disabilities-common core

Implementing Common Core for students with disabilities

Experts help schools learn how to effectively teach Common Core to student with disabilities

disabilities-common coreA new website for students–and in particular, those with disabilities–is offering free “anytime, anyplace” resources, materials, and information to help schools ensure that their students meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Created by the Center for Technology Implementation (CTI), the website for students with disabilities, PowerUp What Works, links evidence-based practices, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and technology to guide teachers, school leaders, professional development (PD) facilitators, and teacher educators in their professional learning.

The goal, according to CTI, is to enhance teaching and learning in English language arts (ELA) and math through the effective implementation of technology tools and strategies…while also focusing on how effective implementation directly affects students with disabilities.

(Next page: What’s available at PowerUp)

“Technology can help teachers personalize instruction for individual students and help them successfully meet the Common Core State Standards,” said Tracy Gray, project director for PowerUp WHAT WORKS and managing director with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). “PowerUp helps school leaders and professional development facilitators guide teachers to use the power of technology to meet the diverse learning needs of all students, particularly those with disabilities and struggling learners.”

Through PowerUp, teachers can personalize learning for their students using evidence-based practices supported by the most effective technology. PD facilitators and teacher educators can use the PowerUp materials to customize trainings across different professional learning settings.

And school leaders can use PowerUp to plan and sustain their school-wide technology implementation process to support teachers and students to achieve their learning goals and meet the CCSS.

For example, the site includes:

  • Instructional Strategy Guides in ELA and Math to help teachers differentiate instruction;
  • The PowerUp blog, Tech Matters, with ideas for using the latest technology, as well as “grab-and-go” resources to use today;
  • Technology Implementation Practice Guide to strengthen school-wide technology initiatives;
  • PD Facilitator Guide and support materials to customize professional learning opportunities; and
  • Resource Library with a wealth of trusted resources to enhance teaching and learning with technology.

Instructional ELA guides include Context Clue, Drafting, Fluency, Prewriting, Reviewing, Sefl-Questions, Semantic Mapping, Summarizing, Visualizing, and Word Analysis.

Each guide includes video, related blog posts, related resources, best practices, PD materials, and research on the specific subject.

Instructional Math guides include Interacting with Peers, Math Language, Modeling, Organizing, Thinking Aloud, Understanding Problems, and Visual Representations. Just like with ELA, each guide includes video, related blog posts, related resources, best practices, PD materials, and research on the specific subject.

Blog posts include everything from how to address differentiation CCSS instruction for students with learning disabilities, the importance of school leadership in implementing CCSS, and practical advice on starting a one-to-one initiative, while including the needs of those with disabilities.

Resources as part of the Resource Guide include articles, rubrics and guides, research, articles, and video.

Here’s an example of one video on an introduction to teacher development, created by Edutopia (Each video lists the author of the video, the category of video [professional development], and the year the video was created):

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“I love PowerUp’s contribution to the field of education so it is easy to advocate for it!” said Cindy Gould, a reading specialist with the Scituate School Department in Rhode Island.

PowerUp WHAT WORKS is funded through a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

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