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If Every Student Were The Same, The Classroom Would Be A Boring Place… A Study into Student Needs with a Focus on Learning Disabilities and Gifted Minds.

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Presentation on theme: "If Every Student Were The Same, The Classroom Would Be A Boring Place… A Study into Student Needs with a Focus on Learning Disabilities and Gifted Minds."— Presentation transcript:

1 If Every Student Were The Same, The Classroom Would Be A Boring Place… A Study into Student Needs with a Focus on Learning Disabilities and Gifted Minds Research By: Chrystal Baldwin, Quinn Etchie, Andrea Heilig, and Andrea Poor

2 What is a Learning Disability? A condition that either prevents or significantly hinders somebody from learning basic skills or information at the same rate as most people of the same age. [] Also referred to as learning different Does not mean the student is lazy or dumb Fisher, Gary, and Cummings Rhoda. The Survival Guide for Kids with LD. Minneapolis : Free Sprit Publishing, 1990.

3 Developing and maturing at a slower rate than those in the same age group resulting in them not being able to do the expected school work. Injuries before birth or in early childhood could account for later learning problems. Children born prematurely and children who had medical problems soon after birth Some learning disabilities may be inherited. Learning disabilities are more common in boys than girls, possibly because boys tend to mature more slowly. Though little is known about what causes LD, some factors include:

4 LDs and Other Issues That Will Be Discussed in this Presentation: Dyslexia Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) Autism Gifted Students Strategies to use in Classroom What We as Teacher Can Do

5 Dyslexia Definition: A disturbance of the ability to read or use language. Dyslexia is a reading disability that makes reading much more difficult for the person with the disability. The word dyslexia is based on two greek words, dys meaning difficulty and lexic meaning with words. Dyslexia is a difference in the way that ones brain works.

6 FACTS: Dyslexia is not a disease! It is a condition that you are born with Dyslexia affects reading and language skills Dyslexia can range from mild to severe Dyslexia is not curable! But there are learning and coping strategies that are available for those who have the condition and the effects can be minimized There are three proven measures that help test if you are dyslexic: –Word recognition- finds reading and common spelling words difficult –Word construction- phonological encoding, difficulty in reading and encoding reading and spelling words that are uncommon –Working memory- difficulty in learning or recalling verbal information and may be slower at reading

7 How to spot dyslexia in your Classroom! –Slow hesitant reading –Difficulty in understanding written material –Frequent re-reading, losing the place when reading –Poor spelling –Difficulty with organization or time management, often mixing up dates and times –Difficulty sequencing thoughts clearly –Frustrated by being left behind at school –Being thought of as 'stupid' or 'slow' –Avoids taking even telephone messages because you get confused writing the message down –Feels like theyre not in control –Embarrassed by their writing and spelling ability

8 DYSLEXICS MAKE GREAT ENTREPENEURS! A study found that 35% of entrepreneurs in America and 20% in Britain have dyslexia! People with dyslexia often develop special skills, for example, persistence, creativity and the ability to 'think outside of the box! There are many stories of people that have refused to let dyslexia stop them, here are just a few...

9 Albert Einstein Thomas Edison Winston Churchill Henry Ford Whoopi Goldburg Orlando Bloom Ann Bancroft Jamie Oliver

10 WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP? Proficient reading is an essential tool for learning a large part of the subject matter taught at school. With an ever increasing emphasis on education and literacy, more and more children and adults are needing help in learning to read, spell, express their thoughts on paper and acquire adequate use of grammar. The following items should provide useful guidelines for teachers and parents to follow and support :

11 In the class: Of value to all children in the class is an outline of what is going to be taught in the lesson, ending the lesson with a resume of what has been taught. In this way information is more likely to go from short term memory to long term memory. When homework is set, it is important to check that the child correctly writes down exactly what is required. Try to ensure that the appropriate worksheets and books are with the child to take home. In the front of the pupils' homework book get them to write down the telephone numbers of a couple of friends. Then, if there is any doubt over homework, they can ring up and check, rather than worry or spend time doing the wrong work.

