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Assessment Accommodations for Ex-Ed Students

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Heather Burdett

on 31 October 2015

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Transcript of Assessment Accommodations for Ex-Ed Students

Assessment Accommodations for Ex-Ed Students in Inclusive Classrooms

Learning Objectives:
As a result of this professional development session, teachers will:

Understand the purpose of assessment accommodations for ex-ed students in inclusive classrooms
Discern between assessment accommodations and modifications
Increase his/her repertoire of assessment accommodations
Select one formative assessment accommodation and one standards-based classroom test accommodation to employ in the next four weeks
Accommodation Suggestions for Formative Classroom Assessments
These accommodations are intended to enhance ex-ed students' ability to demonstrate their understanding in formative assessment situations.

Teachers can:
• Demonstrate exemplar responses
• Provide extended time for student to generate response
• Provide sentence stems for oral and written responses
• Provide opportunity for student to respond privately
• Allow student to refer to visual and text support
• Allow physical responses (thumbs-up/thumbs-down, hand signal, pointing, etc.)
• Allow response-mode choices (physical, illustration, oral, written, demonstration, cooperative, etc.)

One-Size Does Not Fit All
Allow extended time to complete tests
Reduce number of test items
Administer test in multiple sittings
Read test directions aloud
Read test items aloud
Highlight directions and/or text
Provide word bank
Use matching format
Use multiple choice format
Allow verbal responses
Allow physical responses
Use study carrel
Provide sharpened pencils
Provide short break(s)
Provide timer or clock
Accommodation Suggestions for Teacher-Made & Curriculum-Based Tests
In Alabama, the "Services" page of an ex-ed student's IEP recommends assessment accommodations for the student. The accommodations recommended may be general in nature, or specific and comprehensive. Often, the IEP directs classroom teachers to use accommodations at their discretion based on the varying needs of the child on any given learning objective. In other cases, the IEP specifies that certain testing accommodations be implemented in any and every testing scenario.

An "IEP Participation Documentation" page is included in every IEP. This checklist indicates which, if any accommodations a student will receive for assessments that are part of the Alabama Student Assessment Program such as the ACT Aspire and the ACCESS. The accommodations allowed are prescribed by the State, and are much more limited than those for classroom assessments.
It is the responsibility of the teacher to be familiar with a student's IEP and its implications on accommodations.
Accommodations vs. Modifications
IEPs and Assessment Accommodations
Accommodations are intended to lessen the effects of a student’s disability on his or her ability to demonstrate learning. Instructional and assessment accommodations are are not intended to reduce learning expectations. A test with student-appropriate accommodations is designed to assess the same grade-level standards and objectives as its un-accommodated version. Accommodations can be made on tests in all subject areas and may target academic, attention, and behavior concerns.

Changing or reducing learning expectations is referred to as a modification. Unlike accommodations, consistent use of modifications can increase the gap between the achievement of students with disabilities and the grade level expectations. This may have a negative impact on the student’s educational career as the student may not continue to progress and be able to obtain a regular diploma. Assessment modifications are, however, appropriate for ex-ed students with significant intellectual disabilities who are participating in inclusive mainstream classrooms. Students with assessment modifications generally participate in the Alabama Alternate Assessment program (AAA).
Accommodations for Standardized State and District Tests
Allow use of a caluclator or fact aid
Allow use of manipulatives to aid in math calculations
Provide visual or text support
Provide or demonstrate examples prior-to and/or during test
Allow student to type written responses
Allow use of dictionary or spell checker
Provide editing checklist for written responses
Provide alternate space within classroom
Administer test in another classroom
Allow student to write on test booklet
Print test sections on separate pages
Use fill-in the blank format for test items or written responses
Provide graphic organizer to assist organization of written responses
Levelize text test to student's independent reading level when reading is not being tested
The use of assessment accommodations should be recorded in order to document adherence to the IEP and to add to the ongoing monitoring of the student's progress.

There are several ways to document the use of assessment accommodations:

Systematically file student's completed assessments along with copies of unaccommodated versions for comparison
Hand-write explanation of accommodation on test paper or grading sheet after completion
Staple fill-in the blank slip detailing nature of accommodations onto test paper
Note accommodations in grade book
In our diverse classrooms, students work toward learning outcomes at different paces and in different ways. As a result, assessment accommodations and strategies are needed to meet students' needs while still measuring learning outcomes. Teachers must consider a student's IEP when planning assessment accommodations.
The goal of assessment accommodations is to provide each student with the best opportunity to demonstrate his or her learning.
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