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Dr. Donna Wakefield

Donna Wakefield, PhD, is an associate professor in the Special Education Program in the National College of Education at National Louis University. Her work focuses on children with exceptional learning needs. She researches the portrayal of disabilities in children’s and young adult literature from both a literature viewpoint and a disability viewpoint. She has presented on making literacy and literature accessible to all by adapting literacy tools for individuals with special needs as well as the use of technologies for individuals with exceptional learning needs.

The Techie Teacher. IEP Planning: Accommodations & Modifications. The difference between success and failure for students with LD and ADHD often comes down to how effectively the curriculum is adapted to individual needs.

IEP Planning: Accommodations & Modifications

Accommodations and modifications are the tools used by the IEP team to achieve that end. Accommodations Accommodations allow a student to complete the same tasks as their typical peers but with some variation in time, format, setting, and/or presentation. The purpose of an accommodation is to provide a student with equal access to learning and an equal opportunity to show what he knows and what he can do. Accommodations are categorized in four ways: Variations in time: adapting the time allotted for learning, task completion, or testingVariation of input: adapting the way instruction is deliveredVariation of output: adapting how a student can respond to instructionVariation of size: adapting the number of items the student is expected to complete Modifications Can your child participate in the activity in the same way as her peers? Literacy / Reader Response. Choice Boards, Menus, & Tic-Tac-Toe. Untitled. Upon completion of this section, you will understand: The impact of dyslexia on vocabulary acquisition How to assess vocabulary formally and informally How to explicitly teach curriculum-relevant vocabulary How to help your students become lifelong learners of words Vocabulary: Best Practices Learn the impact of dyslexia on vocabulary acquisition and how to assess vocabulary both formally and informally.


Find practical tips to increase vocabulary and help your student become a lifelong learner of words.

Teaching resources

100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner. For those unfamiliar with the term, a learning style is a way in which an individual approaches learning.

100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner

Many people understand material much better when it is presented in one format, for example a lab experiment, than when it is presented in another, like an audio presentation. Determining how you best learn and using materials that cater to this style can be a great way to make school and the entire process of acquiring new information easier and much more intuitive. Here are some great tools that you can use to <a href=">cater to your individual learning style, no matter what that is. Visual Learners Visual learners learn through seeing and retain more information when it's presented in the form of pictures, diagrams, visual presentations, textbooks, handouts and videos.

Auditory Learners Auditory learners do best in classes where listening is a main concern. Differentiating Instruction through Technology: Meeting the Needs of All Students. Thematic Starting Points Start with the 42explore site.

Differentiating Instruction through Technology: Meeting the Needs of All Students

Then, look for the same 2-3 topics in other thematic starting places. Compare and contrast the results. How would these resources be helpful in addressing the individual differences in children such as reading level, interests, and depth? Copy the URL of your favorites into your Word document. Explore 42explore Projects - topic or subject index. Library Portals for Children and Young Adults Pathfinder Collections Library Spot Web Subject Guides & Thematic Resources. 100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner. Teaching . . . Seriously: Crafty Nonfiction Choice Boards. This year, I'm asking my students to read one nonfiction picture book each week.

Teaching . . . Seriously: Crafty Nonfiction Choice Boards

To make it more engaging, I decided to develop a choice board. Not your everyday run-of-the-mill choice board, but something really crafty! My students will select one activity for each week of the first quarter. The choice board may also be used as an anchor, tic-tac-toe, or single choice activity. I purposefully left the directions rather open-ended to force kids to think about what they might do. I couldn't wait to get started on these projects . . . so I decided to try them myself. Cootie Catcher Vocabulary - Choose four key vocabulary words from the text. Crafty Content Diagram - Think about the main idea or structure of the book. Paper Chain Summary - Cut strips of construction paper. Paper Bag Artifacts - Think about physical artifacts that would allow others to experience facts and ideas from the book.

Resources: Summarizing. Students use their summarizing skills to help a group of monsters rescue their friend Dracula.

Resources: Summarizing

Learners must first resolve a dispute by summarizing each monster's argument, identifying both the argument and supporting details in the monster's boastful claim. Then students help the friends draw maps to plan the rescue, visually summarizing informational text. Finally, they condense Dracula's elaborate narrative of the rescue into a summary fit for a movie script. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts This activity meets the following grade 3 Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts: Foundational Skills Phonics and Word Recognition. Social Studies Interactive Notebook: Set Up/Sensory Figure. All summer long I have been researching interactive notebooks and a lot of people use them for math and science, which I love!

Social Studies Interactive Notebook: Set Up/Sensory Figure

Except I don't teach math or science... Teaching Social Studies and Language Arts. Every journey begins with a single step.

Teaching Social Studies and Language Arts

Notebooks begin with setting them up. I always take a full class day to set up my notebooks. I buy extra composition books to have on hand so that I can provide them (at cost) for students who haven’t brought them in – I want everyone setting them up at the same time. I usually start by having the students respond to a prompt – would anyone describe you as organized? Interactive-notebooks - home. 5e86bd cf64d44de98e470c8941e79dc1d1257f. Difabilities: A Self Advocacy and IEP Curriculum for Students - Home. Understand what you read. Learn words with

Understand what you read simplifies difficult English. Enter hard sentences (or whole chapters) into the yellow box at the top of the page. (You can also enter a web site URL.) Click Rewordify text and you'll instantly see an easier version, for fast understanding. The reworded words are highlighted— click them to hear and learn the original harder word. Technology Hoopla.

Books Containing Characters with Disabilities

Conference Presentations. Differentiated Instruction. Disability Acceptance. UDL. NLU Students Resources. Literacy. iPads. Tech Resources. Professional Development. Special Education.