Sunday, December 13, 2009
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.
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
Based on articles #1 and #2:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- The disproportionate representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse children in special education is a significant issue in education. After reviewing the article:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
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.