Available Modules

Professional development certificates are available for the IRIS STAR Legacy Modules listed on this page. You can read a more detailed description of each Module by clicking on its title. When you have selected the Module(s) for which you would like to earn a certificate, click Add to Cart. You will receive an email confirmation after you have completed the checkout process.

If you do not already have a IRIS account, you will be prompted to set one up during the checkout process. When you have done so, a menu will appear in the top right corner of the site, allowing you to view your account. From there, you can take the pre-test to begin your professional development or continue where you left off on a previous visit.

  • Accommodations: Instructional and Testing Supports for Students with Disabilities

    This Module provides an overview of accommodations for students with disabilities. These allowable changes in educational environments or practices (i.e., supports or services) help students to overcome the barriers their disabilities impose and allow them to achieve the same outcomes and to obtain the same benefits as students without disabilities (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to define accommodations
    • Understand how accommodations help students with disabilities gain access to the general education curriculum and assessments
    • Understand the responsibilities of the IEP team for making accommodation decisions for students with disabilities
    • Know how to access resources that support the use of accommodations for students with disabilities
  • Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (Part 1): Understanding the Acting-Out Cycle

    The first in a two-part series, this Module discusses problem behavior in terms of the stages of the acting-out cycle and suggests ways to respond to students in the cycle's numerous phases (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand why general education teachers need to be able to effectively manage disruptive and noncompliant behaviors
    • Understand problem behaviors as occurring within an acting-out cycle
    • Know the phases of the acting-out cycle
    • Understand how to respond to students in different phases of the acting-out cycle

     

  • Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (Part 2): Behavioral Interventions

    The second in a two-part series, this Module describes interventions that can increase initial compliance to teacher requests as well as interventions that can be implemented to decrease disruptive and noncompliant behaviors (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to identify at least one resource that can provide information on behavioral interventions
    • Be able to describe two interventions that can increase initial compliance to teacher requests
    • Be able to identify three interventions that can be implemented to decrease disruptive and non-compliant behaviors
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview for Educators

    Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview for Educators

    This Module provides information on the early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as an overview of the difference between a medical diagnosis and an educational determination of ASD. Resources include notes on instructional considerations for teachers who have children and students with ASD in their classrooms, as well as things to keep in mind when working with the families of those children and students (est. completion time: 2 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand that the strengths and needs of students with ASD vary greatly
    • Be aware of the early warning signs of ASD
    • Know the difference between a medical diagnosis of ASD and an educational determination of autism
    • Be able to identify key IEP and IFSP team members
    • Understand various factors that might affect family members of students with ASD
    • Be familiar with strategies that teachers can use when working with students with ASD
  • Classroom Assessment (Part 1): An Introduction to Monitoring Academic Achievement in the Classroom

    This Module discusses how progress monitoring can affect the academic outcomes of students, and it demonstrates how to implement curriculum-based measurement with a classroom of students (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Acquire knowledge about different assessment methods
    • Understand how progress monitoring can affect the academic outcomes of students
    • Have greater familiarity with curriculum-based measurement and how to implement it
  • Classroom Assessment (Part 2): Evaluating Reading Progress

    Part of a series dealing with methods of classroom assessment, this Module explores in detail the assessment procedures integral to RTI. It also outlines how to use progress monitoring data to determine whether a student is meeting the established performance criteria or if more intensive intervention is needed (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Discover how to assess reading skills at each grade level, K–6
    • Be able to identify how to set goals, monitor instruction, and adjust instruction based on students’ reading scores
    • Understand how to communicate students’ reading progress to other educational professionals and parents
  • Classroom Diversity: An Introduction to Student Differences

    This Module offers a broad overview of how diversity (i.e., culture, language, exceptionality, and socioeconomic status) affects learning and how teachers can better meet the needs of all their students in their classes (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Know more about the diversity of students in today’s classrooms
    • Be able to describe five ways in which diversity influences student learning
    • Be able to identify some of the considerations for teaching in a diverse classroom
  • Classroom Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan

    This Module overviews the ins-and-outs of creating a plan to effectively address behavior issues in the classroomIncluded is information on the prerequisites of creating such a plan, as well as some thoughts on cultural considerations to keep in mind while doing so. This Module also features the IRIS Behavior Plan Tool, which learners can use to create, save, and print their own comprehensive behavior management plan (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand how disruptive behavior negatively affects instruction and learning
    • Be familiar with how culture can influence behavior
    • Identify and describe the core components of a comprehensive behavior management system
    • Be able to develop their own comprehensive behavior management plan

     

  • Classroom Management (Part 2): Developing Your Own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan

    A companion to Classroom Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan, this Module reviews the major components of classroom management (including rules, procedures, and consequences) and guides users through the steps of creating their own comprehensive behavior plan (est. completion time: 2 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to list the components of a comprehensive behavior management system
    • Understand and be able to describe the key features of each of those components
    • Know more about how culture influences student behavior
    • Be able to develop their own comprehensive behavior management plan
  • Collaborating With Families

