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Mentor Books: Good/Bad

“A mentor text is a written piece used in education as an example of quality writing used by an individual to illustrate a genre or text.” (ehow.com/about_5324946_mentor_text.html (2016)

Artists use other paintings and drawings to learn techniques. Teachers follow other teachers around to learn their styles. People use models of like material or models that represent something that they want to create. Writers in and out of the classroom are no different, they need inspiration, a good model or just an idea so that they can make their  improve their manuscript

I spent a lot of time looking at webinars to find the best approach and presentation.  However, I noted that in one of my presentations, it wasn’t very good and needed to understand the problem.  People who use mentor text in a similar method in order to help them correct a problem that they may be having with their manuscript.  I know that when I have attended trainings in the past most of the presenters encourage people to underline or take notes as they read a book.  I know that I have done that! I have found a passage or way the author has written a scene and wrote down my interpretation of the author’s style. I DO NOT COPY IT!

Copying a style of writing, it is just copying.  When you see how a writer has written a manuscript in a genre or trying to find a good rhyme,  it is good to take notes and use it for future or  current manuscripts.  Ralph Fletcher encourages the use of mentor texts in his books, when teaching during writing workshop. Reading for research is a month long “challenge” to read various types of mentor texts and blog posts on all different kinds of genre and techniques.  I didn’t really get into this year, but I will be going through it on my own at a leisurely pace.  What I really want to do is include the technology so that I can save my notes, the books and keep it handy for curriculum materials.

In the next coming months, I will be developing curriculum materials with one eye on educational technology and the other eye on working a skill or technique into a writing lesson.

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Accommodating Students with Special Needs: Five things to remember!

 When a students requires an accommodation(s) in order to access the general education curriculum that are at least five items that an educator needs to remember when developing their plan.  Not all students need an individual education plan.  They may need an accommodation, a general plan or specifica plan, but they all need to be written up in order to provide students with the instruction they need to learn!   

1.  It’s not about following the letter of the law but the spirit of the law.

An educator needs to remember that the law is designed to protect and help the students learn and access the general education curriculum in the classroom. The student should be spending as much time in the general education classroom as possible,while the students receives the instruction that they need. The spirit of the educational law is just that, it needs to utilized to provide the student with an education. 



2.  Listen to the students when assigning the accommodations.

The individual education plan that is designed for the student should be provide the accommodations that he or she needs to access the general education curriculum.  That is why it is important for the students to receive interventions prior to the during the development of the IEP.  This way the students and the teachers provide the accommodations that the students need and are good for that student.  Cookie cutter accommodations do not work for the students, nor should they be used to help the student. It is important to listen to what the student is saying and not saying as they are working in the classroom.
3. Students also have invisible disabilities.
The students may not have an educational disability that impacts their educational career.  It could be that the students have a chronic illness that may not be visible to the teacher. The educator needs to watch how the student is learning and what is causing the student to struggle in the classroom.  This would be up to the educator to make sure that they are aware of the laws that protect their civil rights.

4. Two laws regarding the protection of students with disabilities:
It is important to know and be aware of the following laws when setting up their students educational plans.  Instruction is not just the curriculum, but how it is provided in order to measure of how the educator can provide the student(s) access to the curriculum.  An individual educational plan may not be the route to go in order to provide them with access. 
       1. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)  
       2.  Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
       3.  IDEA The Individual with Disabilities Act

5.  Disability is a protected class that we can all someday be a part of temporarily or permanent
This is the most important item to remember when setting up the accommodations for the students. Someday you may be have a temporary disability that requires you to need your civil rights protected and have accommodations put in place in order to do your job. 

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