12 Make a daily check list for the pupil to refer to each evening. Encourage a daily routine to help develop the child's own self-reliance and responsibilities. Break tasks down into small easily remembered pieces of information. If visual memory is poor, copying must be kept to a minimum. Notes or handouts are far more useful. Seat the child fairly near the class teacher so that the teacher is available to help if necessary, or he can be supported by a well- motivated and sympathetic classmate.

13 Copying from the blackboard: Use different color chalks for each line if there is a lot of written information on the board, or underline every second line with a different colored chalk. Ensure that the writing is well spaced. Leave the writing on the blackboard long enough to ensure the child doesn't rush, or that the work is not erased from the board before the child has finished copying.

14 Reading: Save the dyslexic child the ordeal of having to 'read aloud in class'. Reserve this for a quiet time with the class teacher. Alternatively, perhaps give the child advanced time to read pre-selected reading material, to be practiced at home the day before. This will help ensure that the child is seen to be able to read out loud, along with other children Real books should also be available for paired reading with an adult, which will often generate enthusiasm for books. Story tapes can be of great benefit for the enjoyment and enhancement of vocabulary. No child should be denied the pleasure of gaining access to the meaning of print even if he cannot decode it fully. Remember reading should be fun.

15 Homework: By the end of a school day a dyslexic child is generally more tired than his peers because everything requires more thought and energy. Only set homework that will be of real benefit to the child. Set a limit on time spent on homework, as often a dyslexic child will take a lot longer to produce the same work that another child with good literacy skills may produce easily.

16 Integration: A dyslexic child's ability to write down thoughts and ideas will be quite different from the level of information the child can give verbally. For successful integration, the pupil must be able to demonstrate to the teacher that he knows the information and where he is in each subject. Be prepared to accept verbal descriptions as an alternative to written descriptions if appropriate. More time should be allocated for completion of work because of the extra time a dyslexic child needs for reading, planning, rewriting and proofreading their work. For a dyslexic child the feeling of being 'different' can be acute when faced with the obvious and very important need of 'specialist' help for his literacy and possibly mathematical skills. Some specialist methods can be incorporated into the classroom so all children can benefit from them, thus reducing the feeling of 'difference'.

17 Conclusion: Dyslexics have many strengths: oral skills, comprehension, good visual spatial awareness/artistic abilities. More and more dyslexic children could become talented and gifted members of our schools if we worked not only with their specific areas of difficulty, but also their specific areas of strengths from an early age. To do this we have to let go of outmoded viewpoints that a dyslexic child must first fail, in order to be identified. Class teachers dealing with dyslexic children need to be flexible in their approach, so that they can, as far as possible, find a method that suits the pupil, rather than expecting that all pupils will learn in the same way.

18 Phil, stop acting like a worm, the tables not a place to squirm Thus speaks the father to the son, Severely says, not in fun. Mother frowns and looks around, But Phillip will not take advice, Hell have his way at any price. He turns, And churns, He wiggles, And giggles Here and there on the chair; Phil, these twists I cannot bear. (After which he leans back in his chair, and as he is falling grabs the tablecloth, tumbling him, the dishes, and the chair to the floor.) Fidgety Phil, translated from a German nursery rhyme, 1863 [Wender]

19 Attention Deficit Disorder What is Attention Deficit Disorder? How is it diagnosed in students? Do they have special needs? What are some strategies you can use in the classroom?

20 What is ADD/ADHD? It is a neurobiological behavioral disorder characterized by chronic and developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity (CHADD, 2001c) It is not a recent discovery. A British physician recognized symptoms of ADHD in the early 20 th century.

