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 Top Stories

What schools could use instead of standardized tests
NPR
Close your eyes for a minute and daydream about a world without bubble tests. Education Week recently reported that some Republican Senate aides are doing more than dreaming — they're drafting a bill that would eliminate the federal mandate on standardized testing. Annual tests for every child in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, plus one in high school, have been a centerpiece of federal education law since 2002. No Child Left Behind, the current incarnation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, requires them.
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Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of THE LD SOURCE, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of LDA and/or reader of THE LD SOURCE, your knowledge of learning disabilities and related issues lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.


Learning disabilities: An easy way to avoid homework's pitfalls
By: Howard Margolis
Homework creates anxiety, frustration and failure for untold numbers of children with learning disabilities. Conflict ensues among children, parents and teachers. Children's motivation for schoolwork plummets. Confidence disappears as resistance emerges. So, is there a way to assign 15 minutes of homework, four times a week, that can help strengthen struggling readers' word recognition, reading fluency, comprehension, motivation and sense of satisfaction? No miracle solutions exist, but good solutions do.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  "ACHIEVE" it all at SIU!

Thinking about college? Do you struggle with learning difficulties or organizational skills? The Achieve Program provides comprehensive academic support for college students with learning disabilities, autism, and ADHD. Call us at 618-453-6155 or visit our website at achieve.siu.edu to discover how Achieve can help you!
 


Strategies for getting and keeping the brain's attention
Edutopia
The human brain has an amazing capacity to wield a potent cognitive strategy: selective attention. When we consciously focus our attention on something, we bring the power of the prefrontal cortex to this endeavor. By honing our ability to focus attention at will, we can more effectively screen out two types of distractions: input through our sensory organs and our emotional responses.
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 In the News


PARCC prep: A better way to teach compare and contrast
MiddleWeb
Sarah Tantillo, a contributor for MiddleWeb, writes: "In the PARCC literary analysis task, students must closely analyze two literary texts — often focusing on their themes or points of view — and compare and contrast these texts. In previous posts, I've proposed a lesson series to tackle this task and a tool for teaching students how to infer theme, which is a common requirement since Common Core Reading Anchor Standard #2 is 'Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.'"
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ADHD.


PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math

Since 2004, Math-U-See has worked with intervention and special education teachers to reach struggling special needs math students. Math-U-See corresponds to math ability rather than traditional grade levels, so it can be used with students of any age. We provide tools and training for an explicit, structured, systematic, cumulative program using multi-sensory teaching techniques. MORE
 


Study finds reading to children of all ages grooms them to read more on their own
The New York Times
Cue the hand-wringing about digital distraction: Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report by Scholastic, the children's book publisher. In a 2014 survey of just over 1,000 children ages 6 to 17, only 31 percent said they read a book for fun almost daily, down from 37 percent four years ago. There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for the older children — ages 12 to 17 — one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.
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Quality education reform starts in the states
The Hill (commentary)
Conservatives and liberals alike may rejoice at the notion that 2015 brings with it a chance to revamp the controversial 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will be the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and has said that his top priority is a revision of NCLB. Alexander is on the right track. The top issue facing our country is the education of our children, and it's clear that however well intentioned NCLB was, it's not producing the desired effects. To improve America's schools we need to first work on the people issues: teaching, leadership and governance. But we need to do so at the statehouse, not in Washington, D.C.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Unique Approach to Reading Problems

See how a sandwich and a cake can help your students learn to read! The Stevenson Reading Program uses proven methods in unique and imaginative ways to address the needs of LD students. It often succeeds with students who have struggled with other specialized approaches. Visit our website here or call 800-343-1211 for info.
 


Obama to seek limits on student data mining
Politico
President Barack Obama is expected to call for tough legislation to protect student privacy, adding his voice to a sizzling debate about the best way to bring the benefits of technology into the classroom without exposing students to commercial data mining. Obama is expected to urge Congress to impose a bevy of restrictions on companies that operate websites, apps and cloud-computing services aimed at the K-12 market, according to sources briefed on the announcement.
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Can schools cultivate a student's ability to think differently?
MindShift
Entrepreneurship is often associated with people who assume the risk of starting a business venture for financial gain. However, entrepreneurs exist in many forms: They may be writers, carpenters, computer programmers, school principals or fundraisers, to name just a few examples. What they have in common is an "entrepreneurial mindset" that enables them to see opportunities for improvement, take initiative and collaborate with others to turn their ideas into action. Everyone is born with some propensity for entrepreneurship, which at its core is about solving problems creatively, according to Yong Zhao, a professor at the University of Oregon's College of Education.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Nine strategies for students with disabilities (Scholastic Administration Magazine)
Differentiation doesn't work (Education Week)
4 common dyslexia myths debunked using neuroscience (The Huffington Post)
Why emotional learning may be as important as the ABCs (NPR)
What is bullying? (District Administration Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.



Disruptive children benefit from tailored classroom intervention
New York University via Science Daily
Kindergartners and first graders with high maintenance temperaments showed less disruptive behavior and more active engagement and on-task behavior in the classroom, thanks to a program that helps teachers, parents and students recognize and adapt to individual differences.
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Bullies and their victims may be at higher risk of suicide
HealthDay News
A new analysis of research from around the world suggests that kids involved in bullying are at higher risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. Kids who bullied others and were victims themselves were the most troubled of all, the report found. "Our study highlights the significant impact bullying involvement can have on mental health for some youth," said study lead author Melissa Holt, an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Boston University.
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THE LD SOURCE

LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific diagnostic or therapeutic regime, whether it is educational, psychological or medical. The viewpoints expressed in THE LD SOURCE are those of the authors and advertisers.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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