Monthly Archives: July 2017

Assessing for Development, Emerging Knowledge, Intervention, and Modification: Using Assistive Technology

 

The importance of assistive technology is to help those in need with the normalcy that

too many take for granted. “According to the Technology-Related Assistance for

Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-407), an assistive

technology means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired

commercially, off-the-shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain,

or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” (Stokes, n.d., para 3)

Even as educators working with young children it is necessary to be able to use tools that

assist them in learning and address delays early so early childhood educators can help

each child reach towards their fullest potential. When educators modify tasks, they take

in consideration all students and break the mold from the one size fits all with education

and the assessments children must take.

       Picture communication symbol(PCS), has a software system called Broadmaker, that

ELL and special needs children and adults can use, black and white pictures symbols

with messages to help students with word and picture recognition. (Stokes, n.d., para 6)

True Based Objects Icons are suggested to use with children who may have problems

identifying objects. It takes shapes and lines and create a way for children to see and feel

what the object it’s trying to represent a two-dimensional shape. (Stokes, n.d., para, 9)

These technologies can be used for preschool to adult in reading comprehension, self-

help, academic skills, and scheduling organization. Even in music visual impaired

students use/ Braille embossers and note takers to transcribe music. Text to speech

computer laptops used programs such as “GOODFEEL, a program designed by Dancing

Dots Software, can open scores created with Lime, translate them into braille music

notation, and send them to a connected braille embosser.” (Rush,2015, p. 79, para

6)Visual systems can be used to assist in mathematical concepts with pictures to

represent numbers and word problems. Visual systems can also assist with scheduling to

show little ones where to move to help with time. Visual systems are great in identifying

reading concepts and words also. Placing pictures with words helps with reading. Visual

systems can include anything used to help stimulate the mind through the eyes. Visual

stimulation can be in any object real or non-real, pictures, drawings or written words

(Stokes, n. d.) Culturally this is great because it helps English Language Learners (ELL)

with a picture to recognize the words to have a path to their long-term memory to

connect pictures with words. Teachers are called upon at most times to differentiate

instruction and show pictures to ELL children. This system is effective.  Educators can

use real life objects like taking a nature walk with ELL children and showing leaf, ant,

and rocks. Explaining everything slowly with an object meant more to the students.

Visual technology especially on computers are helpful. Children who are five years old

continue to click on a picture because it kept saying the word of that object. The only way

to determine effectiveness is show the child that object at a different time and see if they

could recall the picture schedule or the object at random in an informal assessment or

on a standardized test that also shows pictures. The fault colleagues have seen when

pictures and words are connected, are the different meanings or names for objects. For

example, the test may say dish and child is calling it a plate. Sometimes the visual and

words do not match. Double meanings like color word orange also being a fruit can

confuse an ELL student.

“Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, a pen that is slightly larger than a regular ballpoint pen.

The Smartpen contains a camera and microphone, which capture everything writers say

and draw. Students activate the pen’s audio and visual features by tapping “start”—one

of several icons that run across the bottom of special Smartpen dot paper.”  (Bogard &

McMackin, 2012, p. 316, para 1) They can replay any part they need and talk out their

plots. They can tap any part of their work and resume. Audio pens are wonderful that

can be used by older children and even kindergarten can use it. Their standards include

characters and plot so they can make up and discuss stories using the audio technology.

The technology is great in reading and help with language usage and grammar. This

would help ELL children to see their words become a part of a picture on the computer.

It also helps them to cognitively concentrate so that what they really want to say shows

up on their picture. An issue would be the mispronunciation of words which may cause

frustration of unwanted drawings on the computer.

References

Bogard, J. & McMackin, M. (2012). Combining traditional and new literacies in a 21st-

century writing workshop. Reading Teacher65(5), 313-323. doi:10.1002/TRTR.01048

Stokes, S. (n.d.). Assistive technology for children with autism. CESA 7. Wisconsin

Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved from

http://www.cesa7.org/sped/autism/assist/asst10.htm on Nielsen, L. (2011). 25

incredible assistive technologies. Retrieved from

http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2011/09/25-incredible-assistive-

technologies.html

 

 

 

Can You Choose the Proper Assessment for My Students?

      Please help me decide the best researched based assessment I can use for my students

in these two scenarios. The scenarios are not giving away what the assessment I chose to

use nor what my colleagues suggested I use. I value my guests here to help make

informed decisions. Thank you.

      Every assessment is meaningful for educators. Early Childhood educators need to be

informed of various assessments so that they can create meaningful lesson plans and

curriculum for our students and their future. The more assessments available,  parents

and stake holders can review data and make choices in the best interest of the child. The

tasks can be made authentic and the child can feel successful. The information provided

gives a purposeful assessment as defined by Ebbeck, Teo, Tan, & Goh. (2014).

                  “One of the primary purposes of assessment is to gather information about

              children’s development and use it as a basis for curriculum decision making.