21 Causes To date, the causes are not fully known or understood. Based on research some probable causes are: Heredity Prenatal, During Birth, or Postnatal Trauma Illness or Brain Injury Diminished Activity and Lower Metabolism in Certain Brain Regions Chemical Imbalance Slight Structural Brain Differences Environmental Factors (not strongly supported)

22 How It Is Diagnosed Physical Exam Family's Medical History Review of the Child's School Records Interviews with Parents, the Child, and Teacher(s) –How long has your child been too active? Is your child's behavior an issue in different settings? Is your child able to stick with activities or does he or she often leave tasks unfinished? Rating Scales Psychological Tests The Diagnosis

23 ADHD Look-Alikes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Anxiety Disorders Thyroid Problems Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Autism Very high intellectual abilities Side effects from medications

24 Effects On The Teacher When a teacher was asked how ADHD students effected her, she replied: Demanding and will continually challenge your sense of competence as a teacher High rate of movement, interruptions, and talkativeness can be difficult to tolerate over time. Feelings of frustration, anger, and hostility Exhaust resources You are never bored! Pfiffner, 2002

25 Strategies Teachers Can Use Seat the student away from distractions Be well organized Post prominent and interesting visual aids Establish routine Keep classroom rhythm Involve peers in learning process

26 Use Your Instincts Quiz! Welcome! Answer the three following questions using what you believe to be the best way to deal with a student in your classroom who has been diagnosed with ADHD. You may consult with your table.

27 Question #1 Mikey, a second grader, has a lot of unspent energy. He constantly gets up and runs around the room distracting the other students. What should you do? A) Separate him from the rest of the class and put him in time out B) Get a bouncy ball for him to sit on while working in class C) Handcuff him to the desk

28 Question # 2 Brian, a seventh grader, always turns in his work. However, recently he keeps daydreaming in class and is confused often by the material presented. Should you recommend to his parents to get him tested for ADHD? Yes or No?

29 Question #3 Who is diagnosed with ADHD more? Boys or Girls?

30 Conclusion There is a huge debate over students with ADHD, whether or not they really have it. However the case, a teacher needs patience and wit to come up with creative lessons and fair classroom management. There are tons of material on different strategies to use, so you never run out of ideas.

31 Autism A brain development disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old. (In simpler terms, autism is a brain disorder that prevents different areas of the brain from working with one another.)

32 Causes Rare cases are strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects The stipulation that childhood vaccinations cause autism is controversial Experts say that it is inherited (scientists are trying to find out which gene passes autism along)

33 Symptoms A delay in learning how to talk, or not learning at all Child may seem deaf at times Repeated types of behavior –rocking body –attachment to objects –having an upsetting response to change in routine

34 Diagnosis Social interactions and relationships Verbal and nonverbal communication Limited interests in activity or play

35 Treatments (Depending on the individual case) Behavioral training (positive reinforcement) Speech therapy Physical therapy Prescription medicine (to control OCD and/or depression)

36 Adapting in Your Classroom Use visuals –example: pictorial timeline of a novel Write it down Give verbal directions and write them on a chalkboard/handout Assign roles Have that student write a word of the day on the board each morning Read aloud Offer multiple texts

37 Build on the skills they do have Capitalize on their strengths

38 Teaching the Gifted in a Regular Classroom The Dos and Donts

39 Who Are They? Gifted Students: Are fast learners May already know most of the content Can grow bored quickly if they arent challenged

40 Strategies for Including Gifted Students Giving your students a choice when assigning projects allows you to plan for your weakest and strongest learners Encourage and allow gifted learners to take on more challenging projects If the gifted student becomes disruptive, take them aside and give them something to do (Watson)

41 Activities That Work! Have a Challenge Box that includes activities that students can work on if they have leftover time When using this strategy, do NOT have the students completing remediation or drill-like activities Make sure the activities are designed to extend knowledge! (Watson)

42 Ownership is Important! Consider having your gifted students come up with what they would like to work on in their extra time and keep track of it with a chart or log book If the students feel as if they are responsible for their own learning, theyll be more likely to focus when it comes time for whole group learning

43 Most Importantly… Never ever punish a student for reading ahead in a textbook or novel Allow gifted learners to ask questions; their curiosity may spark others interest as well Let gifted students lead; this may prevent behavioral problems Do not assume that because they are gifted they do not need just as much attention as your struggling students; be there to help!

44 Conclusion In order to be able to teach, as far as possible, according to each child's educational needs, it is essential to see him or her as a whole person, complete with individual strengths and weaknesses.

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