Improve instruction and help all students achieve at high levels by making these research-based adjustments to your balanced literacy program. This guidance outlines some of the most common challenges of a balanced literacy model, how they can impede students’ learning, and how you can adapt your reading program to better serve students.
Learn how schools use screening and progress monitoring tools to identify dyslexia characteristics, and then implement reading interventions for students who need dyslexia-specific instruction. You'll also find out about classroom accommodations and modifications that can help your child learn, as well as information about referrals for special education.
The Simple View of Reading is a formula demonstrating the widely accepted view that reading has two basic components: word recognition (decoding) and language comprehension. Research studies show that a student’s reading comprehension score can be predicted if decoding skills and language comprehension abilities are known.
Schools and teachers play an essential role in identifying students with reading difficulties, including dyslexia. This article offers a 5-step framework for identifying reading difficulties and determining if a student is eligible for special education services under IDEA — including the role of RTI, cognitive processing tests, and other statewide assessments and curriculum-based measures.
Learning to read is a challenge for many kids, but most can become good readers if they get the right help. Parents have an important job in recognizing when a child is struggling and knowing how to find help. Here are some signs to look for and things to do if you suspect your child is having trouble reading.
Learn the benefits of getting your child evaluated, who does the evaluation, what happens during an evaluation, what to do with the results, and more. You can also view a video to get an inside look at a dyslexia evaluation.
The IEP team at school decides which assistive technology tools each student needs. Many teams make these decisions using something called the SETT Framework. Learn how the overall process works.
Four strategies and practices are common to effective reading instruction programs: multi-tiered systems of support; universal screening, progress monitoring, and collaboration between special education and general education. This article provides links to tools that support implementation in each area.
In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, AT professionals from Fairfax County, VA public schools demonstrate how to develop and conduct AT assessments, and implement activities in early childhood classrooms and at home.
A veteran reading teacher shares takeaways from her 'Teachers as Readers' learning group. What teachers need: enough time to teach language arts, well-stocked classroom libraries, student input, and meaningful professional development.
Three patterns of reading difficulties are common. This article explains how recognizing these three patterns can provide a valuable starting point for planning reading instruction and interventions.
Dr. Lynn Fuchs, Professor of Special Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, answers questions about fluency, progress monitoring, reading intervention, and more.
The Lead for Literacy initiative is a series of one-page memos for policymakers and early literacy leaders on how to improve young children's literacy, birth to age 9. Using evidence from research, these briefs are designed to help leaders avoid common mistakes and present solutions and strategies for scalability and impact.
A nationally representative sample of 213,100 fourth-graders participated in the 2011 assessment. Learn more about the key findings and trends in this Reading 2011 snapshot.
The purpose of report cards is to communicate about a child's progress across subject areas. Some kids, especially those having difficulty in school, dread report card time. Here are some suggestions for making report card time a little less scary and a little more productive.
An introduction to 6 + 1 Trait® Writing, customized rubrics, student self-assessment, and peer editing.
Some parents are reluctant to contact their child's teacher. Don't be! A quick conversation or email exchange can solve simple misunderstandings, or make it clear that a longer, more formal conversation is needed. Here are three situations where parent contact is appropriate and even encouraged.
Parents and caregivers are often the first to notice when their child may be showing signs of delayed development. Get answers and advice with this easy-to-understand information about developmental delays.
When the back-to-school bell starts ringing, parents often hear and read school-related terms that are unfamiliar to them. Below are three terms and descriptions related to reading instruction that may help give you a better understanding of what's happening in your child's classroom and what it all means for your young learner.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders presents age-related guidelines that can help you determine if your child's speech and language skills are developing on schedule.
Heading off to kindergarten is a big event for all kids and parents. For young children who have struggled socially or academically during preschool, it is a transition that needs careful planning and attention. Below are four suggestions for parents of children who may need extra help making a successful move to kindergarten.
Healthy hearing is critical to a child's speech and language development, communication, learning, and social development. Children who do not hear well are at an increased risk of becoming struggling readers. Here are some signals that may indicate a hearing problem.
How do parents know if their child's reading delay is a real problem or simply a "developmental lag?" How long should parents wait before seeking help if their child is struggling with reading? Susan Hall answers these questions.
How can school leaders support school-wide reading initiatives? Here are keys to leading the way in the areas of reading curriculum, instruction, assessment, and motivation.
Here are some ways parents can help relieve test anxiety, stress, and pressure, as well as a guide to interpreting your child's test results.
Find out how you can support your child before and after taking a standardized test, as well as ways you can support your child's learning habits on a daily basis so that test day is not so stressful.
Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity for families to sit down one-on-one with your child's teacher and talk about school progress. Here are some tips to make the most of this time.
Learn what questions to ask about Response to Intervention (RTI), an approach to helping struggling learners that is gaining momentum in schools across the country. This article from the National Association of School Psychologists tells you the most important features of the process, key terms, and RTI's relationship to special education evaluation.
