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March 6 - 8, 2013 | Hershey Lodge and Convention Center

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16. Common Core Instruction Driven by Best Practices in Inclusive Education

03/07/13, Hershey, PA - Deborah Taub
SPEAKER: So it gives me great pleasure today to introduce Deb Taub. Deb Taub is a director of research at Keystone Alternate Assessment Design.
She provides research and professional development and assistance for states, districts, and schools, working to develop and sustain best practices.
In addition, she serves on the editorial committee for TASH Connections and on TASH's inclusive education committee.
She is a contributing author to the book Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities,
and she has written articles and presented nationally and internationally about issues related to teaching students who have autism and other significant disabilities.
Deb has been doing some work with our inclusive practices project, and so we've developed a really nice relationship with her,
and it's truly my pleasure to introduce her. I think you're in for a great morning, so please join me in welcoming Deb. Are you good to go?
DEBORAH TAUB: Yeah, if I can figure out how to clip on a mic, we'll be okay. Good morning, everyone. Sorry while I apparently get dressed in front of you.
Okay. So hi. Whoops. I'm borrowing somebody else's computer, so forgive me if I hit the wrong buttons once in a while. Let me start with this. Who do we have here?
How many people here are special educators? How many people here are general educators? Okay. How many people here are parents or family members? Self-advocates? Okay.
How many here are administration or support? So a nice mix. You guys do a nice job getting a nice mix of people to come. That's great.
What I'm going to be talking about today is common core instruction driven by best practices and inclusive education. And a lot of what I'm doing
-- how many people here -- I know it's like the good morning calisthenics, but how many people here went to Diane Ryndak's session yesterday, Dr. Ryndak's session? Okay.
So for those of you who did, this is going to be somewhat embedded in the work that she did in terms of systems change work. Okay. And if you were there, you recognize this slide.
The idea is that inclusive educational practices are not something you can do in just one room for just one student. We have to be thinking about how we're including
students across the system in order for this to really work and in order for this to not be as labor -- feel as labor intensive as I think it sometimes feels for us. Okay?
So this is a slide from Dr. Ryndak's presentation yesterday, and it looks at kind of the pieces of inclusive education.
I'm not going to be talking about all of these pieces, but I just wanted to make sure you guys were aware that what I am talking about fits within this framework.
And I'm realizing that my mic is going in volume. Can you guys hear me? Okay. Is it too loud? Sometimes I'm a little loud, I know. It's a shocker, but I am.
So here's what we're going to talk about today. What will the common core state standards change? How do we provide supports that enable students to achieve those standards?
And what are inclusive education practices and how do they support these changes? Those are kind of the big questions of what we're going to talk about.
And then within that, I broke it into some smaller objectives of identify changes stemming from the move to the PA common core state standards, identify hallmarks of inclusive practices
and how they support instruction, understand the concepts of alignment especially in relation to modifying
and supporting the PA common core state standards, identify and understand the instructional barriers that unintentionally interfere with learning,
develop appropriate supports to remove or reduce barriers to learning, build standards-based instruction and assessment, and embed IEP goals in instruction.
For those of you who are so on top of things and know that all of the handouts are online, you may have noticed that this PowerPoint is not online.
That is because, up until 9:30 this morning, I was still tweaking it.
And I have learned that when I send things too early, everybody ends up with a PowerPoint presentation that's completely different from what I actually present.
So I am happy to post this online after the fact, but I wanted to make sure that you actually got the one that I would present.
So let's start with this question. What changes are the common core state standards going to bring?
And rather than having you all call out because this is kind of a big group to do that, what I'd like you to do is just talk to a couple people around you.
What changes do you know are coming? What changes have you already started preparing for? What do you hear the common core is going to change?
So I'm going to give you two minute -- well, one minute to talk about that. And then we'll come back together.
All right, if you can hear me, raise your hand. If you can hear me, raise your hand. If you can hear me, raise your hand. Oh, you guys are good. That's great.
All right. So because I really did originally -- and this is part of the reason I was tweaking my PowerPoint, I did originally plan for 30 to 60 people.
Clearly I'm a little off in my numbers, right? So my intent was that I was going to have you guys talk to me about what you thought of.
And instead, I'm going to tell you the list that I have heard and that I know based on what I know.
So changes in expectation for learning, increased rigor, writing as a focus, text complexity, close reading, more balance between fiction and non-fiction,
changes in pre-reading activities, changes in what we teach in math, less breadth of coverage, more depth, student engagement is coming to the forefront.
There's changes in professional development that are coming along with common core. Clearly there are changes in assessment for all our students coming.
The use of learning models, teacher evaluation, and then a focus on college and career ready.
Did I miss something big? Okay. Let me just briefly say, given that our population, and I'm talking about students with most significant,
most complex needs, right, given that this population of students have not historically always had access to standards and access to academic instruction,
this can seem like a pretty daunting task. This is a pretty big change. So here's my advice. Don't panic.
Okay. Take a breath and let's think about -- whoops, what do we already know that works? So thinking about our history of special education, our history of education,
because what is best practice is really best practice. I want you to take another minute, turn to people, what do we know works?
Only parts of it. Mm-hmm, yep, yep, yep. Come over here. Okay, if you can hear me, raise your hand. If you can hear me, raise your hand.
If you can hear me, go ahead and raise your hand. See, wait till I get bored with that and make you touch your nose and put your hand on your head and all those other crazy things.
So again, just a basic list of some of the things we know work. Having high expectations works. Having context-rich instruction works. Good communication practices.
Universal design for learning and the components within that. Prioritizing skills and concepts. Data-based instruction and assessment feedback loops.
Systemic instruction, high interest instruction, appropriate individualized supports and accommodations, strategies for problem solving, self-determination skills, peer and other natural supports.
Supporting generalization, multi-tiered systems, unified school mission.
Partnerships between school, family, and community. Systemic sustainable change. Those things work. We already know those things.
Okay, so while the common core is going to change some of what we do, it's also really just taking a laser and focusing what we already know is good and helping us streamline that.
And that brings me back to the systemic change piece. As I said, what we're doing needs to be -- in order to work to the best of its ability, needs to be embedded within systemic change.
And Dr. Ryndak, again, borrowed her slide. These are four key components that, while we can't say cause inclusive programs to work, we do know are evident anytime an inclusive program does work.
Okay. Is that said correctly? You're giving me that look. I think I said it wrong.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: These are variables that are always present.
DEBORAH TAUB: Always present, that's the word.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Systemic change [inaudible]
DEBORAH TAUB: Thank you. Okay, these are variables that are always present when systemic change efforts are successful. See, it's all about tweaking your language.
So an internal impetus for ownership and change, building and maintaining consensus across -- I can't talk today, constituencies. Thank you.
Facilitative leadership and professional community, a common vision, a common understanding of the change process, structures that facilitate the change, discuss in forum, communications system.
So here's what I want you to do. I want you to think just for a moment, what is your vision of an inclusive program? What does that look like to you?
And now I'm not going to make you admit it, I'll save it for the end before I make you admit it. All right. Here's what I will have you do, though.
Debbie mentioned -- Debbie Brown mentioned some of the great PaTTAN resources that you have. What I would like you to do is just take, again,
in the interest of time -- I have enough here for like three days, by the way, so I'm trying to space us out so we're not feeling rushed.
But what I would like you to do is I would like you to jot down at least three or four resources that you know you already have access to that support these practices. All these best practices,
all these changes to the common core that we've been talking about, what resources do you already know you have? And I'm only giving you 20 seconds to do it because you should know these.
All right. Now I want you to peek at your neighbor's list. And if you know your neighbor, find somebody you don't know and peek at their list. All right.
And now I'm going to have you come back together for a second. If you can hear me, clap once. If you can hear me, clap twice. If you can hear me, clap three times. Excellent.
Okay, when looking at your neighbor's list, did you get something new? Yeah, I see a lot of yesses. Pennsylvania, I work with a lot of different states, and I've learned a lot in doing that.
I've learned that states have varying levels of dysfunction. That's what I've learned, but Pennsylvania actually is one of the more put together states I've worked in, which is very nice.
You guys should be very proud of yourselves because I come here and I know teachers have high expectations. I know you have good support systems. I know people have common vision.
