What Are Modifications? Modifiers help make a sentence more descriptive, specific, or meaningful. They communicate where, when, or how something happened. Teachers often use modifications to help students access the general classroom curriculum and standardized tests. Using the right support can help your child succeed in school. Learn the difference between accommodations and modifications. Accommodations Accommodations are individualized supports that allow students to gain access to the curriculum. They are typically documented on a student’s IEP or 504 plan, but teachers may also provide them informally in the classroom. Accommodations address barriers to learning, such as visual or auditory restrictions. For example, providing a student with a physical disability with a voice-to-text application for an assignment would be an accommodation. Modifications go a step further and change what the student is required to learn from grade-level standards. For example, allowing a student with a vision impairment to use a magnifier during an exam would be a modification. It is important to know the difference between accommodations and modifications so that you can select the best support for your students. The most common accommodation-extra time on tests-has been proven to boost test scores for all students, regardless of their disability status. Listen to this podcast from Understood for more details. Assignment Modifications Modifications allow teachers to alter an assignment’s scope or difficulty without sacrificing its authenticity and rigor. These changes can include limiting the number of pages for an essay, creating a to-do list or timeline for a long-term project, or altering the required contribution to group work. Academic standards are based on what kids are expected to learn at a certain grade level. So when a kid has trouble keeping up with homework or classwork, it might seem reasonable to give them less schoolwork or easier assignments. But this strategy, known as an academic modification, may not be effective. It’s important to know the difference between accommodations and modifications, says Sabia. An accommodation levels the playing field by making regular, grade-level learning accessible to a student with disabilities. On the other hand, a modification alters that curriculum. For example, shortening a math assignment by reducing the number of practice problems for each skill is considered an accommodation. Program Modifications Program modifications allow children with disabilities to participate in grade-level concepts by adjusting what they are expected to learn. They may include changing how much material is presented, how much homework is assigned or how a student is assessed on their knowledge of subject matter. Unlike accommodations, which reduce the impact of a disability, modifications alter instructional level, content, and/or performance criteria. Some examples of program modifications include alternate books, pass/no pass grading option, questions rephrased or written in simpler terms, and daily feedback to students. For Mode 15 specialty mental health services, program modifications are requested by using the MH Modification template. The tab labeled “Submission Requirements” outlines the submission requirements. Modifications can be submitted at any time throughout the fiscal year. If you have any questions about submitting a program modification, contact your agency's program monitor. It's recommended that agencies submit modifications well before the due dates to avoid delays and ensure they are processed in the next submission window. Learning Environment Modifications Modifications can be used to adjust a child's learning environment. For example, a student who has trouble writing could be permitted to answer questions orally instead of writing them down. These kinds of modifications help a child overcome challenges in his learning environment and should be considered a part of the overall educational plan for each child. Teachers often confuse accommodations and modifications, but the terms are not interchangeable. An accommodation focuses on the manner in which a student learns, but it does not change the underlying academic content knowledge. A modification, on the other hand, may make a curriculum or assessment objective more accessible to a student with disabilities by changing its timing or scheduling (e.g., allowing students to take tests at different times or providing extra time during assessments). As with all instructional changes, a teacher should carefully consider a child's unique needs and the learning environment when choosing modifications. Students using modified curriculum must still meet general education standards in order to graduate from high school. https://youtu.be/YHROIFiSr7I