When you look at these three small questions, you may see that, in some cases, you may already have reams of data that point toward the answers to these questions. The questions are intentionally broad, so that they do not preclude anyone or any possible solutions at the outset. The answers, however, are must be identified specifically for each individual student.
WHAT DOES THE STUDENT NEED TO BE ABLE TO DO? At this point, it is ok to be global. TALK.. WRITE.. whatever... would be appropriate here, though it is also fine elaborate somewhat. Later, in the Tasks section, we will consider more deeply, as it would be useless to pursue talking if we did not define "about what"? Mainly we want to begin to establish consensus among group members about what is important for this student to be able to do.
WHAT ARE THE STUDENT'S SPECIAL NEEDS? Basically, this question is designed to generate conversation about the barriers which keep this student from doing whatever he/she needs to be able to do.
WHAT ARE THE STUDENT'S CURRENT ABILITIES? Keep in mind that, no matter how great the needs, EVERYONE has abilities! This question is frequently a BIG discussion producer and, in many circumstances, can be an area of conflict! Different people often identify vastly differing perceptions of the abilities a student currently has. Later in the process, we will need to explore the differences between assumptions and observations, but, for now, it is important to get everyone's thoughts on the table in a way that avoids judgements of their value. That comes later!
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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts. NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013. Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information. If you do so, please cite NCIP. Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government. This site was last updated in September 1998.
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