Can teachers and parents of preschoolers identify learning problems early enough to prevent problems later in school? The Recognition & Response model helps adults know what to look for and how to help, so that later remediation and special education may not be necessary.
One of the toughest parts of NCLB for local school districts is creating an accountability plan that works. While school districts have made progress in accountability over the last five years, they have also encountered great obstacles, outlined here.
If you're thinking of hiring a private specialist to test your child for a learning disability, here are some key questions to ask yourself and the prospective evaluator.
Learn what reading fluency is, why it is critical to make sure that students have sufficient fluency, how we should assess fluency, and how to best provide practice and support for all students.
Screening, diagnosing, and progress monitoring are essential to making sure that all students become fluent readers — and the words-correct per-minute (WCPM) procedure can work for all three. Here's how teachers can use it to make well-informed and timely decisions about the instructional needs of their students.
Learn about an early intervening system being developed for young children, called Recognition and Response, designed to help parents and teachers respond to learning difficulties in young children who may be at risk for learning disabilities as early as possible, beginning at age 3 or 4, before they experience school failure and before they are referred for formal evaluation and possible placement in special education.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can play a number of important roles in using RTI to identify children with disabilities and provide needed instruction to struggling students in both general education and special education settings. But these roles will require some fundamental changes in the way SLPs engage in assessment and intervention activities.
According to author E. D. Hirsch, Jr., the only useful way to prepare for a reading test is indirectly by becoming a good reader of a broad range of texts, an ability that requires broad general knowledge.
How can you tell when a student has a language-learning disability and when he or she is merely in the normal process of acquiring a second language?
The purpose of this National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) report is to examine the concepts, potential benefits, practical issues, and unanswered questions associated with responsiveness to intervention (RTI) and learning disabilities (LD). A brief overview of the approach is provided, including attributes, characteristics, and promising features, as well as issues, concerns, unanswered questions, and research needs.
How do you choose the best method for measuring reading progress? This brief article describes which assessments to use for different reading skills so that you can make sure all students are making progress towards becoming readers!
Recent research on academically talented students with learning disabilities indicates that they have specific counseling needs that often are not addressed in elementary and secondary school. This article looks at what kinds of support students with this profile need, and how school counselors can provide it.
An informal assessment of phonic elements, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.
An informal assessment of the concepts of print, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.
An informal assessment of phonemic awareness, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.
An informal assessment of letter/sound recognition, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.
An informal assessment of reading fluency, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.
Early intervention works. Because it is also expensive, it's important to be able to identify the kids who are most at risk of reading failure. Thanks to a new generation of screening assessments, we can identify these students as early as kindergarten — and then invest in interventions for them.
The following are sample charts you can use when assessing students informally in the classroom. Most of the assessments here should be given one-on-one.
What should you do if you think your child is having trouble with reading? Sometimes children just need more time, but sometimes they need extra help. Trust your instincts! You know your child best. If you think there's a problem, there probably is.
This article discusses current research-supported instructional practices in reading and writing. It also reviews alternatives to ability-achievement discrepancy in identifying students for special education services, as well as introduces the idea that ability-achievement discrepancies should be based on specific cognitive factors that are relevant to specific kinds of learning disabilities rather than Full Scale IQ.
Hearing the difference between similar sounding words such as grow and glow is easy for most children, but not for all children. Children who unable to hear these differences will be confused when these words appear in context, and their comprehension skills will suffer dramatically.
Does your child need to be evaluated for a learning disability? Learn how to find the best professional, prepare for evaluation, and get the most information from the experience.
Many professionals are involved in the diagnosis of LD: psychologists, educational specialists, and other professionals who work in specialized fields such as speech and language. This article identifies licensure requirements and who can diagnose LD and/or ADHD.
You may have a child in your life who isn't as successful with reading as you think he or she could be. The challenge is that not all reading difficulties look the same, and not all reading difficulties should be addressed in the same way.
When a child is having a language or reading problem, he just may need more time to learn language skills. Some children might have trouble seeing, hearing, or speaking, while others may have a learning disability. If you suspect a problem, it's important to get help quickly.
If your child hasn't started speaking by age one and or you are worried about their speech and language skills, there may be a concern. Early identification is key. They need to receive treatment before school begins so they won't miss out on essential pre-reading skills. Learn what the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has to say about early identification, evaluation, and speech-language treatments.
Student writing can be evaluated on five product factors: fluency, content, conventions, syntax, and vocabulary. Writing samples also should be assessed across a variety of purposes for writing to give a complete picture of a student's writing performance across different text structures and genres. These simple classroom help in identifying strengths and weaknesses, planning instruction, evaluating instructional activities, giving feedback, monitoring performance, and reporting progress.
There are several informal assessment tools for assessing various components of reading. The following are ten suggested tools for teachers to use.
Because early intervention is so important, children who require special services need to be assessed at a young age. Here are six stages in the assessment process, from child-find to program evaulation.
When schools screen large numbers of students, they may under- or over-identify students with disabilities. Find out how school-based screening can be used effectively.