Help for Struggling Readers

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Help for Struggling Readers. Byron Smith Technology Specialist FDLRS Heartland. Overview. Reading is the skill most often used in school. Researchers estimate that about 85% of schoolwork involves reading. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Help for Struggling Readers

Help for Struggling Readers

Byron SmithTechnology SpecialistFDLRS Heartland

Help for Struggling Readers

Today were going to review the range of tools which can support struggling readers in the classroom.1OverviewReading is the skill most often used in school.Researchers estimate that about 85% of schoolwork involves reading.FCAT reading scores drop steadily from 74% proficient in 4th grade to only 37% proficient in 10th grade (2009)Poor readers can often comprehend the content if they can receive it in some other form.

Students who have difficulty reading fluently are at a significant disadvantage in most classrooms. While they may be capable of understanding the content, the mode of presentation must allow them to access that content in ways that permit cognitive processing and comprehension. If such accommodations can be identified and put in place, this student may be able to succeed in content areas that are traditionally reading-intensive. The challenge is to identify what sort of accommodation the student needs.2Potential Problem AreasDecodingTrackingComprehendingProcessingGeneralizing

Individuals who struggle with reading may have problems with individual words, sentences, and/or paragraphs, and with understanding what they read. This may result from an inability to decode words, track words and sentences on a page, comprehend the written information, keep thoughts and images organized, link the information to prior learning, and/or generalize the information to new situations. This deficit often results from a problem with visual or auditory processing.3Indicators of Reading DifficultiesFluency problemsDecoding problemsTracking problemsComprehension problems

Not all students with reading difficulties have been identified. Be alert for students who display the following warning signs:Read slowly and deliberately with no fluencyAppear to re-read or read very slowly, when reading silentlyRe-read or skip lines in oral readingHave trouble reading signs, notes, forms, want ads, etc.Substitute, omit, and/or transpose letters, words, syllables, and phrasesLose their place on the pageSkip lines, words, letters, and numbersHave poor comprehension of written materialsGuess at unknown words and thus compromise comprehensionHave trouble sounding out unknown wordsHave decoding problemsHave difficulty with basic skills assessmentsHave problems keeping their place in test answer sheetsHave difficulty tracking from test booklet to answer sheet4Classroom Strategies

The first level of intervention when a student is struggling with reading is to implement basic classroom strategies and accommodations. Examples include pre-teaching a list of vocabulary words matched with pictures, reading a story aloud while the student follows along, and asking only one comprehension question per reading passage. For additional ideas, see the Teaching Resources for Florida Exceptional Student Education website.5Attacking the problemAsk the right questions

What specifically does thestudent need to do?How well can she do it?What is she currently using to help her?How well is it working?What specific IEP goals must the child meet?

As we begin to look more closely at the individual student, it is crucial to identify exactly what the difficulty is. You must identify what specific tasks she is expected to accomplish, to what level she can accomplish the task, and what steps (if any) have been developed to bridge the gap. These may include IEP or 504 goals.6Definition of Assistive Technology Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

(Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(1))

Many of the interventions we should consider involve assistive technology. Many people think of assistive technology as the complex, expensive programs and devices that are appropriate for only the most severely disabled students. Lets look more closely at the definition.7What this meansANY tool or device that a student with a disability uses to do a task that s/he could not otherwise do without it. It can make the task easier, faster, or done in a better way.The device can be as low tech as a pencil grip or as sophisticated as a computer program or communication device.

As you can see, very simple accommodations are included in the definition. The line between assistive technology and instructional technology has become so blurred that the distinction is nearly meaningless.8Assistive technology is a tool. It will never replace good teaching. It serves to give struggling students and those with a disability a way to be successful with the curriculum.

This is the key point in understanding the place of assistive technology in the classroom. It is intended only to provide all learners equal access to the curriculum. Just as you would allow a child with vision or hearing deficits to sit near the front of the room, allowing a child with severe dysgraphia to use a word processing tool does not give her an unfair advantage, but rather allows her to keep up with her peers.9Who benefits from Assistive Technology ?Any student with a disability, from mild to severeAny student with reading, writing, math, communications, vision, hearing, or motor problemsESOL studentsStudents with 504 plansStruggling students who do not qualify for ESE services

Assistive technology can benefit many of your students.10Assistive technology, when matched correctly to a students need, will make your job easier.

Assistive technology can also benefit the teacher in several ways.11The FCAT BenefitAT integrated with good strategies will have the greatest impact on students who score low on the FCATThese students will have the greatest effect on you school scores

An obvious benefit is the impact of assistive technology on students who are low performers on the FCAT.12Florida allows a variety of assistive technology tools to be used on the FCAT by students with disabilities.These tools must be listed on the students IEP and used daily as part of instructional strategies.

