Access courses are intended only for students with a significant cognitive disability. Access courses are designed to provide students with access to the general curriculum. Access points reflect increasing levels of complexity and depth of knowledge aligned with grade-level expectations. The access points included in access courses are intentionally designed to foster high expectations for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
Access points in the subject areas of science, social studies, art, dance, physical education, theatre, and health provide tiered access to the general curriculum through three levels of access points (Participatory, Supported, and Independent). Access points in English language arts and mathematics do not contain these tiers, but contain Essential Understandings (or EUs). EUs consist of skills at varying levels of complexity and are a resource when planning for instruction.
The study of mathematics provides the means to organize, understand, and predict life’s events in quantifiable terms. Organizing life using numbers allows us to keep accurate records of objects and events, such as quantity, sequence, time, and money. Using numbers to understand the relationship between relative quantities or characteristics allows us to accurately problem solve and predict future outcomes of quantifiable events as conditions change. Many of life’s typical activities require competency in using numbers, operations, and algebraic thinking (e.g., counting, measuring, comparison shopping), geometric principles (e.g., shapes, area, volume), and data analysis (e.g., organizing information to suggest conclusions). Some students with significant cognitive disabilities will access and use traditional mathematical symbols and abstractions, while others may apply numeric principles using concrete materials in real-life activities. In any case, mathematics is one of the most useful skill sets and essential for students with significant cognitive disabilities. It provides a means to organize life and solve problems involving quantity and patterns, making life more orderly and predictable.
The purpose of this course is to provide students with significant cognitive disabilities access to the concepts and content of mathematics at the first grade level. The foundational concepts of joining and separating quantities, patterns, shapes, and measures provide a means to organize our environment and predict outcomes of quantifiable events. The content should include, but not be limited to, the concepts of:
- Whole numbers
- Combining and separating quantities
- Plane and solid figures
- Solving routine and non-routine quantitative problems
English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Mathematics. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success. The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL’s need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: http://www.cpalms.org/uploads/docs/standards/eld/MA.pdf.