I have two questions about IEP modifications. I have the ICS sections of math, and I plan on asking my co-teacher and/or the case manager to be sure, but what do you think: 1) One girl's IEP says "limit new concepts taught each class" . I don't understand how something like that even makes it into an IEP. I usually only teach 1-2 new ideas/concepts per day (3 at the most), but still. This is an ICS class with half special ed. and half general ed kids. I have to get through the curriculum just as though it were any gen. ed. class without ICS. If I did have to teach a bunch of new concepts in order to meet the curriculum, how could I comply with this? 2) Another girl's says "allow calculator use". I usually allow calculator use, but there are a couple of topics where a calculator defeats the whole purpose of the topic. (For instance, some of the concepts with radicals and evaluating trig functions.) Does this mean I have to allow calculator use for EVERYTHING, or am I allowed to give them the occasional non-calculator assessment when the calculator trivializes things. Again, I will check with the special ed dept in my school, but just wondering about these questions from your general experiences.

I agree that you should check with the students' case managers. They will best be able to answer your question. I had a student who had something similar to limiting new concepts taught. What we did was to limit only the content that they were responsible for. So if I was introducing three new concepts in a day, this student may only be responsible for one-two of the new concepts. Then the special education teacher would help to cover the other concepts that she missed when we did more review type lessons. And the calculator accommodation has almost always been when I was not assessing computational skills. I did have one student that was allowed to use a calculator for all skills though (he was receiving a modified curriculum though).

I really don't know about #1. Seems silly to me also. I only taught 1 year in the 7th/8th area and the calculator thing wasn't a real issue because they still need the skill of calculator use to carry it out. So if you think about real life, would someone REALLY prefer not to use a calculator to do radicals and trig functions? In order to use the calculator, things must be inputted in a specific order so it's not like the calculator automatically will give them the right answer. I get what you're trying to teach, but you are talking about kids with learning disabilities and this is what they need to complete the assignment. So I would say, yes, calculator for everything...or you could go the route of do it all without a calculator, then when you're done, get the calculator from me to check. Or TRY without a calc., then get it after you've had the assignment for 20 minutes, or whatever reasonable time frame.

I do agree about you with the calculator. The complicated thing is that other teachers on my team don't like calculators, and we're supposed to be on the same page. It makes it very tough.

exactly, I don't care what their belief is, IEPs and the LAW trump their belief. If they have a problem, bring it up with your sped person or administrator. These are kids and they learn differently with degreed adults.

For #1, our district would handle it like mopar suggested. If there is a day where you find yourself teaching more than 3 concepts, choose the one or two that are most important and make sure the student gets those concepts in class. Then the sped teacher can go back and work on the other concept(s). For #2, this really became a nonissue when our kiddos got to high school because all students used calculators. I don't remember either math teacher saying they couldn't ever use a calculator in their rooms. I did have to tell a math teacher that it was ok for a sped student to use the calculator for everything, even what she considered 'simple calculations' because that was his area of LD. She had not been allowing him to use the calculator to figure out multiplication problems within the math problem and therefore he was getting the problems wrong. When he redid the paper with the use of a calculator, his grade increased to passing. He got the concept she was teaching and could do the problems, but couldn't do the calculations. The law is the law though and that is what I told her.

They do not have IEPs in their class. I will surely let the IEP kids use the calculators. My preference is to just let everyone use them, but my team doesn't think it is fair if I let my gen ed kids use them if theirs can not. If I only let the IEP kids use them, how would I explain that to the gen. ed. students?

The glasses analogy might be persuasive, RadiantBerg: we don't allot glasses to every kid in a classroom because many kids don't need them, but we also don't demand that a kid who needs glasses not wear them when kids who don't need them aren't wearing them.

Fair doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing....it means everyone gets what they need to be successful.

If this student really needs the number of concepts cut down in order to have access to the curriculum and the general education classroom typically exceeds what this student can handle, then the placement for this student is wrong. Present level of performance drives goals as well as how the disability impacts the student. The goals drive the placement. It seems something went wrong in the IEP meeting and this student was placed higher most likely because there is not a true continuum of services. I would expect that your school has team taught classes or self-contained that is well below the level of the grade level standards. You probably can't comply with this student's IEP. Now, this student might be able to access the curriculum in a pull-out class with fewer students where the curriculum could be slowed down a bit because instruction and product could be specially designed to make sure the student's needs are met, but in a team taught classroom, this can't be easily done without the student having almost 1:1 help and working at a different pace than the rest of the students.

Both true. I also really like the glasses analogy. I could see a couple of kids saying "...but I do NEED a calculator" although I guess I could respond by saying that they simply WANT one.

Good points. Unfortunately what happens in my district is that if the parents roar loud enough, they can be placed in whatever class they want regardless of teacher and team recommendations. I've had several kids in my class who were recommended for resource room or for a modified curriculum course, but the parents overrode the recommendations. It took them failing the first few assignments to come to terms with this. I guess we shall see how this girl does.

Neat! I may hang this in my classroom. I found two--one with animals being asked to climb a tree and one with racers on different sized platforms. Not sure which I like better.

Honestly this may not be a popular answer. However, there is case law backing it. There was a case in which a student had "fewer choices" on tests. A kid asked why does he get few choices, the teacher explained why. Parent sued and won, breach of confidentially. The best answer is, "his use of a calculator doesn't concern you."

Just curious. Are you modifying for the kid or accommodating? Totally different. These sound like accommodations.