    Designed to help teachers build positive relationships with families, this Module highlights the diversity of families and addresses the factors that school personnel should understand about working with the families of children with disabilities (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Recognize the diversity of families and the importance of involving families in students’ education
    • Understand the issues that most affect families who have children with disabilities
    • Be familiar with a number of practical ideas for creating a positive partnership with parents of children with disabilities
  • CSR: A Reading Comprehension Strategy

    This Module outlines Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR), a strategy for helping students to improve their reading comprehension skills. In CSR, students work together in small groups to apply comprehension strategies as they read text from a content area, such as social studies or science (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Recognize strategies that improve reading comprehension
    • Understand the purpose, components, and implementation of Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)
    • Be able to effectively implement the CSR approach
  • Cultural and Linguistic Differences: What Teachers Should Know

    This Module examines the ways in which culture influences the daily interactions that occur across all classrooms and provides practice for enhancing culturally responsive teaching (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand how a teacher’s own culture can influence his or her teaching
    • Be able to describe what it means to provide culturally responsive instruction
    • Recognize how linguistic diversity may influence school outcomes for students
    • Understand the importance of family involvement in school
  • Differentiated Instruction: Maximizing the Learning of All Students

    This Module discusses the importance of differentiating three aspects of instruction: content, process (instructional methods), and product (assessment). It also explores the student traits—readiness level, interest, and learning profile—that influence learning (est. completion time: 3 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand the key elements of differentiated instruction
    • Be able to differentiate instruction based on students’ readiness level, interests, and learning needs
    • Be able to differentiate instruction for three main instructional components: content, process, and product
    • Have the knowledge to evaluate and grade differentiated products
    • Be able to prepare their students and their classrooms for differentiated instruction
    • Take the first steps toward implementing differentiated instruction
  • Dual Language Learners with Disabilities: Supporting Young Children in the Classroom

    This Module offers an overview of young children who are dual language learners. Further, it highlights the importance of maintaining children and families’ home language at the same time they are learning a new or second language, discusses considerations for screening and assessing these children, and identifies strategies for supporting them in inclusive preschool classrooms (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to describe young children who are dual language learners
    • Better understand the importance of maintaining children’s home languages at the same time they are learning English
    • Understand the importance of collaborating with families of young children who are dual language learners
    • Be able to list considerations for screening and evaluating young dual language learners with disabilities
    • Be able to identify strategies for supporting young dual language learners with disabilities
  • Early Childhood Behavior Management: Developing and Teaching Rules

    This Module includes information on how to create developmentally appropriate behavior rules for early childhood classrooms so that they link to a given school’s behavior expectations. The importance of communication with families about rules and expected behaviors is also stressed (est. completion time: 1.5 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to describe the importance of establishing classroom rules for young children that align with the behavior expectations of the school
    • Understand the guidelines for effectively developing and displaying rules for early childhood environments
    • Be able to identify different strategies for teaching and reinforcing rules for young children
    • Understand the importance of communicating with families about rules and expected behaviors
  • Early Childhood Environments: Designing Effective Classrooms

    This Module offers information on how to set up effective inclusive early childhood classroom environments for young children. It also provides details about the interrelated physical, social, and temporal components of those environment, as well as adaptations to help teachers meet the needs of children with disabilities (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to define and describe the difference between the physical, social, and temporal environments of an early learning program
    • Be able to explain why a well-designed physical, social, and temporal environment benefits all young children
    • Understand unique considerations in arranging an infant/toddler environment
    • Understand the importance of adapting environments to meet the unique needs of young children with disabilities
    • Be able to describe how families and teachers can work together to create environments that nurture and support the development of all children
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment: Identifying the Reasons for Problem Behavior and Developing a Behavior Plan

    This Module explores the basic principles of behavior and the importance of discovering the reasons that students engage in problem behavior. The steps to conducting a functional behavioral assessment and developing a behavior plan are described (est. completion time: 2 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to identify the function of problem behaviors
    • Understand how to design individual behavior plans based on the functions of problem behaviors
    • Know how to implement and evaluate individualized behavior plans
  • High-Quality Mathematics Instruction: What Teachers Should Know

    This Module describes the components of high-quality mathematics instruction: a standards-based curriculum and evidence-based strategies. It also highlights several effective practices teachers can use to teach mathematics (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to identify the components of high-quality mathematics instruction
    • Understand how to assess whether mathematics curricular materials are standards-based
    • Be familiar with evidence-based instructional strategies for teaching mathematics
    • Be able to recognize effective classroom practices that promote and support the implementation of high-quality mathematics instruction
  • RTI (Part 1): An Overview

    This Module outlines the differences between the IQ-achievement discrepancy model and the Response-to-Intervention (RTI) approach. It also offers a brief overview of each tier in the RTI model and explains its benefits (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Acquire knowledge about the discrepancy and response-to-intervention (RTI) models
    • Understand the benefits of RTI
    • Acquire knowledge about different approaches to RTI
    • Learn about one model of RTI and how to implement it
  • RTI (Part 2): Assessment

