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Virginia Department of Education 
Training & Technical Assistance Center
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February/March 2014


Determined from the Start: Exploring
Self Determination Skills for Elementary School Students 
March 31-April 1, 2014 
8th Annual
I'm Determined
Youth Summit at 
James Madison University 
June 18-20, 2014 
for additional
Professional Development

I'm Determined
Goal Setting App 

 Available on iTunes
The Goal setting app allows students and teachers to better communicate with each other by identifying the students' goals steps towards planning and execution, while identifying people who can support these efforts along the way.  
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 TeacherDirect is designed to establish a direct line of communication with classroom teachers and educators.
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 If You Can Predict It, You Can Prevent It:

Specially Designed Instruction to

Support the Prevention of Predictable Problems 

By Elaine Gould, M.Ed. and Debbie Grosser, M.Ed.

If you can predict it, you can prevent it. Sounds simple, right? This may sound like an oversimplification, but this logic can be applied in the classroom. This edition of Link Lines introduces tools that will help educators plan specially designed instructional experiences that ameliorate predictable trouble spots, increase student engagement, and support the acquisition of foundational skills that close skill gaps for students with disabilities.  Read more to discover how to plan such instruction and to find an overview of the articles in this issue.

A Six-Step Approach to Teaching Mathematics

To Students With Disabilities Elaborated
By Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.  

Based on the findings from several studies, Saunders, Bethune, Spooner, and Browder (2013) developed a six-step approach to teaching mathematics that can be used in all math classrooms-both general and special education. An example of this approach for a seventh-grade class is outlined within the article.  Read more

 Designing Interventions: The Chicken or the Egg?  

By Donni Davis-Perry, M.Ed.

The classic chicken-and-egg debate plays out in classrooms as teachers determine the academic areas in which their students require immediate support. In addition, teachers must establish the relationships among their students' multiple learning needs. So, which should come first - a student's difficulty with passage comprehension or the student's deficit in accurate decoding? What is the relationship between comprehension and decoding skills? The first skill on which the teacher chooses to focus is critical when designing effective interventions. Read more 

 Self-Regulation: One Key to Effective Student Writing
By Lee Anne Sulzberger, M.Ed. 

How often have you seen students sit motionless in front of a blank sheet of paper when asked to respond to a writing prompt? Are they waiting for inspiration or a muse to guide their writing? Click here to learn how you can help students in grades 4 through 12 overcome writer's block by explicitly teaching effective strategies to tackle the writing process.

Setting the Stage for Success:  

Increasing Levels of Self-Determination
By Elaine Gould, M.Ed.  

High school completion is essential for students as they strive to reach future goals. Yet, an alarming number of students with disabilities do not reach this important milestone. When students are taught and provided with opportunities to practice self-determination skills, their chances of remaining on a path to graduation increase. Read more to find out how teachers can support the development of self-determined students who have the skills to identify their goals and the capacity to reach them.

VDOE Updates  


Standards of Learning Assessment (SOL) Scores' Conversion Charts and Tools for Reading Lexile Levels: 

According to a presentation in October 2013, titled, Rising to the Rigor of the English Standards of Learning, Lexile conversion charts for Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments will be provided to school divisions. Read more  


Practice Items for Standards of Learning (SOL) Assessments:

Tools to practice taking an SOL assessment. Read more 


Professional Development Institutes: 
In the summer and fall of 2013, the Virginia Department of Education conducted various institutes in core content areas based on the needs found from the 2013 SOL results. Find presentations and materials from these institutes, as well as additional instructional resources by clicking either Math or English.
Digital Learning Day-February 5, 2014:
The Virginia Department of Education, in cooperation with the Virginia ipadSociety for Technology in Education (VSTE) and the Alliance for Excellent Education, is pleased to announce February 5 as Digital Learning Day. This event is part of a national campaign designed to celebrate innovative teaching and highlight practices that make learning more personalized and engaging for students. Read more