Classroom Assessment for Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings

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9780130810496: Classroom Assessment for Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings

This state-of-the art book considers the whole child and provides a comprehensive guide to authentic, pragmatic assessment as well as IEP planning and programming. It covers a wide range of informal methods of evaluation, including how to develop, administer, score, interpret, and match results to the curriculum. Written in a user-friendly format, this practical resource links theory to practice with real-life examples and gives detailed explanations regarding how, when, and why to assess.

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Classroom Assessment for Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings is written for future teachers and experienced educators who are interested in developing or expanding their understanding of effective and reflective assessment practices. It is designed to be used in undergraduate and graduate education courses and can be used for in-service and reaccreditation courses for practicing teachers, support staff, administration, and any personnel who provide services to students with diverse learning needs. Because of its focus on inclusive practices, procedures, collaboration, and the relationship between assessment and instructional programming, this text can also serve as a supplementary text for educational psychology, tests and measures, methods, or consultation courses.

Most assessment texts focus on formal, standardized assessment. This text is different; it addresses all aspects of assessment but focuses primarily on informal, teacher-friendly and classroom-relevant methods of measuring achievement, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and monitoring the progress of students with diverse learning needs. The goal of this book is to provide the educator with the skills needed to effectively use an authentic, dynamic approach to understanding the needs of the whole child. This is accomplished by identifying how a variety of factors—cultural, linguistic, medical, health, social—emotional and the home, school, and community environment-can affect the child's educational adjustment and progress in educational programs.

Chapter Contents and Organization

Each chapter begins with key terms that are intended to direct and guide learning, followed by an introduction that presents topics covered in the chapter. Chapters are divided into sections for easy reference. The book is organized according to general test procedural order. Clear explanations are provided regarding the development, administration, scoring, interpretation, graphing, and correlation of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) results into goals and objectives. Also addressed are curriculum design and methods for the reporting of progress to parents, related services personnel, support staff, and administration.

Authentic case studies give readers examples of classroom scenarios that demonstrate how, when, and why particular assessment procedures are used and explain how to match needed accommodations or modifications to individual needs. Each chapter contains numerous illustrations, examples, models, and directions that will guide teachers in correlating assessment measures to students' curriculum—and subsequently, assessment results to instructional programming. At the conclusion of each chapter, a summary and chapter checkup provide focus points for reader reflection and review.

This book is organized into four parts. Part One, Overview of the Assessment Process, includes Chapters 1, 2, and 3, which provide the reader with comprehensive coverage of the reasons for assessment, what the assessment process entails, and variables that can affect assessment results. The first chapter addresses the purpose of assessment, with an extensive description of the evaluation process—from the initial identification of a problem through the pre-referral, referral, classification, program development, and placement decisions to progress monitoring. The second chapter covers the various types of assessment procedures, their strengths and weaknesses, the issues to consider when deciding which assessment method to use, and the use of technology in assessment. The third chapter identifies the numerous medical, physical, environmental, and cultural factors that affect students experiencing difficulty functioning in the school setting.

Part Two, Preliminary Assessment Issues, includes Chapters 4 and 5. This part deals with the legal, ethical, political, and accountability issues that must be considered during the assessment process. Chapter 4 covers the recent reforms of major professional educational associations and mandated legislative issues, with particular attention given to IDEA-97 regulations that deal with the assessment of students with diverse educational needs. Additional issues address accountability, the impact of including students with disabilities in core curricular content assessment, and guidelines for using accommodations, modifications, or alternative assessment when assessing students with diverse educational needs.

Part Three, Development and Implementation of Assessment, includes Chapters 6 through 10. These chapters cover assessment in the basic skill and content area subjects, specifically reading, oral and written language, spelling and handwriting, mathematics, science, social studies, and study skills. Also included are the developmental learning process associated with each subject area, the factors that affect students with learning difficulties, and the various techniques teachers can use to evaluate students individually, in small groups, or as a whole class in inclusive instructional settings.

Part Four, Focus on Transition Assessment, consists of Chapter 11. This chapter covers the issue of transition, both at the early education and the secondary school levels. Components that need to be evaluated, legislative mandates related to the transition process, and a review of the assessment methods used for transition assessment are addressed. Also covered are the topics of individual student programming for preschoolers, specifically the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), and the secondary-level transition plan, referred to as the Individualized Transition Plan (ITP).

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I am grateful to my family, friends, and colleagues, who have encouraged and guided me through the evolution of this book-from voluminous notes to the final product. It would not have been possible without the tremendous support and efforts of my family. Therefore, I dedicate this book to my family: my ever-patient, husband Michael, for sharing his experience and expertise, suggestions, and direction, and for his gentle prodding that brought this dream to fruition. My mother, Helen Gallagher, for her ongoing concern, reassurance, and editorial assistance. Our children—Eric, Joan, Julie, and Drew—who each dedicated their time and talents to the production of this text. My sisters, Joan Gallagher and Barbara McDonald, who are always there to help me deal with the challenges of life.

My sincere gratitude goes to Ann Castel Davis, my executive editor, for her guidance, patience, and ongoing enthusiasm for this project. Many thanks also to Emily Autumn from Clarinda Publication Services for her ongoing patience and skill and also to Sheryl Langner for overseeing this project and fine-tuning this text on its way to press. I also appreciate the efforts of the manuscript reviewers who provided thoughtful and insightful comments: Donald B. Crawford, Western Washington University; Dan Fennerty, Central Washington University; Darcy Miller, Washington State University; and Carol Moore, Troy State University. My acknowledgments and appreciation to Stewart Shostak and Frank Sullivan for their technical assistance, and to the Mount Laurel, New Jersey, School District for granting permission to include their curriculum materials.

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