Learning Strategies What are the Learning or Instructional Strategies? Learning strategies or instructional strategies are used by students to help them understand information and solve problems. Learning strategies help students process, remember and retrieve information.
Activity… Five learning strategies that help you with learning….
We Learn and Retain 10% of what we hear 15% of what we see 20% of what we both see and hear 80% of what we experience directly or practice 90% of what you attempt to teach others
What is a Learning Disability? A person with a learning disability has difficulty with the brain’s ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information and then being able to give feedback. For someone with a learning disability there is a breakdown somewhere in these steps. It's like having a short circuit in the central nervous system. Learning or recalling information can become an overwhelming task. Information in (receiving) Feed it back out (what they know) What does it mean (memory)
The learning disability will typically adversely affect development in one or more of: General Disorders of Attention distractibility hyperactivity perseveration Possible difficulties with spatial orientation time concepts directions manual dexterity social perceptions organization memory perception Reading difficulties decoding phonetic knowledge word recognition comprehension Mathematics difficulties basic skills/computation quantitative thinking/problem solving Written language spelling handwriting written expression Oral Language understanding listening Speaking
Students with learning disabilities need to know what strategies are useful in a learning situation and be able to use them effectively Sousa, How the Special Needs Brain Learns
Instructional Strategies Structure Encouragement Time Practice – sometimes practice makes perfect Practice in as many ways as possible Flexibility – the teacher and student Scaffolding instruction Use of visuals
Adjust pacing /timing. Break down tasks. Post simple instructions. Use multisensory presentations. Work with cooperative groups. Provide opportunities to learn through centers and stations. Make learning concrete. Activate prior knowledge. Preview vocabulary and concepts.
Room arrangements Modeling Breaks Thinking out loud Promoting self monitoring Monitoring and collecting data Reciprocal teaching Memory prompts Direct teaching of metacognitive strategies Adapted from Barak Rosehshine University of Illinois ASCD V32 (6) Aug. ‘90
Adapting Curriculum In inclusive schools, the focus is not exclusively on how to help students fit into the existing, standard curriculum of the school. The curriculum in the regular education classroom is adapted, when necessary, to meet the needs of any student for whom the standard curriculum is inappropriate or could he better served through adaptation. (Brownlie/King)
Definition for an Adapted Program An adapted program retains the learning outcomes of the prescribed curriculum, but adaptations are provided so the student can participate in the program. These adaptations can include alternate formats (e.g. Braille, books-on-tape), instructional strategies (e.g. use of interpreters, visual cues and aids) and assessment procedures (e.g., oral exams, additional time). Students on adapted programs are assessed using the standards for the course/program and can receive full credit for their work. School personnel should document the adaptations provided for the student. Source. British Columbia Ministry of Education (1994). Special Education: A manual of policies, procedures and guidelines. Victoria: Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Education.
Definition for a Modified Program A modified program has learning outcomes which are substantially different from the prescribed curriculum, and specifically selected to meet the student's special needs. For example, a grade 9 student in a modified math program could be focusing on functional computational skills in the context of handling money and personal budgeting. Or, in language arts, a grade 5 student could be working on recognizing common signs and using the phone. In these examples the learning outcomes are substantially different from those of the curriculum for most other students. The student's program may include some courses that are modified and others that are adapted. The student’s transcript should indicate those courses that are modified. Source: British Columbia Ministry of Education (1994). Special Education: A manual of policies, procedures and guidelines. Victoria: Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Education.
Adaptations/Modifications Adaptations For students whose learning outcomes are the same as the provincial curriculum: Teaching methods, materials and/or evaluation methods are adapted and identified in the IEP Teaching methods, materials Standard reports: structured comments for the primary years and letter grades or percentages after grade 3 May be awarded a Dogwood Graduation Diploma - in a few cases this may be a School Completion Certificate Modifications For students whose learning outcomes are different from or in addition to the provincial curriculum: Individualized, personalized goals are developed and stated in the IEP Reports include structured written comments on individualized goals without letter grades or percentages May receive a School Completion Certificate after meeting the goals of their Student Learning Plan/IEP
Environmental Adaptations Student Work Space Communication Environmental Design Sensory
Curricular/Instructional Adaptations Access to information – change how they take in information Demonstrate knowledge – change how they get it out Adaptation of text Task Organization Following Directions Motivation
Modified Programs Key issues: All lessons should be related to what others are learning only at a simpler level (parallel curricula). Use alternate textbooks on similar subject matter. Give more concrete assignments. Always search for ways for students on a modified program to participate in some way.
Case Study #1 Krysti, is in grade 5. She is having difficulty with word identification. When asked to read on her own she has difficulty with word meaning. When read to she has no difficulty with comprehension. She has difficulty with spelling and is badly organized. Krysti is able to understand and take part in classroom discussions. She tries really hard but is showing signs of frustration. Case Study #2 Bob, is a grade 9 student. He is performing at or slightly below grade level in all academic courses except math. His functional math skills are at about grade 3. His math teacher reports that Bob is a trouble maker in class, is quite often sent out of class for being the class clown and never completes his homework. Note: Please use the following links located on the class website: Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities - A Guide for Teachers A Guide to Adaptations and Modifications
Fairness means equal opportunity for success Barbara Hoskins
POINT TO PONDER Acknowledging that students learn at different speeds and that they differ widely in their ability to think abstractly or understand complex ideas is like acknowledging that students at any given age aren't all the same height: It is not a statement of worth, but of reality. To accommodate this reality, teachers can create a "user-friendly" environment, one in which they flexibly adapt pacing, approaches to learning and channels for expressing learning in response to their students' differing needs. While the goal for each student is challenge and growth, teachers must often define challenge and growth differently in response to students' varying interests and readiness levels. This includes using material from other grade levels. (Tomlinson)