              When seen in this light, it will allow children to make further progress in their

               learning. It also enables this information to be shared with all those who have a

              stake in the children’s future, including parents, teachers and caregivers, centre

              administrators and referral agencies for children who have additional needs.” (p.

              116)

     Here is a student who may have a Emotional Disturbed  disability and the teacher

needs to find an assessment that meets his needs and can benefit him later in his

education because he is very intelligent. Decide if he is gifted or needs other assessments

and guidance. I need your help in helping me decide on assessments to help this child. I

want him to be successful and need the best possible assessments to be authentic and

beneficial for him.

Scenario 1: There is a little boy who is five years old. He just started kindergarten. He

was quiet at first. He clung to his mom, she kissed him, and told him she had to go. Once

Mom was gone he cried but then sat down. On his first day at his new school, he could

write his first and last name. Since this was about three weeks into school when he came,

the teacher did not want to back track to the readiness assessment for beginning

kindergarten with him. He was able to grasp objects and  throw crayons to hit others

across the room. The teacher had exhausted all the work that day and he finished early

every time. He would run around the room and laugh as he took someone’s pencil or

knocked them out of their chair. When told to get back to work, he was finished, and it

was correct. According to  Banerjee & Luckner (2013), “The third most frequently

reported challenge was participation of young children when conducting assessment due

to their inappropriate behavior, limited attention span, or noncompliance during the

assessment process that could result in the development of functional goals.”(p.242) He

could write sentences if modeled what you needed for him to do. He became angry and

would tear things off the wall that helped others learn. He spit in one teacher’s face, bit

another teacher, and twisted the hand of an assistant and sprained it. Seemed to be a

bright young man. He was hard to assess because he was constantly moving. He did

seem to have liked the attention of a male figure.  The teachers and school kept trying to

figure out how we can assess this little boy. We can not tell his talents or weaknesses

unless we can get him to move quickly through the assessments in a timely matter.

References

Banerjee, R., & Luckner, J. L. (2013). Assessment practices and training needs of early

childhood professionals. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 34(3), 231–

248.

Ebbeck, M., Teo, G. L. C., Tan, C., & Goh, M. (2014). Relooking assessment: A study on

assessing developmental learning outcomes in toddlers. Early Childhood Education

Journal, 42(2), 115–123.

In this Scenario the children is clearly identified as having disability which is kept

from you so you can figure out  what it is he has and what intervention we can provide

to him.  He is also in kindergarten and need the intervention and assessments in place to

help him.

Scenario 2: A six-year old boy who is in kindergarten is currently being observed in his

classroom for his behavior and actions towards others. He is a very smart boy. He can

remember things academically. But if he stabs someone with a pencil or kick them in the

head, he cries when the teacher calls his hand to it. He says he does not remember it and

he is sorry.  He can run out of the room with others and laugh if they are doing good or

bad things. He says he wants to be their friend. No one wants to be his friend because he

hurts people. Even after telling him to stop he waits, but it doesn’t take two minutes

before he is up again touching someone. He loves one on one time with teacher and can

focus on his favorite task tracing the alphabet and finding the alphabet on cookies. He

constantly has an obsession with this game on alphabets and anything to do with the

alphabet, including magnets, computer games and the ABC cookies game. He sneaks

behind teacher’s work area to sprawl the alphabet cookies on the floor. Any find and

seek game he loves to play. He cries when no one will share but when he receives

anything he does not share. He will cry louder after teacher acknowledge he’s in trouble.

Teacher and other people that work with him are frustrated because he does not seem to

stop and they feel that they are not equipped to handle a child like him. “The present

results from a study demonstrated that professional training related to assessment tools

and techniques is offered inconsistently to school professionals.” (Madaus, Rinaldi, Bigai,

&Chafouleas, 2009, p. 91, para 4.) All the assessments they have taken were academic to

even be considered an Response to Intervention(RTI) student. They figured his behavior

and peculiar actions at times where he would change his name and not answer unless

you called him by that name, would affect academics to place him on the RTI list and

have a team review him. He passed all academic test and beyond. The school

psychologist would not look at him and just said he had a behavior problem deal with

him, since he was so smart. Parents have worked with teacher and proved that this

behavior has followed him through preschool.  His teacher there said he needed help but

did not know what kind. The current school counselor, teacher and parents have sat

down to discuss his behavior. He is also sick a lot and mom says it is from allergies. No

one intervention is there for children with his condition. “Successful interventions may

share several common elements that can help improve the skills and lives of young

children with [this problem].” (Magiati, Charman, & Howlin, 2007, p.810, para 4) They

have a plan to start with and teacher will start implementation as soon as this little boy

returns from being sick.

References

Madaus, J., Rinaldi, C., Bigaj, S., & Chafouleas, S. (2009). An examination of current

assessment practices in northeastern school districts. Assessment for Effective

    Intervention, 34(2), 86-93.

Magiati, I., Charman, T., Howlin, P. (2007). A two-year prospective follow-up study of

community-based early intensive behavioural intervention and specialist nursery

provision for children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Child Psychology

and Psychiatry 48(8), p 803–812. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01756.x