It's a very -- for me, as somebody coming from the outside, it's a different experience than going to other states.
And you guys should be very impressed with yourselves because it's hard to see that you're mired in it, when you're in it.
But as somebody who comes from the outside, there are impressive things going on in this state and things that are really on the cutting edge.
So that being said, you have a ton of resources on the PaTTAN website. You have a ton of resources available to you. And you have more coming all the time.
I know you're working on some with Erik -- Dr. Carter. You're working on some other ones that are coming down the pike. You've got your Project MAX work.
You've got all -- you've got your NPL work. You've got all of these great things going on that you have resources and access to.
So my suggestion would be, because I can't really facilitate this in an easy manner with this many people, try to consistently, when you go
to conferences, talk to people about what resource they really like so that you can at least leave every conference with one new thing that you can go back and you can say,
oh, somebody really strongly recommended whatever. I'm going to go check it out and look at it.
It just gives you one thing to kind of get a handle on and focus on without being quite so overwhelmed by everything that's out there.
So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to focus on what it means to have accessible instruction, why that's important, and how that fits into the systemic piece.
And I'm going to start with a quote from Wehmeyer, Lapp-Rincker, and Agran. For students with intellectual disabilities,
working on tasks linked to a standard in any way and having adaptations provided to ensure curriculum access were significantly higher in inclusive settings.
Whereas working on tasks not linked to a standard, working on a standard below grade level, or working on an IEP only objective were significantly higher in non-inclusive settings.
So what this is basically saying is if you go and do systematic observations of classrooms and you look at inclusive settings versus segregated settings, you're going to find that, typically,
in inclusive settings, students are more likely to be working on standards-based instruction and standards-based instruction that's aligned to grade level.
As opposed to I've been in some places where the standards -- it's considered standards-based instruction if the student is working on any standard.
So imagine that for a moment I have a high school student who's working on -- their whole lesson is just on identifying more and less.
There's no rich context. There's no additional information provided.
It's just more and less, but that is considered in some states to be a standards-based instruction because it's linked to a kindergarten standard. All right.
So let's look at, briefly, some of the presumed -- or some of the best inclusive practices that we expect to see. Presumed confidence,
least dangerous assumption, community and membership, IEP systems in place set to promote goals that are aligned, and rethinking this dichotomy between functional and academic skills. Good golly.
If I could do anything in education, if I could get people to rethink that dichotomy of, oh, well this is a functional skill. And this over here is an academic skill. And never the two meet.
Really? Reading? Reading is the most functional skill. Why shouldn't we be working on that? Math. Learning how to problem solve. All of those pieces, they're all functional skills.
And if you look at the functional curriculums, many of them were built in the 1970s, right? 1960s, 70s.
I don't know anybody who uses a price gun anymore, and yet that's sometimes part of student's curriculum because it's considered a functional skill.
Use a price -- you know, remember price guns? You put the stickers on the things in the store, right? That's no longer a functional skill.
And I often use the example of making your bed. For me at the moment,
making my bed is a functional skill because I'm trying to sell my house, right? So making my bed is very much a functional skill because the house looks better if the beds are all made, right?
And considering that I have three children in 758 square feet, anything I can do to make the house look better, I'm going to do, right? That for me is a functional skill.
As soon as we either give up on trying to sell our house or it sells, whichever comes first, making my bed will no longer be a functional skill for me. Okay? So we need to rethink what we mean
by functional and academic skills. And if you look at the common core state standards, one of the pushes that they have is to think about skills and concepts within larger contexts. Okay.
Systemic considerations, team approach, reconsideration of roles, teacher hiring and training. When you're doing inclusive education or inclusive practices,
how are you making sure that everybody who comes into your building, everybody who comes into your district, everybody who comes into your classroom, has the same expectations,
the same ideas that you guys have? Student roles and responsibilities, embedded in larger school-based systems, ongoing feedback loops.
These are all pieces of best inclusive practices. There are more.
So let's start with presumed competence. How many people here do not know what presumed competence is? Okay. I love Pennsylvania.
All right, so presumed confidence is basically -- well, you know what? Somebody else say it. I'm tired of talking. Who else?
Who wants to tell me what presumed competence is? Because I noticed it was one of your questions on your little survey, right? So now you can answer your survey.
So what is presumed competence? Who wants to take a shot? I'll give you the mic and everything. You're a brave woman.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Actually, I'm cheating. Technology is a learning tool. And it gives me a list of ten items of what it is. The first one is a positive attitude.
DEBORAH TAUB: Okay, hold it closer. Not that, your microphone.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh yeah, the first one is a positive attitude, but it's basically saying anything you can do to help build a child's self-esteem and wanting to learn and making them feel good about themselves. All of those words and techniques you use to help them learn better.
DEBORAH TAUB: I see people who want to add to that.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Presuming competence for the child, believing that the child is competent and capable of learning, no matter what level they are.
Every child is capable of learning and growing and exposing them to the correct grade level because you don't know what they're capable of learning.
DEBORAH TAUB: We all use different tools to get what we need. All right. So with that in mind, I want you to think about and write down three instances where you have seen somebody not presuming competence.
And for those of you who can immediately do this, I want you to try to think of those subtle instances instead of the obvious ones.
I've had parents come up -- I've had people come up and tell me, parents and teachers, a variety of things which are very easy to see are not presumed competence.
I had somebody come up and tell me that, I hear this a lot, well, my student can't do that because my student can't -- my student can't use a wheelchair yet.
Okay. I've had people come up and tell me, when you show me how you can teach that to an intelligent dog, then I'll know you can teach that to my child.
So those are some very obvious not presuming competence pieces. See if you can come up with the more subtle ones because the obvious ones are easy.
All right? So you're going to get my favorite, one minute. See what you can come up with.
All right. If you can hear me, raise your hand. If you guys can hear me, raise your hands. If you can hear me, raise your hand. You guys are very -- I have to say, I'm impressed.
You're very talkative, you're very on focus from what I hear. I clearly don't hear everybody, but then you come back.
Very nice. All right. So I'm just going to take a couple examples. What did it look like for somebody to not presume competence? You go ahead and I'll repeat.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Expecting a linear progression in the skills for a child.
DEBORAH TAUB: So expecting a linear progression in the skills for a child. So if a student couldn't do A, then clearly they wouldn't be able to do B and C. Okay. Any others? Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Interference, like adult interference in a child's growth and then [inaudible] skills and even a skill like social interaction.
DEBORAH TAUB: So having adults kind of always there.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, and just like it's like learned helplessness.
DEBORAH TAUB: The learned helplessness. The assuming that they're not going to be able to do it, so I'm going to intervene before there's a problem. Yeah?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Automatically starting them off in gen ed curriculum [inaudible]
DEBORAH TAUB: Automatically starting them off the gen ed curriculum before they even have a chance to try it. Did you peek? You peeked. I know you peeked. Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]
DEBORAH TAUB: Okay, so having the student -- having no expectations for the student, yeah, yeah. Okay, last one.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: The assumption that just because they have one specific disability that they can't learn anything.
DEBORAH TAUB: So the assumption that just because there's one disability there, automatically everything else is gone.
Right, and that one always intrigues me because you know, the -- well, he's in a wheelchair. He can't read. What? What? Okay.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Always assigning the easiest task.
DEBORAH TAUB: So always assigning the easiest task to the student. Yes, absolutely. What about instances where you've seen people presuming competence? What does that look like? Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Equal opportunity and access.
DEBORAH TAUB: Equal opportunity and access, okay.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible] provide modifications for the student to access the curriculum [inaudible].
DEBORAH TAUB: All that without a breath. All right, so --
DEBORAH TAUB: That's okay. Let me see if I can paraphrase that not quite as quickly and without a breath as you did.
So always assuming that they can do the work and providing the modifications and accommodations necessary to make that happen.
Okay. Other pieces that you've seen? Other instances? How about between students? Have you ever seen presumed competence between students? What does that look like? Thank you.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Putting the kids in charge of their learning.
DEBORAH TAUB: Putting the kids in charge of their learning. So having them be the teacher. Okay. There was a video that I was going to show.
And then, you know, we're always learning, we're always building. And as I watched it more and more, I started to get a little uncomfortable with parts of the video.
