Special Education Assessment & Curriculum For Functional Academics
The Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics has been created to teach students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities, including autism, the skills needed to be as independent as possible once they leave the school system. The Direct Instruction (DI) format provides lesson plans clearly linked to the student's baseline skill level. The methods of DI clearly shows that these strategies implemented by the Program significantly impact the rate at which students learn and maintain new behaviors and skills.
Incorporated throughout the curriculum are built-in prompts to encourage the student forward throughout the lessons. The Program further supports teachers with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-driven classroom management strategies.
A strong educational team is the key to a positive educational experience for the child.
Combining the results of the Student Assessment with the additional insights from the Portfolio provides a comprehensive baseline of the student's skill level and the appropriate Curriculum.
Teachers are easily able to identify where with in the Curriculum to start. With clearly linked lesson plans and data sheets, the Curriculum provides appropriately challenging learning opportunities for the students.
The instructional guidelines in each section of the Curriculum provide teachers with detailed overviews, suggestions and support options to encourage the students to complete each plan successfully. The Student Portfolio enables the teachers to fully customize each individual lesson as needed by each student.
Many enhanced resources are included with the purchase of the Program including the Remote Learning Survival Kit with over 1000 independent activities. And we love to share the love with our educator community! We also provide all teachers and educators with free Remote Learning Survival Kit with over 300 independent activities.
An available add-on or standalone toolset are the Virtual Teaching Materials (yearly subscription), which allows teachers to connect with students remotely at home or in the classroom via a laptop for one-on-one instruction and/or independent work.
To be attainable, goals must be written in specific, not general terms. The goal must also be measurable so you know when the child has mastered it. And lastly, the goal must be realistic, taking into account the individual whole child. Just as instruction should be individualized, goals must be individualized. Every child’s IEP will be different. The Styer-Fitzgerald Program is designed to specifically address the need for specific, measurable, and realistic goals individualized for each student.
First, the Styer-Fitzgerald Assessment results place the student in appropriate lessons in each content area based on the student’s present levels of performance. The Portfolio provides additional insight into a student's skillset.
Second, each lesson plan has short and long term goals which makes writing student’s functional IEP goals a breeze.
And finally, with purchase of the Program, teachers are given an Excel spreadsheet of all functional goals for IEP system uploading (see Elementary and Secondary examples). The spreadsheets are modifiable so districts can change the verbiage to match district-specific criteria, and at the same time, ensure students are working on meaningful, measurable IEP goals backed by concrete data in the form of printed data sheets and/or online data recording. If preferred, rather than uploading the goal banks, districts can have teachers refer to the Excel documents directly for inspiration when writing their IEPs.
In general for discrete trials, IEP goals are written in the following form:
When given a, the student will b, improving _____ skills from c% accuracy to d% accuracy for x days as measured by teacher-collected data by m/d/y.
(where a is materials, models, prompts, etc., b is the individualized task, ___ is the type of skills being worked on, c is where the student is starting from and d, in combination with the number of days and the date, is the measurable goal.)
For task analyses, IEP goals are written in the following form:
When given a, the student will complete b steps, improving ____ skills from c/d steps with independence to b/d steps with independence for x days as measured by teacher-collected data by m/d/y.
(where a is materials, task analysis, etc., b is the individualized goal for the lesson, and c is where the student is starting from and d, in combination with the number of days and the date, is the measurable goal.)
When writing meaningful functional academics IEP Goals, consideration should be given to not only where the student places based on the assessment results, but also the age of the student, the individual skill level, and the future goals and plans of the student and the student’s parents for their child.
Let’s look at this in the context of Math, Reading, and Writing.
Teaching Functional Academics Special Education with the Styer-Fitzgerald Program
The Styer-Fitzgerald Program is a functional curriculum for students with intellectual disabilities. The skills targeted throughout the curriculum have been chosen for the explicit purpose of empowering students to reach their greatest level of independence, access their communities, and live fulfilled lives as contributing, responsible, and equal members of society.
After determining students’ Present Levels of Performance (PLOPs), and then using the Flow Charts and/or the Suggested Programs to teach, teachers will find that the functional academics lesson plans outline the specific prompts/instructions, reinforcement, and correction procedures necessary for teaching each specific skill.
