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Effective Teaching Practices for the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC)

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AER 2006

Karen Blankenship
Iowa Department of Education

Mary Ann Siller
American Foundation for the Blind


Please complete these sections:

  • K-What you know about effective teaching practices for the ECC
  • W-What you want to learn about effective teaching practices for the ECC

Project CRISS (1988).

Session Objective

Participants will be able to articulate examples and rationale for effective teaching practices for the ECC

AER-Division 16 Position Paper

Caseload Based on Student's Assessed Needs: Instructional Continuum:

  • Read Silently
  • Complete Pair Share
  • Report to Group

Components of Instructional Continuum for the ECC

  • Functional Vision Assessment (FVA)
  • Learning Media Assessment (LMA)
  • ECC content areas
  • Other Educational Assessment

Functional Vision Assessment

  • Observe how a student uses vision to complete daily activities with a variety of materials
  • Determine the degree to which the visual impairment interferes with learning
  • Identify ways to increase the efficiency of visual functioning

Learning Media Assessment

Process of systematically gathering objective information to provide a basis for selecting appropriate learning and literacy media for students who are blind and visually impaired

(Koenig & Holbrook-TSBVI)

ECC Content Areas

  • Accessing Assistive Technology
  • Career Education
  • Compensatory Skills, including braille, functional academics and communication and tactile graphics
  • Independent Living
  • Orientation & Mobility
  • Recreation and Leisure
  • Self-determination
  • Social Interaction
  • Visual Efficiency

Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) Content Areas

  • Complete assessments identified as priority instructional areas by families, students, and other educational partners.
  • Resources

Other Educational Assessments

Complete educational assessments in the areas of general education (reading, math, and science, social studies or other areas) that are developmentally appropriate, valid and reliable for students who are blind or visually impaired.

- Goodman, S., & Wittenstein, S. Collaborative Assessment (2003). AFB Press

IEP Development

IDEA 2004
Section 612
IEP Development:

  1. Academic Outcomes
  2. Functional Outcomes (this is the Expanded Core Curriculum for TVIs)

IDEA 2004 language That Supports Effective Teaching and TVIs

  • Functional skill areas pulled out for the IEP
  • Annual Measurable Goals (for students with alternate assessments they remain with short-term objectives)
  • Qualified Personnel in the development of the IEP
  • Assessment in functional areas

Instruction and Ongoing Probes

Rigor & Relevance Framework for Student Learning

  • A= Acquisition
  • B= Application
  • C= Assimilation
  • D=Adaptation

Rigor and Relevance for Student Learning (Independent Living)

  • Feed self using a spoon or fingers
  • Use a fork, spoon, or fingers as appropriate for particular foods
  • Demonstrate skills in eating unusual or hard to handle foods
  • Demonstrate the ability to adjust eating behaviors within a variety of situations

Instructional Strategies That Work (Explicit Teaching)

  • Self-monitoring
  • Reinforcement
  • Self-questioning
  • Drill & Practice
  • Strategy instruction
  • Feedback
  • Direct instruction
  • Repeated reading
  • Error correction
  • Formative evaluation
  • Peer mediation
  • Diagnostic-prescriptive instruction
  • Peer tutoring
  • Increased time

Kavale (2005), Learning Disabilities, 13 (4)

The empirical evidence demonstrating that interventions developed to define the uniqueness of special education are not effective. Special EDUCATION indicates an emphasis on instruction. The goal is to enhance academic performance. In addition TVIs will need to go beyond the scientific basis of their work...that must be mediated through the teacher's own creative rendering of best practice...because quality education for students with a visual impairment will always be based on the artful application of science (adapted from Kavale & Forness, 1999, p. 93)

Effective Teaching for the ECC


  • Project CRISS: CReating Independence through Student-owned Strategies (800-542-6657)
  • Classroom Instruction that Works —Research-Based Strategies (
  • Rigor and Relevance Handbook (
  • Teaching at its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (Anker Publishing Company, 176 Ballville Rd., P.O. Box 249 Bolton, MA 01740)

Effective Teaching for the ECC


  • Iowa ECC Resource Guide (being revised--contact
  • Learning Media Assessment: A Resource Guide for Teachers 2nd Edition (
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: A Comparison of IDEA 1997 and H.R. 1350 as passed by Congress on November 19, 2004 (NASDSE 703-519-3800 or

Effective Teaching for the ECC




Please complete the L on your KWL and leave it on the seat

Personal Growth Plan

Please complete after this session to continue your learning


I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates the climate. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized

-- Haim Ginott, child psychologist and teacher
"Be the change you wish to see in the world"

- Gandhi

Contact Information

Dr. Karen Blankenship
Consultant for Visual Disabilities
Grimes State Office Bldg.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: 515-281-7972

Mary Ann Siller, M.Ed
American Foundation for the Blind
National Center on Vision Loss
11030 Ables Lane
Dallas, Texas 72229

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