And it didn't show everything I would want to see in an inclusive education program. So for instance, wonderful, wonderful snippets of interviews with parents and teachers
and other adults in the school about how the student absolutely was going to be included and there was no question of that and it was wonderful.
But then the only time you saw the student doing any academic work was one-on-one pulled away from everybody else.
I mean, so they were in the classroom, but they weren't really in the classroom. We all know what that looks like.
But the one piece they did have was this beautiful section of student-on-student presumed competence, where the kids were outside playing on the playground and one kid
is sitting there going like this to the little girl, and the other girl on the other side is saying, don't push her! You don't push her.
She gets to go where she wants to go. And he's -- I wasn't pushing her. I was just touching her back! Well, you can't put -- it was this wonderful conversation
where they clearly knew she was able to make decisions for herself, but they wanted her to come with them and play with them.
And it was so age-appropriate because, I mean, that's what little elementary kids do. They -- oh, come with me. We're going to go play.
And it was just so -- it was a really nice example of presumed competence because it was the kinds of conversations that they had made very --
what's the opposite of subtle? Obvious. Thank you. See, isn't that obvious? Come on, doh.
So it's those kinds of conversations that are actually usually very subtle in our learning, but because they'd have these conversations around, what is it we do with kids? How do we decide we want
to play with somebody? How do we tell somebody we want to play with them? It had become an obvious part of their routine.
Okay. Whoops. Oh, least dangerous assumption in the absence of conclusive data, educational decisions ought to be based on assumptions,
which, if incorrect, are of the least dangerous effect on the likelihood that students will be able to function independently as adults.
Furthermore, we should assume that poor performance is due to instructional inadequacy rather than to student deficits.
It's a hard last line to swallow. Yeah? I've had people very upset with me about that last line.
And actually, the last time I did a presentation, somebody sitting upfront looked at me and said I have been teaching calendar for 22 years and I am darn good at it.
So if those kids aren't making progress, clearly it's them. And bless -- I mean, she came ready to learn and she came ready to struggle, and she did.
She struggled and we had conversations about what that meant and what did that look like. And she really started to think about, first of all,
why am I teaching calendar to high school students? And secondly, secondly she started to think about, well, maybe there's something else I could be trying.
Right? If it's not working, maybe there's something else I need to think about or try or consider.
So going back to whoever peeked over there, instruction, this is what we all now use, right? Tiered processes for instruction.
This is the way it's supposed to be. We have tier one, which is supposed to be universal, everybody gets access to it.
If you're struggling, you get some supplemental support. If after that supplement support you're still struggling, then we add one some more intensive supports.
But the idea is supposed to be that, for each new unit, for each new concept, for each new skill, you go back to tier one.
Right? Do we always see that? No. So this is what we often see. Students with most complex needs get this little, teeny, tiny piece.
And then students who need some support get this. And students who do not need any additional support are getting kind of the whole picture, right?
The other thing we see is this. Tier one, tier two, tier three, but this is where the tier three work is.
Completely unaligned, not related to the standards, not connected to what everybody else is doing.
So how do we make that work? How do we give students access? How do we understand what's supposed to happen and really address the needs of these students?
Because they are very complex. There's a lot going on.
I know most of you have worked with four-step processes before. You've worked with understanding by design with Wiggins and McTighe, you have a lot of these skills already.
So we're going to touch on them, we're going to talk about them, and we're going to talk about them particularly in relation to students in this population.
The idea is that first you have to understand what the standard is. How many people here have content expertise? Yeah. Okay. So that right there tells us we all have something to learn, right? And that's fine.
That's what makes life interesting. We always have something new to learn. That's great. But you have to recognize first of all that you have something to learn.
Defining the outcomes of instruction and then identifying rich instruction activities. And then the last thing you do,
and this is where the switch is for a lot of people who do special education, the last thing you do is target the specific IEP goals.
Okay? And that's hard because we have them in the forefront of our brain. When you talk about compliance, that's what comes up. It's what so much of our focus is.
And now we're saying, well, wait a minute, those are important, but they have to take a step back and they have to be part of a larger, richer context if they're going to really, truly be meaningful.
Because these first three pieces? That's what most general education students and general education planners are doing when they're designing instruction.
They're starting by saying, do I understand this content? If not, they go get resources, they figure it out, they define the outcomes of instruction.
What do I want students to be able to know and do by the end of this? And then they build their lessons.
I know when I was first teaching, and I have lots of videos to show you all the many things I did wrong when I was first teaching,
I used to think I would read -- okay, so I was an elementary teacher. I'll start there. And I would read mailboxes, you know mailboxes? Right? And I would go,
oh, look at this cute activity! We're going to do that. Why? That question never entered my mind for like the first three months I was teaching.
I would just be like, oh, I found this cute activity and we're going to do it. The kids are going to love it and it's going to be great.
And thankfully I was -- I'm a little naive sometimes. So when I first started teaching, I didn't know that everybody didn't just do inclusion. So I got a job at a school and I just started co-teaching.
I just started -- I walked into classrooms and I said, oh, well, you know, Joey's on my case list, so what are we doing today and what lessons do we have and what do we need to modify? And let's go.
And it wasn't until about halfway through the year that I had a teacher who had been fighting me a lot about everything. And I finally sat down with her and I said,
I really feel as if there's something not working. Do you think maybe we could talk about what that is? See how wise I sounded? Inside I was going,
oh my god, why do you hate me? But I was trying to be an adult and professional, so I said, you know, I feel as if something's not working. Can we talk about it?
And she said, well, I let so-and-so in my class because I knew he'd never be in my class. So the fact that you now want him here is really making me crazy.
And that's when I realized -- and so I went back to one of my other teachers who had been just amazing and I said, why would she think he shouldn't be in your class?
I don't understand. And she said, well, Debbie, nobody's ever done this inclusion thing before. We don't do that here.
I mean, I love it, but usually they just get pulled out to the resource room and that's how they're in our classes.
And so I just sat there going, oh, okay. But the point was I was lucky enough that I had been teamed with some very, very strong veteran teachers who knew their content and they knew it well.
So when I came in and said, hey, I just found this really cool activity in mailboxes, wouldn't you like to do it? She would say, that's really nice,
but our standard is this. And I'm not quite sure how they mix. Can you -- I don't get it. And I'd be like, oh, right. Standards. Yeah, okay.
So and then I would sit down and say, well, I really thought it would work on this great IEP skill because we were going to be cutting and pasting and we'd be working
on matching shapes and we'd be doing this. And she'd say, well, great. We have a center this week where the kids are using -- god, I am losing my mind. I'm blaming my kids.
I'm going to tell you, I'm blaming my kids. What are those? Tangrams. Where we're using tangrams and the kids can do whatever they want with them. They can build with them,
they can make patterns with them, they can do shapes. They just have to record it in their math log at the end of center time. And I said, oh, well, there's so much I could do there.
So having those kinds of conversations, that's what we need to be thinking about. You have this form in the handouts. It's the four-step process.
You can use it to help guide you. I know you guys have other versions of it. I know Sharon Leonard has worked on tweaking it.
I know that there's lots of pieces of it around in the world, but I just wanted you to have kind of an overall framework.
So the first thing you do. We're not even going to worry about the first two boxes. What is the standard all about? That's what we're going to think about.
And when you consider the extent of some of these standards, and I'm going to say I -- in my massive tweaking and retweaking and retweaking,
I finally decided I had to not use the Pennsylvania common core standard, so I know the numbering is off.
I know the wording is a little off, but they're close. You guys have very close standards, so the point will still be there.
When you consider the content or the extent of some of these standards, they're pretty overwhelming.
Solve real-world mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form X + P = Q and PX = Q for cases in which P and Q and X are all nonnegative rational numbers.
Everyone feel confident go out and teach that one? Yeah, me neither. Well, I do now because I've done this, but.
And then language arts, 6th grade, acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word
or phrase important to comprehension or expression. A little bit more in most people's comfort level. I do find, as a general rule, the math ones are a little scarier for most people.
So the first thing you're going to think about, there's a lot of ways to kind of start deconstructing a standard.
