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Research-based Instructional Strategies For Disabled Students. Presented By Dr. Shelia Martin February 18, 2009. If you have a room of students with different clothes sizes, how can you presume that when preparing a lesson that “one size fits all?”.

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Research-based Instructional Strategies For Disabled Students

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Research-based Instructional Strategies For Disabled Students

Presented By

Dr. Shelia Martin

February 18, 2009


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If you have a room of students with different clothes sizes, how can you presume that when preparing a lesson that “one size fits all?”


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  • What Types of Students Do We Have in Our Classes?

  • Students where the grade level standards or curriculum is not appropriate based on their developmental levels

  • Students where grade level curriculum is appropriate with intensive instruction and specific accommodations or modifications


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  • Students where grade level curriculum is appropriate

  • Students where grade level curriculum is appropriate, but not sufficient


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  • Dissimilar Learners (Sherman, Richardson, & Yard, 2005)

  • Rebellious

  • Dysfunctional

  • Lack of academic success

  • Inaccurately diagnosed with disability

  • Requires remediation

  • At-risk of dropping out of school


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“Corrective instruction is never a matter of applying a formula of methods or activities. . . Understanding why is fully as important as knowing how.” (Jean Gillett, 1990)


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Characteristics of Older Disabled Readers

  • Poor recognition of words at sight

  • Poorly developed decoding and word analysis skills

  • Poor comprehension of what is read

  • Deficits in the amount of reading they have done

  • Less information about text and about the world in general

  • Attitude and motivation problems and low self-esteem


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  • Categories of students with reading problems

  • Students who are reading to learn usually have

    • Mastered learning to read

    • Difficulty using reading to learn in subject areas

  • Students who have an inability to read all types of reading material usually are

    • Unable to read well enough to do much with any printed material


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  • Two Common Characteristics of Students with Learning Disabilities

    • Learned helplessness

    • Passive learners


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  • Corrective Strategies for Struggling Readers

  • Identify strengths and needs of student

  • Plan instructional time

  • Develop sight vocabulary

  • Develop reading fluency

  • Develop word analysis


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Corrective Strategies for Struggling Readers

  • Develop reading comprehension

  • Develop skills in locating, summarizing, and interpreting information

  • Provide trade books or other readers

  • Develop listening comprehension

  • Increase time spent reading


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Vocabulary knowledge is directly connected to reading comprehension.

(Anderson & Nagy, 1991; Baker, Simmons, & Kame’enui, 1998; Becker, 1997; Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998)


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  • Vocabulary Instruction for Students With Disabilities

  • Encourage poor readers to read.

    • Use of text is vital in vocabulary development and word learning

    • Select texts that support the overall context needed for students to learn words (e.g., children’s stories)


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Vocabulary Instruction for Students With Disabilities

  • Teach vocabulary directly and sequentially.

    • Vocabulary for understanding text

    • Functional words and words frequently encountered

    • Word’s context and definition and opportunities for processing (e.g., finding synonym or antonym, using word in novel sentence, relating definition to own experience)

  • Teach vocabulary through productive approaches to optimize word learning.


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“Overall, differences in the amount of independent reading, lack of strategies to learn words from content, and diffuse word knowledge appear to be the most critical obstacles to vocabulary development for students with disabilities.”

Stahl & Shiel, 1999


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  • Characteristics of Students Who Struggle with Mathematics (Sherman et al, 2005)

  • Two categories:

  • 1. Environmental Factors

    • Instruction

    • Curricular Materials

    • Gap Between Learner and Subject Matter


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Characteristics of Students Who Struggle with Mathematics (Sherman et al, 2005)

2. Personal or Individual Factors

  • Locus of Control

  • Memory Ability

  • Attention Span

  • Understanding the Language of Mathematics


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  • Deficits Areas That Affect Math Performance in the Disabled Student (Mercer & Pullen, 2005)

  • Visual Perception

  • Auditory Perception

  • Motor

  • Memory

  • Attention


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Deficits That Affect Math Performance cont’d

  • Language

  • Reading

  • Cognition and Abstract Reasoning

  • Metacognition

  • Social and Emotional Factors


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What do we know about the use of instructional strategies with struggling learners?


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Effective teachers integrate an array of strategies!!


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Because of several essential aspects of effective strategy instruction, certain behaviors were noted (Allington,2001; Pressley, et.al 2001):

The teacher provided support initially.


