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Mary Jo Loch

EdHD 5003
Special Education Portfolio Project

Section 1 – My Thoughts on Special Education

A. Regarding inclusion in general education classes, each student ought to be individually

evaluated and placed in as many regular classes as possible. Inclusion of children who are disabled
into the general classroom benefits both the non-disabled and the children with disabilities. The two
groups can teach and learn from each other. Not only can an inclusive setting foster academic
development, but I feel it is important for everyone's social development as well that they encounter
different kinds of people early in life, not only people who are diverse in ability, but in every way a
person can be different. This will help them later in life in the real world, where their co-workers,
friends and neighbors are likely to be diverse in ability, race, religion, nationality, gender, and sexual
orientation. In my tiny high school, I feel I experienced very little diversity in my classes, and I think
that I missed out on that. It is something that could have helped me a lot in my future career as an

B. While it is important that students are placed in regular classrooms to the greatest extent
possible, I am afraid that it can be difficult to find the right balance between appropriate education and
the least restrictive environment. Some educators may be over zealous in either inclusion or alternative
placement to the detriment of all students. A student with a disability may do better in a more intensely
supported environment, and I think it is important not to forget the general education students, who
may do better if a very disruptive or dangerous student is removed from the classroom. I worry that
while educators, counselors, and psychologists are trying to figure out what is best for students,
precious time is being lost. I also worry that there will be kids that I will not be able to help.

C. In addressing a student's special needs, a few important characteristics for the group of
professionals involved are expertise, close collaboration, and flexibility. The educators must share
information with each other and be able to change the plan of action when something is not working.
The general education teacher needs the support of the special education teacher, aides,
paraprofessionals, and professionals. Teachers need quite a bit of information to make everyone in
their general education classes successful. They need access to Individual Education Programs. This
document tells us what services the student will receive and when. It also tells us what to do to
accommodate the student and how we need to modify tasks so that students can meet the objectives.
Each student with special needs is different and it is important to be well informed so that these needs
can be met.

D. It seems to me, that the most important quality needed to make kids with special needs
successful in the general education classroom is knowledge and an interest in each child. Teachers
need to be up to date in their knowledge of special education topics and they need to know the specifics
of each child's situation. Teachers also need flexibility and creativity in finding solutions when the
current plan is not working well. Other very important qualities are the ability to handle stressful
situations and an appropriate level of toughness. However, the best teachers are also kind, patient,
understanding, and willing to listen. All of these qualities are essential to helping every student

Section 2 – The Learners

Learner 1: Justin

A. Justin is a 13 year old eighth grade boy with a reading disability. He has struggled with
reading since the second grade and cannot understand how his friends read books for pleasure. He
looks at printed text and it never looks familiar. He does not recognize the words and has difficulty
pronouncing them aloud.

B. He is getting average to above average grades (especially in math and science). He works
hard, is likeable, and has many friends. However, teachers have noticed he has difficulty when asked
to read aloud or independently. According to the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability,
Justin has a full-scale IQ of 110, but assessment results from the WJ-III Tests of Academic
Achievement show that his basic reading skills put him at 79. Because of the two standard deviations
between his IQ and reading performance, he qualifies as a student with a reading disability.

C. Justin would benefit from one on one reading exercises to improve his reading fluency and
word recognition. Justin needs extra time to decode text and should not be asked to read aloud in class,
as this discourages him.
D. There are many modifications and accomodations that can help Justin succeed in the general
education classroom. When reading is the objective, he benefits from repeated review and drill, so that
words become familiar. He should be given more time when reading on his own. In content classes,
where reading is not the objective, he can be given books on tape. Written instructions should be read
out loud for him. Working with another student he is comfortable with is also helpful, as is a quiet
environment where he can better concentrate. He does very well with oral tests, especially in science
and math. When he must read on his own, highlighting the most important parts can help.

Learner 2: Maggie

A. Maggie is a 10th grader who is intelligent and should be doing well in her classes, but she
often loses her homework. She does not seem to have trouble with the work itself, but rather with time
management and organization; she does not seem able to keep track of or plan out her assignments.
She finds it difficult to manage, organize, write, and edit essays over the long-term. Even though she
has asked teachers for help, they seem to think she is simply unmotivated. Maggie qualifies as learning

B. Maggie is of average intelligence according to the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive

Ability; her full scale standard score was 102. However, her result in written language on the
Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Academic Achievement was 72. Because her score in written language
was so far below her intelligence lever, she qualifies as having a learning disability. Maggie is a smart
girl who knows she has a problem and has already responded to some organization help.

C. Maggie needs her teachers to help remind her what steps she needs to take to complete her
assignments on time. Checklists are helpful and teachers should check in with her to see that she is
making progress. She should learn to use a planner and to keep all of her assignments in one binder.

D. Many accomodations and modifications can be put in place to make Maggie successful in
the classroom. She can be seated near the teacher's desk so that her progress can be monitored when
students are working independently. She can be given extra time for assignments and she should be
given step by step instructions for completing assignments. She could be given instructions a few at a
time and a due date for each step in the process. Helping her make an outline for her essays can help
her better organize her writing and perhaps she could turn in a draft to the teacher to be returned to her
and rewritten.