I have found that, for me, one of the easiest ways is to start with, what do my kids need to know? What do my kids need to do? So when you're trying
to figure out what your kids need to know, you can start with, what are the nouns? What are the key nouns my student needs to be able to know to understand the standard?
So for instance, equations, problems, rational numbers, words, phrases, vocabulary knowledge. Those are some of the key things my kids need to know.
When I'm trying to figure out what my kids need to do, I start thinking about what are the verbs. To what level,
to what degree do my kids need to be able to do this? That's really faint, so I'll read it to you. Writing and solving, solving, gathering, acquiring, using.
So if you know Bloom's taxonomy or if you know those other -- there's multiple taxonomies out there. If you know those taxonomies,
you can then start to look at what could this look like. You can use those resources to support your own understanding of what does this look like.
You can also break it into I can statements. If I were giving this to students in student-friendly words,
what would I say? So I can solve equations with nonnegative numbers. I can write equations with nonnegative numbers. Or I can learn new vocabulary.
I can use new vocabulary. I can figure out what readings mean. Okay, so those are kind of two first steps you can take in thinking about what the standards mean.
So what does the standard mean? We have our solve real-world mathematical problems, blah, blah, blah.
When you're thinking about this, using understanding by design, using that idea of what's the enduring understanding here, what is it I want all kids to be able to get from this.
And then within that, I can differentiate. All right. So for instance, what are some enduring understandings?
What are some big ideas embedded in this standard? Oh, you guys are brave. All right. Oh, I love braveness. Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Equations can translate in real-world situations.
DEBORAH TAUB: You're so good. That equations can translates into real-world situations. Now think about that.
Is that something that you can differentiate for across students? Think about the variety of equations you can use. Think about the variety of context you can use to teach that.
Think about the reason you would teach that. That, to me, as somebody who is not the greatest math person in the world, that to me makes so much sense.
I have a problem. I'm going to look at that problem and see how I can translate into an equation, into something I can then solve. That's a great problem solving skill.
So when we talk about that divide between functional and academic skills, learning to problem solve is absolutely a key functional skill.
Suddenly math becomes -- and I know I never thought I'd say this, but math becomes meaningful.
There's a reason we do this. Whoops, oh, hello. All right, so math is a way to represent the world around us. That's one possible way.
We can use infinite collection of symbols to represent problems. You can use algebraic thinking to analyze solutions.
All in that same vein of you can use equations to represent the real world. So when you're thinking about breaking down the standards, one of the things you start
to think about is, what skills are typically evidenced in demonstrating understanding? And what skills are necessary to demonstrate understanding?
You need to talk to content specialists, you need to talk to grade-level teachers, other resources, review gen ed lessons. You guys have a whole plethora of lessons on your PDE.
Is that what it's on? PDE? SAS. That's it. The SAS portal, right. You guys have a plethora of lessons on there. Look at them. What do they expect kids
to be able to do related to the standard? Reviewing the skills, concepts, and vocabulary words. Here's what I'm going to have you do. Except now I'm thinking you probably can't read that.
DEBBORAH TAUB: You can't, thank you. All right. So I have two standards up here.
One is analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it, and manipulate time create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
The other is write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured even sequences.
When you're looking at standards, you're going to start with, what do I know -- what do the kids need to know? What do they need to do? So let's take that first one.
Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events, manipulate time, and create mystery, tension, or surprise.
What do kids need to know? What are the nouns? Author's choices. Text structure. Time. Events. Nice, and they give specific examples.
What do they need to be able to do? They need to analyze, they need to manipulate. Well, it's how the author manipulates,
but yeah, they need to be able to show how to manipulate time. Okay. So text structures, events, literary elements, effects, mystery, tension, surprise.
Analyze choices and effects. Writing narrative to develop experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, well-structured event sequences.
What do people need to know? Narratives, events, techniques, details, event sequences. And then write, develop, and use.
So once I've determined what it is people need to know and do, then I can start to define the outcomes of instructional -- for the instructional unit.
I determine the outcomes for all students. I prioritize the outcomes for students with significant cognitive disabilities, and then I check alignment.
And you're going to learn that I am a little obsessed with alignment. I love it, probably to an unhealthy level, but that's okay.
This, again, is part of that template I gave you. It just gives you some questions to consider, but I'm going to walk you through those. So solving real-world mathematical problems.
So the typical kinds of skills we see here are computational skills, using models, and developing models. Okay. That's what I typically see kids working on.
Some additional skills that my student might need to work on, distinguishing between letters and numbers, writing, one-to-one correspondence.
Calculation, using a calculator. Those are all additional skills my student may need to work on to help them access this particular standard.
Now here's the thing. I'm not yet looking at IEP skills. So everything in the red box I need to ignore for a moment. That's hard because,
for a lot of people, that's what we see as our primary goal. That's not our primary goal. We're looking at what's the typical expectation, and then I'm prioritizing within that.
So for instance, I don't care if my student can develop a model right now. I want them to be able to use a model. So I'm going to get rid of developing models,
and I'm going to focus on computational skills and using models. That's what I'm going to focus on for this particular student in this particular lesson.
There's other pieces we'll come back to later, but they are not my primary objectives right now.
When I'm defining my unit outcomes, again, I'm thinking about what do I expect to see the student do in this unit, what performances are
typically evidences in demonstrating understanding for this unit? And what's necessary? So just because it's typical doesn't mean it's necessary.
So what's necessary for my student to demonstrate? And then I start to look at identifying instructional strategies
that move the students towards achievement of a standard. Oh, I lost my alignment somewhere. Oh, there it is. Sorry. Sorry, this got a little messed up.
In general, alignment is the degree to which instruction or assessment address the expected content standards. So for instance, if I'm teaching 4th grade,
I expect that my instruction addresses 4th grade standards. If I'm teaching 5th grade, I expect instruction to address 5th grade standards.
And I know there's a lot of people, their stomachs are getting a little nervous. They're thinking, oh my gosh,
how am I going to do that? Well, here's the good thing to know. Skills are connected. This is a -- I feel like I'm wading into alligator-filled waters at the moment.
I am not saying that just because the skill is connected all the way down to 4th grade that it's okay for me to now use the 4th grade curriculum. Let me be really clear about that.
That is not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is I can use this new research on learning progressions, this new state research on learning models, this new research
on how skills are connected and say, what is it that my kid needs to ultimately be doing? And what are the steps I can take to help my kid get there?
And here's the nice thing about these models that are coming out. What are the different paths
I can take to get there? So we talked about not assuming that A is required before you can do B is required before you can do C.
So if my student's stuck here on A, rather than doing A over and over again for the next 21 years of that kid's life, what can I do to go around it to get to C?
Are there other pieces that are connected to that skill that can help my student get access to that information, to that concept, without me having to do that?
And here's one of the things we need to think about as a system and here's one of the things we need to consider is there are times when my student may be working
on just getting access to new content, and there are times when my student may be working on remedial pieces toward that content. If I try to have my student always do everything
at the same time, I'm going to overwhelm myself and I'm going to overwhelm my student. Because I can pretty much guarantee if you're overwhelmed,
your student's feeling a little stressed about it too probably. So stopping and thinking about what are the skills, how do they connect, how can I get to my end goal?
Here are some questions to think about when you're thinking about alignment. First of all, is it academic?
Would a content specialist be able to immediately see how it leads to and is necessary to the standard? Is it a skill or concept a student plus or minus two years would work towards?
And would a general education student be embarrassed to walk through the halls with this work? Okay. So think about those questions when you're thinking about alignment.
We're going to have a little game here called guess the content. I love this game. I do. So here's what I have are some skills
that were given to me or my colleagues in some cases that people were very sure connected to the standards. I mean, very sure connected to the standards.
So the first one was student will identify yellow and black. What do you think? Math, science, or reading? I hear science. Reading? Math? All right,
the fact that we can't even figure out what content area we're in is a pretty good key that we have not aligned to our standard. Okay? So if you bring your targeted skill,
your objective to somebody and you say, hey, look at this, and they look at you and say, what are you working on? You probably need to rethink your targeted skill, your objective.
Okay, so identify yellow and black was actually this standard. The student will explain the role and interaction of revolution, rotation, and gravity on the sun, earth, and moon system.
Do you see how you get that? No? Oh, well, it was actually genius. I love this. And here's the scary part about this is I was present for 90% of this conversation.
