Monday, March 10, 2008

New Curriculum for special needs students

I have to admit, I don't often get over to the News-2-you website. Many of the students I support have it at school or parents have purchased it for their students at home. Tonight, I was wondering what to do at 1 a.m. so I thought would check it out.

When I first went to the website, I thought I was at the wrong page. The website was nothing like I remembered. It was corporate looking; it lost the feel of fun and educational feel. Now that isn’t a bad thing especially when you are expanding your company’s possibilities to new global market. So although it sounds negative, I like the changes that were made. The site is clean, easy to navigate, visually pleasing and you can find the information that I was looking for without digging.

Now the exciting thing I came across was that News-2- you is releasing a COMPLETE curriculum in the coming year. The curriculum is going to be called Unique Learning System.

At a glance:

  • Four separate grade bands. Allows you to teach age-appropriate material regardless of the students’ prior abilities.
  • 25 activities are available to download and use immediately.
  • Meet the core curriculum standards of state and national
  • All of lessons are aligned to content standards and include differentiated tasks and progress monitoring strategies to meet the needs of every student.

I can't wait to see what the Unique Curriculum looks like. I say ... It's about time. I might even decide to head back to the classroom since there is now a curriculum to follow and they say I won't have to spend hours with adaptations and modifications.


Kathy said...

We and the folks at News-2-You want to thank you for the nice comments. Please come back often to the Unique Learning System webpage to learn updates to the new curriculum.
kathy staugler

Jeannette Van Houten, M.Ed, ATP said...

Kathy it is very easy to make positive comments when you make it so easy. Let me know the release date and I will sing it from the roof top. Ok, maybe you don't want me singing but I will be happy to share the information with anyone that will listen.

Good Luck! with the new curriculum. It is something that is very much needed.

Kathy said...

The curriculum will be ready and released in August for the first September unit. There will be eight monthly units for this first year for each of the four grade level bands (elementary, Intermediate, Middle School and High School). These units will be made available in the same downloadable format that the N2Y is...although the News format is weekly, while the curriculum materials will be monthly. I will keep you informed on our progress.

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Sped said...

Nothing is as simple as it sounds. Regular education gets textbooks and manipulatives. special Educatio n gets a download that takes 14 hours to print and modify each month to make it useable. I agree needed, but if I am prepping all the activities...I cannot teach, prep for IEP data collection, ieps, and make all the other things it takes to teach and manage a classroom. Not trying to be a naysayer...but, itis impossible to do it right.

Jeannette Van Houten said...

SPED, Nothing is perfect but considering that in the past we had nothing it is nice to have something to review and look at.

The Unique Curriculum has received wonderful feedback from educators. Have you tried this curriculum?

Sped said...

Yes. Last year I used units at the level appropriate for my 15 students with mod/ severe disabilities. This year I am using it 100% as intended with lots of adaptions..including iPads, Classroom Suite, go talk, Smartboards... What is killing me is the copy, cut out prep, as well as many of the activities are difficult to use and keep engagement of my students..They are k-1.

I would love for real classroom teachers to give ideas or post what is working..
Have you seen teacher input on other sites?