June 2020 - Volume 42
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In this issue:

Featured Video:
My Dad Matthew

The Lending Library Has Re-Opened

The lending library re-opened May 21, 2020 with a few changes to the normal procedure.

  • Devices will only be shipped out on Thursdays.
  • All loans will need administrator approval since the devices will most likely be used in the students' homes.
  • If you would like, devices can be shipped to a student's home address. Please indicate the address during the check out process. This will require a signature upon delivery from UPS. An adult will need to check the inventory list to make sure all items were received and in good condition. If there is a discrepancy, they can email per the loan agreement.

If you have items you would like to return, ship them to:

Attn: Alt+Shift
1013 US Highway 27
St. Johns, MI 48879

Please do not ship back to the Alt+Shift office since we are unable to receive packages at this time.

Accessible Materials Made Right (AMMR)

While working from home, many of our students are relying on Chromebooks and G Suite, more than ever before, to view and complete their assignments. Google has put together a website with resources on how to make lessons accessible to all as well as a YouTube channel with all of their accessibility training videos.
Although many things have changed in the world of education over the past few months, one thing that remains the same is the need for our students to be able to use their technology and access their learning materials in ways that are relevant to their individual strengths. These resources may help you and your staff learn new ways that you can support learning with some of the tools that are readily available to you.

Assistive Technology (AT): Get to Know (and even join) the AT Leadership Group

In November 2019, several educators working in assistive technology gathered to discuss needs around getting the right AT tools into the hands of students. The focus has largely been on building capacity, considering assistive technology for all learners with disabilities, and building a stronger network of professionals.
The following are the 2019-2020 goals and progress made toward the goals as of May 2020: 

  1. Build quality resources to support professional development in districts.
    1. Task forces are being formed related to:
      1. Accessibility (how to meet accessibility guidelines virtually).
      2. Process (supporting educators in selecting and considering AT during remote learning).
      3. Design (how to create and construct content and learning experiences in remote learning).
    2. Participants of the Spring AT Leadership meeting split into breakout rooms and began identifying current needs and how to reduce or eliminate barriers.
  2. Build a stronger network between AT consultants through regular connections.
    1. Prior to November 2019, AT Leaders were assembling one to two times a year for a face-to-face meeting.
    2. During the 2019-2020 school year, AT Leaders connected at two statewide meetings (November 2019 and May 2020).
    3. Lunch and Learns (informal meet-ups) were organized. Initially, these were planned to be held monthly but shifted to weekly during the pandemic.
  3. Rejuvenate AT Regions - find ways to refocus and reconnect.
    1. There are five AT regions in Michigan
    2. Representatives from Regions 1 and 4 shared tips for how other regions can reinvigorate their teams and reconnect regionally. 

A small group of AT leaders consisting of Corinn Hower (Muskegon Area Intermediate School District [ISD]), Jill Dillon (Bay-Arenac ISD), Erin Broughman (CharEm ISD), Peter Schaafsma (Wexford Missaukee ISD), and Sue Hardin (formerly of Macomb ISD) assisted behind the scenes by hosting weekly Lunch and Learn meetings and organizing the Spring Statewide Meeting held in May.
Thank you to our organizers, but also to all AT leaders supporting the needs of learners in Michigan!
To learn more about joining a task force or receiving information about future AT leadership meetings, join the AT-Contacts Listserv by emailing

Statewide Augmentative and Alternative Communication [AAC] Collaboration (Foundations of Communication, PODD, and Comprehensive Literacy Instruction)

Alt+Shift is excited to provide a platform that connects people who support AAC users across the state. More than 70 participants came together in April and May to problem solve barriers related to AAC and literacy instruction during remote learning. As we move toward summer, Alt+Shift will host AAC Talk Time events starting June 17, 2020. AAC Talk Time will be an informal gathering, with a focus on connecting with peers from across the state. It will offer a platform to participate in real-time problem solving and sharing out new and useful information. Register for AAC Talk Time! Join the Michigan AAC Listserv to ask questions, share resources, and connect with professionals across the state. 

