Alphasmart for all extended writing tasks in the classroom and on standardized tests
Parent Idea: “I drafted my requests based on our state education department’s testing accommodations manual and proposed them at my son’s IEP review. They are: double time on tests longer than 20 minutes, with a 5 minute break per 20 minutes of testing; use of a visual timer set for 20-minute intervals; separate location for standardized tests; answers recorded in test booklets instead of answer sheets; use of on-task focusing prompts; use of word processors for extended writing tasks on tests; test directions and questions read aloud…and there are a few more. Best of all, he feels comfortable when he takes these tests, and he is doing very well, meeting grade level standards! His accommodations help him succeed in an inclusion class and we’re hoping he will be able to mainstream to a general ed. class in the next few weeks — with accommodations!”
Extended testing time with the option to take tests outside the normal classroom setting, and some tests are read to him.
Adding the option for him to learn typing, since his motor delays make writing difficult.
Homework is a stressful time for our family. My fourth grade son takes medication during the school day. We are working with his doctor to add an afternoon dose to help during homework time, when my son is tired and distracted. He often knows the answers, but can’t focus to write them down. I write his answers down for him. I had this added to his IEP. After all, we’re trying to see if he knows the material, not if he knows how to write.
In his IEP, they have provided him with special assistance. If they are having a math test, they will cut the paper in half and allow him to do only half and get them correct, rather than being overwhelmed at the whole page and just writing down any number and getting them all wrong. They are also reading his tests and papers to him so he will be able to keep up with learning to read.
My 8th grader has a set of books at home. He writes his assignments in his assignment book, which his teacher initials each day as being correct. I am contacted after two missing assignments and he receives a lunch detention to make up missed work. Gum is allowed during tests. He sits near the teacher, and receives physical and verbal prompts for refocusing. He uses one folder for all homework assignments. And he writes on graph paper to assist with poor handwriting.
All long-term projects have to be broken into manageable tasks with weekly deadlines, rather than being a two-month project that overwhelms them. They get extra time for all tests if they need it.
My 11th grade daughter has done a great job of weaning herself from many accommodations to a few. Her favorite, and the teachers’ too, is that of taking tests in the classroom. She starts the test with the other kids and if she is struggling or does not feel she has enough time, she writes her guided study hall teacher’s name at the top of the test. Then, she turns the test in, just like all the other kids. When she gets to guided study hall, the test is waiting for her to finish or to ask for clarification from her IEP teacher. None of the kids in the class are aware of this accommodation, and that is important when you are a teen. It also encourages my daughter to try taking tests in classrooms with distractions, and she has less anxiety, knowing she has this option if needed
My 10th grader, who has an IEP for the first time, after years of only a 504 plan, now gets daily help at school for keeping himself organized.
My 14 year old son has brain damage from a brain tumor, along with ADHD, a math disorder, ODD, depression, and cognitive disabilities. He has an extra set of books at home, limited math assignments, a goal of completing 75 percent of his homework, and a calm down spot when he needs it. Most tests are read to him, and he gets to do errands for teachers. He also has a separate behavior plan. I have asked for OT to be done this year and the school is going to work that in. He is medicated with Lamictal, Prozac and Ritalin LA. My 11 year old has ADHD and is controlled with the Daytrana patch and does not need an IEP.
“I am a teacher and I suggest auditory cuing to sustain attention by asking, ‘How will you remember this?’ This is used during class or one-on-one discussions of important concepts. For example, when teaching geometry shapes, ask ‘How will you remember this is is called a pentagon?’ This question requires student attention (thus can be repeated), allows processing time for memory, allows creativity of mnemonics, and gives arousal to the executive function. It can be written into the IEP as: ‘Student will be asked twice during class how he will remember facts or rules.'”
Accommodations for Florida’s Statewide Student Assessments: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7690/urlt/statewideassessmentaccommodations.pdf
Text-to-speech and masking are computer-based accommodations for eligible students with disabilities that must be assigned by the test administrator in the system prior to the test administration. Text-to-speech provides an audio presentation of the items (questions) and answer choices for all tests. However, text-to-speech is not enabled on the passages included in FSA ELA Reading Component and FSA ELA Writing Component assessments. Masking allows the student to cover any area of the test page to temporarily hide information that might be distracting.
