• A Review the Literature on Problems and Challenges Encountered by Educators During the IEP Process

      Houston-Wilson, Cathy; Santiago- Lugo, Schecyl M.; The College at Brockport (2018-05-15)
      The Individualized with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA) ensures that every child diagnosed with an eligible disability ages 3-21 is provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. One of the provisions of IDEA is that students who qualify for special education services receive an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). IDEA requires specific guidelines to be met by schools, however, research indicates IEP’s established by educators have missing components and quality IEP’s are lacking. Therefore, the purpose of this synthesis project is to review the literature on problems and challenges encountered by educators during the IEP process.
    • Benefits of Assistive Technology within the Inclusive Classroom for Students with Disabilities

      Bruzee, Natalie Erin; The College at Brockport (2004-05-15)
      As the number of students with disabilities in our classrooms grow, it is important to make sure we as educators do as much as possible.to ??commodate our students with disabilities. The 1997 reauthorization of Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) extends this mandate by requiring Individualized Education Plan (IEP) teams to consider assistive technology. Do students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms benefit from using assistive technology at appropriate times in the classroom? In order to answer this question, I reviewed articles and distributed an anonymous questionnaire to inclusive education teachers in a suburban school district. All questions had to do with the use of assistive technology within the classroom and teacher's experiences with assistive technology and their students. By looking at these articles and questionnaires, I was able to gain a better insight into assistive technology and its academic benefits for students with disabilities when used at appropriate times. Results suggest that when students with disabilities used their assistive technology at the appropriate times, students benefited academically. However, more research needs to be conducted on what strategies teachers should implement to ensure students are using their devices at the appropriate time in order to be beneficial. Teachers also need support in the area of training. Educators are expected to know what device is appropriate for a particular disability, yet there is no specific training beyond the basic operating techniques.
    • Blanket Medical Excuses From Physical Education

      Lieberman, Lauren J.; Cruz, Luz; The College at Brockport (2001-07-01)
    • Brain Gym

      Ramsperger, Elizabeth Anne; The College at Brockport (2006-08-01)
      This study sought to determine the potential impact a program of exercises known as Brain Gym has on students' attention and ability to focus and retain information. Brain Gym consists of a serious of physical activities that could possibly enhance learning ability. The research was conducted in an urban elementary school before math time. An entire first grade classroom was introduced to Brain Gym and the entire class participated in Brain Gym activities before math began. Specifically, six students' behaviors and achievements were observed and recorded to help determine if Brain Gym had an impact. Various research methods were utilized to collect data and a literature review was conducted in order to answer the question: Does Brain Gym, a program of exercises that can potentially impact students' attention and ability to focus and retain information, affect 1st grade students' behavior and achievement in math?
    • Developing an Effective Bilingual Literacy Program for Adolescents with Learning Disabilities

      Wise, Kelly M.; The College at Brockport (2007-03-01)
      Literacy intervention for bilingual adolescent special education students is a much needed reality but rarely identified as a primary need for school districts who serve this academic population. This thesis project defines and discusses the challenges inherent in serving such a diverse population, given the many variations of dialect in Spanish-speakers, and the learning disabilities of the students. The project states that teachers need to be knowledgeable about: the linguistic background of the students, the sociocultural influences, the process of second language acquisition and the relationship of native language proficiency as it bears on the development of English skills, the effective approaches for first and second language instruction, and finally, effective strategies for working with special needs students. Each of these areas is examined alongside suggested best practices in order to create effective literacy methods for this specific population. This project incorporates an extensive literature review and chronicles several years of experience in a special education classroom juggling: the ever-changing student population, the state and district expectations for academic achievement and testing preparation, as well as creating partnerships between the teaching staff and the home. The constant thread that pulls all the disparate study findings, literature discussion, and field observations together is the discovery and creation of a classroom environment that supports literacy development for bilingual adolescents with varying special needs.
    • Educating Parents Effectively to Prepare Them for Their Role in the Special Education Process

