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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Category Archives: Special Education

New workshop • Tuesday, 7/8/14 • 8:30 – 3:30  • register online

Come experience an introduction to computer coding and programming that will leave you thirsty for more! In this STEM-related workshop, coding is presented using drag and drop programming in a hands-on, game-like constructivist atmosphere. You will have the opportunity to explore the basics of programming by completing a series of engaging tasks and puzzles that will develop skills needed to create interactive art, stories or simulations, your own game, or perhaps an iPhone app! Resources will be available for learners of all ages and grade levels. Participants will leave the workshop with a basic understanding of how computer programs work, their language, and a desire to share the excitement of learning how to code with their students. No prior knowledge of coding required.

About the Instructor

DebF Twitter picDebbie Fucoloro’s Twitter profile: PhD Curriculum & Instruction. Passions: #edtech, social media, PD & inspiring learners of all ages. Instructional tech professional, learner, half-marathoner | @debbiefuco
St. Louis, MO ·

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flickr kindergartenThe expectations of kindergarten concern teachers in preschool programs. How do PreK teachers continue to teach a developmentally appropriate curriculum that meets the expectations of kindergarten and prepares children and parents for the kindergarten experience? Our April 17 workshop will present ideas and strategies to implement in the current PreK curriculum and better prepare the preschool child in kindergarten readiness. Come prepared to share your ideas and develop some steps for increasing the learning in your Early Childhood classrooms.

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AT event at EdplusAssistive technology is any tool that helps students with disabilities do things more quickly, easily or independently; it can be elaborate and expensive or simple and low-cost. Assistive technology is not only personal to the student but it provides the teacher with options to address student’s learning styles and abilities. When assistive technology is appropriately integrated into the classroom, students are provided with multiple means to focus on achieving academic standards.

Come spend the day exploring and learning of assistive technology devices and resources to bridge the gap between ability and disability! assistive technology vendors will demonstrate their devices and teachers using assistive technology will showcase their instructional practices. Reserve your seat online by March 3rd for the March 10th event. The cost is $10 per person, lunch is included in the event.

See list below:

• MoAT: Missouri Assistive Technology offers an array of programs and services for Missourians of all ages and all disability categories.
• Tobii: Creates an intuitive interface that uses natural eye movements to help people with disabilities communicate and gain more independence.
• Dynavox: The leading provider of communication and education solutions designed to help individuals living with speech, language and learning disabilities communicate and reach their potential.
• Monarch Teaching Technologies: VizZle is on-line software that meets the special needs of visual learners like learners with autism; it can be customized for students, provides a shared library of teacher-made visual-based lesson plans, and can track student’s progress on IEP goals.
• Crick Software: Products are designed for learners of all abilities and with differing educational needs, including struggling readers and writers, students with learning or physical disabilities, and English language learners.
• Don Johnston: Educational software that empowers children with reading, writing, and/or physical disabilities to be successful, independent readers and writers.

assistive We’re going to feature some of the preconference opportunities available at the Midwest Education Technology Conference in upcoming posts. If you work with students with developmental disabilities and/or are in need of assistive technology, you’ll want to consider attending these Monday, February 10 sessions. Additional registration is required of precons, visit to learn more.

Make Collaborative Assistive Technology Decisions Using the SETT Framework with Bob Cunningham of  Maryville University
Monday, February 10 (3 Hour Preconference Workshop)
Audience Tech Level: All | Audience Grade Level: K-12
Students with learning disabilities frequently avoid academic tasks because of the difficulty they experience in completing them. Assistive technology can serve as a mechanism to motivate these students to participate at increased levels eventually leading to increased engagement in the educational process. IDEA mandates that assistive technology must be considered for all students with an IEP. Educators who participate in these decisions will benefit from a structured process to make these decisions. This precon half-day workshop will introduce the attendees to the SETT (Student, Environment, Tasks and Tools) Framework and learn how it can be used by IEP teams to collaboratively determine assistive technology needs.

Alternate Routes to Literacy for Students with Developmental Disabilities with Robin Heimos, Alyson Diaz-Kleine, Christine Schneider of Special School District
Monday, February 10 (6 Hour Preconference Workshop)
Audience Tech Level: All | Audience Grade Level: All
This innovative workshop will provide the blueprints needed to make literacy fun and engaging for students with developmental disabilities. This idea-packed, construction-themed workshop will demonstrate ways to create detours around typical literacy instruction, taking participants down alternate roads. Along the way, participants will be provided with a toolbox full of assistive technology ideas including such tools as PixWriter, Boardmaker and others all ranging from low to high tech.

METC is a program of EducationPlus.

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this week in csd pd

This week, area educators and students at a distance took advantage of the educational resources offered by Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis in areas like Special Education, Early Childhood Education, STEM, U.S. History, School-wide Positive Behavior Support and Common Core State Standards. To see what’s coming up on the professional development schedule, visit

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Cooperating School Districts Learning Division is excited to share that on June 13-14th, Dr. William Bender will guide middle and high school leadership teams in developing implementation plans for implementing a Response to Intervention framework. This event at the Brentwood Conference Center covers options for universal screening and progress monitoring in reading/math at the middle and high school level, scheduling options for Tier 2 and 3 interventions, delivering brain-friendly Tier 1 instruction, and development of a workable, practical model for each individual school.

