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A potentially dangerous accommodation policy was put forth by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness and Careers (PARCC). It proposed a very restrictive definition for requiring reading accommodations and it is asking comment by the public with a deadline of TODAY.
The concern by us and by the Learning Disabilities Association is that this policy could harm many students - for instance by indicating that they are not ready for grade advancement or college. The policy requests a restriction of accommodations to 1-1.5% for instance (although the incidence of dyslexia is at least 10 times that), limiting dyslexia-related accommodations to "virtual non-readers." The calculator accomodations are similarly poorly informed as students qualify for calculator accommodations only if they are not able to calculate single digit numbers. Among the students we see with dyscalculia, a wide gap exists between math problem solving and speed of math facts. Rather than allowing students the least restrictive environment for their learning, the new PARCC guidelines would put students with learning differences into the draconian past. Please comment today!
Recommendations by the LDA to the survey are indicated below. We would oppose the PARCC calculator accommodation policy.
LDA Recommendations re: PARCC Survey Template (from newsletter)
Prompt 1: I support the draft reading access accommodation policy for students who are blind or visually impaired and have not yet learned Braille.
Prompt 2: Explain why you do not support the policy. You may reference such topics as construct validity, impact on instruction, impact on reporting of test results, grade span for which the accommodation is allowed, etc.
Response: LDA believes the draft policies unduly restrict accommodations and should be modified to reflect the breadth and diversity of students with disabilities generally and of students with learning disabilities specifically. In addition there is insufficient information on why the policy should be so limited.
Prompt 3: I support the draft reading access accommodation policy for students who have a disability that inhibits them from accessing printed text.
Prompt 4: Explain why you do not support the policy. You may reference such topics as construct validity, impact on instruction, impact on reporting of test results, grade span for which the accommodation is allowed, etc.
Response: Yes, No, Unsure, Other with box. - pick the response that matches your state.
Response: The draft policy is overly restrictive, requiring the student to be a "virtual non-reader," (i.e., at the beginning stages of learning to decode) or blind/visually impaired and unable to read Braille.
Prompt 6: PARCC recommends that the PARCC Accommodations Manual include a restricted calculator accommodation on summative mathematics test sessions in all grades where calculators are not allowed. This applies to the small number of students with specific disabilities that severely limit or prevent them from performing basic calculation. For students whose disability (or disabilities) significantly impacts their ability to perform basic calculations, this accommodation is designed to allow them to access to a calculator in order to respond to mathematics assessment items intended to measure, in particular, higher order mathematics skills. The accommodation would apply to all items/tasks in session where calculators are not allowed, with the exception of fluency items/tasks in grades 3-6. This exception is required so as to not compromise the skill that is being measured, which is to calculate without the aid of a calculator.
I support the draft calculator accommodation policy for students with disabilities.
Prompt 7: Explain why you do not support the policy. You may reference such topics as construct validity, impact on instruction, impact on reporting of test results, grade span for which the accommodation is allowed, etc.
Response: The draft policy is overly restrictive and requires the student to be "unable to calculate single-digit numbers (i.e., 0-9) without a calculation device, using the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Prompt 8: The proposed calculator accommodation policy is consistent with the policy my state currently offers.
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"Free, research-based K-6 reading comprehension lesson plans and non-fiction reading passages & question sets. Common Core aligned, teacher & principal endorsed."
It's great to have K-6 level readers complete with questions and all the Common Core standards.
Dyslexia teaching tips for reading, grammar, math and more on our new Favorite Dyslexia Stuff page on Pinterest.
Good readers use specific strategies; strategies that kids can learn and that you can teach your kids.
- "I wonder what happened..." or "I wonder why..."
- "Do you know what might happen..."
- "Does that remind you of..."
- "What was the most important..." "What was the most interesting..."
Active reading involves inference, questioning, prioritizing, and synthesizing. Reading with good comprehension is much more than reading the words aloud. Full article here: Good Reading Strategies.
Not just for boys of course - this is a wonderful list of read-alouds for boys as well as girls. Funny, whimsical, imaginative stories that include books from Beverly Clearly such as Mouse and the Motorcycle, Chronicles of Narnia, Trumpet of the Swan, Encyclopedia Brown and more. 65 Read-Alouds for Children (reluctant readers love these too)
Some great ideas for language teaching at the elementary level - prepositions, language arts, grammar and punctuation, and more. See more.
One of the most common reasons older students with dyslexia have reading comprehension difficulties is because of syntax. It's not vocabulary or a thinking problem, many have never explicitly been taught what the rules of meaning are with complex sentences. Syntax has been defined as the proper arrangement of words and phrases for the formation of grammatically-correct sentences.
