes a Plan 64

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 64

Professional Practice 68

The Lesson Plan-An Overview 68

The Lesson Plan-Part 1 Basic Information 69

The Lesson Plan-Part 2 Student Learning 69

The Lesson Plan-Part 3 Student Diversity 73

The Lesson Plan-Part 4 Instructional Sequence 77

The Lesson Plan-Part 5 Instructional Materials 78

The Lesson Plan-Part 6 Lesson Assessment and Evaluation 81

Summary 83

Self-Assessment and Reflection 83

5 Teaching Strategies and Learning Activities 85

Wisdom of Practice: Ms. Webster Gets Active! 86

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 86

Professional Practice 87

Active Student Learning Activities 87

Active Student Learning Obstacles 87

Active Student Learning 88

Getting Started 96

Strategy and Activity Selection 97

Summary 97

Self-Assessment and Reflection 98

6 Graphic Organizers 99

Wisdom of Practice: Picture the Students! 100

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 100

Professional Practice 102

Graphic Organizers 102

Graphic Organizer Formats and Uses 106

Teacher-Generated Graphic Organizers 110

Construction of Graphic Organizers 111

Student-Created Graphic Organizers 112

Graphic Organizers: A Sample Activity 113

Graphic Organizers and Classroom Management 114

Summary 114

Self-Assessment and Reflection 115

7 Incorporating Technology 117

Wisdom of Practice: Emmalee Jones-Digital Immigrant or Native? 118

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 118

No Child Left Behind 119

Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act 119

Technology Standards 120

Professional Practice 120

Incorporating Technology: Practical and Painless Suggestions 120

Assistive Technology to Support Students 124

Incorporating Universal Design for Learning 126

Using Technology to Motivate Learners 131

Summary 135

Self-Assessment and Reflection 135

8 Student Assessment and Evaluation 137

Wisdom of Practice: Ms. Thomson-What's in a Number? 138

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 138

Professional Practice 139

Formal and Informal Assessment 139

Elements of Effective Assessment 139

What to Assess? 141

Alternative, Authentic, and Performance Assessment 141

Diagnostic, Formative, and Summative Assessment 142

Developing Effective Rubrics 143

Weighting Assignments and Projects 146

Preparing and Implementing Effective Assessments 148

Test-Taking Tips and Strategies 153

Grading Students on IEPs 155

Distinguish Between Testing Accommodations and Modifications 155

Summary 158

Self-Assessment and Reflection 158

9 Promoting Achievement through Collaboration 159

Wisdom of Practice: Mrs. Stanton's Best-Laid Plans 160

In Brief: What Does the Research Say? 160

Defining Collaboration 161

Collaboration: Legislative Foundations 161

Professional Practice 161

Attributes of Successful Collaborators 162

The Special Educator's Role and Responsibility in Collaborative Teams 164

Identify and Use Collaborative Practices 165

Collaborating With the General Education Teacher 166

Collaborative Instructional Process 167

Negotiating Instructional Preferences 168

Collaborating With Others 169

Enhancing Collaboration-Friendly Reminders 172

Summary 177

Self-Assessment and Reflection 177

Conclusion: Wrapping Up, Reflecting, and Celebrating! 179

References 181

Index 185

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