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Yes, you can teach academic content to students with cognitive disabilities

As everyone acquainted with NCLB knows, it is not enough for students with disabilities to be in the general classroom–they must also make academic progress. In fact, even students in self-contained, specialized classrooms are now assessed in reading, math, and science. Diane Browder and Fred Spooner have extensively studied best practices for teaching academic content to all students and particularly students with disabilities.Read these key points from their new book Teaching Language Arts, Math, and Science to Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities, and try their specific suggestions for how you can adapt your teaching to get the best results. Read More

You’re not alone: Help for teachers of struggling readers from multisensory teaching experts

When teachers encounter students in their classes who struggle to read, they often are at a loss as to how to help them. General ed teachers don't always get instruction in how to reach students who fail to learn in the standard ways. Teachers who find themselves struggling in the classroom can turn to Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, Third Edition. The techniques in this compilation for teaching students with dyslexia have been shown to also help others having trouble learning to read. Learning how to read is a systematic process that can be taught. The authors of the Multisensory Teaching activity book have these words of advice for teachers willing to take on the challenge. Read More

Preparing tomorrow’s teachers for effective spelling instruction

In the past, new teachers would walk into their classrooms with very little training in how to help students who struggle with spelling. How can they help a student who is a good reader but has difficulty spelling? What about a student who struggles with both? You can ensure future educators walk into the classroom knowing the answers by using high-quality literacy texts that contain explicit instruction on teaching spelling skills. Follow these four tips to prepare teachers to help every student become a successful speller. Read More

Students with persistent problem behaviors: An approach that works

For most students, classwide positive behavior support (PBS) measures are generally sufficient for minimizing disruption so learning can take place. But for the 3–5% of children with persistent problem behaviors, a more intensive approach is called for. Positive Strategies for Students with Behavior Problems is an individualized behavioral approach grounded in the same evidence-based principles as PBS. Learn the 5 assumptions that underlie Positive Strategies and see how teams can work together to create a more productive learning environment for everybody. Read More

Helpful tips for launching a reading intervention program

Like many elementary school teachers, Ms. Russell has a few students in her class falling behind in reading. She knows that if these students don't get a boost now, they may struggle throughout their school years, so she decides to organize a reading intervention program. Here are some words of advice for her from the authors of Interventions for Reading Success. [This article draws from the first edition of Interventions for Reading Success.] Read More

How to fit interventions for struggling readers into your day

How do you fit supplemental support for struggling readers into your day? This is a dilemma faced by many busy classroom teachers. See what the authors of the new edition of Interventions for Reading Success suggest. Here are their answers to some of teachers' most common questions about managing intervention activities for their struggling readers. Read More

Improve students’ flexibility, organization, and behavior with these executive function-friendly tips

You may not have a student diagnosed with a disability in your class, but that doesn't mean some of your students don't share some of the same learning difficulties. Try incorporating these techniques designed for students with disabilities. You may end up clearing roadblocks to learning you didn't even realize were standing in your students' way! See the tips in the article and make sure you get your free downloads. Read More

Make Inclusion Happen! 10 Steps Educators Can Take Right Now

Working for children with disabilities to be educated alongside their peers can be a challenge. Inclusion facilitators often run into resistance as a result of a lack of understanding, training, or other resources needed to implement inclusion effectively. Cheryl Jorgensen, co-author of The Inclusion Facilitator's Guide, outlines 10 promising practices you can promote to encourage inclusion in your schools. See how many you’ve already put into practice. Read More

Making an argument for social skills support in school

Social ability may not be measured in high-stakes testing, but it does have a significant impact on student behavior and learning. Schools that implement instructional approaches designed to enhance social interaction–such as peer tutoring and cooperative learning–have discovered unexpected benefits in both the classroom environment and student achievement. Consider the importance of social development, particularly on students with disabilities, to make an argument for social skills support at your school. Read More