I walked away for ten minutes and came back and this is what they had come up with, and I could follow their logic.
It made perfect sense to me, but I had to step back and say, content specialists would never go for this. This is not going to work.
Okay, here was the conversation we had. The revolution, rotation, and gravity on sun, earth, and moon system, that's what's responsible for the seasons. It's what's responsible for night and day.
And these teachers said, oh, so the -- you know, they rotate, they revolve, and that's what makes it be night, that's what makes it be day. That's what we'll work on.
I said, great. And I went to help someone else. And they came over and they were so -- I felt so bad. They came over, they were so excited. Debbie, we got it!
We've got a really good targeted skill. We've got lessons. We know exactly how to do this. We're so excited. Great, let me see. Students can identify yellow and black. I'm sorry, what?
The idea was that the student would identify night and day. The student couldn't do that yet, so they would start with yellow, black.
But the problem was they were never going to move beyond start with. That was their whole targeted skill. This may be a step in the instruction of understanding revolution, rotation,
how they make night and day. It may be a step in the instruction. It should not be my end goal. Okay? That's where we had a little glitch.
All right. Student's going to brush his teeth left to right. Math, reading, science? Which one? Reading? Math? Math? Reading? All right.
Reading. Demonstrate and understanding concepts of print to determine print is -- how organized and read.
So we read from left to right, we brush our teeth from left to right. Because that transfers perfectly, doesn't it? That works. Not quite.
So you see, these may be steps to help provide some more context, they may be steps to help provide some introductory ideas. Look, we're going to do left and right.
Oh, look, you're brushing your teeth left to right. That's just what we do when we're reading. I'm still not sure I love that idea,
but if we're going to reach, I guess we can reach. That cannot be my academic goal for the student. That cannot be the goal that ties to that standard for this student.
Student will negotiate his wheelchair through a doorway. Math, science, or reading? Math. Math, right? All right.
Student will apply geometric properties and relationships to solve problems using tools and technology. Right? Wheelchair is a technology or a tool,
whichever you want to call it. Going through the doorway, it's a rectangle usually. My students get a -- this was geometry to these people.
This was not geometry to any content special you'd ever met. Right? So that's what we need to stop and think through. They get a little tricky though. Look.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's just life skills.
DEBORAH TAUB: That's just life skills. Yes. Yes. But that's what we have some people trying to do is mask life skills as academics because they so desperately just want to do that.
All right, student will make mixtures by mixing oil and water while cooking brownies, 8th grade. Science. Is this academic? It's a hard one, isn't it? It's a hard one.
Let me ask you this. Can you imagine 8th graders making brownies? Would they enjoy making brownies? Yes. Is this the endpoint of my instruction? No, and that's where we need to start thinking.
Is understanding the differences among elements, compounds, and mixtures, this is a great way to introduce that.
My child has a wonderful Magic School Bus book where they go to the bakery and they bake a cake and we talk about chemistry.
It's fabulous. She loves it. But it's not all I want her to learn about chemistry. And it's not the end of the standard. Okay?
Student will identify functional sight words in a text. Academic? Yeah, absolutely. Does it lead -- well, you don't know what the standard is yet.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general, academic, and domain-specific words and phrases.
Gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Does that directly lead to the big ideas of that standard? This is a tough one. It's about reading. It's about understanding. But this standard is about using grade-appropriate, general, academic,
and domain-specific words and phrases. Look, stop, yes, no. Are those grade appropriate, domain specific content vocabulary? No. So I'm not leading to that full standard. Can I work
on those words within a context of a lesson, working on those other pieces? Absolutely, but that can't be the sole piece I'm giving to my students or else I'm not helping the work towards standards.
Student will create a pattern by setting the table. Math, clearly, because it's a pattern. But the standard is generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule.
Remember the woman who was very upset with me because she teaches calendar very well? She was really not happy when I came up with this one.
Identify apparent features of a pattern that were not explicit in the rule itself. Is setting the table a pattern? Is it a geometrical pattern?
No. No, and that's where the difference is. I can use setting a table to reinforce the idea that we're working on patterns in an appropriate place.
I mean, I honestly -- when do we set the table in school? I mean, maybe for snack time, but do you have snack time in 4th grade? Really?
So this one -- this one makes me queasy for a couple of reasons, honestly, but here's the piece we need to look at.
Just because it says pattern and it looks like a pattern doesn't mean it's leading to the same standard. All right, so you need to stop and think and have conversations with your gen ed people.
This is why embedded with inclusive practices, collaborating with your content people, collaborating with your content specialist,
reading the lessons that are on the SAS portal, looking at all those pieces are so vital to understanding what's going on.
So the next step is to identify barriers. The way in which -- and using the universal design for learning pieces.
How many people are familiar with universal design for learning? Okay. So three basic principles.
Multiple means of representation, multiple means of action and expression, multiple means of engagement. Representation is the way in which the information is given to the student.
So for instance, right now, you are -- I'm presenting this information to you verbally, visually. That's it. It's all you got, sorry.
What can I say? Multiple means of actions and expression. The way a student can access the information and respond to it.
Right now it's all pretty much you guys can write or you can talk. Again, a little hard to do with this many people. I'm working on it. Trying to tweak the world. Haven't gotten there yet.
Engagement, the way a student can be motivated. Presumably you are here because you either have a student or know a student
or know teachers who are struggling with this idea of how do I move to the common core? How do I make instruction accessible? That is your motivation for being here.
Either that or, I don't know, the food's really good. One or the other. But you have motivation to be here.
Not always true for our students. We know we need to engage them. We know we need to think about what could we do to get them excited about this.
So when we talk about multiple means of representation, we're talking about providing information in multiple ways, providing information in a flexible manner.
One of the things about the common core that they tried very hard to do was to not dictate except in very specific and thoughtful ways how information had
to be represented or how it had to be given back. So for instance, student will write an essay on the mathematical philosophers of the world.
I don't know, I can't think of a standard right now, but that could be a standard. If that's a math standard, there's really no need for it to be a written essay.
I can represent information about the mathematical philosophers of the world through PowerPoint. I can do it through a rap. I can do it through interpretive dance.
Whatever works for your student, you can do. In writing, there may be, here's a shocker, specific standards that say write.
But what it means to write can vary. What are some ways your students can write? What can they do? Speech-to-text. Draw pictures. I'm sorry, what?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]
DEBORAH TAUB: List things out. Using word cards to make sentences.
Using Don Johnson or other technology to do picture words and picture sentences. Scribing. Oh, my free new little pedometer fell off.
Sorry. Clearly there's some aspects of ADHD in my world. Other aspects of writing that you can do. What else can kids do to write? What else can you do to write?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Record your speech.
DEBORAH TAUB: Record your speech.
DEBORAH TAUB: Dragon. Oh, I love Dragon. Yeah. I see lots of people here with iPads. Do you type? Do you write? Debbie, yesterday you were doing like these bizarre wild things
on your iPad. I just don't use my iPad effectively, I guess. You -- she annotates. So she had each slide up and then she would scribble on it,
and somehow that scribbling became words. I didn't quite get that. I need to learn that. And then she would type it up.
All right, there was somebody else who had -- and I saw somebody back here actually taking pictures, who has a program
on their iPad where they can take a picture of the notes on the board, and then type or circle or color code them based on what else is going on.
Somebody made me check out one of the booths last night. I forgot who made me check out the booth. Was it you, Marsha? Susanne. So I checked out the booth,
and they have a writing program where it has predictive text, it has pictures, it has sentence starters. It has all these other pieces that you can use. It was actually pretty cool.
And I like that you could change the sentence starters so it wasn't always my favorite blah, blah, blah. My favorite -- I like blah.
You could instead change it to, for instance, I predict, and then give them options. You could change it to that character is whatever.
You suddenly have a lot more options for how you can engage -- how you can pull kids in and how you can access information.
Multiple means of action and expression, multiple ways to navigate material and learning, allow for multiple ways for response, provide ways to increase motivation and engagement.
How many people have been on the CAST website recently? The CAST or UDL website? All right, www.cast.org. C-A-S-T.org.
Not my favorite website because it's a little busy. Thick, rich. But if you can delve into it a bit, they have some excellent resources.