      Harnischfeger, Dawn; The College at Brockport (2008-08-01)
      Students with a labelled learning disability comprise approximately 5% of the population in American public schools. This research project seeks to identify appropriate ways to both prepare and inform parent/caregivers to enable them to advocate for their children through the Committee on Preschool Special Education/Committee on Special Education (CPSE/CSE) processes. It determines that the children are best served through a collaboration between the educators’ experience and the parents’ intimate knowledge of both student and home environment. Additional questions considered in this research project are: parent/guardian emotional response to their child’s suspected learning disability, identification of effective programs to assist parents as educated advocates of the special education process, parental involvement and engagement in this process, parental awareness of services available to them. Participants in the parent workshop included appropriate school personnel and a parent group comprised of the researcher’s class as well as additional families from an urban Head Start program. The study affirms the usefulness of both parent questionnaires and an informative workshop for parents to strengthen their collaboration with educators and special education consultants.
    • Perceptions of Student Involvement in the Construction of their own IEP' s

      Benninger, Kathryn; The College at Brockport (2005-05-01)
      Based on the fact that students are often not included in the construction of their own Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives, the researcher developed the question; Are students more likely to achieve the criteria listed in their IEPs when they are involved in construction of their goals and objectives? The researcher distributed surveys to students, parents and teachers in order to draw conclusions regarding each group of participants' perceptions on whether or not students should be involved in their own IEP meetings. After collecting and reviewing the data, the researcher concluded that both parents' and teachers' perceptions seemed to be focused on the age of students and if they are in fact ready to participate in the construction of their own goals and objectives. For the most part, students were in favor of being a part of their own IEP planning. This study is critical in the field of special education because it is important that students with disabilities are able to achieve their IEP goals and objectives.
    • Shining From Within: The Effect of Group Counseling on the Self-esteem of Students in Individualized Education Programs

      Rollo, Lindsay J.; The College at Brockport (2013-04-01)
      The intent of this study was to ascertain if group counseling would be an effective intervention in raising the self-esteem levels of middle school students in Individualized Education Programs. A literature review is presented, which discusses the definition of disability as well as the accommodations and programs available to students diagnosed as having a disability. Further, the definition of self-esteem and self-concept are discussed and various self-concept domains are examined and evaluated. Relatedly, this study explores methods that have been utilized within the school environment to increase a student’s self-esteem, including the employment of group counseling. Within this study, 14 students diagnosed as having a disability, volunteered to participate in a 12 week long counseling program. Group members were chosen as they were all Individualized Education Program (IEP) students participating in an existing counseling group that taught an existing group counseling curriculum as the primary intervention. The participants completed The Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale as a pre-test and post-test, which was used to quantify changes in their self-esteem levels as a result of intervention. Results are discussed, as well as the implications that this study may have on forthcoming school counselors and potential studies related to students in Individualized Education Programs and their self-esteem.
    • Strategies for Collecting Data in Physical Education

      Morton, Kimble B.; Lieberman, Lauren J.; The College at Brockport (2006-07-01)
      It is important to collect accurate data on student performance in order to be accountable for the instruction and learning of students. Although barriers sometimes impede data collection, they can be overcome through strategies such as (a) planning, (b) matching collection strategies to the setting, (c) recording your own behavior, (d) using specific rubrics, (e) collecting data on one or two students a day, (f) training and directing paraeducators, (g) teaching students to self monitor, and (h) utilizing simple equipment to record data. Once accurate and sufficient data is collected, placements, planning, modifications, instruction, and feedback are easier, more valid, and effective.
    • The Impact of Using Direct Instruction to Teach Social Skills in a Middle School Self-Contained Special Education Classroom

