Fall 2016
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Dr. Lynn DeCapua
Student Chapter Advisor
Save the Date
NJCEC Spring Conference
March 13, 2017

The U.S. Department of Education is shelling out millions in funding to help recruit and train teachers and administrators serving children with disabilities.

The federal agency said this week that it's sending $7 million to seven states to enhance preparation and professional development focused on early intervention, special education and transition services.

Grants ranging from about $530,000 to nearly $1.5 million are headed to state education departments in Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina and Oregon.

In order to qualify for the funding, federal officials said that states must partner with a college or university, at least one school district and a parent training or resource center in order to implement their professional development program. The funding will help support a variety of projects, the Education Department said, including recruiting and retaining special education teachers and training on ways to help students with disabilities access the general education curriculum.

Teacher Tip for the Unmotivated St udent
by Dana Dente

As an educator, have you ever yearned for your own  "ah-ha" moment? For the past two years, I have been a resource room/inclusion teacher for grades K - 5 for language arts and mathematics. I have taught students of varying abilities - especially when it comes to reading. During the second week of school, I tested all my students on their fluency and comprehension skills using the Developmental Reading Assessment - 2. I found that some were reading above their respective grade levels, while others were reading on or below grade level. I also had a few students reading below their respective grade levels but performing on grade level with other skills, such as identifying the main idea or pinpointing the differences between first person and third person points of view. In any case, I always created lessons that catered to my students' needs, but one problem began to stand in my way:  motivation.  Motivation was more of an issue for my students reading below grade level but on target with other skills. These students became dependent on me and other students to help them with assignments- even though assignments were modified to match their reading levels. Needless to say, they needed to become independent as readers and not shut down at the sight of words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs. I had to think of something!
  I already had a reward system in place for my students. At the end of each period, they were given one sticker on their token boards if they followed the criteria to receive it - participating during instruction, completing assignments, reading/working independently when necessary, etc. Once they filled up half of their token boards with stickers, they
were allowed to choose five toys from the prize box. Once they filled up their entire token boards with stickers, they were allowed to choose another five toys from the prize box. In addition to their token boards, the students were able to earn one raffle ticket each at the end of every week. They had to receive five during the week in order to be eligible for a raffle ticket. Then, at the end of every month, I pulled one raffle ticket from the basket, and the student chosen was allowed to pick an additional five toys from the prize box. Although this reward system was effective for quite some time, the students needed a change! They needed another motivation to stay on task. One day, I had my "ah-ha" moment to solve this ongoing issue. I thought of the "be-the-teacher"  technique .

Th e "be-the-teacher" technique allows students to read a nd work at the teacher's desk rather than their desks or designated tables during literacy centers to continue to increase and promote their self-motivating skills. For example, every Monday, I chose a student who I felt went above and beyond and completed his or her assignments independently to the best of his or her ability from the week before to claim the "teacher title." The name of the student who claimed the "teacher title" was posted near my instructional objectives, so the students were always eager to come in at the start of each week. After whole-group instruction every day, I split all of the students up for guided reading and literacy centers, but the student who claimed the "teacher title" went to my desk right away to read and work. Because most of my students were very much sensory-seeking children, I let them sit on my comfy chair that was cushioned, turned from side to side, and rolled back and forth to provide them with such stimulation when they earned the "teacher title." I also let them use my "cool" teacher items, like my post-it notes, scented markers, and sparkling ink pens, to work on different activities after independently reading a book or passage on their respective levels. It made them feel so official! As a result of these "bonuses," the students are motivated to earn the "teacher title," and they are also motivated to read and complete their work - instead of shutting down. Thus, this technique pushes students to push themselves academically and reach their potential. The number one rule with maintaining the "teacher title" is not to give up! The students need to be aware of these expectations so that they do not lose their claim. Overall, the "be-the-teacher" technique engages students who struggle academically and motivates them to keep trying! These children have to understand that nothing is too difficult to achieve - as long as they believe in themselves as independent learners and are constantly working towards being in that mind-set. The effects of this strategy were very successful, so I cannot wait to introduce it to my new students next year!

Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act

While we don't know for sure when the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will occur, CEC wants to be ready!

In order to be proactive, the CEC Board of Directors has created an IDEA Workgroup to develop the principles and recommendations for the reauthorization, which will be crafted with input from the membership and be available early in 2017. 

We need you to provide your input about the successes and challenges with IDEA by  completing the IDEA Reauthorization survey. Feel free to answer all questions or only a select few. 

Please respond by Sept. 16, 2016. Thank you for your participation!

New Jersey Council For Exceptional Children
is offering the following
FREE Workshop
Addressing Behavior Challenges in the Classroom: Key Components to Fostering Positive Change
9:30 - 12:00 PM
This workshop is designed for general and special education teachers, CST members, Paraprofessionals and Administrators.
Addressing challenging behavior to facilitate learning for all students is a necessity in every classroom in the school.  Join us as we provide information on the science behind behavior and as we discuss specific challenges that we experience in our work each day.  We will address the topics of identifying behaviors to be targeted for change, understanding the root cause of behaviors, developing appropriate interventions incorporating positive supports, and tracking the rate of behaviors to determine if change is truly occurring.  This will be a hands-on workshop where participants will not only gain pertinent information on behavior change, but will also have opportunities to participate in observing behavior, working through the process to collect simple behavior data, and to strategize intervention.  Come with an open mind and your real-life scenarios to be discussed and strategized!
Same Workshop
Locations and TWO Different Dates
Learning Resource Centers
(Choose 1 Location)
October 1, 2016
(Building #200, Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08611)
December 3, 2016
LRC North Satellite
(104 The American Road, Building #100, Morris Plains, NJ  07950)
PD CERTIFICATES will be provided!

Conference  Registration  Here
October 1, 2016
(Building #200, Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08611)
Registration Link

Conference  Registration  Here
December 3, 2016
LRC - North Satellite
(104 The American Road, Building #100,
Morris Plains, NJ  07950)
Registration Link

PO Box 6268 - East Brunswick, NJ 08816
info@ldanj.org      www.ldanj.org
Navigate the Maze Conference
Vendor & Post-Secondary Resource Expo
October 23, 2016
Livingston Campus Student Center, Rutgers University
For Parents, Professionals, Students, & People Interested in
Knowing More about Learning Disabilities and Attention Issues
Full brochure available and mail-in registration form available on www.ldanj.org
After deadline or for questions, call 732-645-2738 or email info@ldanj.org

Full conference brochure available on www.ldanj.org .
This information is being provided as a courtesy by NJCEC. NJCEC does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

Newsletter E-Blast 
Editor - Christine Van Duyne, Newsletter Editor, Secretary NJCEC 
Copy Editor - Dr. Anne DeGroot 
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