Mankato initiative transforms special education

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) – Hunched over their iPads, the three seventh-graders took turns reading the document displayed on their screens.

One, Sam Seifert, followed along, while her special education teacher Jessica Waterstreet did the talking – Seifert has difficulty reading on her own. Seated near the center of the table, Blake Hanna recited the words softy, rushing through them quickly. Jacob Voracek, opposite Seifert, took the text more slowly, pronouncing each word with precision and care.

The day’s lesson, titled “Ben has good ideas,” focused on Benjamin Franklin and his scientific discoveries and inventions. Accessed via the app Educreations, the curriculum conforms to Mankato Public Schools’ seventh-grade standards but simplifies concepts so Seifert, Hanna and Voracek can understand them.

“It provides our students with access to the seventh- and eighth-grade standards but differentiates them,” Waterstreet said of the app. “We’re doing it at a level that matches our students’ ability.”

To read the remainder of this article, first published in The Washington Times, click here