Section 3 – Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: Justin

Title - 50 States Research Project-- while you study about U.S. geography
Primary Subject - Social Studies (U.S. geography)
Grade Level - 4th - 8th

Objective: Students will learn about a state they choose and show what they learned to me and to the

Environment: The classroom is busy with activity. Research will also be done in computer labs and in
the library. Teacher's desk is at the front with rows of students' desks spaced out in rows and columns.
There is one computer in the back.

Materials: Students will need research materials, encyclopedias, and books. For posters students need
markers, a color printer, and construction paper. A computer is needed for PowerPoint pesentations.
Students will be provided written instructions and I will read them aloud and answer any questions.

Each student picks a different state to research. Before beginning the project, each student gathers the
address to their state's Department of Tourism and composes a business letter requesting information on
their particular state. Students should gather information from various sources such as the internet,
encyclopedias, text books, etc. I will allow students 2 weeks to complete their projects.

For your state research project, choose one of the following ways to present your state. To ensure that
you receive all 50 points for your research, be sure to include the following things in your presentation
or report:
-- State motto (2 pts.)
-- State flower (2 pts.)
-- State tree (2 pts.)
-- Date of Statehood (2 pts.)
-- Nickname (2 pts.)
-- Region (2 pts.)
-- State flag (2 pts.)
-- State bird (2 pts.)
-- 3 current events in your state (5 pts. each)
-- any other interesting and valuable information (10 pts.)

If you choose to write a report, it must be at least 500 words typed. To present your report, you will
read it to the class and answer any logical questions they may have.

If you choose to draw a poster, it must be neat and colorful. It should include both pictures and words.
You must turn in 1 paragraph explaining different things on your poster. To present your poster, you
will NOT read the paragraph, you will present the poster to the rest of the class.

Your song/rap should have NO obscene language. If you need background music, you may bring in a
tape or a CD. The words to the song/rap should be typed in order to read it. You must turn in 1
paragraph explaining your song/rap. To present, you will perform the song or rap to the rest of the

Your PowerPoint presentation must be saved on a disk and the disk brought to school the day of your
presentation. It should include pictures and words and must have a minimum of 5 slides. You must turn
in 1 paragraph explaining each slide. You will present the PowerPoint using the class computer and
explain each slide. If you would like to do a PowerPoint, but do now know how, you may make an
appointment after school and I will explain it to you. However, you must have someone who is able to
pick you up at 4:00pm.

State Research Rubric
- state motto (4 pts.)_____
- nickname (4 pts.)_____
- state flower (4 pts.)_____
- region (4 pts.)_____
- state tree (4 pts.)_____
- statehood (4 pts.)_____
- state flag (4 pts.)_____
- state bird (4 pts.)_____
- 3 current events (5 pts. each)_____
- other information (max. 10 pts.)_____
- neat & acceptable work (3 pts.)_____
- correct grammar (3 pts.)_____
- punctuation (3 pts.)_____
- turned in and presented on time (2 pts.)_____
- appropriate behavior displayed during your presentation and other presentations (10 pts.) _____

-typed (10 pts.)_____
-length (12 pts.)_____

- eye contact (2 pts.)_____
- spoken loud/ clear (5 pts.)_____
- paragraph explanation (10 pts.)_____
- pictures & words (5 pts.)_____

- typed words (10 pts.)_____
- pragraph explanation (12 pts.)

- at least 5 slides (10 pts.) _____
- at least 2 pictures (5 pts.)_____
- eye contact (2 pts.)_____
- spoken loud/ clear (5 pts)____

TOTAL POINTS:_____/ 100

Lesson 2: Maggie

Title: Back-in-Time Travel Brochure

Grade: 7-10
Subject: World History

Brief Description: A time machine has enabled us to travel back in time. Students learn about periods
in history by creating travel brochures for time travelers.

Lesson Objectives:
Students will:
-Learn about what makes a good travel brochure by thinking critically about brochures they
have studied.
-Learn about ancient cultures.
-Show what they learned by making their own brochures about the cultures they have studied.

Materials Needed:
Library or Internet access.
Microsoft Publisher or other brochure making technology

The students are seated at rectangular tables to facilitate group work. There is an overhead projector
and blackboard at the front of the room. At the back of the room, there is a computer and bookcases of
relevant books. We will also spend quite some time in the computer lab.

Before they start:

Collect a wide variety of travel brochures from travel agents and other sources. Arrange students into
groups and give each group a handful of brochures to explore. Explain to students that they are going
to be designing a travel brochure, so they need to look at the sample brochures with an eye to their
layout, the kinds of features they highlight, how they are illustrated, and the style in which they are
written. After studying the brochures at hand, have students discuss which features make an effective
brochure. Are there maps, pictures, and diagrams? What kind of words and language convince
travelers to visit that location? Was the text short and easy to read?

