The LD Source
Dec. 31, 2014

Is the resource room a waste of time?
By: Pamela Hill
From Sept. 25: Recently, I read a Facebook entry written by a parent of a student with learning disabilities. The parent said, "The resource room is a waste of time for my child." I was taken aback by the parent's comment. I began to wonder if my work with students was a waste of time. I thought about my resource room and the students I have served there. I questioned the curriculum and teaching methods I have chosen and used. I thought about the years that some students spent in the resource room, as well as the students who have been successful and left special education and my resource room. I decided that I agreed with the parent. More

Inclusion Corner: The art of co-teaching
By: Savanna Flakes
From Dec. 4: Co-taught lessons should look substantively different and richer for students than what one teacher would do alone. Meaningful collaboration depends on a partnership in which each teacher brings his/her focus of expertise and utilizes his/her specialty to enhance instruction. By focusing on role specialty, the co-teaching partnership is enhanced and all students are supported and challenged. Teachers should explore, plan and utilize a variety of co-teaching models to differentiate instruction and increase student achievement. More

Is regular exercise the best treatment for ADHD?
By: Denise A. Valenti
From Aug. 21: As summer winds to a close, the long days of playing, running, swimming and biking cease and are replaced by hours of sitting at a desk, eyes ahead. For some children this is problematic, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is common among children of school age. The causes of ADHD are not known, but studies looking into how genetics, environment, social surroundings, nutrition and brain injury contribute to the process. Another line of research is the relationship of physical activity to the symptoms of ADHD. More

Who is responsible for IEP goals?
By: Pamela Hill
From Oct. 9: As the beginning of autumn appears, public school is well underway for the more than 2 million students identified with learning disabilities in the United States. These students are being instructed by teachers whose responsibility is to assist them in meeting their Individual Education Plan goals. The IEP was first introduced in 1975 as part of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act and later reauthorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The purpose was to create an education that is equal to that of a student who does not have disabilities. The individualized education goals are a pivotal part of this legal document and are crucial to the student's success. More

Holidays vs. standards: Which curriculum rules your school?
By: Thomas Van Soelen
From Oct. 30: I remember that in elementary schools 30 years ago, the year was chronologically marked by holidays. We started with a summer story, then a scarecrow or scary story, followed by a turkey story and ending the year with something about a snowman. The new year would offer a change of pace with nonfiction text, then it was back to narratives: Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter bunnies. But in the age of Common Core and far more rigorous standards, are we still allowing the hidden curriculum of holidays and seasons to run the show? More

Inclusion Corner: Encouraging our students to have a growth mindset
By: Savanna Flakes
From Sept. 18: Have you ever found yourself wishing that you could create a community of students who are self-motivated and persist with challenging tasks? Do you have a student that gives up after making one mistake? Why do some students give up so quickly? How do we encourage our adolescents who have undergone so many failures with math or reading? Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of motivation, has posed there are two groups of people in the world: people with a "growth mindset" and those persons with a "fixed mindset." More

Which are the most educated cities in the US — and why?
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
From Oct. 23: As education policies are being reviewed across the country, a recent survey shows us the most educated cities in the U.S. and their not-so-fortunate counterparts. It presents a clear picture of which states and schools districts have been more focused and whose efforts have paid off. The final picture depicts Ann Arbor, home of University of Michigan, to be the winner. The survey has acted as a wake-up call for many cities and school districts. More

Promoting positive parent-teacher communication
By: Brian Stack
From Sept. 11: Ask teachers what they wish they had more time to dedicate to in their job, and better communication with parents will almost always be at the top of their list. The reality is that teachers want parents to be informed. But once the school year gets going, parent communication often takes a back seat. Teachers quickly fall into the habit of calling home only when they have bad news to report, and that makes for an unhealthy relationship between parents and teachers. More

How bullying may physically alter our developing brains
By: Dorothy L. Tengler
From Nov. 20: It's no mystery that the brain develops before birth and continues throughout adulthood. But we may not have considered that brain development is analogous to building a house: laying the foundation, framing the rooms and installing electrical wiring. Obviously, laying a solid foundation builds a strong brain structure, while a weak foundation creates a faulty structure. At birth, we are born with billions of neurons, the same number as adults. These specialized cells have to be connected or "wired" to form circuits to control different functions from basic to biological ones. More

Recess redress: The importance of play in education
By: Suzanne Mason
From Sept. 11: Ask any child what his or her favorite subject is in school, and most will say recess. Yet a recent Gallup poll conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that up to 40 percent of U.S. school districts have reduced or eliminated recess to focus more on academics. Despite these changes, recess still remains an important part of a child's education. In fact, a new study by the University of Lethbridge in Canada showed that free play can help with the core essentials for development in the brain. More