TVI and Ph.D. candidate Tara Mason presents a webinar called Common Core State Standards: Challenges for Teachers of Students who are Visually Impaired. The presentation begins with an examination of how the standards are written and discussing what each section means, and then dissects the problem and answers, with a look at the role of the TVI, testing, and resources. Mason reminds us that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) establish a benchmark of what all students should learn, but they DO NOT dictate how teachers should teach it.
- What makes the CCSS different from the previous state standards?
- What are the challenges that students with visual impairments and/or multiple impairments may face with this new set of standards?
- What are the strategies that TVIs can use to ensure student success in classrooms using the new CCSS?
Dissecting the Math language and framework
- The top descriptor of each standard is the “Domain” which is composed of both a descriptive title and number.
- The “standard” is the bolded information under the domain number/statement.
- Underneath that is the “cluster” which is the more detailed description of the skills a student needs to perform in order to successfully be evaluated using the standard.
Standards in this domain (LIST OF ALL STANDARDS UNDER DOMAIN): (taken from Math -- Grade 7 -- The Number System)
“Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions.” (DOMAIN) -- CCSS.Math.Content.7.NS.A.1
"Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram. (STANDARD)
Describe situations in which opposite quantities combine to make 0. For example, a hydrogen atom has 0 charge because its two constituents are oppositely charged. (1st CLUSTER)
ELA (English Language Arts)
Standards are provided in strands.
Differences between Math and ELA Standards
- Math focuses on the concept behind the operation.
- ELA uses reading, writing, and listening as building blocks to learn from written material.
What are the challenges that students with visual impairments and/or multiple impairments may face with this new set of standards?
- Conceptual understanding of CCSS is being able to turn an idea backwards, forwards, and around in the mind of our students
- Implementation issues
- Appropriate testing accommodations
What are the challenges for TVIs?
- Emphasis on technology
- Tools for "access skills"
- Ways to promote higher level thinking
- Not becoming a tutor
- Ensuring incorporation of ECC (Expanded Core Curriculum)
- Advocacy for testing, instruction, and inclusion
What are the strategies that TVIs can use to ensure student success in classrooms using the new CCSS?
Work as a Team and include your districts’ technology person in the IEP/504 Meeting.
Tools for access skills: Assistive Technology
Use tools to bring together the ECC and CCSS, e.g. take student to the bank, open checking account, use mathematical equation to figure out projected savings plan.