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Educators & Students with Learning Disabilities

Useful for elementary and secondary administrators, librarians, classroom teachers, and parents and students with Learning Disabilities

Best Practices for ALL Students

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Best Practices for ALL Students

When working with students with learning differences the following strategies are used by LD teachers--yet these teaching accommodations will benefit most any student.

Teaching Strategies 

Predictable routine, Structured environment

  • Warm-up, "to do," copy homework from board
  • Introduce/preview information in the same manner each new topic
  • Use keywords in lecturing--"first, second," "to summarize," main point, supporting point, concluding point

Reduce verbal language while teaching--the most difficult!

  • Use a slower rate of speech. Really.
  • Enunciate clearly, without exaggeration
  • Use body movements and natural gestures
  • Integrate "wait time" into question asking and presentation of information

Present information in small chunks

  • Allow for breaks--stretching, change topic for 2 minutes
  • Allow time for processing
  • Check for comprehension
  • Review the next day

Reduced noise and distractions

For students needing it (IEPs)--extra time, reader, note-takers, scribe

Ask for feedback from students

  • Too fast? Too slow?
  • Ask each student to anonymously write down/email what they thought the point of the lesson was
  • Then adjust accordingly!

Provide concrete examples

  • Of good essays, good iMovies, good digital presentations, good outlines, good note cards

Teach direct concepts

  • Try not to rely on implication or deduction without explaining it

Teach direct behaviors wanted

  • Avoid sarcasm and explain metaphorical language--the abstract is impossible for some
  • "Stop talking," "Close your laptops," "Take out your note cards," "Log on to NoodleBib"
  • Do not start with "it would be a good idea...," or "you might want to...," or "somebody is talking..."

Encourage and reward students who come for extra help or further clarification

Actively teach note-taking & organizational skills

  • Outline on board, verbalize outline, copy outline--check for copy accuracy
    • Insert information during lecture or film
    • Ask for summary of what the outline means at end of period
  • Repeat (for weeks) until you have them create their own outline
    • Check for their accuracy