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A Different Approach Makes All The Difference

Educating children with Language Learning Disabilities and Learning Differences


 Top Stories

Children with dyslexia can succeed in school
The San Diego Union-Tribune
It's the most common learning disability, affecting roughly 1 in 10 Americans and 20 percent of school-age children. Yet in many cases, it goes largely undiagnosed. It's dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that results in problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor reading and decoding abilities. If left undetected, it can lead to frustration with school or low self-esteem. And while there's no "cure" for the condition, there are treatments that can allow those who have it to function as well others.
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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.

Successful co-teaching begins with co-planning
By: Savanna Flakes
Co-teaching implemented with fidelity has a profound impact on a range of learners with and without disabilities from a variety of cultures. Co-teaching is often characterized as a "marriage" between a general education and a specialist. Formally defined, co-teaching is two or more educators sharing responsibility for teaching some or all of the students assigned to a classroom. According to Marilyn Friend and Lynne Cook, it involves the distribution of responsibility among people for planning, instruction and evaluation for a classroom of students.
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Is e-reading to your toddler story time, or simply screen time?
The New York Times
Clifford the Big Red Dog looks fabulous on an iPad. He sounds good, too — tap the screen and hear him pant as a blue truck roars into the frame. "Go, truck, go!" cheers the narrator. But does this count as story time? Or is it just screen time for babies? It is a question that parents, pediatricians and researchers are struggling to answer as children's books, just like all the other ones, migrate to digital media.
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  Guided Reading That's Leveled, Decodable

Help struggling readers make the connection. Go Phonics applies the phonics and language arts skills each step of the way in 7 volumes of leveled stories (93% decodable/cumulative). They support a phonics sequence that minimizes confusion (Orton-Gillingham compatible). Lessons plans, 50 phonics games, worksheets prep them for success. Sample Stories/Overview download:

New research suggests repeating elementary school grades — even kindergarten — is harmful
The Hechinger Report
The already muddy research on whether it's better to hold back struggling students or promote them to the next grade just got muddier. A new study, "The Scarring Effects of Primary-Grade Retention? A Study of Cumulative Advantage in the Educational Career," by Notre Dame sociologist Megan Andrew, published Sept. 26, in the journal Social Forces is an empirically solid analysis that adds more weight to those who say retention — what education wonks call repeating a grade — is ultimately harmful.
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How stress affects the brain during learning
A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too.
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 In the News

Survey: Many districts lagging on implementing Common Core
Education Week
With springtime testing for the Common Core only months away, nearly a third of district superintendents are still scrambling to put in place the curriculum and professional development necessary to teach the standards, according to survey results released Wednesday. The Center on Education Policy, which has been tracking Common Core implementation since the standards were released four years ago, concluded in its report that "the future of the Common Core remains uncertain at this important juncture" because many districts still are not fully prepared to impart the new academic expectations in English/language arts and mathematics.
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  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

Dyslexia: When spelling matters
Reading Today Online
Kelli Sandman-Hurley, a contributor for Reading Today Online, writes: "Two years ago my life changed with a cocktail napkin at a dyslexia conference in Baltimore. I spent two days listening to Peter Bowers, the founder of The WordWorks Literacy Centre in Ontario, Canada, and Gina Cooke, the author of the blog LEX: Linguist-Educator Exchange, in the booth next to me, talking to dozens of people about something that just sounded like 'another program for those with dyslexia.' But after two days, I figured all those people talking to Peter and Gina with such newfound enthusiasm must be on to something. I turned to Peter and said, in my most skeptical voice, 'Okay, tell me what all this hullabaloo is about.'"
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword DYSLEXIA.

Why schools should screen their students' mental health
Schools should be a first line of defense for catching young people at risk for mental health issues from depression to ADHD, a pair of new reports says. Kids and adolescents spend a significant amount of their time in school, yet providing mental health screenings and care is not an overarching requirement for many schools. "We need to think about how to embed mental health services so they become part of the culture in schools," says study author Dr. Mina Fazel, a child psychiatrist at the University of Oxford. "It will take a commitment from health and education."
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Homework: An unnecessary evil? ... Surprising findings from new research
The Washington Post
A brand-new study on the academic effects of homework offers not only some intriguing results but also a lesson on how to read a study — and a reminder of the importance of doing just that: reading studies (carefully) rather than relying on summaries by journalists or even by the researchers themselves. Let's start by reviewing what we know from earlier investigations. First, no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Families turn to social media with special education complaints (Disability Scoop)
Who is responsible for IEP goals? (By: Pamela Hill)
Where do we stand on NCLB? (Education Week)
Survey: Common Core standards working well (USA Today)
Gaming vs. reading: Do they benefit teenagers with cognition or school performance? (Taylor & Francis via Science Daily)

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

When anxiety hits at school
The Atlantic
Salli-Ann Holloway could not breathe. Sitting in her Advanced Placement English class, she could not stop shaking. Her neck twitched relentlessly. She gasped for air. Her body went numb. Holloway, 17, rushed to the school nurse's office as she had many times before. Panic attacks had become commonplace for her as the stress of junior year took hold. The nurse soothed her as they waited for her mother to arrive. This would not be the last time Holloway's illness interrupted her life.
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Survey: Educators don't think parents understand the Common Core
The Journal
More than 95 percent of teachers believe the parents of their students do not understand what the Common Core State Standards are, according to a recent poll of veteran high school teachers in the northeastern U.S. No teachers told the surveyors they believed their students' parents knew what the standards were and 4.4 percent said they weren't sure.
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Education Department's plan for remaking turnaround grants not flexible, educators say
Education Week
The Obama administration's proposal for revamping the controversial School Improvement Grant program doesn't give states and districts enough flexibility in coming up with turnaround prescriptions for low-performing schools, advocates say, in their formal responses to the plan. The theme of a number of comments from key organizations is, essentially, that the department didn't give states and districts nearly as much flexibility in the proposed regulations as Congress appeared to be hoping for.
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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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