Authors: Shelley Littleton, M.Ed., and Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.
Specially designed instruction (SDI) must be delivered to address the unique needs of students with Individual Education Programs (IEPs) (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act [IDEA], 2004). SDI may be delivered within the general education classroom. Removal to a separate classroom is NOT necessary to provide this type of instruction and may in fact impede access to the general education curriculum.
Access to the general education curriculum is one of the most compelling rationales driving construction of appropriate IEPs besides being a legal requirement of IDEA, 2004. The following three IEP requirements are designed to move student involvement and progress in the general education curriculum forward:
- A statement on how the disability impacts the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum;
- Goals designed to address the need(s) of the student to help him/her to make progress in the general education curriculum;
(Goal(s) + SDI = progress)
- A statement about the special education and related services the student will receive as well as the program modifications or supports that will be provided for school personnel to help ensure the student will make progress in the general education curriculum (USDOE, 2017).
(Special education and related services + SDI and access = progress)
“‘Specially designed instruction’ means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible child, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction:
1. To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child’s disability; and
2. To ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards that apply to all children within the jurisdiction of the local educational agency.” (34 CFR 300.39(b)(3);IDEA, 2004) (VDOE, 2017)
The link for “access to” and “progress in” the general education curriculum is “specially designed instruction” to meet the educational standards.
Tables 1 and 2 illustrate how SDI might be implemented within the general education classroom. Resources for accessibility features for personal computer (PC) and MacIntosh (Mac) follow.
Tier One and Specially Designed Instruction Within the Classroom – English
Tier One instructional process within the English general education classroom for all students and potential SDI to be delivered within the same classroom.
|Tier One Instructional Process in the English General Education Classroom (All Students)
||SDI: Explicit instruction, supplementary aid or service, and testing accommodation (with links to free technology); in all cases, the IEP goal should be measurable, and SDI progress should be monitored.
|During a word study session in first grade, the students sort a series of words with several word patterns taught together (closed syllable with short a, ar, and aCe words). (1.6f)||For the student with an IEP goal around decoding (target 1.5f):
|During a fourth-grade English class, the teacher asks students to respond to questions around reading in complete sentences. (4.5, 4.8)||For the student with an IEP goal around writing complete sentences (target 4.8):
|During a sixth-grade English class, the teacher uses a graphic organizer as a learning tool around the structure of the text with informational reading. (6.6)||For a student with an IEP goal around organizing information at grade level (target functional goal): The use of the graphic organizer may be considered a supplementary aid, but the student may need further instruction in how to use the graphic organizer independently to meet the SDI need for his goal.|
|In an eighth-grade English class, the students are assigned a reading, Tigers of a Tiger, which is due the next day, so that the students may discuss the text structure of the chapter and the contribution of that chapter to the conflict of the novel. (8.5)||For the student with an IEP goal around decoding (target 8.4):
|During a ninth-grade English class, the students have composed a persuasive essay and are editing their essays through self- and peer editing. They are to apply the rules of grammar and agreements between parts learned to this point. (9.7)||For the student with an IEP goal around being able to apply the rules of grammar (target 9.7):
Tier One and Specially Designed Instruction Within the Classroom – Math
Tier One instructional process within the math general education classroom for all students and potential SDI to be implemented within the same classroom.
|Tier One Instructional Process in the Math General Education Classroom (All Students)
||SDI: Explicit instruction, supplementary aid or service, and testing accommodation (with links to free technology); in all cases, the IEP goal should be measurable and SDI progress should be monitored.
|The students will work with a partner to count from 1 to 100 and write the corresponding numeral. (1.1)||For the student who has an IEP goal around counting to 100 (target 1.1):
|The students are practicing inverse relationships, addition/subtraction, and multiplication/division, so that the concept may be used to solve multistep equations/problems. (3.2)||For the student who has an IEP goal around understanding the concept of inverse relationships (target 3.2):
|The students are solving practical word problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. (6.7)||For the student who has an IEP goal around multiple-step problem solving (target 6.7):
|The students are asked to understand the relationships between all of the number types and to determine whether a given number is a member of particular subset of the real number system, and explain why. (8.2)||For the student who has an IEP goal around solving practical multistep problems but may have difficulty categorizing or organizing the various types of real numbers and their relationships (target 8.2 and an organizational issue):
A visual may be provided to guide the student’s completion of the assignment as described.
|The students are asked to solve a problem with four terms (3x + 4) (5x -2). Further, the students are asked to explain their process and responses. (A.2)||For the student who has an IEP goal around solving polynomials (target A.2):
The student will be provided a graphic organizer that identifies each step of the solution, and be instructed in its use, as prescribed by the IEP goal. Over time, the graphic organizer will be faded as responsibility for completion is gradually shifted to the student and away from the graphic organizer.
Follow link for additional information on the accessibility features with a PC or Mac.
For more information on SDI, please see additional articles from the Training and Technical Assistance Center at the College of William and Mary (T/TAC W&M):
- Describing Specially Designed Instruction, Related Services, Supplementary Aids and Services, and Program Modifications in the IEP
- Specially Designed Instruction: Realizing the Potential of Co-Teaching
- Strategic and Specially Designed Instruction: Leveraging Data Sources to Ensure General Curriculum Access
- Specially Designed Instruction: The Importance of Specific Strategy Instruction
Brennan, J. (2017). Understanding algebra. Retrieved from http://jamesbrennan.org/algebra/numbers/real_number_system.htm
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 20 U.S.C. § 602 (2004). Retrieved from http://idea.ed.gov/dowload/stataute.html
Miller, S. P., Kaffar, B. J., & Mercer, C. D. (1998 to 2011). Strategic Instruction Model™ Math learning strategies series. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Research for Learning.
Montague, M. (2010). SOLVE IT!: A practical approach to teaching mathematical problem solving skills. Reston, VA: Exceptional Innovations, Inc.
Schumaker, J. B., & Sheldon, J. B. (1998). Strategic Instruction Model™ Fundamentals of sentence writing strategy. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Research for Learning.
United States Department of Education. (2017). Building the legacy: IDEA 2004. Retrieved from http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/,root,regs,preamble2,prepart2,A,708,.html
Virginia Department of Education. (2017). Special education. Retrieved from http://doe.virginia.gov/special_ed/index.shtml
Links to: Virginia Department of Education. (2017). Standards of learning (SOL) & testing, for English and Math. Retrieved from http://doe.virginia.gov/testing/index.shtml