Programming Considerations for Students with Learning ...

Programming Considerations for Students with Learning ...

Programming Considerations for Students with Learning Disabilities/Disorders Donelda Wygiera and Barb Rusiewicz-Enright Registered Psychologists Chinooks Edge School Division #73 Goal and Focus of this Session The goal of this session is to consider how to support students who are experiencing significant difficulties due to a learning disability or learning disorder.

The focus will be on the most common type of disability Reading disability or reading disorder (Kibby & Hynd, 2001) Students with Learning Disabilities Students with learning disabilities have the potential to be successful academically. The key characteristic to an LD is academic underachievement in reading, writing, and/or mathematics despite average to above average intelligence. Teachers can support these students and ensure the success they are capable of by

intervening early and proving explicit, intensive and extensive instruction. Effective Instruction Explicit provide systematic, clear, overt, detailed explanations, and demonstrate steps, reasons and connections among concepts Intensive Provide opportunities for highly concentrated individualized learning experiences, such as individual and/or small group instruction with modelling, demonstration and feedback that is systematic and responsive to the specific needs of students

Extensive Provide increased instructional time with frequent opportunities for students to engage in learning experiences to practice over time. Educational Programming Needs Supporting a student with a suspected or diagnosed LD is dependent on educational programming that is suited to the students individual strengths, needs and learning characteristics. To be able to do this programming, assessment, instruction, assistive

technology, transition planning and selfadvocacy all need to be considered. Possible Affected Skill Areas LDs vary in terms of impact and my involve many skill areas, including: Academic skills (reading, writing, and/or math) Metacognitive skills (knowledge and control of thinking and problem solving) Information processing skills (attention, memory, speech, and motor output) Communication skills (auditory and language skills)

Social skills To Assess or not to Assess? Use of an academic assessment (i.e., a level B test such as a KTEA-II) can identify a profile that suggests an LD may be present. With appropriate programming in place education staff can support the deficits in an appropriate way. When a diagnosis may be helpful: Provides specific information and guides appropriate interventions Verifies a diagnosis is present and not lazy Help the student understand their disability

Access to services Building on Student Strengths It is essential that parents and teachers help their student in identifying strengths and pursuing interests such as a hobby or sport where they excel. Students need to have an activity in which they feel successful and view themselves as winners. It is also important for students to have a clear understanding of their learning struggle which can help build a positive self-image.

Reading Development and Instruction Effective readers employ a wide repertoire of meaning-making (comprehension) strategies that they can deploy independently with a range a texts. They can summarize and discuss the content and demonstrate their comprehension of the text. They can analyze and evaluate what they have read. Effective readers recognize words quickly and efficiently. They demonstrate high word recognition. They possess strong fluency skills. They read with good expression, intonation, pitch, and phrasing.

Critical Elements in Reading Instruction Strategies for reading comprehension Strategies for building meaning, using the cues and conventions of language (including phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, awareness of sentence structures, awareness of text structures and organizational patterns and the pragmatics of text) Reading fluency Students who have a reading disability will require

intensive and explicit, direct instruction in one or more of these areas to become more proficient readers. Teachers are critical It is important to understand that it is not enough knowing what good readers can do or struggling readers cant do. Teachers must understand the reading processes and instruction, be able to think diagnostically, and use this information on an ongoing basis to inform their instruction. Teachers, not programs, are the critical element in a students success!

Making a Difference Research has shown that for 90 to 95 percent of poor readers, prevention and early intervention provided by well-trained teachers can increase reading skills to average reading levels (Tankersley, 2003). Intervention Programs Intervention programs must combine instruction in: Reading comprehension strategies;

The language cueing systems including phonemic awareness, phonics, syntax, text, and pragmatics; and Fluency development. Assessment and Program Planning When a teacher identifies concerns regarding the reading progress of a student a plan needs to be put in place for that students progress throughout his/her school years. In Alberta, this plan is laid out in an Individual Program Plan (IPP).

Assessment Steps 1. Teacher collects and reviews information (informal assessment, observations, identification of strengths and difficulties) and develops intervention If student continues to experience difficulty 2. Academic assessment and team approach should be implanted to develop additional intervention If student continues to experience difficulty 3. Further assessment and involvement of additional supports to develop more intensive intervention.

