• Sun Valley Elementary School

    1010 18th Avenue Northwest

    Birmingham, Alabama 35215

    Phone 205 231-5740

    Special Education Teacher, Mrs. Wanda Shorter


    Do The Math, Moby Max, S.P.I.R.E, Go Math, Journeys Reading and Language Arts.


    Alabama’s goal of technology fluency for every student necessitates the seamless integration of technology and twenty-first century skills throughout the curricula. The immersion of technology into the curriculum provides an engaging means for students to locate, assemble, and apply relevant information to make connections with essential knowledge. Effectively integrating technology can extend learning beyond the classroom to ensure that all students achieve the technology fluency necessary to succeed in a global society (Education, 2002).


    The Birmingham City School System offers a curriculum based on national, state, and local standards that guide classroom instruction and assessment. These standards articulate the skills; knowledge and understanding all students need to become productive, educated citizens. Within the parameters of identified standards, the Birmingham City Schools System offers a broad range of academic curriculum designed to meet the individual needs of all students from early childhood to college preparatory (Birmingham City Schools, 2012-2013)  

    The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. “The Standards” are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K–12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school (Birmingham City Schools, K-5 Language Arts).

    Special Education Department provides a safe, unique, and nurturing, learning community that offers students an “Out of the box of traditional learning” experiences that are filled with excited, exploration, and discovery of one’s self as a 21st Century classroom learner. That results in producing young competitive marketable 21st Century students that are intellectually, socially, and academically equipped and prepared for student achievement as life-long learners.

    Some specific teaching strategies Incorporated:

    •  Provide directions that are clearly communicated, parallel in construction, and follow by a step-by-step process. Remind students of their assignments. Directions will be listed on the Promethean Board or on the overhead projector so that students can refer to them easily. Use color-coding, or additional strategies that motivate, stimulate, and get the attention of the learner. Also, include additional motor and some written responses. Incorporate strategies that assist students with an ability to decode unknown words. Present information intentionally as well as in small sequential steps (Chunking). Use Peer tutors to support student learning. Incorporate research-based literacy practices.
    Use effective teaching practices that
    • Facilitate verbal responses, and practice oral presentations that can allow clear, that are well-organized presentations as well as activities.students with opportunities to analyze the presentation. Encourage students to become an effective team member who learns to offer help as peer assistance. Pace instruction. To Maximized student engagement, that can include some frequent questions as well as feedback that can ensure academic success. (Whole group, small group lessons, hands on activities, study, observation, tests, and projects. Reference: https://elearning.atim.cc/course/view.php?id=2312

    GOALS: The overarching goal of Birmingham City Schools is to continuously refine classroom instruction and professional practice in order to keep pace with the ever-evolving expectations of the 2lst century (Birmingham City Schools, 2012-2013). 

    Reading/Language Arts – Read and respond to both literature of high quality and informational text. The foundations of reading are laid in print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency. Through extensive reading of stories, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different periods, students gain literary and cultural knowledge as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements. (Journeys, Implementing the Common Core State Standards, 2008).  

    Writing Standards K–5, the following standards for K–5 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and application. Each year in their writing, students should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources.  

    Students also learn to use writing as a way of offering and supporting opinions, demonstrating understanding of the subjects they are studying, and conveying real and imagined experiences and events. They are learning to appreciate that a key purpose of writing is to communicate clearly to an external, sometimes unfamiliar audience, and they begin to adapt the form and content of their writing to accomplish a particular task. Students must also gain control over many conventions of Standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics and use language to convey meaning effectively. They must be able to determine or clarify the meaning of grade-appropriate words encountered through listening, reading, and media use and expand their vocabulary in the course of studying content. 
    Grammar - Students must also gain control over many conventions of Standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics and use language to convey meaning effectively. They must be able to determine or clarify the meaning of grade-appropriate words encountered through listening, reading, and media use and expand their vocabulary in the course of studying content. The Implementation of DEW, its Drop Everything and Write, is a District-wide Initiative and Sun Valley’s Elementary School CCIP 30/60/90 Day Plan:  DEW will occur district-wide, each Monday, following morning announcements and will last 15 minutes.

