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Special education training efforts to get millions
Disability Scoop
As school gets underway in many parts of the country, federal officials are doling out millions of dollars to help parents and teachers better serve students with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Education said it will grant $14 million to support parent training and information centers in 28 states and two U.S. territories over the next five years. The centers, which are located in each state, are designed to offer parents assistance with everything from understanding special education law and policy to interpreting results from evaluations.
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Teacher shortages spur a nationwide hiring scramble (credentials optional)
The New York Times
In a stark about-face from just a few years ago, school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers. Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education — a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers. At the same time, a growing number of English-language learners are entering public schools, yet it is increasingly difficult to find bilingual teachers. So schools are looking for applicants everywhere they can — whether out of state or out of country — and wooing candidates earlier and quicker.
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How much homework is too much?
The Christian Science Monitor
If kids had less homework, would they spend more time with family or in front of the television? Would they suffer on standardized tests because they lack practice, or would they thrive because they haven't gotten burned out? In the debate over the merits of sending kids home for a "second shift" of school, these are the questions that plague parents and school officials. A recent study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy found that early elementary school students are doing far more homework than they should be. "It was unsettling to find that in our study population, first and second grade children had three times the homework load recommended," the study said.
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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

How parents' math anxiety can affect kids' achievement
Yahoo News
Beth Greenfield, a contributor for Yahoo News, writes: "'Numbers scare me.' 'I'm not a math person.' 'I hate math.' If you’re one of the many parents who have been known to make such pronouncements, you might consider biting your tongue next time, as a new study has found that parental math anxieties are often passed on to kids. 'What surprised us the most is that when parents are trying to help with math ... it can actually backfire,' lead author Erin Maloney, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago, tells Yahoo Parenting. 'It can happen even though their efforts can be incredibly well-intentioned.'"
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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

When good eyesight is a privilege, learning suffers
Good Magazine
Last fall, things were not going well in several classrooms at Middle School 223 in the Bronx. One boy in an eighth grade classroom wouldn't stop bothering the kid sitting next to him — he was constantly being written up for talking in class. A sixth grade girl in the back of the class had yet to utter a word all semester. For MS223, located in the poorest congressional district in the United States, it was just another day of behavior problems and kids who couldn't seem to be bothered to pay attention. But a week later, everything changed. The boy who couldn't stop bothering neighboring students suddenly quieted down and began paying attention. The girl who hadn't said a word started speaking. The difference? The kids got glasses.
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Study: Warmth, not punishment, helps middle-school students learn
If parents want their middle-school students to succeed in school, the best way is to avoid harsh punishments and to create a home environment that stimulates learning, University of Michigan researchers say. The findings of Sandra Tang and Pamela Davis-Kean appear in the current issue of the Journal of Family Psychology. Lecturing and restricting activities as punishment for young teens who earn low grades can lead to lower achievement in the next five years, the study says.
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  Phonics Approach & Tools Build Accuracy

With Go Phonics confidence soars as struggling/dyslexic beginning readers get the prep to build reading fluency and accuracy: 50 phonics games, worksheets, and over 90 decodable stories. Orton-Gillingham based explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics lessons steer the course, applying skills in reading, spelling, comprehension, language arts... Sample Lessons/Overview download:

Ideas to involve parents in boosting literacy (book review)
MiddleWeb (commentary)
Judy Bradbury and Susan E. Busch, contributors for MiddleWeb, write: "Way back in the early 1980s, social workers recognized the need for family engagement in the treatment process. By the 1990s, this focus on family engagement had expanded to the field of education. Teachers and administrators have worked tirelessly to find ways to cross cultural barriers and bring families into the schools and into the work of educating children. Of course, there have always been parents who have understood their role in teaching their children at home, but the idea of connecting home and schools in a partnership has been relatively recent in the grand scheme of things. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has been active in advocating for increased family engagement."
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4 tips for new teachers embarking upon the journey of a lifetime
By Savanna Flakes
To all the new teachers starting this school year, we are so glad you are joining our team. You are entering one of the most important and rewarding careers out there. There is an art and science to being an effective educator. There are many books I have found useful for new teachers, such Julia G. Thompson's 560-page "The First-Year Teacher's Survival Guide," with ready-to-use strategies, activities and electronic templates. I highly recommend equipping yourself with this resource.
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McLean School Transforms Lives
K-12 college preparatory school supporting bright students’ individual learning styles.
3D Learner Program
We now offer Reading Plus® to further improve reading speed and comprehension. We also leverage both Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic and Talking Books. MORE

Why you shouldn't waste your time with 'learning styles' (opinion)
EdSurge (commentary)
"I'm a visual learner, so I need to see it to understand." How many times have you heard something like this? The sad thing is that many people cling to their learning styles talisman and impose their demands on educators. There are many ways to create effective instruction and meet individual learner needs, but learning styles should not be one of the tools you use.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    An educator's guide to dyslexia specialist training (By: Stephanie Cork and Laurie Wagner)
20+ classroom accommodations for ADHD children (ADDitude Magazine)
Common Core is premier education issue in GOP presidential debate (Education Week)
Making the most of back-to-school communications (Edutopia)
How tech-driven learning can benefit students with disabilities (Education Dive)

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

Leadership coaching could help teachers boost student achievement
eSchool News
Giving teachers two years of formal PD and training sessions with a leadership coach could result in higher student achievement in certain curriculum areas, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The program, which also includes a mentoring component in which teachers receiving the program's services mentor other teachers, has shown early signs of success.
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Cultivating creativity in standards-based classrooms
How do students learn to challenge ideas and think beyond the status quo? Can creativity be fostered in classrooms that follow Common Core standards and test for conformity? At first glance, these questions may seem at odds. And, in fact, many educators believe that today's schools have abandoned the concept of creativity. Yet teachers can and do foster creativity in standards-based classrooms every day.
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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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