Week One Reflective Journal
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, defends the rights of individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice (Council for Exceptional Children, 2011). As such, they have established professional standards for teachers working in the field of special education. This course is strongly aligned with and focused specifically on developing knowledge and skills of Standard 5: Instructional Planning and Strategies (see below). In Week One of this course, the journal prompt asks you to reflect on your own professional progress in this area of expertise in working with students with disabilities.
CEC Initial Preparation Standard 5: Beginning special education professionals select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities.
Key elements you will focus on:

5.1: Beginning special education professionals consider an individualâ€s abilities, interests, learning environments, and cultural and linguistic factors in the selection, development and adaptation of learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.
5.2: Beginning special education professionals use technologies to support instructional assessment, planning, and delivery for students with exceptionalities.

In each reflective journal, respond to all of the following prompts:

Discuss your prior beliefs about teaching students with disabilities. How have the readings, discussions, and the assignment altered or informed your current beliefs, knowledge and skills related to planning instruction for students with disabilities?
After reviewing CEC Standard 5 and its two key elements, discuss three areas you would like to improve upon professionally during this course.
Based on your experience, current role in education, and/or future role in education, how might you apply these concepts to plan effective instruction for students with disabilities?

Journal Options: Based on your learning style and preferences, you have various options for creating the two reflective journals in this course. Choose one option from the chart below to complete your journal during Week One. Regardless of the format, you must thoroughly address each of the three required prompts.

Learning Style:




Journal Options and Descriptions:

Option 1: Written reflection journal.
Option 2: If you started a blog in WordPress or Blogger for your introduction, you may continue using your blog with your journals in this course. Create and post your reflections in your blog and provide a link for your journal submission.

Option 3: Video self-reflection using:YouTube, TeacherTube,Screenr, or other online video options. Please provide a link to your video for your journal submission.

Option 4: Peer dialogue written reflection (where you discuss the questions above with a peer or colleague and write a reflection based on your discussion).
Option 5: Talk to a peer or colleague via Skype, and create a screencast (using Jing or any other screencast application) or video of your conversation (focused on the three required prompt topics). The peer or colleague could be someone who teaches in another school or district, someone in this course that you have connected with, or even an international educator. Here are some ideas for how to connect with other teachers outside of your area:

Skype in the Classroom
English teachers around the world
Or tap into your own ideas to connect with other teachers!

Please provide a link to your video or screencast for your journal submissio

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