Great things going on in Region XII! District Dyslexia Awareness Night at Lorena ISD

 

There is an old saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

This was the focus for our District Dyslexia Awareness night. We wanted our parents and teachers to gain a better understanding of the challenges our students with dyslexia face in the classroom on a daily basis through a dyslexia simulation in which teachers and parents experienced some of the challenges someone with dyslexia could face. This powerful experience left many walking away with a new understanding and perspective.

Cindy Patterson, Lorena ISD Dyslexia teacher

“I was amazed and excited at the same time at the look on the parents faces when they had to try to learn how their own child is trying to learn.  Very eye opening!”- Dorie Linnstaeder, teacher

“After going through the stations in the Dyslexia Awareness Night, I realized that the learning that I take for granted is very difficult and frustrating for the children with dyslexia.  I appreciate the way the small groups were set up and presented to us.  It made me aware that some instructors, myself included, could expect a lot from students who are unable to perform at the same rate as me or others.  It was definitely an evening that helped me become AWARE of what these children are going through.” – Lowell Anderson, Lorena Elementary School Principal

I wanted to express my gratitude to the teachers of Lorena ISD for the recent Dyslexia work shop.  It was an incredible opportunity to gain understanding of how my son faces his daily school routine.  I was also very moved by the number of teachers from Lorena ISD who participated and seemed emotional from the experience. Shelly Oliver, parent

Lorena ISD used the Experience Dyslexia® Simulation Kit from NCBIDA

Experience Dyslexia® is the latest version of NCBIDA’s popular learning disabilities simulation. The simulation is a hands-on activity that lets participants experience some of the challenges and frustrations faced by people with this language-based learning disability. The updated simulation provides a lively, thought-provoking activity for teachers, parents, or anyone interested in better understanding the lives of individuals with dyslexia

For more information on the simulation used at Lorena ISD:   http://dyslexia-ncbida.org/simulations/

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Sitting Beside You

Assessment:  Even reading that word makes me get nervous. Just imagine what it does to a struggling learner? Folks in education use this word as flippantly as coffee or toothbrush. Teachers give “assessments” all the time and so often the child behind the red ink is never really understood. When I read the book, Revealing Minds by Craig Pohlman, he created such a beautiful image with the word assessment. He explains that the etymology of the word originally stems from Latin decent assidere, “to sit beside.” Isn’t that wonderful? To sit beside a student and watch as they uncover what they have learned. This little sentence changed the way our interventionists screen for dyslexia at Brazosport Independent School District (BISD). In order for us to get a good view of why our students were not being successful in reading; we now assess using the Core Learn Assessing Reading Multiple Measures as our diagnostic screener. This comprehensive measure allows our interventionist to sit down with the struggling reader and help identify where they are having difficulty and determine what the next step in instruction should be. So often struggling readers make little gains in the beginning of interventions and most broad screeners cannot clearly show growth but having this be our middle and end of year screener we can also see where there is growth and areas of weaknesses. Not only are we giving this screener and using the data to drive instruction, we are also hoping to provide transparency to parents by sending a progress report that is attached with each report card to show the student’s success in the dyslexia intervention. This opens up conversation and lets the parents know that we here at BISD are truly “sitting beside” their children.

By Leeann Rudolph

Dyslexia Coordinator for Brazosport ISD – Region 4

 

 

 

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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What’s Going On Inside the Brain of A Curious Child?

Why do birds fly? Why do people sleep? Why? Why? I have a six year old grandson that never stops asking why and this is a good thing! I came across this article posted on Reading Rocket’s November newsletter and found the information quite interesting. So, I wanted to pass it along to you. The article states that teachers understand when students are curious, they are much more likely to stay engaged during classroom instruction. But why? I am so glad you asked! This recent study published in the journal Neuron explains how the brain’s chemistry changes when we (students) become curious, helping us (students) learn and retain information. “There’s this basic circuit in the brain that energizes people to go out and get things that are intrinsically rewarding,” Ranganath explains. “This circuit lights up when we get money, or candy.” “It also lights up when we’re curious.”

If you are one of those “enquiring minds need to know more,” here is the link to more information:

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/10/whats-going-on-inside-the-brain-of-a-curious-child/

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Interesting article from Delaware Valley Friends School

As I waited at the copier for my twenty copies, I noticed a discarded article titled, “The Possibility and Pragmatics of Identifying, Implementing, and Assessing the Use of Assistive Technology among LD Adolescents: A Classroom View from the Trenches.” Okay, the title grabbed my attention, but I wanted to know more about the author of this article. Bill Keeney is a CALP, serves on the PBIDA board, and presents on reading at national conferences such as the IDA. I was hooked! In this article he discusses the issues/concerns school districts face and seek to overcome when providing technology to students with disabilities. He states, “The use of assistive technology to help students with learning differences, particularly Specific Language Disability (SLD), is extremely promising, but implementing a coherent plan for assistive technology in such a way that students can use it effectively, independently, and habitually remains a challenge for teachers in the classroom.” He goes on to discuss several principles which guide the implementation of technology. These principles include teacher training, internal rubrics identifying students’ needs, and portability of the desired technology. Bill concludes stating, “We train ourselves to be proficient in both its use and in how to train students in its use. Because we take a pragmatic approach to AT, we are better able to understand which assistive technology is effective for improving overall academic achievement in the classroom, which students will benefit from which technology, and how to convince students to adopt the technology and how to train them to utilize it habitually and independently over the long term in such a way as to improve their academic achievement.”

