Skip to main content

Study Guide

Field 060: Students with Disabilities

Sample Constructed-Response Item

Competency 0007
Analysis, Synthesis, and Application

Use the information in the exhibits to complete the task that follows.

Analyze the information provided in the exhibits, using evidence from all of the exhibits to support your ideas, and write a response of approximately 400–600 words in which you:

Be sure to use evidence from all exhibits in your response.

Exhibit 1: Student Profile

Karl is a nine-year-old fourth-grade student who has recently been classified with a learning disability in math reasoning and calculation and diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He attends a general education fourth-grade class for most of the day. He will be receiving special education services for mathematics in the resource room with Mr. Fiske. He also will be receiving consultant teacher (CT) services in his classroom to address organizational skills.

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) recently met to review and discuss the results of Karl's initial evaluation, progress monitoring from Response to Intervention (RtI) (see Exhibit 2: "IEP Excerpt and Initial Evaluation"), a student work sample, and teacher observations (see Exhibit 3: "Work Sample and Teacher Observations").

During the meeting, the committee members discussed Karl's academic history, present levels of performance, and current behavioral issues. At the end of second grade, Karl's teacher noticed his difficulty in operation skills and math problem-solving skills. In third grade, Karl received Tier 2 and Tier 3 RtI interventions, but did not make adequate progress in most areas. Karl was then referred to the CSE and he was determined to be eligible for special education services. He was classified with a learning disability in math, and he was referred for additional services (see Exhibit 2: "IEP Excerpt and Initial Evaluation").

Exhibit 2: IEP Excerpt and Initial Evaluation

Exhibit 3: Work Sample and Teacher Observations

Sample Strong Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment (575 words)

Karl demonstrates academic weaknesses in math calculation and reasoning (problem-solving) which are most likely exacerbated by his ADHD. Based on the academic assessments and data provided, Karl's weaknesses in the auditory learning and memory domain are illustrated by behaviors, "does not seem to listen when spoken to directly," and observations that Karl "needs work" in the area of understanding and following oral directions. Even with Tier 2 and 3 interventions to address these needs, Karl continues to struggle with memory, problem-solving, retrieval of information for math facts and processes related to numeracy.

Academic strategies to address math numeracy and number sense should be tailored to Karl's kinesthetic and visual domains. To address the addition of 3-digit numbers, I would teach Karl how to break up numbers using place value as demonstrated with manipulatives and visual strategies. He needs to understand that the number 25, for example, can be visualized as 2 groups of ten and 5 ones, 1 group of 10 and 15 ones, and 25 ones. He can continue to break down 25 into arrays such as 5 groups of 5 (beginning multiplication). As Karl begins to demonstrate his ability to decompose numbers, he can learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide these parts using manipulatives and mental math calculations.

This strategy would be appropriate for Karl because it is a visual-kinesthetic strategy which is often an area of strength for students with ADHD. By fourth grade, fluency and flexibility with numbers and calculation is essential for competency. If Karl understands how numbers "work", he can begin to visualize processes which will aid with remembering facts, steps and procedures needed in more advanced calculations.

Karl's weakness in organization is affecting his academic progress, motivation, and levels of stress and self-esteem. Exhibit 2 details weaknesses related to ADHD including keeping track of materials and turning in complete assignments which support the IEP goal related to organizational aids. To address these needs, I would incorporate a comprehensive organizational strategy using a daily homework binder. It would consist of a weekly calendar where he could write his daily homework assignments. He would be required to copy them from the board, check off the materials that he needs to complete these homework assignments and bring them home with him. The binder would also contain folders to organize his homework sheets and other materials he may use to facilitate a smoother transition between home and school for his completed work. I would check it daily before dismissal. For this strategy to be successful and generalized across his school career, Karl must have considerable input in its structure. I would meet with him to discuss how to create a homework/work binder and what it should contain.

This strategy is appropriate for Karl based on areas of strength noted in the Skill Assessment (Exhibit 2 These areas include showing independence in understanding and following written directions (Task 10) and, with support, being able to prioritize in order to develop a plan of action (Task 6). Research supports the need for organizational strategies to be taught early especially for students with ADHD to reduce school failure. These are important skills to develop to an independent level to achieve success now and in the future. Providing some tangible motivation may be needed and helpful in establishing this strategy, especially in the beginning. For example, weekly bonus points could be awarded when all his homework is turned in and his binder is up-to-date. It is important to include any of Karl's ideas to help him with this structure.

Performance Characteristics for Constructed-Response Item

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the constructed-response assignment.

Completeness The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment
Accuracy The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively
Depth of Support The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning

Score Scale for Constructed-Response Item

A score will be assigned to the response to the constructed-response item according to the following score scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4 The "4" response reflects a thorough command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response thoroughly addresses all parts of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with thorough accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is well supported by relevant examples and details and thoroughly demonstrates sound reasoning.
3 The "3" response reflects a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response generally addresses all parts of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with general accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is generally supported by some examples and/or details and generally demonstrates sound reasoning.
2 The "2" response reflects a partial command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response addresses all parts of the assignment, but most only partially; or some parts are not addressed at all.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with partial accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is partially supported by some examples and/or details or demonstrates flawed reasoning.
1 The "1" response reflects little or no command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response minimally addresses the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with minimum accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is minimally supported or demonstrates significantly flawed reasoning.
U The response is unscorable because it is unrelated to the assigned topic or off-task, unreadable, written in a language other than English or contains an insufficient amount of original work to score.
B No response.