Delta Math

Math interventionists throughout Michigan have reported that they continue to provide tiered support using Delta Math intervention lessons.  Included in these lessons are modeling problems that launch each stage of the Build-Draw-Write learning progression. 
In a traditional small group intervention, the interventionist would provide a “think-aloud” with the modeling problem using a content literacy strategy by answering the following problem-solving questions:
●      What is the problem about? 
●      What am I trying to find? 
●      What do I know? 
●      What can I try?
●      Does my answer make sense? 
In today’s reality of providing interventions over Zoom, interventionists have become creative by having students watch the modeling videos as a launch before engaging students with the Guided Practice problems.

These modeling videos are the result of the collaborative effort between Alt+Shift and Eaton Regional Educational Service Agency. The videos can be located by expanding the box for each readiness standard on the Tier 2 and Tier 3 tabs at

Also, we would like to remind schools who don’t currently use Delta Math online screeners and data reports that paper-based versions of the fall, winter, and spring readiness screeners will be made available this summer for FREE. A course overview report will also be available to assist educators for scheduling small groups of students for targeted tier 2 intervention. This report will be generated in an Excel spreadsheet by entering student scores for each readiness standard. Online training and technical support for math Response to Intervention (RtI)/Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) leaders will also be available at no cost.

If you have any questions about Delta Math RtI Program resources or implementation, please contact Mike Klavon at

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students With Significant Disabilities

Teaching has taken on a whole new meaning during this Stay Home - Stay Safe order. Finding your own path can be hard enough. How do you do it with a co-teacher? posted the blog Co-Teaching During Distance Learning: Tips for Partnering Virtually by Brendan Hodnett. He discusses his experience with these six tips for creating a relationship virtually with your teaching partner:

  1. Meet weekly.
  2. Joint access to all platforms
  3. Use “we” language.
  4. Establish a routine.
  5. Decide how to assess.
  6. Share successes.

Foundations of Math (FoM)

Due to the Stay Home - Stay Safe order we were not able to hold our last in-person meeting at one of our sites. The group decided that trying a virtual training to complete the year’s work was our next option. The staff and trainers were up to the task and it went really well. The content was covered, discussions were facilitated, and the sessions were as engaging as possible from a distance. It really goes to show that when educators are dedicated to improving student outcomes, even in unprecedented circumstances, it is possible for the work to go on!

Foundations of Math: Teaching Students With Significant Disabilities (FoM:SD)

The FoM:SD padlet features images, videos, and descriptions of how the approach from this training is being implemented in classrooms across the state.  This month, we started adding examples of how the approach is being implemented for remote teaching and learning. Browse the padlet to see how Michigan educators are continuing the learning for students learning from home.

Foundations of Math State-Level Trainings CANCELED

Due to the uncertainties surrounding the social restrictions caused by COVID-19, we will be canceling our state training for both Foundations of Math and Foundations of Math: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities scheduled to begin in August. It’s unfortunate that we will not be able to hold these trainings, but we understand the impact it could have on the health and safety of the participants and the students they will return to. We appreciate your understanding of this decision. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Math Accessibility Specialist Briana Bancroft (

Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together EVENT CANCELED

Due to the uncertainties of health and safety guidelines for next school year, and other extending circumstances, the Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together Conference (MRALT), that was to be held in October, has been canceled.

Upcoming Events: Alt+Shift

AAC Talk Time (Virtual)
June 17, 2020
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Upcoming Events: National

ASHA Schools Connect 2020 (Virtual)
July 8-20, 2020
100 Days of Professional Learning
April - September 2020

13th Annual Clinical AAC Research Conference
October 8-10, 2020
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM)
October 19-21, 2020
St. Louis, MO
Closing The Gap 2020
October 28-30, 2020
Prior Lake, MN

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Regional Conference
November 11-13
Tampa, FL

Lending Library Update

There are 93 items out on loan. 

New Item:

Control Medi Easy is an infrared transmitter (universal remote). It is user–friendly with easy to press buttons created for people with motor and cognitive disabilities. It has four buttons and can be set to only two buttons.


Are you looking to support families in developing math concepts at home with their children? Development and Research in Early Mathematics Education (DREME) Family Math prepares professionals who work with families to support parents and caregivers in promoting children’s development of early math skills. The At-Home Early Math Learning Kit offers quick ideas for families to incorporate math into everyday routines, while reading together, and into games to play. It is available in both English and Spanish. This site is a great resource for supporting families during this remote learning time and beyond!

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Alt+Shift, encompassing Michigan's Integrated Mathematics Initiative, is an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grant Funded Initiative out of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education.