Paper-based versions of the computer-based tests are available in regular print, large print, one-item-per-page, and contracted and uncontracted braille as an accommodation if the student with a disability is unable to take the test on a computer. However, a student cannot use a paper-based version of the test when taking the assessment on the computer, because the computer-based tests have interactive components that cannot be demonstrated on the paper- based tests, and therefore the test items are not identical.
Any student may request to use a hand-held calculator instead of the online calculator. (if calculator is allowed)
Classroom: The student needs assistance to be able to understand and follow oral directions. Statewide Assessment: – Copy of directions from the test administration script to follow as directions are read aloud. – Test directions repeated, summarized or clarified.- Opportunity to paraphrase or repeat directions to demonstrate understanding. – Sign language interpreter to interpret oral directions.
Classroom: The student requires assistance to maintain attention and effort in written assignments. Statewide Assessments: – Verbal encouragement (“keep working,” “make sure to answer every question”). – Note: Verbal encouragement may NOT be used to cue a student regarding correct or incorrect responses.
Classroom: The student dictates responses for written assignments and assessments.Statewide Assessments: – Dictation of responses to a test administrator or proctor. Dictation of responses to an audio recorder. – Note: The test administrator or proctor will record or transcribe responses into the student’s answer document. The student must indicate punctuation and spell unfamiliar words. For FSA ELA Writing Component, the student may review the response and direct the test administrator or proctor to make specific changes.
Classroom: The student is only able to work for short periods of time when completing assignments and assessments. Statewide Assessments: – Testing time separated into short periods for a single session of the test.- Note: Between sessions and during breaks, the student must be closely monitored to ensure they do not share responses or change responses to items previously completed. The student must not be allowed to preview upcoming sections of the test.- If the student requires more than one day to complete a single test session, he or she must use a paper-based version of the test. The student’s need for flexible scheduling that requires multiple days for one session using a paper-based accommodation should be documented and sent to the district testing office for submission to the Bureau of K-12 Assessment.
Classroom: The student must have extra time to complete classroom assignments and assessments, even when working continuously. Statewide Assessments: – Extended time. – Extended time must be offered in accordance with the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan. Extended time is not unlimited time. Extended time should align with the accommodation used regularly in the student’s classroom instruction and assessment activities. Extended time must be documented so that the amount of additional time is clear, such as double time, 50% more time, etc.- Note: The student is not required to use all of the extended time that is allowed and may end the testing session prior to the expiration of the extended time period.
Classroom: The student’s performance predictably deteriorates at certain times. Statewide Assessments: -Test taken at a preferred time of day that differs from the regularly scheduled time.
The setting in which the test is administered is an IEP or 504 team decision and is implemented at the district or school level. The test should be administered in a room with comfortable seating, good lighting and sufficient workspace. For example, some students may need additional space around their test booklets or computer for assistive technology (Thompson, Thurlow, Quenemoen, & Lehr, 2002). Some students may require a detachable glare reduction filter or a shade or hood over the monitor to control glare. Students may need special task lighting on the work area or additional illumination. The computer monitor should be positioned to the student’s preferred distance and height. Students with low vision may need to view the screen from a closer distance (Allan, Bulla, & Goodman, 2003, February). If a separate setting or specialized furniture or equipment is required for a student, arrangements must be made in advance to assure the availability of the location and proper staff.
Classroom: The student must be in a small group or individual setting when completing assignments and assessments. Statewide Assessments: – Individual or small group setting. – Note: The small group is of a size comparable to the normal instruction group indicated in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan.
Classroom: The student must have a distraction- free environment or close monitoring when completing assignments and assessments. Statewide Assessments: -Individual or small group setting. – Study carrel or partitioned area. – Close monitoring while working.- White noise (sound machine) or approved calming music through headphones or earbuds to reduce auditory distractions. – Reduced stimuli (limit items on the desk, study carrel).- Increased or decreased opportunity for movement.- Note: The student may be tested in a separate setting if the accommodation(s) may disturb other students.