They actually just came out with a new tool that I haven't fully explored, so I won't give you the whole shindig on it. But they have a lot of resources.
And one of the things they have is a checklist that, when you're doing lessons or your school is doing lessons as a part of your professional development,
you can stop and say, we're going to look at this checklist and we're just going to think about what are all the ways we could do this? What have we done? What haven't we done?
As with many, many things out there, I would recommend that you not even -- for administrators, I'm going to say this. Do not expect your teachers to do everything on that checklist in every lesson.
Teachers, don't expect yourselves to do everything on that checklist in every lesson because even just looking at it will make you curl into the fetal position and cry.
So don't do that. But what you can use it for, what I found it helpful for, I'm sure there are other uses too,
but what I found it helpful is looking in a lesson and saying, here are some strategies I hadn't thought of using yet. What could I embed in this time?
I've also seen some people use it for personal professional development.
This year, I'm going to focus on multiple means of action and expression, so I'm just going to focus on that chunk. Here are some pieces I'm going to try to start embedding into my work.
And that way, it becomes second nature to me. I don't have to think about it all the time. And then next year, I can start working on something else.
One of the things about systemic change that we need to start thinking about is, and this kills me, but you have to go slow to move forward quickly.
And I have a friend who -- so I live in Washington, D.C. There's a lot of strange people in D.C. And so one of my husband's colleagues was a member of the special forces,
and he has this quote that I guess they say in the special -- or else he's just BSing me, which may be possible. But his statement is a good mission is a clean mission. And to -- and clean is slow.
So basically if you don't -- if you're not going to screw up, you have to go slowly because that's going to make things good and it's going to make things quick ultimately.
It's a hard lesson for me because, as people who know me know, I want everything done now. Right now.
But if you start thinking about your professional development both personally and as a school and as a district as not something that has to change everything now,
but rather this is a long-term investment I'm making for our team and for our students, you can start breaking it into chunks that are more manageable for people. And then it becomes less of a,
oh my god, they're throwing something else at us. But if I just wait three months, this will be gone and I can go back to what I was doing. Because that is what I see a lot.
And unfortunately, in many places that's true. If you wait three months, it's going to go away, and therefore we can start over again with whatever I wanted to do anyway.
However, one of the things I'm noticing is that, with this change to the common core, people are really strategically looking at what their states are doing,
what their districts are doing, and what their teachers are doing. And saying, what do we need to do to create an embedded system,
a braided system where everybody is moving towards the same outcome? So what that means is that it seems like a lot of change, it seems a little overwhelming,
but ultimately, those steps are going to lead you to a path that's going to be smoother and cleaner. And, and here's the nice part,
because it's systemic because everybody is doing it, it is no longer a, oh, I moved to this new district, I moved to this new school, everything is completely different. There will be differences.
There will be changes from school to school, from classroom to classroom, but the overall vision, the overall mission remains the same. And that's a really nice change.
Okay. So when thinking about your -- this is when you start to get to activities. So I've created my lessons, I've created my outcomes.
I know what I want my students to do. Now I start thinking about what activities are my students going to do? For instance, reviewing vocabulary that may be unknown
to the student, such as alibi, deduce, red herring, sleuth, and create a student handout for students to refer to during the activity and unit.
This is a multilayered process here because here's what has to happen. I have to know what the general ed expectation is, build a lesson or borrow a general ed lesson,
and then say, what is it really kids have to do? Reviewing vocabulary. That can be done in so many ways. And some of those ways set up barriers for my students. And some of those ways don't.
So I want to think about representation. I'm sorry, presentation, response, and engagement when I'm looking at those pieces. Collaboration is key.
What I have right here, review vocabulary that may be unknown to the student and create a student handout, that's enough for you as a teacher if it's your lesson and you built it,
to be able to go into a classroom and say, I know what I'm doing. But if you are team teaching, if you are collaborating, that is not enough
for both parties to understand what's happening in that classroom and make sure you're breaking down barriers for your students. I need to know how I'm reviewing that activity.
And actually, Kathy Gee has some good guiding questions for conversations around this. So how does this activity look? Tell me more.
Now let's talk a bit about the particular students. Let's brainstorm. Where are the expectations for the focus? Are modifications necessary? Are there adaptations necessary?
Are there other things we can do to support the student? There are some questions you can start to think about because what you really need to do is you need to break down every step
of that lesson until you really get to know your team teacher or get to know what's happening in that classroom. Or if you're doing the lesson, until you really can think through all of those steps.
I was talking with somebody at dinner the other day, and this -- last night, actually. And he was telling -- I'm going to tell on you. He's on the Internet anyways.
It's okay. He'll never notice. So he was telling a story about when he was teaching in England and the kids had to go to PE and he had to teach PE,
which he was a little nervous about, and he finally caved. Was going to do PE, so all the kids had to change clothes. And it didn't occur to him,
and it would not have occurred to me, to model for them when you take off your jumpers, when you take off your pants, you change clothes, here's what you should do with your clothes.
So flurry of activity as children -- how old were they? What, like five? Five? Thank you. Five-year-old kids ripping off their clothes, putting on their gym clothes,
their PE clothes, going out and doing gym. They come back from gym and he looks at this whirlwind in his classroom and says, huh. Maybe I should have thought that through.
That is exactly what we need to be doing when we're thinking about lessons because reviewing vocabulary, key, wonderful, excellent strategy.
How are you going to do it? What's it going to look like? Is it reading the vocabulary? Is it the teacher's at the board
and I'm going to throw the vocabulary word up there and everybody's going to yell to me what the word means? Is it that the kids are going to sit at their tables
and match words to definitions? What does it meant to review the vocabulary? And from there, I can then start to think through, are there particular barriers?
Please remember key, key, like star this in your head, the instruction causes the barriers, not the students. When we are talking about presuming competence, when we are
really living our lives with presumed competence, we have to presume that the problem is not that the student can't read, write, blah, blah, blah.
All those things we tell our -- tell people that kids can't do, that is not the issue. The issue is that the lesson is not accessible. Okay.
One thing I want to go back. I put this in your handouts, and I realized in my flurry of tweaking I didn't love it, so I changed it. I'll re-upload it for you.
But what I have is a basic checklist, a basic -- I'm sorry, template for how you can start to think about collaborating and what questions you need to start asking.
And here's the key question I want to really pull your attention to if I can find it. How is the student actively learning?
There is a huge difference between doing a science lab where your student is -- oh, what is your student going to be? The timer. Right? My student's going to be the timer.
It's great. He's going to work on time. It's going to be great. La la la la la. And my student being engaged in that activity by making predictions. Why can't my student do both?
Too often we walk into classrooms and we see the kids in a small group and we're really excited about that. And then what we look
at is the student with special needs has been regulated to -- relegated to the same basic tasks over and over and over again, right? How is my student actively engaged in learning?
Not just putting the timer on and turning the timer off because I'm going to tell you I can do that really nicely, hit the button, the big button to start the clock,
hit the big button to stop the clock, and never actually pay attention to what my peers are saying. So what am I doing to help make my student an engaged learner?
And just so you understand the layout of this, along the left column, we have the people who should be involved in an ideal world in collaborating.
Okay. General educator, special educator, student and family, paraprofessionals and aides. Peers, OT/PT, other support people. Anything in dark blue --
and I had to do this because I ran into some problems. Anything in dark blue means that that person, that category of people, they have veto power.
And here's why. When I look at what is the concept or skill, how is it aligned, I have to give that content specialist veto power because otherwise I'm going
to end up with yellow and black somehow equaling the rotation and revolution of the sun. Okay?
What IEP goals fit into this? I'm going to give the special education teacher veto power on that one because while other people may know those IEP goals, that is the person
who's ultimately responsible for making sure that they are all addressed and making sure that they are all documented and making sure that they are all there.
Okay. So dark blue means that those people must have veto power. Light blue means that you really should be getting input from everybody. White is just neutral.
Okay. So let's look at this. Solve real-world mathematical problems by writing and solving equations. We're back to our lovely, happy math thing.
Thinking about a lesson you might see with this, just looking at this standard. What are some potential representation, expression and action,
or engagement barriers you can see that might happen for some students, remembering that we're going to focus on what the barriers are
and not what the student can't? So what are some potential barriers? See, usually this is my walk the wall. I'll get you started. Writing things down. Yay, thank you.
