Study Guide Skip to main content

Study Guide

Field 060: Students with Disabilities

Expand All | Collapse All

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001
Foundations of Special Education

1. Tara is a seventh-grade student classified as having an emotional disturbance. She attends general education classes for most of the school day and receives consultant teacher services from a special education teacher. She also attends individual and group counseling sessions each week. Recently, Tara has exhibited disruptive behavior in her general education classes that has interfered with her ability to learn. A behavioral intervention plan was developed for Tara to address this behavior, and the special education teacher will be collaborating with her general education teachers to implement the plan. Which approach would likely be most effective for the special education teacher to use in collaborating with the general education teachers?

  1. establishing a notebook system in which the teachers can record their observations of Tara, and using this information to update the plan as needed
  2. meeting with the teachers to discuss the plan, and conducting classroom observations of Tara to monitor her progress
  3. providing the teachers with copies of the results of Tara's functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and explaining how the results were used to develop the behavioral intervention plan
  4. asking the teachers to read through the plan carefully, and offering to be available for support as situations arise with Tara in their classrooms
Enter to expand or collapse answer. Answer expanded
Correct Response: B. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of effective strategies for communicating and collaborating with general education teachers, school staff members, paraprofessionals, related service providers, medical personnel, volunteers, and representatives of community agencies to help students with disabilities achieve desired learning outcomes. The key to building effective collaboration between teachers is ongoing communication. Discussion between all teachers involved in the implementation of a behavior plan—including ideas, questions, and concerns—is an integral part of the management of a behavioral intervention plan. Progress monitoring—including classroom observations and ongoing data collection—is a critical component of an effective behavioral intervention plan.

Competency 0002
Knowledge of Students with Disabilities

2. A special education teacher co-teaches a sixth-grade science class with a general education teacher. The integrated co-teaching class has twelve students with disabilities, including students with learning disabilities, and other health impairments. The teachers are planning an assignment in which students will keep daily journals of their observations of the movement of the Sun, Moon, and stars. Which of the following would be the best strategy for promoting all students' active participation in this activity?

  1. meeting with the students who have disabilities to discuss the assignment and identifying any subtasks from which they should be excused
  2. dividing the class into small, heterogeneous groups and assigning a proficient writer in each group to write the journal entries for that group
  3. giving the special education teacher the primary responsibility for monitoring and directing the work of the students who have disabilities
  4. allowing students to choose among a variety of formats, including drawing, writing, and digital media, to use to record and present their findings
Enter to expand or collapse answer. Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of the different ways in which students with disabilities learn, including students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and developmentally and age-appropriate strategies for addressing those differences. Students with disabilities will often require unique approaches to learning. A special education teacher must possess an understanding of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs and how they affect a student’s learning. Additionally, the special education teacher must be able to identify a range of techniques that are likely to aid a student’s access to and progress in the curriculum. Classroom activities and interventions should be responsive to the abilities, needs, and interests of the student, and should seek to find ways of meaningfully integrating the student with the activities of typical peers.

Competency 0003
Assessment and Individual Program Planning

3. Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

Dominic is a seven-year-old student who was referred for a special education evaluation due to a lack of progress in mathematics despite receiving Response to Intervention (RtI) intensive interventions. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) determines that he is eligible for special education services due to a learning disability in mathematics. Excerpts from his evaluations and teacher observations are shown below.

Excerpts from the Brigance Comprehensive Inventory
of Basic Skills II® (CIBSII®)
Skill (Underline the skill for each correct response and make notes as appro­priate.) Number of Correct Responses x Point Value = Student's Score
Rote counting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 x 0.5 point each = 5/5
Numeral Compre­hension (Matches quantity with numerals) 2 1 4 3 5 0 x 2 points each = 0/10

Anecdotal Teacher Observation, November

Dominic is able to rote count to 20. He is not able to complete the daily calendar skills or count the number of students in class (e.g., 12 boys, 11 girls) despite the fact that I have demonstrated these skills every day since September. Dominic does not recognize numerals 1–10, match quantities of items, or indicate which group of items has more or less, even when using highly motivating objects (e.g., stickers, toy animals).

On the basis of the information provided, which intervention should the special education teacher recommend for Dominic?

  1. daily curriculum-based probes focused on developing computational fluency
  2. intensive practice that incorporates interactive mathematics software focused on developing counting and matching skills
  3. multisensory instructional techniques focused on developing number concepts
  4. weekly self-charting of progress focused on developing mastery in basic mathematics skills
Enter to expand or collapse answer. Answer expanded
Correct Response: C. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of how individual evaluation assessment information is used to make eligibility, program, and placement decisions for students with disabilities; evaluate instruction; monitor progress of students with disabilities; and make responsive, research-based, and timely adjustments to instruction. Research shows that students learn, understand, and remember material that is presented to them in a variety of modalities. Individuals with disabilities respond well to multisensory teaching methods that involve active learning. By attending to the available assessment data on a student, informed decisions can be made about the nature and types of interventions that are most likely to help the student make progress.

