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A Different Approach Makes All The Difference

Educating children with Language Learning Disabilities and Learning Differences


 Top Stories

No Child Left Behind gets renewed focus
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
The No Child Left Behind education law could be making a political comeback. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who is the incoming chairman of the Senate committee overseeing education, says his top education priority is fixing the landmark Bush-era law. His goal? Get a bill signed by President Barack Obama early next year.
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The downside of resilience
The New York Times
Behind a half-century of policies to promote child development, there lies an assumption: that children are essentially equally affected by the environments they grow up in, and that positive interventions like preschool education should therefore help all children. But what if this isn't true? Evidence suggests that some children are — in one frequently used metaphor — like delicate orchids; they quickly wither if exposed to stress and deprivation, but blossom if given a lot of care and support.
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Inclusion Corner: The art of co-teaching
By: Savanna Flakes
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.
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  "ACHIEVE" it all at SIU!

Thinking about college? Do you struggle with learning difficulties or organizational skills? The Achieve Program provides comprehensive academic support for college students with learning disabilities, autism, and ADHD. Call us at 618-453-6155 or visit our website at to discover how Achieve can help you!

Looking to share your expertise?
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

3 lessons from data on children's reading habits
The Hechinger Report
More than a decade ago a company called Renaissance Learning developed a computerized way for teachers to track students' reading outside of the classroom. The computer keeps track of how many and which books a student has read, along with the level of reading difficulty and whether a student has understood the basics of the story. This year, the company mined the data to gain insight into how kids become better readers as they progress in school.
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PARCC shares 'lessons learned' from Common Core field tests
Not everything's a walk in the PARCC. During the spring of 2014, more than 1.1 million students in approximately 16,000 U.S. schools took field tests of a Common Core assessment developed by PARCC, short for the "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers." According to a recently released report from PARCC summarizing key findings from these tests, the ultimate goal of the pilots "was to confirm that PARCC is a quality assessment program and to make improvements based on the experience" before the formal administration of the exam to "an estimated 5 million students" in 2015.
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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

Parents, legislators push back against Common Core
New standardized tests under the Common Core education initiative aren't scheduled until spring, but backlash from parents and educators is in full force this fall. And the debate is moving into the state legislatures. States' adoption of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a set of K-12 learning standards designed to measure students' college and career readiness, has been met with resistance. "We don't like them," said parent advocate Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, a nonprofit organization that advocates for smaller classes in public schools.
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What does the Common Core mean for special education?
District Administration Magazine
The Common Core is presenting a new challenge — and offering little guidance — to special education teachers working to keep their students on pace with their peers. "We have a lot of kids who have not had the opportunity to learn standards in the past, and have a lot of gaps in instruction," says Debbie Taub, director of research for Keystone Assessment and a Council for Exceptional Children member, who has created a professional development program on teaching the Common Core to students with complex instructional needs. "But we're seeing that with well-thought out instruction, it's possible for these kids to make progress in the standards and build foundational skills at the same time."
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How poorly designed classroom space puts student learning at risk (The Hechinger Report)
Collecting IEP goal data: Students, teachers working in partnership (By: Pamela Hill)
Focus on play in kindergarten may improve grades (Reuters)
How to reframe the education reform debate (The Washington Post)
10 lessons learned from the assessment field tests (THE Journal)

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

Dyslexia: A potential cause of your child's educational difficulties
Psych Central
As many children in the United States are managing to get through the demands, responsibilities, and academic expectations of the school system, there are also many children who are having some struggle. Focusing difficulties, attention problems, reading comprehension, and academic underachievement as compared to same-aged peers often times gets attributed to the child's personal weaknesses or behavior problems or possibly even ADHD or another mental or neurological disorder.
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Dissection of Common Core math test questions leaves educator 'appalled'
The Washington Post (Commentary)
According to author Valerie Strauss: Many of the guest writers on this blog are opposed to the Common Core State Standards, not because they object to standards per se but they find fault with this particular set for one reason or another. This post was written by someone who supports the Core, but takes a critical look at New York State's Common Core-aligned tests, specifically the eighth-grade math exam that was designed by Pearson.
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Old tactic gets new use: Public schools separate girls and boys
The New York Times
In one third-grade classroom, the walls are bordered by cheetah and zebra prints, bright pink caddies hold pencils and glue sticks, and a poster at the front lists rules, including "Act pretty at all times!" Next door, cutouts of racecars and pictures of football players line the walls, and a banner behind the teacher's desk reads "Coaches Corner." The students in the first class: girls. Next door: boys.
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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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