    CCRS- To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must have ample opportunities to take part in a variety of rich, structured conversations—as part of a whole class, in small groups, and with a partner. Being productive members of these conversations requires that students contribute accurate and relevant information and respond to what others have said. Students must also gain control over many conventions of Standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics and use language to convey meaning effectively. They must be able to determine or clarify the meaning of grade-appropriate words encountered through listening, reading, and media use and expand their vocabulary in the course of studying content.

    The classroom environment stimulates the natural curiosity of students. Investigating materials and situations, asking questions, communicating findings, and seeking meaning from everyday activities and experiences are vital instructional components for all students. The district will require all science teachers and professional staff members, K-12, to implement the inquiry-centered, standards-based science curriculum consistently.(J.B. Morton, State Superintendent of Educaiton, Alabama State Department of Education, 2010).

    The lesson plan will take into consideration the different learning styles of each student within the learning community. The teacher will teach in small sequential steps to a high degree of mastery. Students will learn to benefit from program that incorporates at least some multi-sensory techniques (Masdtropieri, Scruggs, 2010). When applicable, tangible products will demonstrate/illustrate their understanding of the concepts taught and skills and demonstrate an ability to apply, analyze, synthesize, or evaluate those skills and concepts (eLearning for EDUCATORS, Inspired teachers for inspired students, 2013).

    Plans for differentiating instruction

    Incorporate the use of student personal technology within the classroom, for example, IPhone, IPod, I Pad Applications, if it helps with the disability area. Hands-on learning manipulative, Incorporate VHS (Videotaped) tapes, DVD presentations, PowerPoint Presentations Utilized some Assistive Technology, Graphic organizers, Inspiration and Kidspiration software provides assistance in developing graphic organizers, webs, http://www.inspiration.com for additional information. Study guides for Tests, Mapping Activities, Use Promethean Board for students interaction Incorporate some Multi-sensory technology Required textbook   Reference: https://elearning.atim.cc/course/view.php?id=2312

    Evaluation of Student Progress

    The Birmingham Board of Education requires that all parents be informed of the progress of their children. Teachers shall periodically share with parents and students an evaluation of each student’s individual progress. Regular written reports, student conferences, parent conference, and other meaningful ways to report student achievement are encouraged.

    Methods of evaluating and reporting the progress of pupils shall facilitate each student’s learning, encourage the growth of self-confidence and intrinsic motivation, and portray student competence in prescribed skills.

    Special Education

    The special education program in the Birmingham schools shall comply with the laws and regulations of the United States of America and of the State of Alabama and shall follow the policies and procedures outlined by the State Department of Education pertaining to the education of handicapped children.

    A student experiencing learning difficulty, speech, and/or language problems, or who display behaviors, which may interfere with optimal learning, may be referred to the PBS, Positive Behavior Support Intervention, PST, and Problem Solving Team for educational evaluation and/or intervention. If the student is eligible for special services, teachers and parents write an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), designed to meet the educational needs of that student.


    Alabama State Law 16-28-3, Code of Alabama, 1975 requires all children between the ages of seven (7) and seventeen (17) to attend school regularly. Alabama State law states that each child who enrolls in a public school, whether or not the child is required by law to enroll, is subject to the school attendance and truancy laws of the state.

    STUDENT DISCIPLINE AND BEHAVIOR We believe that all students have a right to learn in a safe and orderly environment based upon the principles of respect and consideration for the right of others. The board also believes that students learn best when behavior and student conduct are maintained on a regular basis. To that end, the board adopts policy number 8111. Birmingham City Schools’ Code of Student Conduct, as its policy on student discipline and behavior. NO STUDENT HAS A RIGHT TO BE UNRULY IN HIS OR HER CLASSROOM TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH DISRUPTON DENIES FELLOW STUDENTS THEIR RIGHT TO LEARN.


    Birmingham City Schools Board of Education adheres to the State of Alabama Testing Program. All students participate in state/and/or federal mandated assessments.

