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How schools maximize gifted talent
District Administration Magazine
The U.S. public school system's focus on struggling students leaves high-achievers — especially minorities, the economically disadvantaged and English language learners — without a challenging enough education, experts say. A lack of federal funding and patchwork policies across states often leave decisions on identifying and serving gifted students to district administrators. An estimated 3 million to 5 million academically gifted students attend K-12 schools, and it is unknown how many are receiving services, according to the National Association for Gifted Children.
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Positively managing student behavior in the classroom
By: Savanna Flakes
Discipline problems and behavior issues have always been and continue to be a leading frustration for teachers. The good news is that variables can easily be manipulated to have a positive influence on student behavior. By being proactive and purposeful in our planning, we can prevent behavior problems before they arise. By building positive relationships with students and explicitly teaching classroom routines, we can manage behavior and increase student motivation.
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The organized kindergartener: Squared away for success
ADDitude Magazine
Kindergarten is a wake-up moment for many kids with ADHD. Suddenly, they run into demands to "sit still and listen." Many encounter rules for the first time. Not only do they need to learn the rules, they also need to make new friends, learn new skills, get along with students from other backgrounds, and work in large groups. Parents are shocked by that first phone call from school. At home, their child is manageable, but children with ADHD often lag behind their peers by as much as 30 percent in mastering life and social skills. Structure and support will prevent them from stumbling.
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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

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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

Schools accused of forcing out special education students
Disability Scoop
Advocates are accusing schools across one of the nation’s largest states of using truancy laws to funnel kids with disabilities off their rolls. Thirteen school districts in Texas — including those in Austin, Houston, Fort Worth and San Antonio — are allegedly using truancy laws to absolve themselves of responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, according to a complaint filed this week by the advocacy groups Disability Rights Texas, the National Center for Youth Law and Texas Appleseed.
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How grades 6-12 get robbed in federal education funding
The Washington Post
This graphic comes from a new report by the Alliance for Excellent Education called "Why ESEA Must Fill the Missing Middle," a reference to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which, in its current version is known as No Child Left Behind, and is now being rewritten by Congress. The report shows how federal funding is concentrated in the early years and in college — and gives "paltry" sums to middle and high school in comparison to early childhood, elementary schools and post-secondary education.
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Why are so many states replacing Common Core with carbon copies?
The Hechinger Report
Getting a fresh set of standards should be easy in a state where Common Core is opposed 39 percent to 51 percent, right? Louisiana is poised to join the roster of states putting the Common Core standards under review. But in states that have scuttled the standards, namely South Carolina and Indiana, the replacement standards have been near carbon copies of the Common Core, critics have complained. So why is it so difficult to get standards that are a radical departure from the Common Core, even in a state where Common Core is incredibly unpopular?
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  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:

Reading: Brain waves study shows how different teaching methods affect reading development
Stanford University via Science Daily
Researchers found that beginning readers who focus on letter-sound relationships, or phonics, increase activity in the area of their brains best wired for reading.
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How schools can help nurture students' mental health
By the time he entered second grade, Eric had already witnessed graphic violence and watched as his family fell apart. He'd been moved to a new state and a new home, but he wasn't thriving, especially in school. Eric's reading level was measured in single digits — that is, below the 10th percentile for children his age. "He was so preoccupied by the trauma he'd experienced that it was impairing his learning," says Steve Lepinski, who followed Eric's progress.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Feds call for greater inclusion in preschools (Disability Scoop)
The reading brain: Executive function hard at work (By: Linda R. Hecker)
What do you do with a student who fidgets? (NPR)
Teaching students the skills of expert readers (Edutopia)
How to get through to ADHD/LD kids (ADDitude Magazine)

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

How do we help our least motivated, most disruptive students?
The Washington Post
Urban public school teachers, parents and students often tell me if we got rid of disruptive students and made sure everyone did their work, more kids would learn. Is there a way to do that?
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword STUDENTS.

Learning with nature
In our time of fast-paced, exam-pressured, high-tech culture, where does learning with nature have a place? When adults are asked to recall a time in their youth when they were happiest, invariably they refer to times spent outdoors and with friends. Our clever screen world keeps us busy and on the go, but does not help us to communicate, feel loved, gain the satisfaction of the quiet mind, and relax. Time with others in nature does exactly that — and much, much more!
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Why cursive mattered
The Atlantic
Since the U.S. Department of Education dropped cursive writing from standard national curricula in 2011, the debate on the value of learning penmanship has raged. Some argue that the skill is obsolete, akin to learning how to use an abacus in the age of supercomputers. "[The] time kids spend learning to write curvy, connected words is time kids could be spending learning the basics of programming and any number of other technology skills they'll need in our increasingly connected world," wrote the blogger and podcast host Justin Pot in a spirited editorial rejecting the utility of such an "anachronistic skill."
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Massachusetts schools should screen for dyslexia, advocates say
The Salem News
When Melissa Marquis' son Ethan entered first grade, she noticed something was wrong. He wasn't reading and writing at grade level. He seemed disinterested in class. Marquis was even more upset to learn how his teachers at Shawsheen Elementary in Andover dealt with the situation. After an evaluation by the school district, Ethan began taking special education classes, but he was still trailing other students, she said. Frustrated with his lack of progress, Marquis dropped more than $3,000 on private tests. She was told her son had dyslexia, a neurologically-based learning disability that involves difficulty reading and spelling.
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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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