Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chapter 2

This chapter was mainly a review for me, but I still found it interesting and helpful. Student's learn in many different ways and teachers need to be prepared to accommodate and adjust their lessons. I work in a school and I definitely don't see enough of this happening. One thing that caught my eye in the text is communication among general education teachers and special education teachers. I see this as a struggle and obstacle among many teachers because some (not all) do not want to change their way of teaching. As teachers we need to do what is best for our students and that is to create as many opportunities as possible and be ready to face many different types of learners.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chapters 1 & 13

I have always loved math and I feel that it is a very important subject. The two principles that stood out to me were making sure that students learn math with an understanding and that assessment should support their learning and understanding. I liked the paragraph on real-world problems because students always ask, "Why do I need to know this?" As a teacher, you can determine how a concept or skill is used outside of the classroom and create an activity that will require the student to use the concept or skill in exactly the same way. Math involvement, I feel, is very critical and students are not involved enough. There are many activities and helpful ideas the text gives which can be taught in the classroom.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chapter 8 & 9 Reading

Reading and writing are very important for any student to learn. These two have a strong connection and go hand-in-hand. I totally agree with the textbook in which it states, "Reading and writing instruction should not be seperate nor should writing instruction be postponed until students are able to read." Even if a student cannot write to form words, he/she can draw pictures to depict their message they are trying to get across or they could participate in storytelling. I think it is imerpative that teachers understand the importance of these two ksills and that they try their best to get their students actively involved in many different ways.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ch.5,6 & 11 readings, how children learn to read, and video

How Children Learn to Read:
I thought this article was very informative and I liked how they said, "Reading skills are like building blocks." I totally agree with this statement. When learning to read, you first have to know the sounds, meaning, etc. This article mentions some really good approaches to reading such as phonics (using more intense phonics instruction for children with disabilities), using a balanced approach, whole language approach, and important components when following a reading program. They also included warning signs of learning disabilities which is very important to be aware of as a teacher.
Video- Reading and the brain:
This video talked about Jonathan and his story as a student with dyslexia. When typical readers do a phonological test, doctors are able to look at their brain and see that the left hemisphere is working more than the right. Children with dyslexia don't activate those areas as strongly. At the beginning of the video, Jonathan hated school, but towards the end of the video, they explained that with reading intervention you can make up for that difficulty and now Jonathan loves schools.
Chapter 5:
This chapter focuses on literacy assessments and indirect measures. When reading this chapter, I was familiar with most of the terms and it was mainly a review because I took a statistics and research class. When testing it is important to keep in mind and answer the question-What is the purpose for testing?
Chapter 6: Informal Literacy Assessment and Direct Measures
This chapter was all new to me and it gave me a lot of great ideas and useful information for direct teaching applications. I was not aware that there are 8 different types of intelligences so this was all very interesting to read about .
Chapter 11: Reading Comprehension
Reading comprehension is imperative and it is the result of effective reading. When helping students to comprehend what they read, it is important to use organization skills such as chunking, using imagery, and involving the students in pre-reading, active and post reading activities so they have a better understanding.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fomat of this assignment

I typed this assignment up in word and when I copied and pasted it into the blog the format got all screwed up. Sorry if it is hard to read!

Module for class 2

Based on articles #1 and #2:

  1. What are the social and mental implications for children with learning disabilities?

Learning disabilities can lead to emotional distress, low academic self-concept, anxiety, depression, attempts to cope, sadness, ineffective social behavior, physical complaints, acting out and so on. Teachers can help learning disabled students in a number of ways by trying several different strategies to address the student’s negative feelings about himself or herself. One way teachers can do this is by catering to different learning styles, for example, using multisensory methods and concrete representations. To eliminate stress and anxiety, teachers can take the time to talk with a student about his/her frustrations. They can also praise a child’s efforts, arrange for activities that boost self-confidence, involve the child with other children in group activities, and help to build their social skills by role playing.

  1. Think back to when you were in school. What strategies do you remember teachers using (academic or behavioral). Think about how a child with a Learning Disability would respond to these strategies. Explain and comment.

When I was in school, some behavioral strategies teachers used were verbal warnings, loss of privileges, redirection, reprimands, timeout, etc. I do not think a child with a learning disability would respond well to these at all. I do think verbal warnings are okay to use along with verbal redirection, but as a teacher, you have to be understanding/patient when working with these children. Some things they don’t understand right away, and that is when you need to explain it to them in a different way so they get what you’re asking of them. They go through so many ups and downs, sometimes you just need to slow down and put yourself in their shoes for a moment.

  1. How will you refine your practices to address the social needs of students with disabilities?

Social skills, I feel, are very important and it is something teachers need to address. We need to show/model ways in which it is socially acceptable to approach others, how to seek attention properly, follow directions, making and keeping friends, and how to deal with anxiety. Ways in which teachers can refine their practices are to remove obstacles to learning (close door, keep distractions to a minimum), use re-enforcers, and identify and specifically define the target behaviors to be taught.