    This Module explores in detail the assessment procedures integral to RTI. It also outlines how to use progress monitoring data to determine whether a student is meeting the established performance criteria or if more intensive intervention is needed (est. completion time: 2 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Have a grasp of the available options regarding assessment and identification for RTI
    • Understand the assessment process at each tier in the RTI approach
    • Know how to interpret the assessment data and make informed instructional and placement decisions
  • RTI (Part 4): Putting It All Together

    This Module synthesizes the information in RTI (Parts 1, 2, and 3) to provide teachers and other school personnel with a more comprehensive illustration of how to successfully implement RTI (est. completion time: 3 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to recognize the fundamental elements that support successful RTI implementation
    • Understand how to coordinate assessment procedures and high-quality reading instruction within the RTI approach
    • Have an understanding of other factors that influence the effective implementation of RTI
  • Secondary Reading Instruction (Part 1) Teaching Vocabulary and Comprehension in the Content Areas

    This Module describes how teachers can incorporate vocabulary and reading comprehension skills instruction into content-area lessons and overviews a variety of effective practices—including the use of graphic organizers—to help students better understand what they read (est. completion time: 1.5 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand the importance of effective vocabulary and effective comprehension instruction in content areas
    • Be able to develop effective vocabulary instruction within content learning
    • Know how to enhance student’s reading comprehension in content areas
  • Secondary Reading Instruction (Part 2): Deepening Middle School Content-Area Learning with Vocabulary and Comprehension Strategies

    This Module examines some of the reasons that adolescents struggle with content-area text and overviews effective strategies teachers can use to improve the vocabulary and comprehension skills of students with a wide range of abilities and across a variety of subjects (est. completion time: 1.5 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand why many middle school students struggle with content-area reading
    • Be able to implement strategies to support multisyllabic word identification and increase vocabulary knowledge
    • Know how to help students gain a deeper understanding of content-area texts
  • Secondary Transition: Helping Students with Disabilities Plan for Post-High School Settings

    This Module focuses on the transition process from high school to post-secondary settings. Among other topics, it discusses IEP planning, engaging students in the process so as to become better advocates for their own needs, and the importance of outside agencies such as vocational rehabilitation (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to define secondary transition
    • Have the knowledge to identify the components of secondary transition planning
    • Be able to explain why it is important to involve the student with disabilities in transition planning
  • Secondary Transition: Interagency Collaboration

    secondary transition: interagency collaboration

    This Module defines and discusses the purpose of interagency collaboration and addresses the importance of partnering with agencies to improve outcomes for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school (est. completion time: 2 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to define interagency collaboration
    • Be able to identify the stages of interagency collaboration
    • Be able to explain how interagency collaboration supports the transition of students with disabilities
  • SOS: Helping Students Become Independent Learners

    This Module describes how teachers can help students stay on task by learning to regulate their behavior. The four strategies discussed are self-monitoring, self-instruction, goal-setting, and self-reinforcement (est. completion time: 1.5 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand self-regulation techniques
    • Know when and where it is appropriate to use self-regulation strategies
    • Be able to list and describe four major types of self-regulation strategies
    • Be able to describe the steps used to implement each of these self-regulation strategies
  • SRSD: Using Learning Strategies to Enhance Student Learning

    This Module features the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model, which outlines the six steps required to effectively implement any instructional strategy and emphasizes the time and effort required to do so (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to describe what a strategy is
    • Understand what strategy instruction is and what its benefits are
    • Be able to list the steps used to implement strategy instruction
    • Understand how self-regulation improves the use of a strategy
  • Teaching English Language Learners: Effective Instructional Practices

    This Module helps teachers understand second language acquisition, the importance of academic English, and instructional practices that will enhance learning for English Learners (est. completion time: 2 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Be able to define English language learner
    • Understand levels of language proficiency
    • Know instructional strategies that are effective when teaching English language learners
    • Understand the implications for assessing English language learners
  • The Pre-Referral Process: Procedures for Supporting Students with Academic and Behavioral Concerns

    This Module highlights the benefits of the pre-referral process—a preventative approach that can eliminate inappropriate referrals to special education—and outlines the six stages most commonly involved in its implementation (est. completion time: 1 hour).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand the purpose of the pre-referral process
    • Recognize and be able to describe the six stages of the pre-referral process
  • Universal Design for Learning: Creating a Learning Environment that Challenges and Engages All Students

    This Module examines the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and discusses how to apply these principles to the four curricular components (i.e., goals, instructional materials, instructional methods, and assessments) (est. completion time: 2.5 hours).

    Module Objectives

    By completing this Module, learners will:

    • Understand the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
    • Be able to apply the Universal Design for Learning principles to the components of a curriculum
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The IRIS Center Peabody College Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 37203 iris@vanderbilt.edu. The IRIS Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Grant #H325E120002. The contents of this Website do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Sarah Allen.

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