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  • The teacher created shared/collaborative activities and activities that involved students verbalizing their thinking.

  • Teachers provided unrelenting engagements with the summarizing activity.


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The teacher gradually moved students to greater independence in using the strategy.

The teacher developed high expectation of self-monitoring and sustained independence resulted in intrinsically motivated students.


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Effective Classroom Indicators


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  • Why Researched Strategy Instruction?

  • It’s the Law!!

  • IDEIA and NCLB regulations require the use of research-proven strategies.

  • Federal legislative changes in IDEA and NCLB is based on diverse learners achieving high academic student achievement (IDEA; Pub.L. No. 105-17;


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PL No.107-110). To accomplish this goal NCLB has set specific conditions such as

(1) preparation, training, and recruitment of high-quality teachers;

(2) language instruction for students with limited English proficiency and migrant children;

(3) innovative, research-based instructional programs; and

(4) accountability for educational outcomes.


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  • Struggling learners do not have available to them the variety of strategies used by typical learners!!!

  • Lower-achieving readers who are taught to use strategies that determine the most important concepts and include visualizing while reading, improve their comprehension (Taylor, Graves & Van Den Broek, 2000).


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From grade 2 on, weaker readers benefit from instruction about how to use multiple comprehension strategies (Taylor, Graves & Van Den Broek, 2000).


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  • Lessons designed for student success increases student engagement rates and student learning (Allington, 2001).

  • Learning occurs when students are challenged beyond their independence level, but not so far ahead that frustration sets in (Howard, 1994; Vygotsky, 1962).


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Very little new learning occurs when students are relegated to continue to work on skills/tasks already mastered or skills that were perceived as too difficult.


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  • Minimize referrals to special education!!!

  • BBSST preintervention strategies should be designed so that students do not need to be referred to special education.


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Effective teachers affect student achievement through the variety of instructional strategies that are used as interventions.


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  • Standards and Data-Based Decision Making

  • Effective teachers:

  • Analyze student performance through assessments

  • Identify gaps in skills and knowledge


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Standards and Data-Based Decision Making

  • Develop instruction to address those gaps

  • Continue to analyze student performance over time and adjust instruction as needed


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  • Standards and Access

  • Access occurs when students with disabilities are actively engaged in learning the content and skills that define the general education curriculum.

  • Access can occur through differentiated instruction.


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Differentiated Instruction to Access the Curriculum and/or Standards

  • Effective teachers differentiate by:

  • Providing instruction based on

    • Review of state and classroom assessment data

    • Progress toward standards

  • Using research-proven practices and materials

  • Support and scaffolding

Standards

Technology

Graphic Organizers

Big Ideas

Proven Practices

Flexible Groupings

Assessment Data

Focus on Individual Student Learning through Differentiated Instruction


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  • Differentiated Instruction, Standards, and Curriculum Guides

  • SDE developed curriculum guides for math and reading standards

  • Curriculum guides provide a tool for differentiated instruction leading toward the standards

  • Curriculum guides are designed for students who are not performing at grade level standards


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  • Purposes of the Curriculum Guides

  • Companion to the ACOS standards

  • Lists prerequisites to the COS standards

  • Provides information for planning instruction

  • Assists in closing achievement gap

  • Provides an avenue for students to work at individual instructional levels


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Traditional Practice

Selects a topic from the curriculum

Designs instructional activities

Designs and gives an assessment

Gives grade or feedback

Moves on to new topic

Standards-Based Practice

Selects content standards to plan instruction

Designs and gives an assessment (pretest) through which students demonstrate the knowledge and skills to meet the standards

Decides what learning opportunities students will need to learn

Changes in the Process of Instructional Planning


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Plans instruction to assure that each student has adequate opportunities to learn

Uses data from assessment to give feedback, reteach, or move to next level

Changes in the Process of Instructional Planning


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In standards-based instruction, the teacher must plan backwards from the required content standards to the assessments then to the lessons that will be needed for students to achieve at that level.


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Summary of Instructional Strategies Based on Research


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  • Why Researched Strategy Instruction?

  • It’s the law

  • Struggling learners do not have available to them the variety of strategies used by typical learners

  • Effective teachers integrate an array of strategies


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Lessons designed for student success increases student engagement rates and student learning (Allington, 2001)

Can minimize referrals to special education


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Thank You For Sharing Your Time With Me This Afternoon

For Additional Information Contact Me At

[email protected]


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