Based on Article #3:

  1. How has the evolution of medical technology changed the way we look at disabilities?

I think the evolution of medical technology has definitely changed the way we look at disabilities. We now have an increased understanding of typical reading development and what happens when children and adults encounter difficulties in reading. We can now focus on targeting interventions that will better help children and adults to overcome reading failure. Understanding the genetic and environmental causes of reading failure will help lead to better and earlier diagnoses of reading problems.

2. What implications will this new outlook have on teaching and mandated legislation?

There are several implications that this new outlook will have on teaching and mandated legislation. With increased understanding of the brain regions and patterns of activity involved in typical reading and in reading failure, teachers and clinicians can develop better interventions that improve reading skills. I think that teachers will refine their practices and increased improvement of reading skills will be seen in children and adolescents.

Based on Article #4 and #5:

  1. The disproportionate representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse children in special education is a significant issue in education. After reviewing the article:

    1. List some of the issues surrounding this topic?

i. Existing inconsistencies in current referral and assessment practices

ii. Confusions in the areas of research about students requiring special education support who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

iii. Inconsistencies in the application of definitions of and criteria for LD

iv. Research community had not reached a consensus on the preferred method for measuring the extent of disproportionality.

v. One of the issues with the use of Relative Risk Ratios (as well as other methods of calculation) is that there is not a single, recognized approach for determining when disproportionality is large enough to be important.

vi. A problem with all methods of calculating disproportionality is that they yield unstable figures in small districts and districts with a small number of students in any race/ethnicity category.

vii. A further complication is that legal opinion prevents defining disproportionality, itself, as a problem and, more specifically, disallows using any index of disproportionality as the means of setting goals and tracking progress in placement rates.

viii. Unequal opportunities for many students of color because of the consequences of structural poverty and the discriminatory treatment of students of color in the general education system) as well as the referral, assessment, and identification process for special education.

    1. Discuss how legislation has attempted to ameliorate this problem

i. Through the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the ethnic representation of students in special education at the state and local educational level has been monitored every two years. Where overrepresentation exists, OCR has required many systems to implement corrective plans to reduce that disproportionality.

ii. The 1997 amendments to IDEA (P. L. 105-17) also added the requirement that states collect data for the purpose of monitoring and reducing disproportionality (Section 674).

    1. Describe the problem as you see it

i. There is a huge over identification/overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse children in special education. Students are being mislabeled, and because of this, there are increased drop-out rates and issues that still need to be resolved.

    1. Make a suggestion…What is the solution as you see it?

i. Data needs to be collected and analyzed so that decisions can be made about individuals, classrooms, schools, districts, and states.

ii. Monitoring of disproportionality should not be based solely on a head count and instead should include a focus on differences in outcomes experienced by various groups

iii. A good RTI system

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Four LD Simulations

A.) Overall, I thought the simutalions were very difficult and I could not imagine completing these activities in a classroom setting being an LD student. A lot of them were very confusing and there were so many directions to follow. When completing the attention activities, it was extremely difficult to focus and complete the tasks becuase there were distractions. I was able to put myself in the shoes of an LD student while completing each one of the activities and just imagine how hard it would be for them to do this. You wonder why so many of them give up, throw tantrums, etc. because of the task which probably seems impossible for them. The reading activities, I thought were especially difficult becuase in the one, you had to look at each word in the passage, decode it, and at the same time remember what you were reading. In the second activity,the passage went by so fast you could hardly comprehend what you were reading. If an LD student looked at this, he/she would probably read half the paragraph or not even, and have trouble remembering what he/she read. You don't realize what it is like until you actually experience it first hand and that is what I like about these simulations. For the writing activities, they were really complex and it was difficult to follow all the rules and the sequence that they wanted. When looking at the railroad picture, it was almost impossible to think of what you wanted to say, type it out, and at the same time follow the rules that were given. It really made me think of an LD student and how they process/sequence information. The math activities were also extremely complex. It took me awhile just to figure out what was being asked of me in the activity. I could see how students with learning disabilities would get frustrated, breakdown, and not want to complete the activity because there were so many steps, and the adding chart was hard/difficult to follow.
B.) For teachers, doing these simulations would tell/teach you that you need to be very patient while working with students who have learning disabilities. They need a quiet area to work with little distraction, and it would probably be a good idea to give the students headphones to block out sounds while reading and/or writing. Learning disabled students learn better with lots of examples, using manipulatives, giving simple directions and talking slowly so they can understand everything. As a teacher, it is important to walk them through the activity and make sure they understand what is being asked of them before moving on to another.