Accommodations in the Classroom

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Today we will....

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STAAR M is going away.

Modifications are here to stay.

STAAR A is coming our way.

Accommodations are a click away.

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What we think we know:

• Computer based assessment

• Embedded accommodations

• Simplified language of some test questions

• Simplified versions of individual words

• Preview text for reading passages (OA allowed)

• Math and science formula support

• Clarification of charts and graphs

• Computer-based oral administration

• Tools including:

  • Highlighter

  • Ruler
  • Graph paper
  • Contrast and background options

Simulate these accommodations:

  • A free website
  • Simplifies instructions
  • Simplifies individual words

2. WordTalk

  • A free plug-in for Windows
  • Oral administration to preview reading passages
  • Computer-based oral administration

3. Read & Write for Google

  • A free web app
  • Picture dictionary
  • Word prediction
  • Highlighters
  • Contrast Options

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Universal Design for Learning

UDL teaches us that by scaffolding, offering choices, and differentiating as part of the plan, "accommodating and modifying" are reduced in favor of "pluralizing."
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*even the new accommodations triangle allows for more student variability.

Accommodations Change....Everything!

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Other Ways to Accommodate

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A note about accommodations...

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Once upon a time....

There were three levels of accommodations available on state testing. The

"Type 1 Accommodations" are now available to everyone.

Even more accommodations-for-everyone were added. They are called OPTIONAL TESTING PROCEDURES AND MATERIALS. ( or OTPAM's) Here they are:


blank place markers, magnifying devices, individual/small group testing, and reading assistance for 3rd grade math.

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a live interactive link to the new triangle

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The Real World

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In the real world...

We are not restricted to STAAR-QUALITY accommodations.
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Accommodation Ideas

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Modification Ideas

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Let's Talk About It!

Open a browser on your phone or laptop.

Go to

Enter room # 60616

Enter your name (feel free to use a pseudonym).

Text your answers to the following scenarios.


Arthur is a student with autism. When the classroom gets noisy, he gets very agitated. He has a stress ball that he uses to soothe himself, and it works—but he is unable to write at the same time.

The teacher believes that kids learn best when they are discussing their thought processes. Independent practice happens in groups much of the time.


Beulah is a 7th grade student who has a learning disability in written expression and reading comprehension. She is a hard worker and always strives for her personal best; it just takes longer for her to achieve quality work.

Beulah is failing science because of the incomplete assignments that are due at the end of each class.


Carson is visually impaired. When wearing glasses, he can read the large print handouts the teachers give him so he can follow along with what is being projected or written on the whiteboard. Carson has an audio version of his World Geography text, and he has even begun reading Braille a little, anticipating that his vision will continue to deteriorate.

Carson’s history teacher wanted to do a Gallery Walk to have the students make inferences about a culture based on artifacts. She had wanted to use art, relics found during archaeological digs, historical documents, and other things.


Delaney is a student receiving special education services. She often asks for the directions to be read to her several times, even if it is an assignment similar to what she’s completed before. Reading her FIE, her math teacher learned that Delaney struggles with memory retrieval.

This week the class is reviewing equivalent fractions a final time before the test on Friday.


Franklin receives special education services for a cognitive disability. He attends resource classes for language arts and math. The inclusion teacher is very helpful with getting Franklin to attempt all assignments in the general education science class, and they celebrate his positive attitude and small successes.

The students are going to complete a lab in small groups. Ms. Traynor knows that every group will complain about having Franklin with them. They say that he’s not able to do his share of the work.


Gary is deaf. He relies heavily on his interpreter during his Pre-AP English class. Even though he pays careful attention and asks lots of questions for clarification, he suspects that he still misses some information.

Mr. Toohey is planning on having the students identify some rhetorical devices in famous speeches. To generate interest, they will begin with a video of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream.”


Hester’s accommodations include “assistance with note-taking.” She reported to her teacher on the first day of class that all her other teachers give her copies of class notes. It seems to be working; the teacher noted that Hester received A’s and B’s in all her classes the year before.

During the lessons, while the other students are following along and taking notes, Hester is texting on her phone, distracting her classmates, or sleeping.


Despite some deficits in executive functioning, Isabel has made some progress in learning English. She’s very proud of her hard work. When the teacher gives her an in-class assignment, Isabel gives it her best effort, and always completes it.

Every student is expected to participate in the science fair, which will require a longer project with many steps. Task analysis and following a timeline are hard for those with limitations in executive functioning.

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