In order to use the allowable FCAT accommodations, the tools must be on the IEP and in daily use in the classroom.13Range of AT ToolsLow techEasily accessibleLow costUsed by peersHigh techVery task-specificHigher costNot typically used by peers

As mentioned earlier, the range of available AT tools is broad, from so-called low tech items such as those found in a LoTTIE kit, to high tech items such as sophisticated communications devices and software products. Typically, the least obtrusive tool that effectively resolves the difficulty is the most appropriate choice. Not only is it likely to be less expensive, but it is less likely to call attention to the student, or make him feel different from his peers. This makes the tool much more likely to be used. Further, it can more readily be generalized beyond academic settings. It is analogous to the Least Restrictive Environment concept.14AT Tools for ReadingHighlighter tapeColor filtersReading guidesAdapted RulerReading StandPage TabsMagnifiers

Changes in text size, fonts, spacing, color, and backgroundDigital RecorderScan & read software

This list of tools gives examples of accommodations across the range of tools available. Well look at each of the individually.15Highlighter TapeSpecialized adhesive tape that is clear but tinted. Can be used in textbooks and removed without damaging the text.Allowed accommodation

Highlighting can be used to locate directions, emphasize important facts, or to separate questions from answers.16Color FiltersColored filters may help a student with perceptually-based reading problems overcome a print or background distortionAllowed accommodation

Some research suggests that certain perceptually-based reading problems may be helped by the use of colored filters to minimize distortion. The See It Right kit allows school personnel to evaluate whether filters are useful to individual students.17Reading GuidesTrack words across a pageAllowed accommodation

Reading guides can help to track words across a page while reading, and may also help certain dyslexic students if the color of the strip is appropriate to their filtering needs.18Reading StandReading Stands or Page Ups help position text for easier viewingAllowed accommodation

Simple reading stands can make reading easier for students who would find holding a large heavy textbook difficult.19Page Tabs

Magnetic tabs on page corners allow students with fine motor challenges to turn single pages accurately.

20rerecordMagnifiersMagnifiers can enlarge both text and images for students with visual challengesAllowed accommodation

NOTE: Free software can magnify images on a computer screen.

21Adjustments to visual image of digital materialText sizeFontsSpacingColorBackground

Allowed accommodations

With minimal adjustments to options and preferences, word processors can be adapted to meet the needs of a variety of LD or visually-impaired students.22Digital RecorderAllows material from class presentations and discussions to be accessible after classAllowed accommodation for both presentation and response

Students whose reading abilities would make class notes useless, even if prepared by the teacher or a study partner, could have access to the material presented in class if it were recorded in digital form. Some teachers routinely record their presentations in digital form, save them in appropriate format, and provide them to students for use on their iPods or players. Students can look very typical while they are actually reviewing a lesson on the bus.23revise notesScan and Read SoftwareSOLOKurzweilWYNNRead & Write Gold

Text-to-speech is an allowed accommodation

These are some of the high end products for students with significant visual or perceptual problems that interfere with reading. They allow the material to be scanned and read to the student, so that subject area content can be presented at grade level to students whose reading level is significantly below grade level. If the students disability is in the perceptual or visual processing areas, she may be capable of working independently at grade-level with this accommodation.24revise notesFor More InformationAdapting computer preferences for reading support (Windows XP)Adapting common software to support reading (MS Word)Strategies for reading supportIn-depth discussion on developing reading skillsComparing similar productsFDLRS Heartland Technology WikiFor more information on products shown as examples in illustrations, click on images

Finally, I will share some links to additional sources of information on a few specific topics. Examples of adapting computers and software highlight the most prevalent tools currently used in classrooms, but similar adaptations are available for other operating systems and software tools. The products shown as illustrations are only examples, and links to vendors are provided for more information about their use. Their inclusion is not an endorsement. The FDLRS Heartland Technology wiki encourages anyone interested in educational technology to join and share your feedback, additional ideas and tools, and other insights. Anyone can view the wiki, but you must join to share your input. Just click the link and send an email. Wed love to have you join us.25rerecordAdapted Ruler

Rulers with raised markings or Braille numbers for visually-impaired studentsAdapted rulers may be appropriate for visually impaired students, as shown here, or for students with difficulties gripping a standard ruler. They can be used to help with tracking.26Picture / Symbol Text Match

Matching pictures with text allows students with minimal language skills to communicate while moving from concrete representations (photos) to abstract representations (symbols) to words