      Matukewicz, Julie; The College at Brockport (2008-08-01)
      Social skills are a central part of educational development. Students develop social skills through peer interaction, modeling, role-playing, sports, and games. Social skills are not always directly taught to students although many teachers would agree that students often lack appropriate social skills. Finding ways to increase students' appropriate social skills is a challenge for special education and general education teachers alike. Significant research has been done in the special education population because a common characteristic of students with disabilities is a deficit in social development. This research project, through literature review and active application, explores educational methods to provide special education students with a variety of social skills activities in an effort to improve their social competencies. It specifically examines what impact the use of direct instruction has in teaching the skills necessary for the social development of adolescent students with disabilities. In order to create this study, participants’ Individualized Education Programs, the New York State Learning Standards and Alternate Performance Indicators, researcher observations, and input from parents and school therapists was incorporated. Integration of various social skills activities coincided with daily classroom routines and the weekly schedule during this four week study. These activities captured a variety of learning styles to assist student’s mastery of lesson objectives. Activities were adapted to meet each student's individual developmental level. Research data gathered included pre and post-tests assessments, parent feedback, and anecdotal observations by the researcher. Assessments were administered to note any increased social ability and to determine the effectiveness of the social skills activities utilized. Research conclusions support the concept of direct instruction to teach and increase social skill development. Additionally, an increase was noted in students’ independence toward attaining their social development goals.
    • Using Music to Improve Learning in Mathematics

      Civil, Marie Duplessy; The College at Brockport (2007-05-01)
      Today’s economic constraints mean tighter budgets and lowered staffing which in turn causes school districts to make difficult choices pertaining to arts programs. Utilizing music in an academic core curriculum has been argued as not only an opportunity that allows arts integration in the classroom but has revealed a direct correlation to increased student interest and academic success. The purpose of this study explores whether music can be used in a first-grade classroom to help students understand, enjoy, remember and apply certain mathematical concepts. The literature review section of this project examines research studies conducted in classrooms that highlight the importance of the arts when used in collaboration with other subjects. The discussion also looks at research and evaluation of brain function and the role that music plays on the brain. Lastly, it reviews and lists ways that music is used to enhance learning in elementary classrooms. The thesis project specifically examines and compares traditional methods of teaching math versus integrating content and methods involving math and music. The study focuses on the conceptual content use of patterns since they can be easily found in both music and math. The project goal was not only mathematic comprehension but student engagement to increase course interest and aptitude. This study was conducted at an elementary performing arts magnet school within an urban school district in Western New York State. Pre-test results reveal that the eight first-grade study participants selected were all struggling with the pattern lesson. Pre and post-testing was used as well as student journals. The study integrated the school district’s math curriculum with parts of the music curriculum to create New York State Standards based lesson plans that teach math concepts. The study suggests that the integration of the subjects, math and music, would assist student understanding of mathematical concepts and consequently improve their math test scores. Research conclusions support the argument that the incorporation of music in mathematics instruction increases student success and engagement. (Lesson plans and student worksheets are included in the Appendices sections of this project.)
    • Using Technology to Develop Early Phonological Awareness Skills

      Ripley, Adrienne; The College at Brockport (2008-05-01)
      Differentiated instruction, a necessary practice in inclusive education, allows teachers to meet the needs of all students in a given classroom. The partnership of education and technology provides teachers with an interactive and focused means to present student-specific content. This three week, action research project explores the use of an ACTIVboard and classroom desktop computers to engage and motivate students in a variety of activities targeting phonological awareness skills, specifically syllabication and rhyming. The literature review examines the history of technology in schools, the benefits of using technology in the classroom, notes the relationship between phonological awareness and reading readiness, and discusses the relationship between technology and student achievement. The study was performed in a suburban school district in Western New York and included 37 kindergarten students from two classrooms. A control group of students learning the same content, syllabication and rhyming, without the use of an ACTIVboard, was maintained. Data was gathered with pre and post student assessments; teacher observations were also noted. Conclusions report that students in both classrooms demonstrated an increased understanding of skills taught while the average scores for both the rhyming and syllabication assessments were higher in the targeted “technology” group. Results suggest that the technology-based instruction was more effective in supporting student learning and align with current research on technology integration in the classroom.