Should the Spec. Ed. teacher run her own READ 180 groups?

We are starting READ 180 at our school on Nov. 1.  The Spec. Ed. teacher wants all her Spec. Ed students put into the READ 180 classes (leaving her freed up to do what, I don't know).  Should she be running her own groups with her Spec. Ed. students?

Posted on: October 24 2010
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  • I am a special education teacher who teaches Read 180 and have taught both (reg ed and spec ed mixed together & just special ed Read 180). I believe special ed Read 180 should definitely be its own class. These learners have diagnosed learning disabilities and the regular education students do not. There is a difference between reading below grade level and having a learning disability, which becomes evident when a student is answering questions in whole group and small group. Typically a regular ed or even advanced ESL student will dominate the class because they pick up much more quickly on concepts and retain information more easily. They become a huge fish in a small pond and the other fish tend to become even more invisible than they might feel already. If the regular ed teacher suspects his/her Read 180 students have undiagnosed learning disabilities, s/he might want to refer the student to the Child Study Team for testing. 

    I think it is appropriate to have her students in Read 180 but she should be in the classroom to provide that support so it would be a collaborative model.  Even if all of her students are enrolled in Read 180, that does not necessarily mean they will all be in the same group for rotations.  She should be there to provide support and she needs to consider what is written in the IEP as far as what services the students receive and for what percentage of the day.


    We have two classes of READ 180 at my high school.  One is taught by a general education teacher and the other is taught by me, a special education teacher.  The general education teacher has a mixture of SpEd and GenEd kids, but mine is purely SpEd students who qualify for reading services.  I think we are looking at blending the students next year.  We each have a parapro in our classes that help run the other two groups while I run small group instruction.

    I am a special ed teacher and case manager at my school and I am the only READ 180 teacher in my building. My class is a make up of regular readucation struggling readers ans special education students. Prior to me was a regualr education teacher running the READ 180 classes and the student populations for the class was the same as mine now. I know it is easier for me to teach the class because I am better able to differeniate and or modify for the those who needed it. But again the teacher I replaced was able to do the same. I guess it is a district decsion, but Special ed or not I don't honestly see the difference of who runs a class and what the population is made up of, I personally like how we do it at my school and that way the students are with non typical peers, which they seem to like too.

    As a special ed teacher, I'd say yes as far as the information you included goes.  In my high school, Read 180 is used with  special ed freshmen placed in resource center classes, and with our ESL class.  I teach all the RC freshmen, another sped teacher teaches rc sophomores, and the ESL teacher teaches his students.  How large would the Read 180 classes be?  How large would the groups be?  Sped students usually do better in smaller groups, but too small, can have its disadvantages as well.  For instance, I have one class with 3 students, and I would prefer it to be a bit larger. On the other hand, the esl class has 22 students (7-8 per group), which is really too large.

    I believe that is an individual school question.  The larger schools in our district are able to run Special Ed READ 180 classes and Gen Ed READ 180 classes.  However the smaller schools are running classes that are a combination of Gen Ed students, Special Ed students and ELL students.  Some of these classes are Co taught with a Gen Ed teacher and a Special Ed teacher.  Or in some cases just 1 teacher.  There are many factors to consider will vary for each site. Good luck, I am sure you will love the program and all the students will benefit no matter how the class is made up. Mariellen  


    At our school, we have two READ 180 classes. There is a special ed class however, they have to score 3 to 4 hunrdred points below their reading level to be in the special ed section. I personally think that special ed students should all be in one class and then general ed in the other READ 180. Especially since the Special ed class is workong on differing instruction. However, I am finding it easy to differ, especially with the use of SAM reports. Having three rotations makes it very easy to work with the different groups and their levels.

    HI I have done both ways.  I orginally had 24 special ed students of differing disabilities in one class.  Half were seventh and half eighth grade.  I had an instructional aide and another teacher with me.  It was fantastic with all the help. We did projects and tons of writing. Next year I had all seventh grade but 1/2 of the class was gen ed. I did have an instructional assistant but behavior problems up the wazoo from the general educaiton kids.  UGH I have gone back to 12 kids in a special education class and another class of 24 general ed kids.  The special education class, with an instructional aide is wonderful.  We get so much done, and I incorporate the L book in- even though it is for kids with ELL issues- most of my special ed kids have LANGUAGE issues and the extra grammar and vocabulary written in such a simple format is genuis for them.  I am very pleased with this format. Yes, it depends on your school and how it is structured.  I think READ 180 works great with special ed kids, and once we figure out the kinks in System 44, I will have that for my lower readers.

    In a word, yes.  It is beneficial for both students and teacher. I am a special ed. teacher and have found that I am able to use Red routines, vocabulary, and skill instruction from the R180 program with my students in all areas. I am able to help them transfer concepts between R180 and English, social studies, and science classes. I believe teaching R180 has made me a better teacher. It also allows students to feel more comfortable with asking questions in all of their classes. They don't see me as the only person who can assist them when they have difficulty anymore. Because they don't see me only in the resource room, they have realized that they can ask for help in any of their classrooms. This may seem silly to us, but students sometimes associate help with a particular place and save all of their questions for that place.

    The best experience I have had with System 44 and Read 180 was when I was a special ed teacher, co-teaching with our ELL teacher in a mixed System 44/Read 180 class. the students were both special ed students and gen ed students who were English language learners. The sped students included students with language impairments, autism, and one with a cognitive disability. We spent extra time teaching students to interact respectfully with each other and to encourage those with higher abilities to help those with lower abilities. All students made significant gains in reading, and in academic independence. The student with cognitive disabilities made the most significant gains in the area of independence. In the original example, I would recommend placing the special ed students in the class with the gen ed students, and having the special ed teacher co-teach.

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