children with special needs

Is There a Pill?

pill

“Mr. President, the pilot has announced he will be landing the plane in Dallas in ten minutes.” “You know, I don’t have a good feeling about this. Tell the pilot to turn the plane around and head back to Washington. Okay?” Such was a typical exchange between me and Luke, an eighth-grade special needs student. […]

How School Systems Create *That* Parent for Children in Special Education

Special Ed

Demanding. Annoying. Angry. Unrealistic. Unreasonable. Every teacher, principal, and school district administrator knows *that* parent. In special education, there are much greater numbers of *that* parent, and I’m sure school systems feel irritated and challenged by the threats of law suits and seemingly endless fights over Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals. But do they realize […]

How Do You Like These Flipping Jigsaws?

jigsaws

I always liked the concept of jigsaw activtities: to give students more ownership of their learning, to use class time differently, to invite some creativity, etc. The Expert Groups meet for 1 or more class periods to learn about a sub-topic and to prepare a short presentation about it. Then students break into the Home […]

High Stakes Testing and Children with Special Needs

March madness is entering its final days, and I am not referring to basketball. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) high stakes standardized tests that align with Common Core are wrapping up round one in Illinois. But unlike the NCAA college basketball tournament, there will be a second round of […]

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