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 Top Stories

Feds put millions toward training special educators
Disability Scoop
With an eye on improving services for students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education is funneling millions into programs to train new special educators. The Education Department said that it is granting $12.8 million to university programs coast to coast to address anticipated shortages in the field. The bulk of the funds — $9.2 million — are earmarked to help grow the number of "highly qualified personnel" serving students with disabilities in regular classrooms, special education programs, transition services and in early intervention, among other areas. Meanwhile, $3.6 million will go toward graduate programs to prepare individuals for leadership positions in special education.
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Engage all learners: Make students think visually
By: Savanna Flakes
One way to increase student engagement and facilitate deeper learning is to frequently check for student understanding throughout a lesson. Practitioners find many benefits in using frequent assessment techniques to simultaneously check all students' level of understanding. My three favorite technology tools increase student engagement and quickly get students thinking visually so teachers can adjust and differentiate instruction on the spot. All three technology tools are free, teacher-friendly, and the student data can be saved and graphed to facilitate data charts.
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Dyslexia doesn't have to hold you back
Psychology Today
Dyslexia is a prevalent learning disability characterized by difficulties in reading and spelling, despite average levels of intelligence. Those diagnosed also show weakness in phonological awareness, verbal working memory, and processing speed. Younger students with dyslexia tend to struggle with sounds more than with the meaning of words. This can explain why students with dyslexia are often described as bright and articulate, yet their written work shows little evidence of this. There is a shift in the deficits driving reading difficulties from childhood to adulthood. While children with dyslexia find it hard to process the sounds of the word, adults with dyslexia struggled more with integrating the sounds with the meanings of the words.
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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
 


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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.



 In the News


Study: Standing desks strengthen student concentration
District Administration Magazine
Students show stronger concentration when working at standing desks, according to new research. A recent study in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education found that students using standing desks improved their ability to stay on task in class by 12 percent — the equivalent of gaining seven minutes per hour of instruction time. Researchers from Texas A&M and the University of Louisville studied 282 students in grades 2 through 4 for an academic year. Twenty-four classrooms were randomly chosen to receive standing desks or keep traditional seated desks.
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Life stress negatively affects poor children's cognitive development
UPI
Low-income children exposed to unstable family environments or insensitive care-giving at age of 2 are at increased risk of cognitive delays by age 4, a new study shows. While the specific biological or environmental reasons for this are not known, differences in cortisol levels in children in the study at age 2 predicted their cortisol levels as well as cognitive delays at 4.
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House appropriators prepare fiscal 2016 education spending bill for markup
Education Week
The House appropriations subcommittee responsible for setting spending levels for the U.S Department of Education and federal education programs met to prepare its fiscal 2016 funding bill for a full committee markup next week. Lawmakers unveiled the appropriations package. Among other things, it would slash funding for the Education Department and its programs by $2.8 billion by eliminating a slate of nearly 20 programs, including many high-profile Obama administration priorities.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Inform Attention Related Diagnoses
Develop a comprehensive evaluation using the gold standard Conners CPT 3™, an auditory test of attention, the Conners CATA®, and the early childhood Conners K-CPT 2™. All assessments have been updated with easily interpreted reports, representative normative samples, and new scores to pinpoint the exact issue. Learn more: www.mhs.com/cpt3
 


Stop the summer slide
U.S. News and World Report
Recently, at an event in New Hampshire, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stated, "There is no reason that K-12 education should be an eight-month enterprise in this country. ... We need to adjust the model." While Christie blamed teachers' unions for our antiquated academic calendar, it's more accurate to say the entire education system is largely set in its ways. Few school boards or administrators want to innovate with an extended school year.
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Building lifelong readers: Do reward systems help?
Education Week (commentary)
Liana Heitin, a contributor for Education Week, writes: "Can reward systems help make students into readers? While going through a stack of journals on my desk yesterday, I happened on an article by developmental psychologist Daniel Willingham in the spring issue of American Educator addressing just that question. Willingham is not a fan of "if you read, then you get ice cream" types of reward systems. Some research has found they may lead to potential short-term increases in reading, but they don't improve students' attitudes towards reading overall."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    All learning relies on literacy (District Administrator Magazine)
Students with disabilities face uncertain paths after graduation (Education Week)
Insecticides may affect cognitive development in children (Nature World News)
Summertime for special educators: Learn something new (By: Pamela Hill)
Reading, writing, required silence: How meditation is changing schools and students (The Huffington Post)

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



4 stages of curiosity
Te@chThought
Where curiosity comes from isn't entirely clear. That's probably because there is no single source for it any more than there is a single source for entertainment, anxiety or confidence. There are strategies to promote curiosity in the classroom — even those that consider how the brain works. Ideally, teaching and learning wouldn't benefit from having curiosity "added in," but rather would fail completely without it. There is also no single "look" for curiosity. The things teachers look for as indicators of "engagement" — waving hands in the air, locked eye contact, or good grades on tests — may not be the result of curiosity at all.
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Report: Addressing poverty gap calls for more flexible approaches
THE Journal
Figuring out how to close the "poverty" gap that keeps many low-income students from fully succeeding in school has generated numerous theories over decades. A new research paper suggests that delivering services beyond academic help in an "interdependent, deliberate way" may be the best way to achieve "breakthrough results." Researchers from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation examine two common approaches that have dominated policy making.
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More states begin embracing play as foundation of kindergarten
iSchoolGuide
Some states across the country are starting to re-embrace play as a foundation of kindergarten. American classrooms have been focusing on improving test scores in reading and math due to the new Common Core standards, and the No Child Left Behind law, affecting the youngest students with more lectures and less play time.
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Teaching handwriting in early childhood
District Administration Magazine
Relegating handwriting to the back burner of early childhood education ignores the close relationship between fine motor skill development and early success in math and reading. Technology isn't the enemy, but jumping to keyboards and calculators before mastering pencil and paper may not be developmentally appropriate for young learners. Manuscript handwriting does make a cameo appearance in the Common Core for kindergarten through third grade, but the standards have abandoned cursive handwriting completely.
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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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