Case Study: Special Education

How do you reach students with a 36-75 IQ? The answer is technology. It has been the answer for my class of nineteen developmentally delayed high school students. I have created a Web-based curriculum that matches their IEP goals and objectives as well as the NYS Alternate Assessment.

The page is a combination of Web Quests, Scavenger Hunts and individual sites. First we use the Web Quests and Scavenger Hunts as group lesson plans. Students then access the sites during their computer time. Each site has been added to meet the individual needs of each of the students in the class.

Web Quests and Scavenger Hunts range from How to Write a Friendly Letter to How to Order From a Menu and How to Tell Time. These are all life skills that need to be addressed. In addition they are part of the students’ IEP goals and objectives and the NYS Alternate Assessment.

Individual sites range from 1) talking books to 2) putting words into alphabetical order for English to 3) adding coins and money to 4) measuring with a ruler. Students are able to use these sites independently. The advantage to these sites is they allow students to work at their own pace. Furthermore it allows the teacher to individualize a student’s progress and the level of work he or she is doing. It creates differentiated instruction when you have a class of varying levels.

The web site has been broken down into two sections, Ms Windman’s Site and The Life Skills Site. Both sites have English, Social Studies, Science and Math links. Ms Windman’s Site has a link called Student Games, a bonus link used on Fridays as a reward for a good week. It is the teacher’s choice to tell the students where to go. My class is truly independent. They can maneuver back and forth between sites.

I try to add new sites at least once a month. The students get very excited to see new sites, as I now have hooked them on technology. They enjoy learning through the eyes of the Internet. They enjoy their independence, all the time knowing they need to stay in the confines of my Website. The goal for all students is to become independent and to increase their self-esteem. I believe I have been able to create this for my students through the use of technology.

Resources for Students

The Telling Time Web Quest helps students who are having difficulty telling time. First the site has children looking at digital clocks and matching them to analog clocks. Next it has students identifying the hour and then the five minute intervals, and finally students are timed to match the correct times

How to Read a Medicine Label first tells the student what to look for on the medicine bottle, next it explains what the medicine is used for, and then there is a simulation on how to call 911.

Under math, I have a Let’s Work With Fractions Scavenger Hunt. First it explains what fractions are, next students play a pizza game, then they play a matching fractions game, and then there are two more fraction pizza games.

Under Science, a Nutrition Scavenger Hunt is a very simple hunt to find out if the foods they are eating are healthful. It also teaches the food pyramid

The Individual Sites

For Social Studies: USA Today is a newspaper site great for current events. It has great video clips that can be used to show the week in review.

For Science: Dole 5 A Day Challenge is an interactive site with information and games to help students learn about the food pyramid.

For Math: How Many Cents? Has students add real coins with a calculator provided by the website.

For English: Library helps students figure out which letter in the alphabet is missing.

Vicki Windman