accommodation
An approach to instruction that describes changes to the content of a lesson in order to support a student’s individual differences.
authentic assessment
Multiple forms of assessment that reflect student learning, achievement, and attitudes on instructionally-relevant classroom activities.
autism
A pervasive developmental disorder that is characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity, and emotional detachment.
benchmarks
Progress indicators for gauging student achievement within each standard; they help measure student achievement over time and therefore change from grade to grade.
best practices
Strategies, activities, or approaches that have been shown through research and evaluation to be effective and/or efficient.
constructed response
A non-multiple-choice item that requires some type of written or oral response.
diagnostic
Referring to assessments that educators administer in order to identify the proficiency levels of specific areas of student performance and modify their instruction to make it more appropriate.
differentiated instruction
(also called differentiated learning) A process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process.
formative assessment
An assessment used to provide the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening.
inclusion
The practice of educating all children in the same classroom, including children with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities. Inclusion classes often require a special assistant to the classroom teacher.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
A plan that identifies learning goals for the student and the special supports and services required to meet those goals.
K-W-L chart
A graphic organizer for activating students’ prior knowledge by asking them what they already know, having them specify what they want to learn, and after instruction or reading, having them discuss what they learned.
learning standards
Specific statements of knowledge and skills.
multiple intelligences
A theory of intelligence developed in the 1980s by Howard Gardner. He identified several types of intelligences, including musical, spatial, kinesthetic, and naturalist. Everyone has all the intelligences, but in different proportions.
pedagogy
The art of teaching—especially the conscious use of particular instructional methods.
performance descriptors
(or benchmark indicators) Statements that explain what students can do in order to meet the benchmarks and standards; they also change at each grade level.
portfolio
A collection of student work chosen to exemplify and document a student’s learning progress over time. Students are often encouraged or required to maintain a portfolio illustrating various aspects of their learning.
progress monitoring
The process of collecting and evaluating data to make decisions about the adequacy of student progress.
reliability
The level of consistency among the scores or ratings assigned to products, performances, and other authentic assessments by teachers who judge them.
remediation
An approach to instruction that addresses methods, supports, and aids added to a lesson in order to support a student’s individual differences.
rubric
A performance-scoring scale that lists multiple criteria for performance and provides values for performance levels, such as numbers or a range of descriptors ranging from excellent to poor.
scope and sequence
The essential understandings, knowledge, skills, and processes that are required for instruction and the logical, sequential, and meaningful order in which they are to be taught.
selected response
Assessments that use objective approaches such as multiple choice, matching, and true/false questions.
sensory integration dysfunction
A neurological disorder that causes the inability to process stimuli from the five senses. With Sensory Integration Dysfunction, input is sensed normally, but there is a problem with processing it. This abnormal processing can cause distress. An affected person can either be hyposensitive or hypersensitive.
summative assessment
An assessment used to gauge, at a particular point in time, student learning relative to content standards.