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 Top Stories

Lawmakers look to rein in alternative diplomas
Disability Scoop
A new proposal in Congress would ensure that parents of students with disabilities are provided more information before their child is taken off track for a regular diploma. Under a bill introduced In the U.S. Senate, states would be required to establish clear guidelines outlining which students with disabilities qualify for testing based on alternate academic standards. Who takes these modified exams is significant because doing so often disqualifies students from achieving at the level necessary for a traditional high school diploma.
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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.


Differentiated instruction: Top 5 low-prep strategies
By: Savanna Flakes
James R. Delisle recently wrote a controversial commentary for Education Week titled, "Differentiation Doesn't Work." But what Delisle may not realize is that differentiation is not a set of prescriptive strategies, rather a purposeful way of planning to account for student differences. Differentiation is a journey, not a one-stop fix or end point. To support teachers who are looking for some low-prep differentiation strategies, I have compiled the top-five strategies that take minimal planning time but can have a big impact in the classroom.
* LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific product or program.

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Phonics Approach & Tools Build Accuracy

With Go Phonics confidence soars as struggling/dyslexic beginning readers get the prep to build reading fluency and accuracy: 50 phonics games, worksheets, and over 90 decodable stories. Orton-Gillingham based explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics lessons steer the course, applying skills in reading, spelling, comprehension, language arts... Sample Lessons/Overview download: www.gophonics.com
 


Better night's sleep may help kids with ADHD
Reuters
Kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleep problems showed slight improvement in their symptoms after undergoing a behavioral sleep intervention, Australian researchers say. The daytime improvement in ADHD symptoms was partly the result of the kids getting a better night's sleep, and possibly of parents' learning methods for dealing with behavior problems, the study found. "Our previous work found that sleep problems were common in children with ADHD and associated with poorer behavior, ADHD symptoms, quality of life and day-to-day functioning, such as getting ready for school," said lead author Dr. Harriet Hiscock, a pediatrician at Murdoch Children's Research at the Royal Children's Hospital in Victoria.
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 In the News


Poll: Widespread misperceptions about the Common Core standards
The Washington Post
Many Americans are confused about the Common Core State Standards, according to a new poll that finds widespread misperceptions that the academic standards — which cover only math and reading — extend to topics such as sex education, evolution, global warming and the American Revolution. A 55 percent majority said the Common Core covers at least two subjects that it does not, according to the survey that Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted and funded. Misperceptions were widespread, including among both supporters and opponents of the program and peaking among those who say they are paying the most attention to the standards.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword COMMON CORE.


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
 


States' suspension rates vary widely for students with disabilities, group says
Education Week
Eighteen percent of secondary students with a disability served an out-of-school suspension in 2011-2012, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, but behind that number are enormous variations in suspension rates at the district and state level. A civil rights advocacy group's analysis of the data released Monday shows that Florida, at 37 percent, leads all other states in suspending students with disabilities at the secondary level.
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Bullying prevention: Can students make kindness cool?
The Christian Science Monitor
Schools are increasingly turning to students to develop and implement anti-bullying initiatives designed not just to discourage bullying, but also to empower students to intervene.
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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.
 


Report: Fewer kids are frequent readers
The Boston Globe
Books can be a hard sell as kids get older and spend more time texting, on YouTube or playing games on their phones. A new report by children's publishing company Scholastic shows how reading habits change through childhood, and offers hints for parents looking to get their kids to read more. The biannual Kids & Family Reading Report, based on a 2014 survey of more than 2,500 parents and kids, found that the number of kids ages 6-17 who frequently read books for fun (i.e., 5-7 days a week) is lower than it was four years ago — 31 percent versus 37 percent. While more than half (53 percent) of kids ages 6-8 are frequent readers, that figure falls to just 14 percent for kids ages 15-17.
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California task force urges reform of special education funding
EdSource
Federal and state funding rates for special education would be equalized across California and new special education teachers would be authorized to teach general education if draft recommendations from a task force presented are implemented. In addition, school districts would include in their new three-year planning documents, known as Local Control and Accountability Plans, details about how they are improving outcomes for special education students, according to a preview of a long-awaited report from the Statewide Special Education Task Force, a group funded by foundations to recommend transformative changes in special education in California.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Schools favor inclusion when forced to report academic progress (Disability Scoop)
How children learn to read (The New Yorker)
How can we increase the value of a student's evaluation? (By: Howard Margolis)
Put working memory to work in learning (Edutopia)
Slowing down to learn: Mindful pauses that can help student engagement (MindShift)

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



Speed and fluency: Taking an individualized approach
Scholastic Administrator Magazine (commentary)
David Dockterman, a contributor for Scholastic Administrator Magazine, writes: "How many of you do puzzles? Come on, raise your hands so I can see them. Remember when you first started? With Sudoku puzzles, it took me a very long time to complete my first ones. The 'easy' levels weren't so easy. I had similar experiences with KenKens, crossword puzzles, and those logic activities in the back of airline magazines. Over time, though, the easy levels eventually became, well, easy. They no longer took a lot of effort or a lot of time. They actually got a bit boring, and I sought out more challenging levels."
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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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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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