If you are interested in reading the complete article you can go the Delaware Valley Friends School webpage.

http://www.dvfs.org/for-professionals/research/index.aspx

You will also find additional articles of interest! Enjoy reading!

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Congressional Committee Holds Hearing on Dyslexia

If you missed this congressional hearing titled, “The Science of Dyslexia” on September 18, 2014 you can still view at: http://science.house.gov/hearing/full-committee-hearing-science-dyslexia

Be sure to post your thoughts or comments!

 

 

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Homework, Sleep, and the Student Brain

I can not believe the first week of school has come and gone! I came across this article and I think it will be of interest to many of you as well. The title alone should grab your attention. I am not going to say another word, but you will find this article at www.edutopia.org/blog/homework-sleep-and-student-brain-glenn-whitman.

So I will close with the final statement in the article, “Together, we can all get more sleep – and that, research shows, is very good for all of our brains and for each student’s learning.” Well, a few words won’t hurt. Have a great school year!

 

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Dr. Louisa Moats

I thought you might like to view a recent interview of Dr. Louisa Moats by the International Dyslexia Association’s Historical Archives Committee. Dr. Moats is the keynote speaker for the 19th Annual State Dyslexia Summer Institute on July 30, 2014.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVRLTTtOpBc&feature=youtu.be

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Technoteachers Blog

I can not believe that June is almost gone! July is just around the corner. If anyone is planning a road trip to someplace special with little ones, Julie and Nicole have posted many wonderful resources to keep them engaged. (“Dad, are we there yet?”) These resources include links to electronic games, iBooks, and apps for the mobile devices. Check out their blog at www.technoteachers.com.

Let us hear about your “Reader’s Journey!”

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Techno Teaching

Greeting Texas Teachers!

Some of you may remember me from last summer’s State Dyslexia Summer Institute in Dallas, Texas. Virginia Gonzalez, the State Dyslexia Consultant, had asked me to speak to you about how digital tools can help all children succeed as learners. Since then my co-author, Nicole Ponsford (an award-winning teacher in the U.K. who works with disadvantaged children) and I finished our book, “Techno Teaching: Taking Practice to the Next Level in a Digital World” (Harvard Education Press, 2014).

Nicole felt she was missing out on something important when she didn’t have a chance to meet you last summer. (Her two-year-old son probably wouldn’t have appreciated having her leave the country.) Nicole was interested in learning more about which Techno Teaching ideas have worked for you, as an educator on U.S. soil, and which ones, well, are better left in the rear-view mirror.

This summer, instead of having us visit you in person, Virginia had this great idea about having us share our TechnoTeachers blog with yhou through her blog. This way we can continue to share ideas across thousands of mile (I live in Cambridge, Mass.) and across the Atlantic ocean in Europe!

We would love you to spend a minute or two and check us out, and even drop a line, so please click here to read our blog posts (www.technoteachers.com). Feel free to share our thoughts and theories as tweets or post them to FaceBook. We also have some breaking news! We have decided to take the plunge, and although it is in the early days, we are now working together as eCoaches so we can help (our readers/you) in person or remotely. So, what are you waiting for? Come and give us one of your famous Texas HELLOs! We look forward to chatting to you, smashing down the barriers, and offering you a range of solutions so you too can be a Techno Teacher.

Warmly,

Julie and Nicole

Techno Teachers website: www.technoteachers.com

Techno Teachers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/technoteaching

Techno Teachers Twitter account: https://twitter.com/TechnoTeaching

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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Building Vocabulary using Technology

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with a small group of teachers preparing for a certification exam. As we worked through the information we came across a word that was not so familiar to some of us. I watched these ladies attack the unknown word with the same skills that our children with dyslexia learn in their classrooms and dyslexia programs. Wow! I do think learning to read is magic! So this brings me to my question, “Why is learning vocabulary so important?” I answer, “To understand what we read or what we hear, right?” I recently read an article from Reading Rockets and would like to share a few strategies with you. The article refers to them as eVoc strategies. (Hmmm, clever.)

The first strategy focuses on explicit teaching of vocabulary to help readers become independent word learners. The technology source is Wordle, which is a free web application that allows the teacher to create a word cloud based on the frequency of words in a given text. The word cloud can be used to analyze relationships of words as well as a prompt for discussions before and after reading the text. The site provides examples of how teachers have used the word cloud for instruction. I encourage you to check out the site and remember it is free!

The sencond strategy I would like to mention focuses on students taking a digital vocabulary field trip using another free online program called TrackStar. You will find a tutorial to get started as well as field trips for viewing. For more information I invite you to read the article, 10 Ways to Use Technology to Build Vocabulary at http://www.readingrockets.org/article/52248/

Let us hear back from you and your students!

 

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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