Assignment: A Time Traveler's Brochure

Explain to students that a time machine has enabled them to travel back in time, and it is up to them to
create a travel brochure to attract time travelers to join you on a visit to the civilization of Ancient
Egypt or another ancient culture the class has studied. Within their historical brochures, they will be
including general information about their chosen civilization. Brochures should include appealing
pictures and images. The brochure should be informative, colorful, and eye-catching. To appeal to
visitors, any hardship and danger should be presented as exciting and adventurous. Balance text with
pictures and make it attractive and colorful.

Students will work in groups to complete their brochure. Each brochure should include:
-a detailed map
-any major cities of the time period
-information about languages spoken
-facts about the government
-information about the culture
-types of transportation
-natural geography and how it played a role in daily life

The students should use a letter-size sheet folded twice to form three sections. There will be three
outside panels and one large area inside.

Preparing information:
Review library and internet resources about the ancient civilization.
Organize the information according to topics of the assignment. For example, you might gather all the
information about visitor accomodations, terrain a visitor might see, transportation, souvenirs and gift
shops, and things to see and do.

Here is a rubric for measuring the students' work. I will read through it with students so they know
exactly what is needed.

Quality of the Geography Information (10 pts.)

-High Quality: Geologic features have been identified and are thoroughly explained.
Main mode of transportation is mentioned and explained. How geography impacted the
civilization is included and will explained. Map is colorful and appealing.
-Satisfactory: Some geologic features are mentioned. Comments about modes of
transportation and how geography advanced the civilization are included but not well
explained. Map is neatly colored.
Unsatisfactory: No map. Very vague descriptions of the geologic features. No
reference to transportation. No mention of how geography affected daily life.

Quality of the Architecture Information (10 pts.)

-High Quality: Four or more structures are explained thoroughly. Information on
several theories about how/why monuments were created
-Satisfactory: At least three structures are explained. Reasons have been given for
how/why they were created.
-Unsatisfactory: Fewer than three stuctures have been identified. Little or no
information about how the buildings were created.

Quality of Culural Information (10 pts.)

-High Quality: Religion, language, and government are well explained. Three
gods are mentioned, and a representation of what the written language looks like is
-Satisfactory: Religion, language, and government are mentioned. At least one
god is mentioned.
-Unsatisfactory: One or more aspect of culture is not explained or mentioned.

Qrganization of Brochure (5 pts.)

-High Quality: Information is organized. The brochure is easy to read and “flows” very
well. The sections of the brochure are in an order that makes sense.
-Satisfactory: Most of the brochure is organized. The brochure has decent “flow”
throughout. The sections of the brochure are in logical order.
-Unsatisfactory: Very difficult to follow. Doesn't “flow” in a way that makes sense.
Very disorganized.

Section 4 – Adaptation of Lessons for Learners

Adaptations for Justin

A. The objective for Justin does not change. He will still learn about his chosen state and
present what he learned to the class.

B. Instead of staying with the noisy class, Justin and a friend can go to a quieter environment.
For example, Justin can take some materials and go to the library where he will be able to focus better.
Or, if we are going to the computer lab, Justin and his friend can stay behind and use the classroom

C. Justin can use a friend as a study-buddy. I would also provide materials with the pertinent
information highlighted. It would also be helpful to provide a fill-in-the-blank worksheet so that he
knows which words he should look for when he is researching.

D. I will read instructions and requirements out loud a few times. Allowing Justin to go to a
different environment on his own or with a friend will limit auditory distractions. Since the objective is
to learn about a state and not really to write, Justin can dictate what he is writing to me or to his study
buddy. I would also encourage him not to write a report, so that he will not need to read a lot to the

E. If needed, Justin can have more time without penalty. I could give him the opportunity to
rework his presentation with my feedback and grade him on effort.
Adaptations for Maggie

A. The objective stays close to the same. Maggie will still learn about brochures and ancient
cultures and show what she learned. Because this is a group project, Maggie will have other students to
help keep her on task. I can work with Maggie's group to work out what she can contribute to the

B. Maggie's group should be seated near my desk while they are working on the project, so
that I may monitor her progress.

C. Maggie should have a checklist of what she needs to do. She should also have a folder in
her binder where her materials for this project can go. Maggie also should write her tasks for this
assignment in her planner. Her group members can also help her stay organized.

D. Because Maggie has trouble organizing her writing, her group members can organize the
text for her. She can contribute by researching, sharing her information, and perhaps dictating a portion
of the brochure to a group member. Maggie would be good at finding appropriate images for the
brochure. I will tell the whole class how far they should be each day in order to be on track to finish on

E. If Maggie is having a hard time, the group may have extra time without penalty. I will
modify my expectations for this group.

1. Adaptation of lesson plan

Based on your lesson plans, you will need to make appropriate accommodations and/or
modifications for your case study. The accommodations and/or modifications should
a. Rewriting (individualizing) objectives to accommodate learners with special
needs, or a description of how the objectives would be modified.
b. Description of environmental modifications that may accommodate the support
needs of the learners and/or enhance the strengths of the learner.
c. Description of additional materials that may be needed to accommodate the
needs or enhance the strengths of the learner.
d. Description of how to modify the teaching methods to accommodate the learner
with a disability.
e. Description of how to modify the evaluation of the performance of the learner
with a disability, or a description of testing accommodations.