What else? Math skills. So the complexity of the math involved. Okay. The numbers, the particular numbers that are chosen could be. The number of steps could be a barrier.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Letter reversals.
DEBORAH TAUB: Letter reversals could be a barrier. So not letter reversals, but the representation, how we're presenting this information could be a barrier. Okay. Here are some I came up with.
The complexity of the real-world or the mathematical problem. The number of variables, the number of unknowns, the types of numbers. If a verbal response is expected.
If a written response is expected. Calculations that are expected. The topic choices and the length of activity. Those are all things that may interfere with a student's ability to access this lesson.
So here are some things I might be able to do. Chunk the problem. Leave out extraneous information. Using active sentences. I know that's not up there,
but it just popped into my head. Using active sentences can often help students make more sense. So for instance, the chair was pushed versus Debbie pushed the chair.
Debbie pushed the chair is much easier for people to understand. You don't have to go back and deconstruct who did what and where and -- so the chair was pushed is a much easier sentence
to understand than the -- I'm sorry, Debbie pushed the chair is much easier to understand than the chair was pushed by Debbie. Okay, subject, object, action, verbs, yay.
Limit the number of unknowns and variables. Use whole and easily manipulated numbers. Provide manipulatives. Provide a calculator, a number line.
Chunk together tasks. Allow students to use pictures or objects to answer. Provide high interest scenarios, allow breaks.
So let me show you what this might look like. I took some examples. These are 6th grade examples from Utah. I know, Utah, but still.
So I took some examples from Utah. These were some of the pieces that they suggested using for this particular standard. So there's some grapes on the table.
Logan ate half of them. He ate five grapes. Write an equation. How many grapes were there? Or Annie bought five shirts. Each cost the same amount. She spent $34.65.
How much did she spend on each? Write the equation, solve. He earned 50 cents -- or she earned 50 cents, giving her a total of $3.17. Write an equation, solve.
So -- whoops, stay there, little iguanodon. So here's what I came up with. I have a student -- I had a student. So I taught a lot of kids with autism and other things,
but my first introduction to special education was students with autism, and so I have a special place in my heart where I love them, especially we all know you have that one.
So I had that one. And oh my golly, trains and dinosaurs, this is what this kid loved.
And so for him, instead of Gary eating the grapes, why not have an iguanodon eating the grapes? Because immediately my student is drawn to that page because there's an iguanodon on that page.
So immediately I at least have his attention for a second. All right? So there's some grapes on the table, an iguanodon ate half of them. He ate five grapes. Write an equation.
I can then animate it. Whoops. I clearly can't make it show the animation, but I can animate it. So he eats the five grapes. This is what it looks like. My student has something to look at.
My student has something to interact with. My student has a high-interest topic, in this case dinosaurs, that I can use to help my student access this information.
Angela bought five shirts. They each cost the same amount. I got rid of this 34.65 because, come on, let's use a number that's easily manipulated. 25, right? 5, 25.
So I'm going to break it into tasks for my student. Let's task analyze this. So the first thing I'm going to say to her is point to the parts of the equation. Which one is the five shirts?
Next I'm going to say to her, now she bought five shirts, she spent $25. Find the $25. Show me where that is in the equation. She shows me where the $25 are.
The next thing I'm going to say is, so if she has five shirts and $25, how much did she spend per shirt? She can match the money to the shirt.
I've made it more concrete for her. I've given her manipulatives. I made the numbers more manageable. I can break it into chunks for her.
And then I can bring in the point to the equation. So which equation would I be using? So breaking that question.
Does this seem much more manageable than that standard when we first opened it? Does this seem more like, okay, I can breathe a little bit?
I know this is still going to be hard. There's still going to be steps leading up to this for a lot of our students. Some of our students even -- aren't even here yet.
I understand that, and I'm happy to brainstorm how to get our students there and how to give them access to these other pieces. I'm not going to do it in this big session right now,
but you can have my email. You can contact me. I'm happy to do that. But just to give you the idea of how do I start to break these things down? How do I make it accessible?
Now I can start to embed IEP skills. All right? So this has been, I know, what seems like a very long process to get to this IEP skill.
But this is going to be faster the better you get with it. I can now do lessons like this in the same amount of time I used to be able to do lessons where I just took the IEP skill and built it,
okay, because the process has become embedded in my system. I can now do this much easier.
All right. So what I start to do is I look at specific IEP objectives.
Remember our prioritized skill? We decided to use computation and using models. Now I can start to look at, what are some IEP skills
that might fit in here? Distinguishing between letters and numbers. Sure, I can fit that into this. Using a calculator. Writing. One-to-one correspondence.
Remember this? Here's my student doing some one-to-one correspondence, very quickly too, my student's very fast. But here's my student doing some one-to-one correspondence, okay?
My student can then take that and we can take that equation and type it into the calculator. We have some more embedded IEP skills. We're still working towards that standard.
It's still leading us towards that standard. It's still embedded in that rich instructional context. But now I can start to embed those IEP skills.
There are so many other IEP skills you know you can embed in there. And there's lots of ways to do it. You can use IEP matrices to do it where you write your IEPs down, your goals down the side,
and then you write all the content areas. Or in my case, when I first started doing this, I had to -- and I know, please, no rotten tomatoes,
but when I first started doing this, I had to actually do it activity by activity. I couldn't do it content area by content area.
Just for my first one or two because I needed to sit through and think, okay, here's my IEP skill. Where does that fit in the activity?
And then once it became more embedded, then I could start to think, oh, yeah, yeah, that's where we're just going to fit it in. It's okay. All right?
So all of that brings us back to our systemic considerations, going back to what are our best inclusive practices. We've talked about a lot of these things.
Do you see how presumed competence, least dangerous assumption, how those pieces fit into this kind of work? That's really easy to see. Do you see how community and membership fit into that?
Let me jump ahead for a second. When most people think of inclusion, remember I asked you to come up with your vision of inclusion? How many people could easily envision inclusion
in PE, music, art, cafeteria? How many people easily saw that? How many people just as easily saw that in math science and reading? So not quite the same number of people.
When we started doing inclusion in the 80s, this was our vision. This is what we thought. This is great.
Kids are going to go into PE, they're going to go into art, they're going to go into cafeteria, music. It's going to be fabulous. But what we're finding, what we've learned in the past,
I don't even know what year we're in now, 20, 30 years? Oh dear god, now I feel old. Oh, now you've made me all sad. All right. So what we've learned. Now I'm old.
All right, so what we've learned is that, yes, kids could be included in these things. But we've also learned they can be included in these things: science, math, writing, reading.
There is so much technology out there that can help break down barriers. We need to give students the opportunities and the access to let them do that.
So some things you can think about systemically, okay, either in your own classroom or in your school or in your district. IEP goals and academic practices.
How are you writing and conceptualizing your IEPs? Okay, is there a common vision or process for your school or district to get everyone on the same page? Some states,
and I'm working on a paper on this so I -- but I don't have Pennsylvania's information in the front of my head, I'm sorry.
Some states have guidance about what it means -- about you have to have a standards-based IEP. And then they have some guidance about what that looks like.
The guidance varies a lot from state to state. You may need to, as a district, as a school, as a state, as a team, start thinking about what do we really mean in our IEPs?
What are we looking for? Does that mean that you get rid of all those other skills that we've been working on? Like, for instance, range of motion, speech language skills.
Do we get rid of those? Absolutely not. Let me -- everybody go no. No, we don't get rid of those. Okay. But we look at where these pieces are embedded together.
Common understanding of what functional skills are. I'd really like to end this conversation about I can't do that because it's not functional.
Would really love to end that conversation. We don't know what's going to be functional. I had no idea in elementary school what I was going to do when I grew up.
So if you had -- if you -- and if you had forced me to make an answer, you would have taken me out of school and put me in gymnastics 24/7 so I could be an Olympic gymnast
because clearly that's what I was meant to do. I didn't need math. I didn't need science. I might have needed some physics, I guess, but probably not. That's all I needed to do.
Why do we presume to say that we know what these kids are going to do when they graduate from high school?
