Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Expository Text

Here is a clear and concise explanation of expository text structures - from Prestwick House.  They are important in helping students summarize what they are reading - especially for informational text.  5 Types of Informational Text Structure

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Science of Reading - from Shanahan on Literacy

I cannot write this any better than Timothy Shanahan can on his blog Shanahan on Literacy, so I am just sharing his blog with anyone who lands here.  Any reading lesson should involve carryover to other reading and spelling contexts.  Are you teaching the sound /p/ and its corresponding letter?  Make sure the student knows how it is produced, what it looks like in print, and how it is printed.  How do you print and decode words with this sound?  Then, read books loaded with this sound, identifying and decoding the words.  Enjoy those books - reading is fun!  Here is the link to Shanahan's article:  What is the Science of Reading?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Support Groups for Dyslexia

I love support groups.  I have used them for issues I have faced personally - they were a great help.  Also, I have belonged to professional support groups that exchange ideas.  It's really refreshing to come away with new things to try and with new friends who have similar needs.  So I wanted to share this article I found on support groups for dyslexia.  It's something that I think would be of help for anyone who is dealing with this.  Here is the link: 3 KInds of Dyslexia Support Groups

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Pragmatics - or Social Language Impairment

Here is a link to a nice overview of what a pragmatic (social) language impairment involves:
Pragmatic Language Skills and the Autism Spectrum

Although this article is specific to the autism spectrum, pragmatic skills are often included in assessments for language and literacy.  A student can have a pragmatic deficit that will interfere with literacy skills and their reading development. A weakness in social language skills will impact a student's ability to comprehend higher level stories and books.  It will also affect their ability to discuss and interpret with they read.  

Content reading at the high school level is full of idioms and figurative language. Obvious idioms, such as "how the cookie crumbles," are plentiful in teaching and speech language manuals.  There are many other less obvious ones, however, that we use every day and don't even consciously identify as figurative. If there is observable or a history evidence of a social language impairment, this should be assessed in addition to or as part of a language literacy evaluation.  

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Mind mapping / Semantic maps

Teaching students to create mind maps is extremely helpful in developing organizing, categorizing, and ultimately expressing ideas. Here is a wonderful comprehensive list of mind mapping sites. I am definitely going to check these out for use with my students: The Best Mind Mapping Software in 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Newest Research in Literacy

Being armed with knowledge of the latest research in literacy development goes a long way....These two researchers have information on family history and dyslexia:  Dr. Nadine Gaab and
Dr. Hugh Catts

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Individual Instruction More Than Instruction

Fortunately, the nature of my work with students often involves working with them one-on-one.  I know many wonderful teachers who don't get this chance but do great work during individual conferences with their students.  This individual time is so beneficial - and not just due to instruction.  It is a time when you can have powerful educational conversations with a student.  It is not just a loose-ended conversational time, though.  You can base your conversations on assessments:  it is a time when students can ask you questions and get clarification about the assessments they are given, what your mutual goals are, and where you are going next.  For many of my students, it is when they bring up questions about "disability" and I reinforce their strengths and unique abilities.