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April 2017
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August 2017 Training Highlights

While the school year is winding down, the SCRED team is gearing up for an exciting summer of learning! We are thrilled to offer several exciting professional development opportunities this summer, all of which are highlighted in the SCRED August Course Catalog, located on the SCRED website. As in year’s past, SCRED staff are providing several high-quality trainings across service areas, including early childhood, social behavior, low incidence, instructional services, and special education coordination. The SCRED team has worked hard to respond to feedback from our member districts and, in response, have created an array of high-quality, targeted trainings that we are confident make for one of the best summer lineups yet! Among the many courses being offered this year, we are particularly thrilled to have the opportunity to bring guest trainer Anne Beninghof to our Unique Learners’ Conference (ULC)! With her more than 33 years of teaching experience, Anne, who continues teaching in Colorado, is an engaging and dynamic presenter who is internationally recognized for her ability to focus on creative, practical solutions for more effectively including students with a variety of learning needs in general education classrooms.

The SCRED instructional services team and director of special education had the opportunity to attend the Co-Teaching that Works! conference facilitated by Anne this past summer in Chicago and are still benefiting from valuable knowledge and instructional techniques that were gained! As our programs continue to strive for a more inclusive special education service-delivery model, Anne’s experience and expertise aligns perfectly with our innovative vision. Anne will be working throughout the day at ULC with our special educators on rediscovering the process for designing instructional strategies aimed at Putting the Special Back in Specialized Instruction! In addition, the day following ULC, Anne will work with a smaller group of general educators, special educators, administrators, school psychologists, and SCRED service coordinators for a day-long co-teaching workshop. These two interactive days of learning are sure to be jam-packed with effective strategies that can be efficiently and practically implemented to benefit the learning of all students, regardless of the setting!

If you’d like to learn more about Anne, feel free to check out her Ideas for Educators Blog or her Amazon Biography Page. Anne is sure to leave a lasting impression! So while we are as excited for summer break as anyone, we simply cannot wait to hit the ground running with all of you this coming August!

Resources
The purpose of the Breaking Down Instructional Barriers monthly articles are to focus on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to help you incorporate Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) and Assistive Technology (AT) into every lesson to benefit every learner:
This month’s Spotlight on Universal Design for Learning: Breaking Down Instructional Barriers looks at the complex skill of writing and potential supports. UDL guidelines addressed: Providing Multiple Means for Action, and Expression. 

Writing: Supporting Students Experiencing Difficulty with a Highly Complex Process

If you have taught writing, you most likely have realized that it is incredibly complex and difficult to teach. Students with varying strengths and weaknesses show a wide range of skills and difficulties; sometimes the difficulties with writing can be puzzling to us as teachers. Problems can range from strategic considerations (such as the organization of ideas) to the implementation of motor plans (such as finding the right keys on the keyboard or forming letters). As we have received questions about how to provide supports and interventions for students who struggle with writing, the Assistive Technology Committee at SCRED determined that guidance about the complexities of writing is needed.
 
Guidance for Supporting Students Experiencing Difficulty with Writing provides brief descriptions of four primary aspects of writing and some possible solutions. The four aspects include visual perception, neuromuscular, cognitive, and social/emotional. The possible solutions range from low tech to high tech possibilities. This guidance will be discussed at SCRED schools’ special education department meetings in May and further learning is planned for Cross-Categorical Networking days in 2017-18. If you have questions about this guidance or suggestions for professional learning on this topic, please contact a member of the SCRED AT committee (Connie Sim, Sheila Chinn, Jennifer Lake, Hanna Rodenbaugh).
 
Our guidance is based on information drawn from the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative. Additional information can be found in chapter 5 of Assessing Students' Needs for Assistive Technology.

Infinitec: 
St. Croix River Education District continues to provide this UDL and AT resource to all member districts’ staff.  All new staff are encouraged to register at www.myinfinitec.org
Here are links to the newest Infinitec newsletters with more suggestions on what is new and how to get the most out of the Infinitec resource:
Infinitec Newsletter 3.7.17 Topic: Core Language Vocabulary
Infinitec Newsleter  3.14.17 Topic:  Teens, Sleep and Start Times
Infinitec Newsletter 3.21.17 Topic:  Chrome
Infinitec Newsletter 3.28.17 Topic:  School-wide Safety Plans
 
AT Regional (5/7) Committee Newsletter
ATFYI March 2017 Topic:  Teaching Listening
 
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