Right? If you had asked my brother what he was going to do, he would have told you all from like the time I can remember until college that he was going to be a vet.
That's what he was going to do. He is not a vet. Okay, we change our minds.
I was reading somewhere where somebody was -- it was a general ed mother. Very upset that her child had to learn geology.
Why should you waste my child's time learning geology? This is ridiculous. We should not be doing this. I have a friend whose son's a geologist.
I never would have thought to be a geologist in my mind, but there are people who go off and they become geologists. I mean, that's kind of cool.
There's a little girl who was in Thailand when the -- was it Thailand? When the tsunami? She was in Thailand when the tsunami came.
She saved 200 people's lives because she had studied tsunamis the week before in school. And she looked at that situation and said, this is what a tsunami is, and got the people off the beach.
We don't know what kids are going to use. We don't know what they're going to do. We have no idea. We cannot say, oh, well, that's not a functional skill.
You never know. And honestly, there are times when just kvetching with your peers about what you had to sit through in math class is a very functional skill.
Scope and sequence. We need to start rethinking our scope and sequence because the days of spending a whole year on one skill are gone.
We need to think through, how are we going to address that? Alignment. I love alignment.
What are our guidelines for alignment? And there can be different guidelines for instruction and assessment. Absolutely. Having my students mix brownies as an introduction
to the instruction is a great way to grab their attention. Love brownies. I love brownies. Let's have brownies. But it cannot be the only thing I teach. Okay?
So that can be aligned for an introductory lesson to the full standard, but it cannot be my full standard.
I just wanted to bring you back to those variables evident within a successful, systemic change and then bring you back to this big picture.
So here we are looking at inclusive education and what it means. Belonging, equal membership, acceptance, being valued, supports, modification within the general ed.
All of these pieces are part of what we're talking about with inclusive practices.
So let me go back to the questions we started with. Oh, good. What's the common core going to change? So thinking about what we've done today, thinking about your practice, I want you to just write.
You don't have to share. What do you think the common core is going to change for you tomorrow, next week, as you prepare to roll out that common core and get ready for that? All right.
Write it down. Think about it. Contemplate it. How you doing? No. Well, maybe afterwards. Okay, I can do that. Okay, take 30 more seconds. Finish up. Is it okay if I finish early? It's okay?
All right. Anybody want to share? One thing you're going to start thinking about or doing or considering for either your classroom, your school,
or your district to help prepare for the common core for all students. All. I have to share a story and then I'll let you go back to, you know, what we're really doing just because I love this story.
So I was in a school and they were, for the first time ever, moving to standards. They were a little late to the standards movement. They had never had them before.
And the principal stood up -- or the dean stood up and said, we are -- and it was a school for the deaf. And he -- so he -- and he signs much better than I do, clearly.
So he starts talking about, you know, we're going to do this and all of our students are going to work towards grade level and we're going
to make progress and we're going to do these things. Then he starts outlining steps for how they're going to do that, how they're going to achieve that.
And then, at the end of the day, people were able to send in questions that we then looked at that night and then he was going to address in the morning.
The number one question was, but you don't really mean my student, right? You don't mean my student.
My student reads below grade level. My student doesn't read yet. My student doesn't have a first language yet. You don't mean my student.
And it was the most beautiful -- I wish I could have videotaped it. It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. This man stood up there and he said,
I thought I was clear. But let me try again. All students. All. All. All students. And he had like five more signs for all that I had never seen.
And he just kept saying all students. All students. Is that clear now? Do we get that? All students. It really means every single student.
So what are you going to do, think about, consider to make this change to the common core? For all students. Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I wrote down approaches to instruction, assessment, and self-evaluation for teachers which would lead to their outcomes for students.
DEBORAH TAUB: So start thinking about some approaches to instruction, assessment, and what was the last one?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Like self-evaluation.
DEBORAH TAUB: Self-evaluation for teachers to lead to better outcomes for all students.
There are a lot of classroom observation tools if you're a principal that you can use to start doing kind of just a checklist of what's going on my school, what do I see.
While I don't love the whole thing, the Pacific Rim has done some work with the National Alternate Assessment Center's observation tool, which is a little too unwieldy to use for everything
and it's not a teacher evaluation tool. Let me be really clear about that. It's just an observation tool to see what's going on and give you a baseline of what your school looks like.
But the thing I like about it is that it includes an IEP component and a student work component. So you can look at, what is it we say we're going
to work on? What's in the student's IEP and is that meshing with what is going on in the classroom? And then you have student work that you can then look at that too and say, does this align?
So in one of my world's jobs, I worked with alternate assessments, and I worked in a lot of states that did portfolio assessment. So you know, the students --
or the teachers developed lessons and then they'd turn in student work. Number one problem, unaligned work. Teachers thought they were working on X, and really they were assessing Y.
I have a whole new -- that's why alignment is so important to me because it became very clear to me early on in some of my school reform work too that there are some teachers who just struggle with,
I know this is what I'm teaching, I thought that's what I was assessing, but I've let other variables come in, and therefore it's not.
So let me give you an example. I had a teacher who -- very good teacher. She was doing characters. Student needed to identify main and supporting characters,
so the lesson was that the student would draw a picture. Charlotte's Web, they'd read it as a class. The student drew a picture to show the main character and the supporting characters.
And she brought it into me and it had a great big C on it. And I said, I'm a little confused as to why this has a C. I see Charlotte, I see Fern, I see Wilbur.
I even see Templeton, that little rat, right? I see all kinds of animals here. I'm not sure why this gets a C. Well, I had to tell her to sit down in her chair five times.
And then I had to tell her to use different colors. No, no. So there are -- there's a time and a need for behavior pieces, but when we're talking
about standards-based assessment, those behavior pieces do not come into it. And that was a very hard divide for her to make because they were just so enmeshed in her system. Thank you.
All right. So how do we provide supports that enable students to achieve the common core?
What are some ideas you have now? Either you came in with or you have now. How can you provide supports for students? Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Look at the CAST website and their teacher resources for the different means of representation, action, engagement.
DEVORAH TAUB: Okay, so looking at the CAST website and looking at the different resources that CAST has for teachers. Excellent.
What else can we do to provide supports that enable students to achieve the common core?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You can also look at the SAS website [inaudible]
DEBORAH TAUB: So you can -- and this is a big piece. You can look at the SAS website. You can collaborate with your general ed and special ed peers together, use templates,
either the one that I suggested here or there's plenty others, and start to think about how do we provide access. Planning lessons using universal design for learning. Great first step.
Which means, for those of you who are at the principal, district level, all your teachers need instruction and professional development in universal design for learning.
I met with a school the other day and I thought I was pretty clear that all of their teachers need to be involved in some professional development based on what I saw.
And about an hour into the conversation, the director of special education looked at me and said -- or looked at the woman next to me and said, what I'm hearing her say, I think,
even though she hasn't said this, is that maybe our general ed teachers need some professional development. Well, let me be really clear. Yes, yes, they do. Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Continuing with the professional development piece, I thought your non-examples of the work --
DEBORAH TAUB: The alignment?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I just think if teachers saw what it isn't, in addition to what it is.
DEBORAH TAUB: Right. And having some -- so what she was saying was looking at some of those non-examples of alignment and letting them work through it.
Because it is really easy to get sucked into, well, of course setting the table's a pattern. Why doesn't that work? And letting them have those conversations in a safe, friendly environment.
And then talking about, what could we do? Taking it that next step. What can we do to support something else in place of this?
And then what are some Inclusive education practices and how do they support these changes? I think we've been pretty clear. Membership, participation, high expectations,
having some systemic changes, joint collaboration time. If your school and your district does not provide for that, you need to probably rethink that.
Look at how mean I can be up here. So, sorry. So prescriptive today. Sorry. But those are just some things you could think about, how's that?
If you need to reach me, you can certainly email me if you're struggling with a piece of this or a student. I'm happy to help try to figure out what we can do.
And I want to thank you all. You've been a wonderful audience. So I appreciate your hard work and your thinking and your communication. It's been wonderful. Thank you.


Contextual Background

Starts at 01:35

Four-Step Process

Starts at 41:23

Active Learning

Starts at 1:20:46

Audience Q&A

Starts at 1:44:37