Curricular Accommodations & Modifications

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Not all students learn the same. In many cases, methods and materials must be changed for certain students. In this lesson, learn the difference between curricular accommodations and modifications, and gain insight into some best practices.

What Are Curricular Accommodations and Modifications?

Looking at her class rosters is always so exciting to Ms. Vogel. She looks at the names on the lists, imagining how brilliant and hard-working each of the students will be in the coming school year. She always has a slight feeling of anxiety in the back of her mind, though. She knows that each of these students is an individual, unique in ways that she can't even imagine. She knows that many of her students will test her teaching skills, and that she will have to adapt her methods and materials in order to reach all of her students in meaningful ways.

Ms. Vogel is, of course, not a unique teacher. She is all teachers. All teachers are tested by their students to improve and change in order to reach them all.

Some changes are simple; you change the way you deliver a lesson or the speed at which you read. Some changes, though, are much more complex. When teachers change methods or materials to better suit their students, they are providing accommodations or modifications for them, depending on the degree of change.

Accommodations are developed to help a student (or a small group with similar learning styles) reach the same learning goals as their peers by changing the way the curriculum is presented or the way they interact with the classroom setting. Naturally, there are many different types of accommodations, but the main goal is to level the playing field in order for students to meet the same goals as their peers.

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