Program Planning I like to think of programming for students with an LD as a 2 prong approach. Reading intervention program to build weak skills (e.g., comprehension, phonemic awareness, etc.) Provide accommodations/ adaptations for the students specific

needs (e.g., digital textbooks, more Teaching Critical Elements (handout) Included in your handout (after the PowerPoint) is a handout called Table 5.4 Developing the Classroom Reading Intervention Plan which provides suggestions for building this initial plan. It includes ideas for assessment and various instructional strategies in each of the critical elements of reading (e.g., comprehension, building meaning, fluency) that you can consider using as

appropriate for students in your Activity Review provided Table 5.4 Turn to your elbow partner and share some thoughts about 1 or 2 of the Instructional Strategies General Teaching Considerations Combine a direct instruction approach (e.g., teacher-directed

lectures, discussions and language-based learning) with strategy instruction (e.g., teaching students how to learn using strategies such as testtaking skills, study skills, organizational skills). General Teaching Considerations Present information to students in a carefully sequenced manner from simple to more complex. Break material into manageable

parts and then synthesize the parts into a whole. Repetition and practice are required for the acquisition and retention of information. General Teaching Considerations Teach and model problem solving. Use small group instruction when required Use interactive questioning and answering Cue students to use a variety of strategies Be sure that intervention strategies match

the students learning profile and strengths Ask students which strategies have been most successful for them and encourage/cue them to use those strategies Provide a rich language environment with exposure to many types of writing materials General Teaching Considerations Create frequent and authentic opportunities to read and write Use themes to organize instruction Set up study buddies to allow students to double check directions and assignments if necessary

Give intermittent due dates in order to assist with lengthy assignments/projects Deliver direction in a clear, concise manner (use visuals when possible) Break learning into manageable parts and assist students to synthesize the parts into meaningful whole and to attach their understanding to prior knowledge. Do this General Teaching Considerations Repeat important information Use advance organizers when presenting material

(e.g., steps in problem solving) Use a multi-sensory instructional approach incorporating the auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic sensory modalities (let students hear, see, feel, and experience information) Supplement auditory information with visual cues (e.g., graphics, pictures, symbols, etc.) Encourage students to paraphrase instructions and directions to ensure comprehension of information Actively engage students in the learning process. Get them to say and do as this increases retention. Specific Reading Intervention Strategies

Strategy instruction involves teaching students how to approach tasks and use knowledge to solve problem, including planning, performing and evaluating performance. Intervention Strategies for all Grades Early School Years provide effective assistance as early as possible, often key to develop phonological skills at this level Upper Elementary increasing demands to read to learn, demonstrate what has been learned through writing, and

learn more content. Continue to provide opportunities to further develop and practice literacy skills, develop strategies for approaching increasingly complex tasks, and provide accommodations to allow access to increased information being presented. Jr./Sr. High evolving demands of school at this time including; increased workload, complexity of curriculum demands, speed of presentation of material, volume of reading and writing, abstractness of language, demands of memory, larger classes, many different teachers with various styles of teaching, increased expectation for independent learning, and need for better organization and social skills. Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension (handouts)

Self-Questioning Strategies 5 Ws Why, When, Where, What, and Who Reciprocal Teaching Strategy Form a Visual or Mental Picture Peer Assisted Learning (Learning with a Peer) SCORE Story Questions Story Map Activate Prior Knowledge Use of highlighting content/ideas Anticipation guide and response to it Graphic organizers Use sticky notes

Teach and encourage first and second draft reading Summarize what you read Strategies for Teaching Phonemic Awareness Skills Train boxes (phoneme) Song Game(phoneme) Alphabet Photo Shoot (alphabet awareness) Hello Song (segmenting) Tapping Wand (segmenting) Puppet Play (blending sounds) Word Changing Game (manipulating

sounds) Strategies for Teaching Phonemic Awareness Skills (programs for purchase) Programs for classroom instruction Ladders to Literacy (Brookes Publishing) Reading Reflex: The Foolproof Phono-Graphix Method for Teaching Your Child to Read (Simon & Schuster Publishing) Sounds Abound Program: Teaching Phonological Awareness in the Classroom (LinguiSystems) Programs for small group or individualized training Launch into Reading Success Through Phonological Awareness Training (PRO-ED Publishing) Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program LIPS

(Lindamood & Lindamood) Phonological Awareness Training for Reading (PRO-ED Publishing) Road to the Code: A Phonological Awareness Program Strategies for Teaching Phonics Skills Morning Message* The Rhyming Game Making Words* Jumping Bean Phonics Phonics Treasure Hunt Beanbag Letter Blend Toss*

Build-a-Word Card Game Create Peek-a-Boo Books Work Attack Skills for Secondary Students Learning Phonics Example Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary Vocabulary Bingo Magazine Scavenger Hunt Dictionary Treasure Hunt Vocabulary Game

Making Associations Between Words Student VOC Strategy Four Square Vocabulary in Context Vocabulary Builder Guess and Check Vocabulary Development When You Encounter an Unknown Word Strategies for Reading Fluency Repeated Reading activities Digital books or Books on CDs Pre-teach vocabulary, text

features, and develop background knowledge on topic Choral reading and paired reading Modelling or echo reading Practice reading text phrases (e.g., on the bus, out the door, Providing Adaptations/Accommodations A change or alteration to the regular way a student is expected to learn, complete assignments, or participate in the classroom.

