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Academic Instruction for Students With Moderate and Severe Intellectual Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms

Academic Instruction for Students With Moderate and Severe Intellectual Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms

Foreword by Diane Ryndak

May 2010 | 208 pages | Corwin
While most resources for inclusive education focus on teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities, teachers of students with more severe disabilities need specific methods to provide the individualized and systematic instruction necessary to support students in inclusive environments. This unique book meets that need with approaches, information, and ideas for teachers of students with moderate to severe disabilities in general education classrooms.

June E. Downing draws from a strong research base to provide practical instructional strategies, plus suggestions based on personal experience. Featuring tables and figures, chapter summaries, photographs, multiple examples, and strategies that address the how-to of instruction, this resource helps general and special education teachers:

- Adapt their curriculum to meet both individual student needs and state standards for core curriculum

- Work collaboratively with other teachers

- Develop assessments that accurately determine student needs

- Keep track of student progress through data collection

Essential for today's inclusive classrooms, this guide covers everything teachers need to know to provide individualized instruction and assessment for their students with significant intellectual disabilities.

Diane Ryndak
Foreword. by Diane Ryndak
About the Author
1. Teaching Students With Moderate to Severe Intellectual Disabilities in General Education Classrooms: Foundational Beliefs
Key Concepts

A Historical Perspective: Where We Came From

The Present Situation and Challenge

What is Inclusive Education?

What is Not Inclusive Education

Who Are We Talking About?


2. Instructional Strategies and Teaching Arrangements
Key Concepts

Characteristics of Effective Instruction for All Students

Clear Expectations

Analyzing Tasks for Improved Learning

What We Know About Teaching Students with Moderate to Severe Intellectual Disabilities

The Importance of Student Interests

Components of the Teaching Task

Prompting Strategies

Consequences of the Behavior

Using Sequences of Different Prompts to Teach Students: Shaping Behavior

Maintaining and Generalizing Skills

Teaching Arrangements in General Education Classrooms


3. Determining Student Needs: What to Teach
Key Concepts

Limitations of Standardized Assessment

Family and Child-Based Assessment Procedure

Record Review

Observational Assessments

What’s the Class Doing?

Interpreting Content Standards

Blending Student/Family Goals with State Standards

Identifying Learning Opportunities

Writing IEP Goals and Objectives


4. Teaching Core Curriculum to Students With Moderate to Severe Intellectual Disabilities
Key Concepts

The Critical Need to Adapt Curriculum to Make it Meaningful

Identifying the BIG Ideas from Core Curriculum

Determining Prompts to Use for a Particular Student and Lesson

Examples of Students Receiving Direct Instruction Across Grades and Instructional Arrangements

Large Group Instruction

Generalization of Skills Taught


5. It Takes a Village: Teaching as a Collaborative Effort
Key Concepts

The Expectation of Team Collaboration

Team Members Involved in Instruction

Credentialed Teachers


Supporting General Education Ownership

Paraprofessionals as Teachers

Related Service Providers

Parent Volunteers

Peers as Teachers

A Few Cautions When Using Peers

The Need for Information and Training

Effective Use of Team Members

The Importance of Consistency

Generalization of Skills Across Team Members


6. Keeping Track of Student Progress, by Kathryn D. Peckham-Hardin and June E. Downing
Key Concepts

Types of Data Collection Strategies

Linking Data Collection Methods to the IEP Objectives

Collecting Data While Teaching in General Education Classrooms

Examples of Collecting Data During Instructional Times

Test Taking by the Class

Training Paraprofessionals and Others to Take Data

The Need for Alternate Assessment


7. He’s Getting It! Now What? Taking Learning to the Next Level
Key Concepts

Involving the Student in Planning Next Steps

Writing IEP Objectives to Reflect Next Steps

Using Standards and Performance Indicators to Determine Next Steps

Using Task Analyses to Determine Next Steps

Using Life Needs to Determine Next Steps

Postsecondary Options

Next Steps for Nonacademic Skills



"June Downing has a talent for explaining complex information in easily understood ways using practical examples that reflect exemplary, evidence-based educational practices. This book goes a long way in conceptualizing access to the general education curriculum for students with severe intellectual disabilities and operationalizing it within typical regular class activities. It is a valuable resource for teachers, special educators, parents, and related service providers interested in extending inclusive opportunities for students with severe disabilities."

Michael F. Giangreco, Professor
Center on Disability & Community Inclusion, University of Vermont

"A useful resource for all educational teams who plan for students with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities. In each chapter Downing summarizes current, key research and offers practical applications from her wealth of experience in schools. Readers who are new to planning for students with severe disabilities will find excellent coverage of the basics like systematic instruction, positive behavior support, and collaboration. Professionals with extensive experience will benefit from the new ideas for planning, including specific examples of adapting academic content, considering both family goals and state standards in planning, and using universal design for learning."

Diane M. Browder, Snyder Distinguished Professor of Special Education
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

"Anyone who reads this book will benefit from the dedicated career and expertise of June Downing encapsulated in a clear, practical resource. This book can help educators make meaningful differences in the lives of diverse-ability learners in inclusive settings."

Ellin Siegel, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Director, Severe Disabilities Program and Visual Impairments Program

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ISBN: 9781412971423

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