Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

New at teaching SLD...need some help with strategies.

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Joined: Sep 10, 2004
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Posted Sep 10, 2004 at 10:13:15 PM
Subject: New at teaching SLD...need some help with strategies.

I really want to teach my students how to use reading startegies like making inferences and clarifying what they've read. I am having a very hard time finding info on this. Yes, there are many wordy articles that talk, talk, talk about the strategies. I need something to break it down so children will understand. I am new at teaching LD and you can tell me to tell children they need to predict and all that, but I don't know how to TEACH it! We had an overview in college just like all the articles on this site. I noticed the regular ed teachers have it broken down in teachers guides for them, so they'll know HOW to teach it. Why should they have that advantage unless they are weeding us out. I want to know MORE than them so when they come to me for help I can really help. As of now I feel like they have more resources and may know more than me because it is all spelled out for them. Please help.

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Joined Sep 10, 2004
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Posted:Sep 10, 2004 10:32:19 PM

Please forgive me if I sound whiney or resentful in the above message. I am only frustrated because I feel that ESE gets overlooked quite a lot. And although I know the why of these strategies, the "HOW TO" of teaching them is new to me - even though I'm an ESE teacher. In college they said "you need to teach these" but they never explained how to break them down and explain them to students. Again, can use any resources available. Thanks.
PS- the teacher guide I was referring to was Houghton Mifflin.

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Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Sep 11, 2004 6:18:16 PM

Hi, Wings,

You've come to a great place!

Regarding reading, I'd first suggest you go to the LD In Depth section and read all the articles under Reading.

Are you aware that most comprehension problems are cause by poor decoding, fluency, and/or vocabulary? The skills you are talking about really come after those I mentioned. Have you been trained in a good multi-sensory decoding program? Kids really need to be screened for decoding skills first.

What I want to tell you in a nutshell is that every bit of the valuable instructional methods I have learned has come from private trainings on my own. I hope you won't waste all the years I did not knowing how to remediate.

Read through some sites of excellent programs like Lindamood-Bell. That is just one example of a program that really gets to the root of kids reading issues and remediates. And they have a comprehension program, too, but it's not what you are thinking.


But please read through the LD Online LD In Depth Reading section. It gives you a great overview of what you need to learn to teach reading.


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Joined Sep 10, 2004
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Posted:Sep 12, 2004 12:52:20 PM
Subject:new to SLD

Thank you Janis for the info. I will look into this program. That is what I need - a program that teaches me HOW to remediate. Most articles I have found only talk about what you need to do, they don't tell you how. Thanks. Rachel

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Joined Jul 06, 2003
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Posted:Sep 12, 2004 3:26:14 PM

Visualizing and Verbalizing is a great approach to really teaching comprehension in kids with poor comprehension. All you need is the manual (everything else is in there), one of their comprehension story books would be useful or some other short vivid 1-4 paragraph articles.
(Really you'll need more paragraphs. I actually wrote some for holidays which was fun.)

I'd suggest the, oh gosh, used to be Barnell Loft like the main idea ones.
(someone can tell me who does these now). I don't suggest their
ideas on comprehension, as they don't have many, just to use their stories.

Besides V&V there is another comprehension program that is more
popular with parents as it is more organized, but also more expensive.
Someone will prob. help me here.

The Jamestown series which is similar has some concrete ideas but wouldn't be esp. useful for kids with severe comprehension problems.
Another source is our very own Susan at www.resourceroom.net.
She has the comprehension compediums for Stone Fox; Harry Potter and the SS; and is working on Holes. The compediums would be nice guidelines. (Again not as good with severe comprehension problems though.)

You could also use graphic organizers to help the kids see and pick out
details, main idea etc. (yet again for milder problems).


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Joined Jun 14, 2003
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Posted:Sep 15, 2004 12:07:25 PM

Hi wings :)

I remember feeling that same frustration. How in the world do you *teach* comprehension? Visualizing/Verbalizing helps to a point -- but it's mostly getting at the very base of the issue, that first "connect teh words to the 'meaning' part of the brain." The inferences and what have you are much more advanced than that -- tho' you can't really do them unless you've made that connection.
Most of the sophisticated comprehension skills can be taught through oral language & with a lot of visual stuff. If folks are real basic, I start there with a picture of a picnic basket full of foodstuffs with the salad dressing bottle whited out. It's pretty obvious to everybody what it's supposed to be -- but then I make 'em put their reasoning into words and defend their answer. (It's infinitely easier to teach them to support an inference when the inference part is easy -- one of those fundamental principles of education that teachers too often toss out the window.) For something a little more sophisticated, I use a Garfield cartoon of the guy coming in the door with his shoulders slumped and a big frown, to which Garfield asks, "How was the date?" -- and we infer the answer and defend it.
I put "Main idea" stuff on my website (http://www.resourceroom.net ) - look under reading comprehension. I've also found that Joanne Carlisle's Reasoning and REading books from EPS (and they're cheap, too) have exercises that work; I generally use her stuff as a model and then make a million more practice version of the same thing.

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Joined Sep 18, 2004
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Posted:Sep 19, 2004 3:36:33 PM

In the school district I teach in we used a system called Balanced Literacy. There is a comprehension portion that emphasizes strategies on how to teach comprehension. Basically, they suggest you MODEL, MODEL, MODEL. For example, reading a book for shared reading a stopping to make a personal connection, prediction, summarization, or visual image. They suggest even using basic picture books to begin with. Then students can begin to add their own thoughts. Students can use graphic organizers to draw or write down their thoughts. One book we model from is "Mosaic of Thought" and another is "Strategies that Work". Both books can be found at major bookstores and are inexpensive. Hope that helps!

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