On May 3rd, PC READS awarded Julie Hastings with our 2019 Elevating Literacy Award. This award was started as a way to recognize someone who has embraced the PC READS mission and is making a difference in our community. It honors an individual who has made a significant contribution towards improving the lives of students with reading disabilities, including dyslexia.
Published in the Journal of Childhood & Developmental Disorders in 2016, this is an excellent research paper explaining how teachers have not been taught the science of reading in pre-service classes. When introduced to this information, teachers are often frustrated that it was not part of their formal education. Changes to teacher preparation are necessary.
EXCERPT: Approximately 20% of our nation’s students are experiencing reading difficulties and the percentage of fourth-grade students who are reading below Basic and Proficient (33% and 58%, respectively) has not appreciably changed since 1992. Fortunately, there is a solution. First and foremost the history of ignorance, resistance and complacency needs to be exposed. Secondly, there is a scientific literature that prescribes how to improve reading abilities in young students. The solution involves providing pre-service teachers with the knowledge that will assist them to provide their students, particularly struggling readers, the types of assessment and interventions that will lead to improved reading skills.
If you haven’t checked out understood.org yet, here is a sample of what you can find. It’s an excellent resource!
This Q&A, issued by the US Department of Education on December 7, 2017, is an important document to read and understand if your child is on an IEP. We suggest printing a copy and adding it to your student’s binder. We will also put a link on our website to it for future reference.
A few key points:
With the decision in Endrew, F., the Court clarified that for all students, including those performing at grade level and those unable to perform at grade level, a school must offer an IEP that is “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” This standard is different from, and more demanding than, the “merely more than de minimis” test applied by the Tenth Circuit. As the Court stated, “[t]he goals may differ, but every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives.”
What does “reasonably calculated” mean?
The “reasonably calculated” standard recognizes that developing an appropriate IEP requires a prospective judgment by the IEP Team. Generally, this means that school personnel will make decisions that are informed by their own expertise, the progress of the child, the child’s potential for growth, and the views of the child’s parents. IEP Team members should consider how special education and related services, if any, have been provided to the child in the past, including the effectiveness of specific instructional strategies and supports and services with the student.
What actions should IEP Teams take if a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected?
If a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected, despite receiving all the services and supports identified in the IEP, the IEP Team must meet to review and revise the IEP if necessary, to ensure the child is receiving appropriate interventions, special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, and to ensure the IEP’s goals are individualized and ambitious.
Excellent article including personal stories, history of the “reading wars” and reasons that changes to teacher training are needed. Links to the related podcasts are included.
“In 1997, Congress called for a National Reading Panel to determine how best to teach reading. It reviewed more than 100,000 studies and in 2000, the panel published a 449-page report that was a crushing blow to the whole language movement. There was no evidence to show whole language worked and lots of evidence that teaching children the relationship among sounds, letters and spelling patterns improves reading achievement.
This is for all kids, not just those with dyslexia.”
PC READS promotes structured literacy in all classrooms, along with early screening and intervention that is effective for dyslexia. This article is a good summary of expert advice and what some other school districts are doing to support struggling readers.
“If we use a wait-to-fail model and we don’t flag students until third grade, they’re already three years behind,” Zecher says.
“In kindergarten, if you do a half-hour a day of intensive instruction, that can have a very beneficial effect,” Moats says. “In first grade, it might be 45 minutes but in second and third grade, it’s more like an hour. Beyond third grade, it’s an hour and a half to two hours.”
“Districts are seeing success from early identification and intervention. Fort Worth ISD in Texas provides intensive help for about 1,400 students in elementary and middle school, says Sara Arispe, associate superintendent for accountability and data quality.
The district is in its second year of offering students two years of structured literacy instruction for one hour per day, five days per week, in groups no larger than six. The district hired 60 teachers last school year and another 60 this year and provided extensive PD.”
PC READS’ President, Elissa Aten, shares her thoughts during Dyslexia Awareness Month.
PC READS and The Hall Family Foundation are hosting Barbara Wilson in Park City! While here, she will meet with teachers, parents and provide a community presentation on “Navigating Reading Success.”
EXCERPT FROM ARTICLE: One in five students has a language-based learning disability, and the most common, by far, is dyslexia, Aten said. Those who attend the event will learn about the reading program teachers in Park City schools have adopted, which helps all students learn to read with multi-sensory methods, especially those suffering with dyslexia. The plan is to eventually include all third-graders as well – it is currently being taught to third-graders at McPolin – and to feature a structured support system for dyslexic students who need extra assistance.
PC READS is proud to be collaborating with the Park City School District, the Park City Education Foundation and The Hall Family Fund on a Dyslexia Initiative which includes implementing Wilson Fundations in our elementary schools. What a wonderful example of a public/private partnership to benefit our students!
“Reading is an essential life skill that is not always easy to learn. The Park City School District recognized that, and with help from the local nonprofit PC READS and donors, it began a new reading program for teachers to help all students learning to read.”
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and Reading Horizons is hosting a FREE Online Dyslexia Summit on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Excellent information will be delivered! Register to watch on the 12th or receive a link to watch at a later date.
Register today here.
Excellent audio documentary about dyslexia – including history (have you heard about the “Reading Wars?”), advocacy work and personal stories. Definitely worth an hour of your time! Please share widely.
“There are proven ways to help people with dyslexia learn to read, and a federal law that’s supposed to ensure schools provide kids with help. But across the country, public schools are denying children proper treatment and often failing to identify them with dyslexia in the first place.”
Kyle Redford’s articles are thoughtful and on point. Continuing to spread awareness about dyslexia is necessary so that all students are able to reach their potential.
EXCERPT: In order to identify dyslexics, teachers have to know the clues. Dyslexics are slow and effortful readers, but they are often the students who demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of content or story. They often have sloppy handwriting and struggle with spelling, but they have amazing ideas. In math, they may be the student who cannot retain their math facts, but readily offer creative ways to solve the problems. They struggle with written tests, but may lead class discussion. Overall, their weak mechanical skills shouldn’t be any indication of their intellectual abilities.
As summer begins and many families have car trips planned, consider checking audiobooks out of your local library for the entire family to enjoy!
“He has become a child that reads. And he is not alone. Several students this year are having incredible reading experiences, kids who have never liked reading, are begging for the next book, begging for time to listen. Yes, listen, because these students are devouring one audio-book after another. Comprehending the words without having to struggle through the decoding. Accessing stories that they have heard their friends talk about. No longer looking at the easier books while they long for something with more substance. Those children are becoming readers with the help of audio-books.”
Digraphs, diphthongs, blends and more! Although some students learn to read easily, many students need to be taught these rules explicitly. And, teaching these rules to all students will improve spelling, too.