Teaching & Instruction
Teaching and effective instruction for students with learning disabilities requires specialized knowledge in the areas of spoken language, reading, writing, and math. This section contains readings that reflect knowledge of best practices and evidence based instruction within each area.
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Teachers' grouping practices during reading instruction can serve as a critical component in facilitating effective implementation of reading instruction and inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes. In this article, we provide an overview of the recent research on grouping practices (whole class, small group, pairs, one-on-one) during reading instruction for students with disabilities.
This month our mentor teacher is Jane Quenneville, an assistive technology specialist for the Virginia Beach City Public Schools in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Jane, was most recently chosen as teacher of the year for the Special Education Annex, an itinerant group of professionals who serve students with disabilities. Jane began her career as an occupational therapist.
It all started with one student who wanted to know how his accommodation of extra time was going to help if he did not know how to study for the test. This simple question led to great things at Louisburg College where, like other colleges/universities, legally mandated accommodations have been common provisions for students with learning disabilities (LD).
Jim Delisle, Ph.D., is a Professor of Special Education at Kent State University, where he directs the undergraduate and graduate programs in gifted child education. Jim is a former classroom teacher, special education teacher, and teacher of the gifted and talented. In 1992, Jim took a sabbatical from university teaching to return to full time teaching. He taught a regular fourth grade class.
When you walk on the campus of the Charles Armstrong school you see the work of John Osner. School yards with complicated geometric designs created by his students for math projects and other projects reflect the passion of his teaching and of his students. John as tught children with dyslexia for over twenty years at the Charles Armstrong school.
Language-based learning disabilities (LBLD) encompass a spectrum of cognitive and behavioral differences in processing, comprehending, and using language. Students with LBLD commonly experience difficulties with listening, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, math, organization, attention, memory, social skills, perseverance, and self-regulation. However, a teaching style that is specialized and structured enables students with LBLD to succeed. Learn the essential facts about how to foster the strengths of students with LBLD in this article.
A quality program is so dependent on the excellence of the teaching staff…that really is the key. It is important to hire really good teachers. Fairfax County hires high need teachers, such as special education teachers, under early contracts to make certain they get excellent teachers. Fairfax County also has a good track record in that our students are doing well compared to national standards as well. This helps attract great teachers.
Lauren Ebel is a Special Education Teacher with the Fairfax County Public School in Fairfax, Virginia. She has taught in both public and private settings. She designed, wrote, and implemented "The Developmental Classroom", a speech and language-based primary program. She has worked with children who have learning disabilities and/or emotional problems, stating that many children with LD often experience emotional and behavioral outbursts. Two important classroom strategies she stresses are: (1) Laying ground rules for students and (2) Reinforcement of good behaviors. Her teaching involves much more as you will see as you learn about Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Monsters.
As the parent of a learning disabled student, I want to share my experiences with you. Sometimes I would be very unhappy with my son. He would not attend classes and would not complete his assignments. We always seemed to be arguing over his school work.
Secondary students with learning disabilities generally make inadequate progress in mathematics. Their achievement is often limited by a variety of factors, including prior low achievement, low expectations for success, and inadequate instruction.
Teachers, help you students learn to do word problems. Learn to use the STAR approach. (S) Search the problem. (T) Translate the problem. (A) Answer the problem. (R) Review the solution. Examples and sample scripts are given for this empirically validated technique.
It's a given that high-quality, ongoing, and student-focused professional development (PD) is key to improving teaching and learning. But questions about time, adult learning needs, relevancy, and technology integration plague PD coordinators, team leaders, coaches, district and school administrators, and consultants. Recently, a growing number of schools are finding answers to these compelling questions by exploring, designing, and conducting blended PD.
Mike Kersjes spent more than a decade teaching students with learning disabilities. His first special education teaching job was in an inner-city school in a cubicle that "barely fit five people," ....a "pitiful excuse for a classroom" that sent "a message to the kids who were taught there: You are worthless." Mike later began teaching at Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.