    Grading Policy

    We Believe, that all children must be presented opportunities to learn and to be successful. Successful learning is the result of quality instruction. Failing grades are indicative of failing teachers, students, and parents. Everyone must be accountable and responsible to ensure success. Teachers must use report cards, progress reports, and every other means available to communicate with parents. Teachers must communicate to both parents and students the academic progress of each student in a timely and effective manner.

    The K-12 School Year… The K-12 school year is broken into (4) nine-week grading period. At the end of each grading period, academic marks are entered in to the computer and report cards are generated for dissemination to students. The grading scales adopted by the Birmingham Board of Education are:


    A 100-90, B   80-80 , C   79-70, D   69-60, F 59 and below. Numerical grades are recorded for each marking period in grades 1-12.


    Mandatory progress reports for all students will be issued midpoint in each nine-week period.


    Assessment may include daily assignments, homework, test, quizzes, and varied writing assignments, as well as portfolios, products, performances, research papers, or other projects. 

    Teacher Assessment Adaptations: Adapt test formats (e.g. multiple choice, matching) so that they are easy to understand. Practice taking tests with students and teach test-taking skills. Read, “test items to students with learning disabilities when this practice does not violate test standardization and reading is not being tested”. Summative Assessment Use Portfolio Assessment. The classroom facilitator and students will collect and organize relevant products to document performance and progress in different in different of academic and behavior functioning (Wesson and King, 1996); ( Masdtropieri, Scruggs, 2010). Performance Assessment, Students will construct their own responses, rather than selecting or identifying correct responses. The classroom facilitator will observe student performance on tasks reflecting real world or authentic requirements. Student responses will reveal patterns in student thinking and learning, as well as whether the question was correctly answered (Finch, 1994); (Masdtropieri, Scruggs, 2010).

    HOMEWORK is a requirement; therefore; all homework assignments must be completed. All assignments, projects, homework, and modifications for students are included as part of the initial enrollment packet from their zoned school. A reasonable amount of homework will be assigned to extend, reinforce, and enrich the school program. An increase in homework could be the result of time that is not used wisely in school.

    PROMOTION AND RETENTION Placement, promotion, or retention shall be made in the best interest of the student after careful evaluation of all factors relating to the student’s total development with special emphasis on academic competence.

    PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE It is our belief that parent-teacher conferences are an essential part of a child’s educational program. We feel that these conferences can add to a parent’s understanding of both the child’s educational progress as well as our total school education program. Parents are strongly encourage to take advantage of opportunities to talk with their child’s teacher as this provides a method of communication that no other progress report system can replace. Please note that October has been set aside as a system-wide Parent Involvement month. The child’s teacher will schedule an appointment with the parents prior to that date. To make an appointment for a teacher conference at other times, send a note with your child or call the office at 205 231-5740 and leave a message with the secretary. An appointment with the principal may be scheduled in the same way. In both instances, an advance notice will be required to schedule conferences. 



    Birmingham City Schools. (2012-2013). Curriculum and Instruction. Retrieved from www.bhamcityschools.org.

    Education, A. S. (2002). Alabama Course of Study, Technology Education. Retrieved from www.bhamcityschools.org; www.ALSDE.org.

    eLearning for EDUCATORS, Inspired teachers for inspired students. (2013). Course 13-06 EDU4404EB: Differentiating Instruction to Accomodate Learning Styles. Retrieved from https://elearning.atim.cc/course/view.php?id-2312.

    J.B. Morton, State Superintendent of Educaiton, Alabama State Department of Education. (2010). Alabama Course of Study, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts. Retrieved from www.alsde.org.

    Masdtropieri, Scruggs. (2010). Chapter 12, Assessment. In The inclusive classroom, strategies for effective differentiated instruction, 4th Edition (pp. 285-287). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Peasrson Education, Inc.

    Scott Foresman, Implementing the Common Core State Standards. (2008). Teacher's Guide to Meeting the Common Core State Standards with Scott Foresman Reading Street. Retrieved from wwww.bhamcityschools.org.