Competency 0004
Strategies for Planning and Managing the Learning Environment and for Providing Behavioral Interventions

4. Before the school year begins, a special education teacher is meeting with a fifth-grade teacher whose class will include Kyle, a student with high-functioning autism. Kyle enjoys making detailed drawings of bridges during free time. Although Kyle is quite verbal, he demonstrates difficulty in social communication and pragmatic language skills. When there are changes in his routine, Kyle becomes very anxious and bangs his head with his fist. In the fifth-grade classroom, Kyle will be supported by a paraprofessional. The fifth-grade teacher asks for advice regarding how to create a safe, productive learning environment for Kyle. Which response would be most appropriate for the special education teacher to make?

  1. "Provide Kyle with a visual schedule and ask the paraprofessional to review the schedule with him at the beginning of each day."
  2. "Set up a study carrel in the classroom where the paraprofessional can work with Kyle one-on-one without distractions."
  3. "Establish cooperative-learning groups so that Kyle can gain practice in developing his conversational skills."
  4. "Seat Kyle next to an outgoing classmate who can model for him how to transition from one class activity to the next."
Enter to expand or collapse answer. Answer expanded
Correct Response: A. This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of how to create and maintain a safe, productive learning environment for all students, including establishing routines and appropriate physical arrangements. In this scenario, a visual schedule created by or reviewed with the student at the start of each day would be the most effective strategy for the special education teacher to implement. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often become anxious if predictable routines are not in place. Visual schedules also allow the student to prepare self-regulation strategies to adjust effectively to anxiety-producing events that may occur in the day. This reinforces a student’s perception of her or his environment as being safe and predictable, both of which are important to learning and social interaction.

Competency 0005
Instructional Planning and Delivery to Promote Students' Success in the General Curriculum

5. Lyman is a 12-year-old student with a learning disability in reading comprehension. He attends a general education sixth-grade class and receives resource room services daily to address his reading needs. Lyman has a large oral vocabulary, a good sight vocabulary, and grade-appropriate decoding skills, but he struggles with reading comprehension. He diligently reads assigned textbook chapters for his classes, but he can provide little information about them afterward. He can usually name a few of the topics that were discussed, but he cannot summarize a passage. When teachers ask him specific questions about a reading selection, his answers demonstrate little or no grasp of the concepts presented or of the relationships between them. Which strategy would be likely the most effective for building Lyman's reading comprehension skills?

  1. encouraging Lyman to read assignments more slowly, to give himself additional time to process and comprehend the information
  2. having Lyman take a comprehension test after each reading assignment, and then review the text to find the answers to questions he has missed
  3. helping Lyman develop the habit of starting reading assignments as early as possible, to give himself time to re-read for greater comprehension
  4. teaching Lyman to break reading assignments into manageable parts, and to use self-questioning to monitor his comprehension
Enter to expand or collapse answer. Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of research- or evidence-based explicit and systematic instruction and intervention in reading for students with disabilities, including reading in the content area. Research shows that students with a learning disability in reading comprehension benefit from breaking large assignments into smaller, manageable parts, especially for independent academic tasks requiring sustained attention. The practice of active reading skills, such as self-questioning techniques, is proven successful in monitoring independent comprehension. It assists the reader in predicting, investigating, and answering questions about the text. This increases the reader’s engagement and comprehension.

Competency 0006
Strategies for Teaching Communication Skills, Social Skills, and Functional Living Skills

6. Jesse is a 17-year-old eleventh grader who has a mild intellectual disability associated with Down syndrome. Jesse spends part of the school day in general education classes and part of the day in a resource room for support with functional and academic skills. He reads at a fifth-grade level, and has mastered various fundamental mathematics concepts, including the operations of addition and subtraction and the use of a calculator. Jesse recently began working part time in a supermarket, and now brings home a small weekly paycheck. One of Jesse's Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals is to improve his money management skills. His special education teacher wants to help him learn to make checking account deposits and withdrawals and to use an ATM independently. Which strategy would likely be the most effective for this purpose?

  1. inviting a bank representative to the resource room to talk with Jesse about managing money and to answer any questions he may have
  2. engaging Jesse in role-playing with photocopied materials and a calculator, followed by community-based authentic instruction
  3. arranging for Jesse to play computer-generated games that involve decision making regarding various types of financial transactions
  4. creating relevant word problems for Jesse that build on his skills with a calculator and the mathematical concepts he has mastered
Enter to expand or collapse answer. Answer expanded
Correct Response: B. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of how to plan and implement instruction in personal management skills, career development and occupational skills, and independent living skills, including instruction in community-based settings. Role-playing offers individuals with intellectual disabilities a safe and supportive environment to practice new skills. The special education teacher can break down the steps into manageable tasks that can be taught and practiced repetitively as a means of consolidating learning. By providing the student with actual samples and materials, the task facilitates the transfer of skills into the community-based authentic instruction.