If you’re looking for a functional academic curriculum for exceptional students, look no further! Sign up for a Program Demo and let us show you how The Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics can transform your special education classrooms, teachers, and most importantly, students.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is functional curriculum vs academic curriculum
Functional curriculum focuses on the skills students need to be as independent as possible both now and in the future, whereas an academic curriculum focuses on subjects like math, science, history, etc. Functional academics is a blend of the two where the academics support the functional skills a student needs in life. An example is Functional Reading.
The sight words and activities support the functional skills a student needs, like community access, transportation, recreational activities, etc. Another example is Money Math. A student learns the skills needed to pay for things at a grocery store or restaurant or to manage finances. Students are still working on academic skills but the content is focused on subject matter that will serve them best when exiting the school system.
How would you best describe Styer-Fitzgerald’s functional academics
The Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics is specifically designed to meet the needs of students with a variety of developmental disabilities. The skills targeted throughout the Curriculum have been chosen for the explicit purpose of empowering students to reach their greatest level of independence, access their communities, and live fulfilled lives as contributing, responsible, and equal members of society.
The easy-to-administer Assessment gives a clear picture of the instructional needs of each student and links them directly to the Curriculum lesson plans, providing a comprehensive approach to teaching functional skills to students with moderate to severe disabilities, including autism.
How does my child take a functional academic assessment
The Styer-Fitzgerald Program Assessment is administered by the teacher. There are 9 Assessment content areas in Elementary and 6 in Secondary. The teacher will assess your child using either the Elementary or Secondary Assessment based on your child’s age. Each content area moves in sequence from easiest to hardest. As a result, if your child cannot complete the first skill in the Assessment sequence, he or she will not need to answer the remainder of the questions in the section.
This does not mean he or she will not be taught that content area. It simply means the teacher has the information needed to place your child in appropriate corresponding lessons from the 11 Elementary or 10 Secondary Curriculum content areas. Each assessment has instructions for both verbal and nonverbal students, if they differ, and other modifications can be made to accommodate your child, including assessing only a few content areas per session.
There is one section of the Assessment, the Portfolio, that your teacher will ask you to assist with. This portion of the assessment is not presented in the same format as the previous sections. Instead, it is based on gathering information through observation and interviews. The goal is to identify and prioritize independent skills while building a comprehensive portfolio that will follow your child throughout his or her school career and beyond.
Does Styer-Fitzgerald have a functional curriculum for students with intellectual disabilities
Yes, the Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics is the key to special education. The easy-to-administer Assessment links directly to the Curriculum, providing a comprehensive approach to teaching functional skills to students with moderate to severe disabilities, including autism. You can read more about it here.
What are functional academics?
Functional academics combines skills students will use for the rest of their lives with academic subjects that help them achieve their highest level of independence.
Tell me about “functional curriculum special education.
A functional curriculum for special education students should focus on the skills they need to be as independent as possible when they leave school. The Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics was created for that very purpose. Created by teachers for teachers, it is specifically designed to meet the needs of students with a variety of developmental disabilities. The skills targeted throughout the Curriculum have been chosen for the explicit purpose of empowering students to reach their greatest level of independence, access their communities, and live fulfilled lives as contributing, responsible, and equal members of society.
The hope is that students with disabilities get exposure to and are taught foundational academics such as phonics, multiplication facts, etc., at a young age when their typically developing peers are being taught. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen for all special education students, and many students, regardless of their exposure, are not going to become fluent readers or proficient in math. For these students, it’s imperative to focus on the functional skills they will use for the rest of their lives in the time they have left in school. These are the skills that are included in a functional curriculum and will help students with disabilities become as independent as possible and gain the most out of their education.
Tell me about “functional goals for IEP.”
Functional goals for IEPs cover goals that address skills for independent living. To be attainable, goals must be written in specific, not general, terms. The goal must also be measurable so you know when the child has mastered it. And lastly, the goal must be realistic, taking into account the individual whole child. Just as instruction should be individualized, goals must be individualized. Every child’s IEP will be, and should be, different. The Styer-Fitzgerald Program is designed to address the need for specific, measurable, and realistic functional goals individualized for each student. Each lesson plan provides a short- and long-term goal which makes writing IEPs a breeze. In addition, teachers are given detailed goals in an Excel spreadsheet for uploading into an IEP system or alternatively, to use as the framework to write their own IEPs.
Download a sample of the Styer-Fitzgerald Elementary or Secondary IEP Goal Banks. The full IEP goal banks with 170 Elementary goals and 150 Secondary goals is provided with the purchase of the Program.
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