Sunday, December 30, 2018

I Am Grateful For.....

As the 2018 year ends, here is a list of some of the school programs I am grateful for in my work  with students with learning disabilities:

1- The library - I have used this especially as a resource for finding "just right" books for my students.  The summer reading incentives keep them reading.  And sometimes its a quiet place to work with students when other spaces are unavailable.  Reading aloud in a corner is never a problem. 

2- Ed Tech Support - To troubleshoot needed computer issues and programs, to assist in finding new programs for students, and to brainstorm how tech can make my instruction easier.  In working with other adults, ed tech support has helped me with ways to communicate and collaborate on shared reports.  For myself, this support has helped me to be more organized.  I have so much more to learn.

3- Social Emotional programs - I wish I could be all to my students, and help them with all their needs that affect literacy, but I cannot. I am grateful that these programs help my students with important social understanding and communication skills.

4- STEM - Many of the students I help love scientific inquiry, but do not always have access to advanced thinking skills because their literacy skills interfere.  STEM has helped them develop confidence to think like a scientist.

5- Curriculum development  - In curriculum planning, I am grateful that all kinds of learners are taken into account. Reading is just one mode of learning, and I am glad that curriculum development includes all modes of learning.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Dyslexia - Random Thoughts

Here are a few snippets that have come up recently in my consults regarding dyslexia:

1- Dyslexia is on a spectrum - you can be mildly, moderately, or severely dyslexic

2- Phonological/phonemic awareness deficits are a part of this condition

3- Accurate speech/articulation skills are important to imprint phonological awareness skills

4-I see many students who do not have a systematic sequence for forming printed letters

5- Syllable segmentation is an important skill in decoding science and social studies texts

6- Packaged reading programs are important, but we also need to step back from them to make sure our students can generalize to the reading demanded of them in their curriculum

7- #6 also helps students build their reading confidence.

8- As literacy experts, we all have our favorite programs.  That does not mean we can put other programs down, if they are solidly research-based.

9- Teaching the decoding and also meaning of prefixes, suffixes, and roots will expand a student's vocabulary as well as reading ability.

10- Spelling (encoding) should be taught in conjunction with decoding lessons.