Adaptations/ Accommodations Students who have a reading disability do not need a modified program due to their average to above average intelligence they are able to learn the curriculum. Rather, they require adaptations or accommodations that are tailored to their individual learning strengths, needs, and interests. These adaptations/accommodations must be provided to students in order to give them the same opportunity as their peers to attain the learning objectives of the regular

curriculum. Adaptations/ Accommodations Adaptations are not meant to replace direct instruction in those areas most affected. Teachers are expected to teach reading skills to students with reading difficulties. Adaptations/ Accommodations Adaptations/accommodations may look like the following depending on the students strengths, needs, and interests:

*Allow more time (to respond, read, and/or write) *Provide audiobooks and digital textbooks *Teach and allow student to use text-to-speech or speech-totext software *Provide a quiet room for exams *Provide technology support such as an iPad or computer *Teach keyboarding skills *Reader and/or scribe when necessary

Use visuals often (models, flowcharts, graphs, concept webs, diagrams, etc.) Reduce amount of homework Provision of real life examples Provide written copy of lectures and/or an outline of material to be covered in class. Adaptations/ Accommodations Allow

student to take photo of notes and/or record lectures. Provide models and writing samples Allow alternate formats for assignments Use multi-sensory instructional approach (auditory, visual, tactile, kinesthetic*) Use demonstrations and modelling Provide visual supports to lectures and directions Provide alternative reading materials as appropriate (high interest/controlled vocabulary) Break longer discussions/lessons into shorter segments Reduce amount of reading material on a page Allow oral reports, tests, etc. Teach highlighting techniques and highlight/bold important information for students. Allow for spelling errors, do not penalize for spelling errors

Adaptations/ Accommodations Provide cueing to encourage use of strategies, use of technology, to get attention, to reinforce persistent effort, etc. Teach and cue self-monitoring strategies Review key words to build vocabulary and trigger memory Teach visual imagery strategies Teach acronyms to help remember information Allow open book examinations Give take home exams Ensure students understand directions before a test

Use alternative grading techniques (e.g., grade by progress, grade by achievement, only grade work when adaptations are used, etc.) Teach and monitor use of calendars and organizers. Allow an extra set of books at home (if digital textbooks/materials are not available) Adaptations/ Accommodations Barriers to Effective use of Adaptations/ Accommodations: Misunderstanding Not purpose

appropriate Not used consistently Students not involved in the process Transitions Throughout a students grades, he/she will experience transitions where there is a change in relationships, routines, etc. While any student can have difficulty with transitions, students with learning disabilities often have more difficulty managing the transitions in their lives. In order for a transition to be successful, it

must be carefully planned well in advance of the actual transition. Transition Planning As students move through the educational system, they need to become more involved in planning their own transitions. Planning should focus not only on the academic skills needed for success but also on social and interpersonal difficulties that might arise.

Transition Planning Arrange for a pre-visit to new classroom or meet new teachers in advance Ensure new staff are aware of students strengths, needs and learning characteristics. Ensure new staff are aware of strategies most successful for and used by the student so they can cue/encourage use. Encourage independence and selfadvocacy Self-Advocacy

Self-advocacy refers to taking action on ones own behalf. Students with learning disabilities need to understand and accept their learning disability to they can take responsibility for themselves and advocate effectively. As students are developing self-advocacy skills, they need to have the opportunity to practice these skills in a supportive environment. Parent/Caregiver Role It is extremely important to work

closely with the parents/caregivers. Develop a good working relationship Ask them for input as they often know what work best for their child Communicate frequently, both successes/progress and Additional Resources Unlocking Potential: Key Components of Programming for Students with Learning

Disabilities. (2002) Alberta Learning. Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities: A Guide for Teachers. (2011) British Columbia Ministry of Education. Teaching Students with Reading Difficulties and Disabilities: A Guide for Educators. (2004) Saskatchewan Learning. Reading Framework by Chinooks Edge School Divisions Literacy Committee CESD Reading Framework Available on Chinooks Edge School Division web site. An

interactive tool that provides a foundational understanding of reading skills and provides a sampling of Strategies that can be used to build those Skills. Pre, during and post suggestions are made for most skill areas.

An Aha Moment There was a teacher who believed These kids cant read. After that teacher learned more about learning disabilities he realized that his belief was not wrong they cant read. What he realized was wrong was using that as an excuse for not teaching those students. Once he was willing to add the question, They cant read, so what am I going to do? then answers started to become apparent to him. Thank you for attending!

Thank you for supporting the student who has a learning disability in your classroom either today or tomorrow!

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