Explaining it Clearly
This discussion is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the objective: Define relevant terms specific to academic and legal concepts for students with mild to moderate disabilities. The discussion represents your understanding of the Course Learning Outcome 1 and the MASE Program Learning Outcomes 1 and 6. In addition to reviewing the Required and Recommended Resources and Instructor Guidance for Week One, prepare for this discussion by considering the following scenario:
Imagine that you are walking into your very first classroom as a new special education teacher. You will be working closely with Mr. Franklin, the general educator who has been in the education field for over ten years. In your “co-teaching” environment, Mr. Franklin and you will be delivering instruction to the entire class, which is comprised of 28 students in the classroom with seven students identified as having specialized academic and/or behavioral needs. This type of classroom is considered an inclusive setting, where students of the same age are educated together with multiple types of differentiation of the instruction occurring based on the students’ individualized needs. In an inclusive environment such as this, there will be some students who are formally identified as having specialized academic and/or behavioral challenges.
Some of these students may be falling behind in their academics. Others may not appear engaged in the classwork or homework activities. Yet others may appear to have a bad attitude. As co-teachers, you will both be responsible to collaboratively create and deliver instruction to meet the students’ needs.
Before the school year officially begins, you meet with Mr. Franklin to discuss the each of your roles within the co-teaching environment. It was discussed that Mr. Franklin will be expert of the instructional content and your role as the specialist will be to help students access the information at their own levels.
During this meeting, Mr. Franklin admits that he has never been partnered with someone who understands students with special needs. He states he has not co-taught before and doesn’t understand what is expected specific to the students with specialized learning needs. He asks you to explain some of the terms and acronyms he’s heard before because he’s not sure what they mean, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Individualized Education Program (IEP).
As the special educator, part of your job is to explain each of these terms in a way that Mr. Franklin will understand along with providing authentic examples to support the definition you have provided.
Initial Post: Create an initial response that defines at least five terms specific to academic and legal concepts that apply when working with students with mild to moderate disabilities. With each definition provide an example that includes support from the readings and the Instructor Guidance from Week One. State specifically how the terms may impact the practice of your co-teaching work with Mr. Franklin.
Guided Response: Review the posts of your classmates and that of your instructor. Respond to at least two peers. Discuss with your peers how their ideas and suggestions will assist with Mr. Franklin’s work, and also your work together. How will understanding these terms and concepts ultimately help the students in your classes? You are encouraged to provide additional resources that will assist with your explanation.
Though two replies are the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and application of the material, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have made (including your Instructor) before the last day of the discussion period. This will extend the conversation while providing opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real work experiences with this topic.
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