  • Given the wide array of school reform initiatives over the years, RTI, when implemented with integrity, stands alone in delivering dramatic enhancements in student achievement across the board.

As a teacher, Dr. Bender worked in a junior high school with students with disabilities, and after completing his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, he taught for many years at Rutgers University and the University of Georgia. He will share and discuss RTI models from departmentalized schools, video examples, and case studies from middle and high schools that will assist schools over the long-term to develop their own RTI implementation plan. Team planning time will be provided for planning, coupled with Dr. Bender’s input. Post-event planning with Dr. Bender is provided, such that, as schools develop their RTI plans after this event, they will have access to Dr. Bender’s direct input during the implementation process.  As a leader in the RTI field, Dr. Bender has written more books on RTI than any other author in the world- participants will receive a copy of Dr. Bender’s most recent book, Response to Intervention in Middle and High Schools.

Registration deadline: May 30, 2013 or until registration is at capacity; $150 CSD Members; $190 Non-Members. Fee includes lunch, book and materials.

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Teachers with iPadApps For Learners with Autism takes place July 30, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. This full-day educator workshop is presented by David Baker, program coordinator at Missouri Assitive Technology.

Touchscreen tablets and apps are helping individuals with autism learn and communicate in new ways that utilize their visual learning strength. Many students have shown keen interest in using the iPad due to the ease of interaction with the device and the visual responses from the apps. The iPad can be used to support communication for non‐verbal students, behavior support, reading, writing, access for students with low vision, and general educational instruction. In this interactive session you will explore a variety of apps and related online tools to enhance the learning and communication for individuals with autism. Each participant will receive one free app (valued at no more than $10) from a suggested list of apps generated by MoAT. Bring Your Own iPad; the workshop is $60 for members and $75 for non-members. Register online.

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AS_12-LIUB-VERT_webEach April 2, Autism Speaks celebrates Light It Up Blue along with the international autism community, in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. This is a unique global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about autism.

Did you know

  • Autism affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

Here’s another resource to review to learn more about autism: Autism Spectrum Disorders: Guide to Evidence-based Interventions – this Guide, produced by the Missouri Autism Guidelines Initiative, describes evidence based interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) based on six recent nationally recognized systematic research reviews. The document provides information and tools to support individuals with ASDs and their families and to assist healthcare professionals, educators, and other community-based service providers in making informed decisions about selection, implementation, and monitoring of ASD interventions.

If you are interested in receiving professional development on intervention strategies, CSD has an upcoming two-day workshop, Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Early Childhood Setting. Strategies will be reviewed, including applied behavior analysis, structured teaching, sensory support and behavioral intervention.

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Students with diverse learning needs add pizazz to the classroom, yet also present challenges for teachers. Teachers are faced with teaching to a classroom of students, each with their own learning styles, interests, and abilities. Providing optimal learning for such a diverse group can seem overwhelming. In this April 30th workshop Special Educators, teachers of English Language Learners, and general educators will choose four mini seminars of interest from the following topics measured by State Performance Plan indicators (SPP’s) and Title III’s Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO’s):

• Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for students with disabilities (SPP5B)
• Proficiency rates for students with IEPs and English Language Learners on statewide assessment for Comm Arts & Math grades 3-8, HS (SPP3C & AMAO3)
• Parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for students with disabilities and English Language Learners (SPP8)
• Writing transition IEP goals and exploring transition assessment tools that will enable students to meet the post-secondary goals (SPP13) Increasing English Language Development (K-12) for ELL (AMAO 1, 2, 3)

Interactive, “short and sweet” sessions will provide takeaways teachers can use the next day in their classrooms! After registering, each participant will receive a link to register for 4 break-out sessions, 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. To register for Targeting Outcomes for English Language Learner’s and Students with Disabilities, visit Cost is only $15 per person.

Presenters are Cooperating School Districts/ St. Louis Regional Professional Development staff members– specialists in Special Education, School Improvement, and MELL:

Marlow Barton, MELL Instructional Specialist Debra Cole, MELL Instructional Specialist Tricia Buchanan, School Improvement ConsultantRodney Cook, Special Education Compliance ConsultantLaurie Milburn, Special Education Improvement Consultant

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For over two decades, Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) has provided school districts with knowledge, devices and services in the arena of assistive technology. MoAT Programs such as ETC and AT Reimbursement have enabled thousands of students with disabilities access to assistive devices they have used to unlock the curriculum and achieve academically.

Presenter David Baker is a program coordinator at Missouri Assistive Technology | Emphasis will be placed on the increasing use of tablet devices as assistive technology

This professional development session on Thursday, February 28, 2013 will provide participants with a hands-on update focused on the latest trends and devices in assistive technology. Emphasis will be placed on the increasing use of tablet devices as assistive technology. In addition, time will be given to helping participants understand MoAT programs and services and how to access them to better serve the individuals they work with. CSD is accepting registrations until February 21 online. For questions on this upcoming PD, contact Laurie Milburn at

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