reading instruction and learning disabilities


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reading instruction and learning disabilities

  1. 1. Learning Disabilities and Reading Instruction by Carmen Link An Inquiry Presentation
  2. 2. The Problem: <ul><ul><li>More than 8 million students in grades 4-12 are struggling in reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two out of every three high school students are below grade level in reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>74% of students identified as learning disabled in 3 rd grade will still struggle with reading in 9 th grade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students fall further and further behind each year in reading and comprehension </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Why does this matter? <ul><ul><li>The ability to read and to understand what is read is the greatest predictor of academic success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading is essential to all content areas; even math and science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing how to read is important not only in school, but in life in general </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students who are better readers have higher self-esteem and self-confidence and view school in a more positive way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students who struggle with reading participate in less social interactions with peers </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Inquiry Questions <ul><ul><li>What are some of the characteristics associated with learning disabilities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What types of instruction and/or teaching strategies typically work best for these students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What does research tell us about how students with learning disabilities learn best? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we modify our curriculum to provide these students with the best possible learning environment? </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. How Will This Make A Difference? <ul><ul><li>Most importantly, this will make a difference in the lives of students with learning disabilities who struggle with reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since reading ability can be connected to other aspects of well-being (social and emotional ties), this could also make a difference in the lives of parents, other teachers, and peers as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By sharing this research with other aspiring teachers, it may also influence them </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Connections to this course <ul><ul><li>We have studied curriculum and instruction and how they have changed throughout the years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have learned about various types of instruction and teaching methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The research confirmed the ideas that were presented in this class and prove that the best learning environment, regardless of student ability, is one where the student is an active participant in the educational process. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What we know... <ul><ul><li>In an observational meta-analysis, researchers found... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time alloted for reading instruction was minimal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole class direct instruction was more prevalent than small group participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehension was severely neglected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More than half of instructional time was devoted to individual seat work and worksheets </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What else we know... <ul><ul><li>These types of instruction are not working </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several students, especially those with learning disabilities, are struggling in reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers are responsible for providing their students with the best possible learning environment and helping students reach their full potential </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Instructional Strategies for Struggling Readers <ul><ul><li>The Mnemonic Approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process used to enhance spelling patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses stories, acrostics, and pictures to help students recall letters of words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: to remember how to spell “because” teachers would read a silly sentence such as “Big Elephants Can Act Up So Easily” with a picture that the students can color </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The student then completes the worksheet and creates their own new silly sentence </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Mnemonic Approach Results <ul><ul><li>Significant improvement in spelling for all students involved in this study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Every student improved their reading at least one grade level, some improved by two grade levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This technique is designed for words that are difficult to students and should not be used for teaching any or every word. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Advanced Story Map <ul><ul><li>Teaching strategy used to improve comprehension skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students receive a worksheet with relevant questions pertaining to the text before they read </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They discuss the questions with the teacher as a group prior to reading the text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This helps them identify main points and important ideas </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Advanced Story Map Results <ul><ul><li>All students involved in study increased their ability to comprehend text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All students improved their reading scores on standardized tests following instruction in story mapping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All students gained an understanding for the framework of text </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Peer Assisted Learning Strategies <ul><ul><li>Each student is strategically paired with another student by the teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students assigned a role as “coach” or “reader” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students take turns with roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured activities include; partner reading with retell, paragraph shrinking, and prediction relay </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Peer Assisted Learning Strategies Results <ul><ul><li>Students were active participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social interactions took place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students were enthusiastic about participating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proved effective for most students, however, did not work for small minority of students </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Word Study <ul><ul><li>Centered around orthographic knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaches phonemic awareness, spelling patterns, and morphology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many opportunities for interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has several stages of orthographic knowledge which readers progress through </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporates reading, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and promotes total literacy development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete with lesson plans and extensive activities to reiterate instruction </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Word Study Results <ul><ul><li>Students involved in word study instruction improved academically in areas of reading, vocabulary, and especially writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also reported were greater levels of confidence, and motivation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehension also increased in this program </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Next time I would... <ul><ul><li>Further research the differences and effects of these strategies specifically to ESL learners. It was mentioned in several sources that ESL learners are overrepresented as learning disabled and referred to special education too frequently. I would like to look further into how to prevent this from happening. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. References <ul><ul><li>Gardill, M.C., & Jitendra, A. (1999). Advanced story map instruction: Effects on the reading comprehension of students with learning disabilities. The Journal of Special Education, 33(1), p. 2-17. This article discusses improving reading comprehension through the use of story maps. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harris, L. (2007). Adolescent literacy: Word study with middle and high school students. Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 3(4) Article 4. Retrieved July 14, 2008 from This article discusses the Words Their Way approach to teaching spelling and gaining orthographic knowledge. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Henley, M., Ramsey, R., & Algozzine, R. (2006). Characteristics of and strategies for teaching students with mild disabilities. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. This text was helpful in describing and explaining learning disabilities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vaughn, S., Levy, S., Coleman, M., & Bos, C. (2002). Reading instruction for students with LD and E BD: A synthesis of observation studies. The Journal of Special Education, 36(1), p. 2-13. This review of research proves that interactive teaching strategies have many benefits over traditional and direct methods of instruction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. References <ul><ul><li>Howard, S., DaDeppo, L., & De La Paz, S. (2008). Getting the bugs out with PESTS: A mnemonic approach to spelling sight words for students with learning disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 4(5), Article 3. Retrieved July 14, 2008 from This approach was very interesting and seemed very effective in helping students learn to spell tricky words. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>McCray, A., Vaughn, S., & Neal, L. (2001). Not all students learn to read by third grade: Middle school students speak out about their reading disabilities. The Journal of Special Education, 35(1), p. 17-30. This article took a look at student and teacher perspectives about struggles with reading. It also gave statistics regarding learning disabilities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>McMaster, K. (2007). Promises and limitations of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies in reading. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 5(2), p. 97-112. This research found the benefits of pairing students together for reading instruction. </li></ul></ul>