Total: 45.5 hours (independent study of five books and three journal articles)
â€¢ CD Running Time 13 hours 56 minutes: October, November, December of 2013 (listened while driving to and from work): Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
Dr. Shaywitz goes into great detail to explain the workings of the brain and where things work differently in the brain of a person diagnosed with dyslexia. Dr. Shaywitz gives a concise listing of clues indicating that a child may have dyslexia at different stages in their life (age ranges). She also gives a list of what a child should be able to do verbally and in print at different stages (age ranges). In general, she is saying that the brain can be â€œretrainedâ€ so that those diagnosed with dyslexia can read. On page 135, a pattern is given of things to look for in the results of an individual standardized assessment. I have copied this onto my own checklist and use it as I review testing. The section on programs and techniques to use with dyslexics were, for me, disappointing. It seemed, though, that specifics were â€œmore of the sameâ€ things I have heard over and over. It was, however, a good review for me.
â€¢ Approximate reading time: 10.5 hours: I re-read this book at my home during the summer of 2012: OFF TRACK: WHEN POOR READERS BECOME â€œLEARNING DISABLEDâ€ by Louise Spear-Swerling and Robert J. Sternberg
As this is an older book, published in 1996, it uses the terms learning disability and reading disability. It does, however, in describing a reading disability, offer some of the same information as in the book by Dr. Sally Shaywitz. The one difference is that it did not give as much credence (and actually downplays) to a biological/neurological basis for reading difficulties as does Dr. Shaywitz. The one thing I liked about this book was that it gave quite a few descriptions of students who were experiencing reading difficulties. There were also several sample instructional plans for individual students. These instructional plans include a range of activities for each student. Time is also devoted to early intervention which would prevent later reading problems requiring remediation.
â€¢ Approximate reading time: 11 hours: I re-read this book at my home in February of 2010 (prior to a presentation to practicum students at one of my schools. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I have read it several times and refer back to it frequently. I also have recommended it to numerous teachers and parents.): YOUR CHILDâ€™S GROWING MIND by Jane M. Healey, Ph.D.
The best thing about this book is that it is written in an easy-to-understand format. In this book, Dr. Healey gives a basic training in brain development through the years. She explains brain development in two stages: Nursery to Schoolroom and Childhood into Adolescence. At these separate stages, Dr. Healey explains what the child should be learning, how parents can help, and the limitations of each stage in development. She spends time discussing readiness, speech milestones/development, and assessment of intelligence. She later breaks down the learning process in reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics. Dr. Healey gives suggestions and included a chart for homework completion.
â€¢ Total reading time: approximately 2.5 hours: I read this book on September 1 and 2, 2014 (I have always been trying to better understand Dyslexia especially with it being mandated that students be screened for it in school.): About Dyslexia: Unraveling the Myth by Priscilla L. Vail
This was a relatively short book that is an easy read that would be appropriate for parents and beginning teachers. It gives basic information about typical characteristics of students diagnosed as Dyslexic at different age/grade levels. It also emphasizes the need for multi-sensory training. Ms. Vail recommends that kindergarten students be screened for Dyslexia. Whether using a commercially-produced screening tool or a teacher-created tool, Ms. Vail indicated that the following areas should be assessed: copying, letter naming, word matching, sentence memory, picture naming, and working with unfamiliar materials/perhaps an unfamiliar person. Ms. Vail also emphasizes that early intervention with multi-sensory techniques can lessen later problems. She stated that it would be most helpful between kindergarten and first grade.
â€¢ Total reading time: approximately 4 hours: August of 2011: A Handbook for Writing Effective Psychoeducational Reports by Sharon Bradley-Johnson and C Merle Johnson
I am always looking for better ways to present information in report format, so I purchased and read this book. Although I do not perform psychological evaluations, I was interested in the educational portions of the sample reports. The book began with reminders regarding basic writing skills (abbreviations, troublesome plural nouns, etc.). The later sections of the book include checklists which can be helpful when assessing specific types of students (visually impaired, hearing impaired, severe cognitive impairment, etc.). They indicate questions that can be asked or information that can be obtained regarding the abilities at home or performance in school. The appendices of the book include sample reports.
â€¢ Total Reading Time: 1 hour: January 4, 2015: REVIEW OF JOURNAL ARTICLE: IDENTIFYING SPECIFIC READING DISABILITY SUBTYPES FOR EFFECTIVE EDUCATIONAL REMEDIATION REFERENCE by Feifer, S. G., Nader, R. G., Flanagan, D. P., Fitzer, K. P., and Hicks, K. (2014). Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 20 (1): 18 â€“ 27.
Steven G. Feifer and the other authors of this article completed a research study in which they used a sample of students to suggest there are subtypes of reading disorders. The different subtypes of reading disorders identified by the authors came as no surprise to me. Mainly, I have seen three subtypes. One is that in which the student lacks decoding skills. Another is that in which the student lacks adequate sight word knowledge. The last is one in which the student can read the words, but cannot comprehend. The authors go a step further in attempting to identify cognitive skill deficits that are typically found in the various reading disorder groups. I found this to be very interesting and in the future, I will look more closely at the subtest scores on cognitive testing when comparing my results to those of the School Psychologist.
â€¢ Total Reading Time: 1 hour: January 5, 2015: REVIEW OF JOURNAL ARTICLE: FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT MADE EASY by Kyena Cornelius
Kyena Cornelius discussed ways in which an inclusive special education instructor, along with the general education instructor, can quickly and easily use formative assessment within the classroom. Three different and easily used charts are provided for teachersâ€™ use during lessons. It was suggested that the charts be placed on a clipboard and notes written during classroom instruction. The first chart is an Anecdotal Seating Chart. During instruction, the teacher can make notes about behavior, attention to the task, successes with the classroom tasks, and difficulties with the classroom tasks. The second chart is a Daily Scorecard. On it are columns for student names, drill, homework, class practice, physical demeanor, exit ticket (score on classwork), and other. The third chart is an Objectives Grid which has columns for the student names, an objective from their IEP, date, opportunity, occurrence, and the percentage of success.
â€¢ Total Reading Time: 1 hour and Total Internet Research Time: .5 hour: January 7, 2015: MULTIDIMENSIONAL ASSESSMENT: GUIDING RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION IN MATHEMATICS by Koellner, K., Colsman, M., and Risley, R. (2014) from TEACHING Exceptional Children, 47 (2): 103 â€“ 111.
The authors of this article proposed that neither a simple curriculum-based measure of student progress nor results of a standardized test are adequate. Both lack the ability to give an appropriate guide for intervention and remediation of a studentâ€™s weaknesses in the area of mathematics. A case study of a student named Danny was explained extensively in this article. The examiner worked one-on-one with Danny through a process to assess, through interview format, whether he was having difficulty with the place value concept, with combining amounts, with the understanding of the mathematical vocabulary, or was it some other issue.
The authors mentioned the use of â€œAdd + Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR; 2006), a professional development and assessment program from the US Math Recovery Council.â€ After reading the article, I did a search on the internet for the math recovery assessment program listed above. It appears that it is a system that is to be used by teachers, interventionists, etc. Apparently, the method is taught through a course.