Partnered Learning

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AT Journey

Assistive technology (AT), defined as anything that supports learners in doing things they would not otherwise be able to do, can provide the traction learners need to succeed, but is often intimidating to educators who think of it as very specialized. Staff participating in the AT Journey will be empowered to individually consider, select, and implement AT for their students, yet also recognize when additional perspectives (e.g., teacher, administrator, itinerant staff, paraprofessional, parent, etc.) are critical to this process.

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Conventional Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs

Classroom and ancillary staff are taught how to structure daily literacy instruction for learners with significant disabilities and complex communication needs. Autonomous communication requires literacy, and our goal must be to allow all learners to express what they want to communicate.

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Delta Math

Delta Math is a Response to Intervention (RtI) program developed by the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (ISD) with support from Alt+Shift and regional math consultants throughout Michigan. The program aims to improve student readiness to learn in math classes from kindergarten through Algebra 1. Delta Math includes online readiness screeners. These screeners help to identify students for tier two interventions and students who are not responding to their two interventions for tier three interventions. Delta Math also provides standard-based reporting, progress monitoring, and instructional resources.

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Emergent Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs

Classroom and ancillary staff are taught how to structure daily literacy instruction for learners with significant disabilities and complex communication needs. Autonomous communication requires literacy, and our goal must be to allow all learners to express what they want to communicate.

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Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Learning Difficulties

This course, focused on instructional strategies, is for teams of special education and middle-grade math teachers and is intended to deepen understanding of the difficulties many learners have with mathematics. Using content examples involving expressions and equations, participants learn an approach and strategies to support students who struggle to learn mathematics - particularly those with learning disabilities.

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Foundations of Communication

Foundations of Communication is for personnel who work in settings with learners with complex communication needs. Communication is a prerequisite for teaching and learning. Participants will be introduced to language development strategies, including core vocabulary (refers to the 20% of our vocabulary that we use 80% of the time when communicating), that can immediately help learners with complex communication needs communicate more effectively.

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Foundations of Math

This course focuses on mathematical content knowledge. It allows general and special education teachers to examine mathematical procedures from a conceptual standpoint. It also allows them to increase sense making for learners who struggle with methods reliant on memorization and procedure. Participants will learn how making pedagogical shifts can increase student engagement and improve math achievement for every learner.

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Foundations of Math: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities

With the right supports and knowledge, all teachers and learners can engage in the teaching and learning of mathematics. This course includes all components of Foundations of Math with the addition of research and classroom video specific to learners with significant disabilities and complex communication needs. Educators in self-contained and center-based environments will experience approaches to assessment and instruction that will help learners develop meaningful mathematical understanding.

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Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display

Participants in this introductory training are taught to select, customize, and use Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) books and aided language input to promote autonomous communication for learners with complex communication needs. PODD is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool that arranges a robust vocabulary, typically as a low-tech book, to support language development for learners with complex communication needs. Language is organized in a practical layout that requires minimal page turns to communicate.

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