What Are the Signs of Syntax Problems?
- Mistakes on tests due to misreading or misunderstanding of questions rather than lack of knowledge- Essays seem 'simple' because of an over-reliance on simple sentences- Awkward sentence construction and impaired grammar conventions
Tricky Grammar Subjects- Direct and indirect objects (Who did what to whom? For instance " The cat that the dog chased jumped over the fence"- Gerunds (My cat's favorite activity is sleeping)- Participles (barking dog, crying baby, etc.)- Dependent clauses
A good site for Grammar: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/627/02/
Great online sites for phonics practice and beginning readers that uses interactive animated stories, games, and good Orton-Gillingham practices.
Read here for Phonics Programs for Beginning Readers.
Great resource for teaching math fundamentals to students with dyslexia and dyscalculia. The book is loaded here, though it is a bit difficult to scroll in this format, it has many valuable tips and suggestions. Chapters range from number concepts to fractions, decimals, percentage, and time.
Looking forward to checking out the book.
Open source incremental easy readers for teens and older beginning readers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The books span all categories - fiction and non-fiction, with a fairly basic text-to speech voices to read them.
Dyslexic Co-Founder of the MIND Research Institute, Matthew Peterson develops a visual math program that increases math performance 3-fold at Orange County schools. Click the title above to see the video. For more examples of his math software, check out: http://www.mindresearch.net/cont/programs/demo/tours/SolvingLinearEquations/progTour.php
Many students with dyslexia have more trouble with writing than reading - especially as they progress through school. Understanding where the challenges are occurring (e.g. organization, visual > verbal thinking, spelling, grammar, or motor challenges etc.) can tell you where to get help.
"...disabilities that can be mistaken for sloth or carelessness..."
Most people have no idea how much time some LD students need to complete standard assignments such as written reports or math worksheets. There is a complete under-appreciation of working memory and processing speed limitations.Working memory and processing speed will expand - and can improve with certain types of training, but because of lack of awareness, unreasonable expectations can take all sorts of tolls on student's emotional and psychological health.
Read Washington Post story here.
What should you read next? Check out YourNextRead.com, a handy online recommendation tool - for kids as well as grownup books.
"In today’s environment, children and teens need to develop strengths, acquire skills to cope, recover from hardships, and be prepared for future challenges..."
Dr. Ginsburg's 7 C's of Resilience are:Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution, Coping, and Control.
Many students with dyslexia are kinesthetically and artistically talented. This simple, but beautiful pattern weaver can motivate children to play with designs and mathematical relationships. Pattern weaver.
Some great ideas for teaching reading: simple manipulatives and ideas for learning sight words and word families. Includes lesson charts for common phonics blends and vowel combinations that can be tricky for students with dyslexia to remember. For more, click Beginning Reader ideas.
Why Discovery-Based Learning Works for Many Dyslexic Learners
- stimulates personal or autobiographical memory- increases motivation, novel experiences- ideal for inductive learners - those who learn from first-hand experiences and remember exceptions more than 'rules'- link knowledge from other subject areas- encourage cooperation and patience with observation- foster analytical reasoning - a strength of many dyslexic students
How beginning readers can be encouraged to improve their reading on an ebook like the Ipad.
English teachers share their tips identifying and working with students with dyslexia. A common tip-off is a student who is very bright in oral communication, but struggles getting ideas down on paper. Assistive technology like Inspiration is also discussed. Watch the video here.
Scaffolding can work for teaching any complex subject, but it certainly applies to math. Especially with math, it is often very important when introducing a new procedure to provide an example of what kind of question the procedure is used for, then proceeding through the steps - talking aloud as much as possible. Tips #4-6 are also very important for many dyslexic students - pre-teaching vocabulary, using visual aids, then providing plenty of time to pause, ask questions, pause, then review.
For language arts or social studies, scaffolding may especially help to connect with previously learned information (factual or thematic). Emphasizing the big picture also helps to make information memorable for students.
Many dyslexics are very musical and some have perfect pitch. For many students with dyslexia, playing be ear is easier than reading music or musical theory. In this brief article, an experienced music teacher shares tips about working with dyslexic music students.
Nice video example of how to teach spelling using color coding, visual clues for breaking down words into smaller parts, and picture images.
For many gifted and older students with dyslexia, writing is a greater challenge than story reading comprehension. 'Stealth dyslexia' is a term for individuals with dyslexia who seem to fly just below the radar of detection. They may struggle with writing, spelling, math facts, and general processing speed, but have strong story reading comprehension because they can use strengths in higher order thinking to make educated guesses about meaning. For more check out this article and comment thread.