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SPE-321-20, Meth Teaching Stu Special Nds (FA15)

INSTRUCTOR: Angela Snyder       

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Special/Tuesday/5:00 – 7:15 PM, 09/08/2015-12/01/2015


The focus of this course is the development of teaching strategies which will enable the special educator to effectively facilitate learning for students with disabilities.  Course content will include specialized teaching strategies, methods of instructional delivery, the adaptation of instructional materials, and techniques for measuring student progress.  Legal matters, as well as current trends and issues in special education will also be explored.


1. To use strategies to facilitate integration of students with disabilities into various settings. (CEC 4, INTASC 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, EDO 1, 2)

2. To teach individuals to use self-assessment, problem solving, and other cognitive strategies to meet their needs. (CEC 4, INTASC 4, EDO 3)

3. To select, adapt, and use instructional strategies and materials according to characteristics of the individual with exceptional needs. (CEC 4, INTASC 1, 2, 4, EDO 1)

4. To use strategies to facilitate maintenance and generalization of skills across learning environments. CEC 4, INTASC 4, EDO 3)

5. To use procedures to increase the individual’s self-awareness, self-management, self-control, self-reliance, and self-esteem.   (CEC 4, INTASC 4, EDO 4, 5)

6. To use strategies that promotes successful transitions for individuals with exceptional learning needs.  (CEC 4, INTASC 1, 4, 7, EDO 2)

7. To understand the demands of learning environments. (CEC 5, INTASC 1, 4, 5, 7, EDO 1, 2)

8. To understand basic classroom management theories and strategies for individuals with exceptional learning needs. (CEC 5, INTASC 5, EDO 1)

9. To effectively manage teaching and learning. (CEC 5, INTASC 2, 4, 5, EDO 2)

10. To understand social skills needed for educational and other environments. (CEC 5, INTASC 5, 7, EDO 5)

11. To create safe, equitable, positive, and supportive learning environments in which diversities are valued.   (CEC 5, INTASC 2, 4, 5, 10, EDO 4, 5)

12. To design learning environments that encourages active participation in individual and group activities.  (CEC 5, INTASC 2, 4, 5, 6, EDO 5)

13. To moodily learning environments to manage behaviors. (CEC 5, INTASC 2, 5, 7, EDO 1)

14. To use performance data and information from all stakeholders to make or suggest modifications in the learning environment.  (CEC 5, INTASC 1, 5, 7, 8, EDO 3)

15. To establish and maintain rapport with individuals with and without exceptional learning needs.  (CEC 5, INTASC 3, 5, EDO 4, 5)


Class meetings will consist of content presented via lecture, student presentation, or discussion; and activities, such as “hands-on” activities, group discussions, and assignments. Attendance at all class meetings is expected.


These are subject to change – I will be revising my syllabus prior to the fall semester, when I am scheduled to teach this class.

Class Participation and Attendance:  Each student will be expected to attend class on time, and to participate in discussions and in-class exercises.  There will be a “warm up” activity that will take place during the first 10 minutes of each class, and will serve as the attendance for that day as well.  If you arrive to class after the first 10 minutes, you will not be allowed to participate in the activity for credit.  If you need to be absent from class, please let me know ahead of time and we will discuss a make-up activity. One make up activity is allowed per student, per semester.

Characteristics of Disability (group project):  Students will work in small groups of 3 – 4 people to develop and present a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation regarding a specific disability group.  This presentation will include: a) characteristics of the disability (etiology, symptoms, prevalence); b) classroom characteristics of a student with this disability (how does this student function/behave in the classroom?); c) how this disability affects a student at home/outside of school; and d) discussion of strategies for teaching a student with this disability (at least five strategies/accommodations)

Homework Assignment 1:  Log on to the following website: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/fba/. This module is related to how to conduct a functional behavioral assessment.  Work through the ENTIRE module (should take about 1.5 – 2 hours).  Answer the questions on the homework 1 worksheet, posted in Joule. Submit via Joule/Email.

Homework Assignment 2:  Log on to the following website: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/iris-resource-locator/.  Pick ONE module under ONE of the following resources – Content Instruction, Differentiated Instruction, Learning Strategies, Math, OR Reading Literacy Language Arts.  (I would suggest picking a module related to either the content area/grade you teach or a strategy that you want to learn more about.)  Complete the entire module, and answer the assessment questions in the last section of the module.  Submit via Joule/Email.

FBA/BIP – Behavior Management Plan Assignment (group project):  Participants will identify and observe a student in his/her classroom that is demonstrating behavior difficulties. In groups of two or three, you will work together as a “multidisciplinary team” to assess and plan for a student that is demonstrating problem behavior in and out of the classroom.  As a team, you will observe a student in his/her classroom and develop a Functional Behavior Assessment & Behavior Intervention Plan addressing behavioral issues observed. Candidates will describe the data collection procedures, collect and analyze data, and report results.  Replacement behaviors will be identified along with strategies to change the behavior.  The final product will be a complete PAPER and a 5 – 7 minute brief overview PowerPoint Presentation

Differentiation Lesson Plan:  Each candidate will identify and describe an instructional setting for a student/group of students with cognitive, behavioral, or learning disabilities.  Candidates will develop a lesson plan that meet the needs of these students (grade and content are up to YOU) - allowing these students access to the general curriculum, including methods to motivate and engage students, differentiate instruction, use technology to enhance instruction, and assess student progress.  This must include how the modifications are aligned with the Common Core Curriculum and the student’s Present Levels of Performance. A suggested Differentiation Lesson Plan template is posted on Joule.

Effects on Student Learning Lesson Plan:  Using the lesson plan you developed above, you will teach the lesson and assess student learning (come talk to me if you are not in a classroom).  Once you have assessed student learning, you will develop an item analysis of your assessment, and analyze what areas of your lesson students had difficulty with.  After analysis, you will develop a lesson to RETEACH the parts of the lesson students had difficulty with, small or large group, using different strategies that will scaffold learning for all learners.  You will develop a reflection discussing how you think these new strategies will engage and teach these skills.  A suggested template is posted on Joule.


Again, subject to change

Prater, M.A. (2007). Teaching strategies for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Pearson, CA.  ISBN 0-205-40403-0