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This handbook is intended to present a clear pathway for general and special education teachers to adequately prepare for students with special needs who are struggling with the general education curriculum. All special education teachers, and any general education teachers who frequently have students on their roster who require more than incidental modifications of their curriculum, are the appropriate participants for training in the use of this process. This would include teachers of introductory courses, courses required for a graduation diploma and courses often considered to have more application to life skills. Educators on both sides of the academic fence will receive instruction for preparing a basic modification plan in three easy steps: Paring concepts to those most critical; pairing those critical concepts with daily course requirements; and preparing revisions. A basic modification plan, prepared only once for each course, becomes the foundation for addressing student-specific needs when it is aligned with an individual student's IEP. This handbook is organized around a river metaphor to provide a visual for the process we are recommending to our readers. The specifics of the process were developed during a three-year pilot project in a large urban Midwestern high school and are predominantly based on conclusions from that project as well as the authors' combined sixty years of teaching experience in a variety of public schools. The process was designed initially for students who formerly spent the majority of their school day in special education classrooms, but due to an initiative for fuller inclusion, were subsequently faced with a general education curriculum for which they were unprepared. As the project progressed, application of this modification process also proved applicable to a larger population of students with special needs who were struggling with the higher expectations of general education classes. This handbook is designed to be used by individual teachers of general or special education, and also to be used as a viable framework for conducting in-service training for groups of teachers at the secondary level. Teachers involved in the training of this process admitted additional effort was required up front, but their efforts were later rewarded by several side benefits, among them a clear designation of responsibilities that allowed a sharing of the work load and a significant saving of valuable time and frustration in the midst of daily classroom instruction. You will find in this handbook real-life examples of modified courses which include assignments, activities and assessments, anecdotal accounts, testimonials, classroom management strategies and reproducible documents designed to make the implementation of the process easier to manage. If you are one of those secondary teachers who is seeking help to effectively and efficiently differentiate your curriculum, we invite you to examine our process, then make it your own to fit your context and your students. The structure is here for you to begin the conversation with your colleagues. Our heartfelt desire is that such conversations will ultimately lead to greater learning accomplishments for those differently-abled young people who have placed their trust in you.

A New Secondary English Course by Raja T. Nasr

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Raja T. Nasr
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A New Secondary English Course

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