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Tailoring Literacy Instruction to Special Education Populations

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Title: Tailoring Literacy Instruction to Special Education Populations


1
Tailoring Literacy Instruction to Special
Education Populations
  • Sylvia Linan-Thompson
  • Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts
  • The University of Texas, Austin

2
Current Situation
  • More than 8 million students in grades 4-12
    struggle with reading (U. S. DOE, 2003).
  • Only 32 of 8th graders are proficient readers
    (NCSE, 2003).
  • 8.7 million 4-12 graders are unable to read and
    comprehend texts
  • American 11th graders placed very close to the
    bottom in international comparisons (2002)

3
In addition to academic problems,
  • student that struggle with reading are
  • more likely to be inattentive in class
  • (Imai,
    et al. 1992)
  • and
  • more likely to exhibit antisocial behavior
  • (Vanderstay,2006)

4
Students that struggle are not all alike
  • Lowest performing students
  • Two or more grades behind
  • Less than two grade levels behind

5
Why do students struggle?
  • They
  • have a learning disability
  • entered school poorly prepared to learn to read
  • have attended school sporadically
  • gave general low learning ability
  • and
  • the instruction they have received has not been
    sufficiently powerful!

6
Most interventions for struggling students
  • are of insufficient intensity
  • are weak in word study skills
  • offer little or no direct instruction in
    comprehension strategies

7
These students are not unaware of their
challenges.
  • Im not good at reading. It takes me a while and
    when I am reading a book, it takes me more than
    six times and then I still forget what Ive read.
    Its very hard to keep focused and remember where
    I was. Even when I remember, I read so slow that
    I never finish my work. There are still lots of
    words I cannot pronounce. I cant remember how to
    sound out the words.
  • (McCray, Vaughn, Neal, 2001)

8
Given that,
  • the current IDEA definition includes in its
    criteria for determining that a child has a SLD
    The child does not achieve commensurate with his
    or her age and ability levels in one or more of
    the areas listed in paragraph (a)(2) or this
    section, if provided with learning experience
    appropriate for the childs age and ability

9
  • and does not include learning problems that are
    primarily the result of environmental,
    cultural,or economic disadvantages, the focus
    must be on the quality of instruction that
    students receive.

10
What do states have to do?
  • Provide students intensive, focused, literacy
    instruction and tutoring.
  • Instruction should teach students
  • The knowledge and skills required to read unknown
    words in text
  • How to accurately read words by sight
  • How to understand the meaning of the words they
    will be encountering
  • How to think about meaning or comprehend

11
  • Students that receive this type of instruction,
    graduate from high school and attend college in
    significantly greater numbers than those that do
    not.

12
How do you accomplish this?
  • Institute policy that will ensure that students
    that are performing below level receive the
    instruction that they need.

13
Response to Intervention
  • The practice of providing high-quality
    instruction or intervention matched to student
    need,
  • monitoring progress frequently to make decisions
    about changes in instruction or goals and
  • applying child response data to educational
    decisions.
  • (Response to Intervention Policy considerations
    and implementation, 2005)

14
RTI
  • Is a comprehensive, multi-tiered school-wide
    instruction model that is applied to decisions in
    general, remedial, and special education.

15
Basic Components
  • Use of scientifically based instruction
  • Instruction and intervention
  • Use of on-going monitoring of student progress
  • Access and participation in the general curriculum

16
Policy Considerations
  • How will the SEA support the implementation of
    RTI?
  • What changes to the current state-level
    infrastructure will be needed to implement RTI?

17
How will the SEA support the implementation of
RTI?
  • Promote Statewide Initiatives
  • That support school-wide models of RTI
  • Include professional development

18
Procedures
  • Organization and leadership
  • Determine who will be responsible for organizing
    and coordinating the development of the RTI
    effort at the state level.
  • Identify leaders from general and special
    education to lead the development and
    implementation.

19
Procedures
  • Organization and leadership
  • Identify the language that will be used to
    communicate the model
  • Identify field-based advisory groups to guide and
    support state planning efforts

20
Policy
  • Determine if any current state policies support
    any or all of the components of RTI
  • You will need policy to
  • Support and evaluate instruction using
    scientifically based practices
  • Support the expansion of general education
    interventions for diverse learners
  • Support and guide the use of assessments at all
    levels
  • Support the use of student data for successive
    tiers

21
What changes to the current state-level
infrastructure will be needed to implement RTI?
  • Establish infrastructure to support the
    development of a plan of action with timelines
    and personnel to rollout the process.
  • Identify additional resources needed to build or
    refine an infrastructure.

22
Procedures
  • Identify universal interventions that already
    exist.
  • Identify current structures within general
    education support the implementation of
    interventions in Tiers 1 and 2.
  • Identify support structures for decision making
    by special education personnel.

23
Procedures
  • Plan for the fiscal, personnel, training, and
    evaluation support at the local level.
  • Identify information and knowledge that will be
    incorporated in pre-service programs.
  • Establish research and evaluation processes to
    examine initiative.

24
Bottom Line
  • All educators in an educational setting need to
    share responsibility for the literacy acquisition
    of all students.
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