Course Outline for Teaching Students With Learning Disabilities

Week 1

Lesson 1- Understanding Learning Disabilities

One in seven Americans has a learning disability. That means that in your class of 28 students, four could have significant trouble keeping up with the basics. In our first lesson, we'll investigate what learning disabilities (LDs) are and define some common types of LDs that you'll see again and again in the classroom. After that, we'll take a few minutes to switch roles with our learners and see what it's like to try to work past an LD.

Lesson 2- Identifying Students with LDs

Is Tamara having trouble with reading because it's not her favorite subject, or is something else going on? The process of identifying students with LDs is a long and sometimes tedious one. But with the proper expectations and the right dose of compassion, teachers can have success in the investigatory prereferral process. We'll discuss it in today's lesson.

Week 2

Lesson 3- Making Sense of the IEP

In this lesson, we'll discuss IEPs, which are road maps that guide the learning curve of every child with LDs. Written specifically to address individual needs, these legal documents are both confusing and complicated. But once you know how to decode the language and the sections, it's easy to start using IEPs as the helpful tools they're meant to be.

Lesson 4- Understanding Service Locations

Students with LDs  receive IEP-mandated services in a number of ways. Whether they mostly stay in their classroom or spend some time in the special education room, they're going to learn a bit differently than other students. Today, we'll take a look at the common service locations that help students with LDs meet educational goals.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Learning the Right Teaching Strategies

We all remember that one teacher who really made a difference in our lives. The right teaching strategies spell out the difference between a creative, engaging classroom and one that stagnates without reaching most of its students. In this lesson, we'll talk about the teaching strategies that make learning memorable for students with LDs.

Lesson 6- Helping Students With Word Identification Problems

Word identification problems can make "cat" look like "can" or "pan." Imagine how hard it would be to read all the wrong words in all the right places. In this lesson, you'll discover smart strategies to help student find their words.

Week 4

Lesson 7- Helping Students With Reading Comprehension Problems

For students who have trouble reading, it's hard enough to just get the words right. But to pair those words with their meaning is a seemingly insurmountable task. In today's lesson, we'll go over how to chunk information so students can understand what they're reading and fall in love with texts.

Lesson 8- Helping Students With Written Expression Problems

Writing poses quite a few challenges for students with LDs. Some of them have trouble holding their pencils, and others find it difficult to communicate what it is they're trying to say. Today, we'll take a tour of strategies that bring writing to life for students who often don't even realize all the neat things they have to say.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Helping Students With Math Reasoning and Calculation Problems

A lot of students with LDs dread math because it requires a lot of skills to come together seamlessly and at the same time: Reasoning, logic, number sense, writing, and computation are all key. But math doesn't have to be so scary. In this lesson, we'll discuss how to make all those numbers a little easier for students with LDs to manipulate.

Lesson 10- Modifying Your Classroom

Even though the IEP gives you a general idea of how to help your students with LDs , you'll still need to explore new, innovative ideas to modify your classroom, assignments, and tests, and that's what we'll discuss in today's lesson. These modifications often spell success for students with LDs who need just a little push in the right direction.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Managing Student Behavior

We've all had days when going to school was a drag. Students with LDs are no different. Because school forces them to tackle big challenges head on, it's often their least favorite thing to do. This can lead to big behavior problems that you'll have to defuse creatively. We'll take a look at some great strategies in this lesson.

Lesson 12- Linking Home and School

The connection between home and school is a powerful predictor of classroom success for students with LDs. So in our final lesson, we'll discuss the best ways to conduct meaningful parent-teacher conferences that help everyone unite behind a child with LDs in need.

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