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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.

There are 188 articles in this section.

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Using Functional Analysis to Improve Reading Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Jim Delisle, Ph.D. - Mentor Teacher

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.

The Clarifying Routine: Elaborating Vocabulary Instruction

The more a new vocabulary word is associated with ideas from students' own experience, the more likely the word will become well 'networked' and a permanent part of memory. Making these links involves elaborating definitions of new terms. This article offers teachers several ways to facilitate elaboration.

Fast forward: Those with Attention-Deficit Disorders Zoom in on Developing Strengths

What Happens When Students Use Text-to-Speech and Word Predict Programs to Compose Text?

Diane DeMott Painter, Ph.D. - Mentor Teacher

Diane D. Painter is a former special education teacher who radiates when she talks about her role in developing teacher- researcher models of training in the Fairfax, Virginia Public School system. Diane has her BS in Elementary Education from George Mason University, her M.ED. in Perceptual Impairments from the University of Maryland and her PH.D. in Special Education Technologies from George Mason University.

Framing Main Ideas and Essential Details to Promote Comprehension (PDF)

Mike Kersjes - Mentor Teacher

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.

A Smile As Big As the Moon: A Teacher, His Class and Their Unforgettable Journey

When Mike Kersjes, a high school special education teacher and football coach, read in 1987 a magazine article about Space Camp, he knew his students would love to go. Located at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., the camp allows students to spend six days training and living like astronauts.

Amy Purcell Vorenberg - Mentor Teacher

Ms. Vorenberg has a BA from the University of New Hampshire and a MS in Early Education from Wheelock College. She has worked extensively in independent schools in the Boston area. A special interest is the effects of the media on children. She is a Felton Media Scholar who has made a video program for children "On My Own - Kids' Learning Adventures." A Shady Hill School teacher featured in the video "ADHD and the 21st Century," Ms Vorenberg is now the head of the lower school program at Shady Hills School.

Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities: Perceptions of a First-Year Teacher

We report the perceptions of a first-year teacher of students with learning disabilities. The teacher describes her first-year challenges and successes; presents her views on assessment, accountability, and inclusion; and makes recommendations for new teachers entering the field. In addition, she suggests steps that teacher educators, school administrators, and experienced teachers can take to ensure the success of first-year teachers. We conclude with observations on teacher retention, first-year teaching experiences, and teacher-education programs.

Carol-Ann Kinane - Mentor Teacher

Carol-Ann Kinane graduated from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY in 1989 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Education. She became dual certified through a Marist/Vassar College program for elementary and special education.

Blanche Podhajski, Ph.D. - Mentor Teacher

Blanche Podhajski, Ph.D. is the founder and President of the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Williston and White River Junction, Vermont. She is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

What Happens When Assistive Technology Doesn’t Work?: The Need for an Integrated Approach.

When the student technology match has not worked, what key questions should be asked?

Basic Principles of APD Management: All the World's a Stage: Environmental Modification at School

Management of APD should incorporate three primary principles: (1) environmental modifications, (2) remediation (direct therapy) techniques, and (3) compensatory strategies. All three of these components are necessary for APD intervention to be effective. Learn more about what can be done in the classroom to help students with auditory processing disorder.

When Older Students Can't Read

Both students and educators become frustrated when students beyond 3rd grade display reading difficulties. These research-based reading strategies can build a foundation for reading success in students of all ages.

Jane Quenneville - Mentor Teacher

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.

Inclusion in Middle Schools

Scott Self - Mentor Teacher

Mr. Self comes to teaching math to adolescents with learning disabilities from an unlikely route. He began in the business world. After his last child finished college he decided to follow his passion-teaching students to understand the concepts of math.

Prevention and Intervention of Writing Difficulties for Students with Learning Disabilities

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