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Differentiating Science Instruction and Assessment for Learners With Special Needs, K–8

This timely, practical guidebook bridges the gap between science and special education by giving teachers strategies and tools that strengthen science learning for all students.

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Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412993999
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2011
  • Page Count: 232
  • Publication date: June 08, 2012

Price: $43.95

Price: $43.95
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"Finson, Ormsbee, and Jensen offer excellent instructional variations and assessment alternatives for students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders. The book also provides practical guidance for teachers on ways to make science lessons accessible to all students."
—Greg P. Stefanich, Professor
University of Northern Iowa

Field-tested strategies for teaching science to students with special needs

Teachers are required to provide appropriate science instruction to all students, including children with special needs. However, educators are often left on their own to figure out how to effectively differentiate lessons and activities. Help is here! This timely, practical guidebook shows general and special educators how to retool science activities and assessments for students with special needs—including those of ADD, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders. The authors cover a broad range of topics in an orderly, concise fashion, including:

  • National and state requirements for student learning and science literacy
  • Pedagogical strategies for collaborative learning groups, self-paced learning centers, literature circles, and team projects
  • Grade-appropriate ways to revise science activities and assessments for biology, earth science, and physical science lessons
  • Step-by-step instructions for using rubrics for evaluation, revision, and assessment
  • Information on teacher collaboration and specific disabilities

Also included are vignettes and checklists to assist teachers in bridging the gap between science and special education instruction and assessment. By adjusting the content, teaching critical thinking, and providing a variety of ways for learners to demonstrate their knowledge, you will give all students the chance to achieve academic success in science.



Kevin D. Finson photo

Kevin D. Finson

Dr. Finson is a professor of science education at Bradley University in Peoria, IL, where he teaches elementary and secondary science education courses. His teaching has included middle school and high school life, physical, and earth sciences, college-level earth science content courses, a foundations course in strategies and techniques, and graduate courses in instructional theory and program evaluation.

He has served as a member of the board of directors for the international Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), and chaired its Professional Development Committee and Inclusive Science Education Forum. He has also contributed to the standards for the Early Adolescent Science Committee of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Dr. Finson has also edited the international Journal of Elementary Science Education, served on editorial boards of several national science education journals, and has served on the publications committees of two national professional organizations. Dr. Finson has maintained a consistent record of publication in national refereed and practitioner journals.

Dr. Finson has two primary areas of research interest. The first focuses on making science more accessible to students who have special learning needs. In particular, he explores how teachers can make adjustments and modifications to written materials, procedures, and simple equipment so students who have specific learning disabilities can successfully engage in doing science. The area focuses on students’ perceptions of scientists, which has included development of a framework to guide science educators in dealing with students’ conceptions of scientists.

Christine K. Ormsbee photo

Christine K. Ormsbee

Dr. Christine K. Ormsbee joined the OSU College of Education June 2006 as Professor and Head of the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership. Dr. Ormsbee holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kansas, a Masters degree in special education from Emporia State University and a Bachelors degree in psychology and special education from Emporia State University. As a faculty member in special education, she teaches an undergraduate introductory special education course and graduate special education methods and research courses.

With over two decades in the profession she has established a consistent record of scholarly publications and presentations, which address her interests in providing strategies and supports for teachers who work with children with learning and/or behavioral concerns. Specifically, her research has focused on collaborative processes including peer coaching, co-teaching, and preassessment.

Dr. Ormsbee is very active in teacher education. She is serving on her second term as a commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation, is a member of the Oklahoma P-20 Education Council and serves on the advisory board for the State Board of Educations’ State Improvement Grant. Ormsbee served as an Associate Editor of the journal Intervention in School and Clinic until 2009 and now serves as a field reviewer for this journal and other special education-related journals.

Mary M. Jensen photo

Mary M. Jensen

Dr. Mary Jensen has been a professor of Special Education at Western Illinois University (WIU) in Macomb, IL since 1990. She teaches college students to be outstanding special education teachers for students with mild to moderate disabilities. The special education courses she teaches are related to behavior management methods and characteristics and teaching methods for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Dr. Jensen’s past experience includes teaching special education students in the elementary grades in public school and high school students in residential treatment.

Dr. Jensen has been honored to receive the Outstanding Teacher award at WIU in 1993 and 2006. In 2008, she won the Teaching with Technology Award and the WIU Provost’s Award for Teaching with Technology. In 2009 and 2010, Dr. Jensen was a recipient of the WIU Honoring our Professors of Excellence (HOPE) Award

Dr. Jensen makes presentations for professional development at schools, conferences, and for other organizations on a variety of special education topics for teachers and parents. Topics include proactive and positive behavior management methods, differentiated instruction methods, ADHD, social skills, and bully behavior. The programs focus on practical yeaching and management skills and content that will help students with mild to moderate disabilities increase academic achievement and improve social skills and behavior.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors


1. Collaborating to Teach Students With Mild to Moderate Disabilities in the Inclusion Classroom

2. Addressing Specific Learning Difficulties

3. Suggestions for Revising Science Activities and Assessments

4. Revising Science Activities

5. Revising Science Assessments

6. Developing and Using Rubrics to Evaluate Student Performance

Resource: Science Literacy, Standards, and State Goals





Price: $43.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.