A couple of weeks ago I attended the Second Annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute at Presbyterian College. I didn't realize that I hadn't posted my notes so I'm doing it now and I apologize for the delay.
Featured Speaker: Dr. Tim Shanahan from University of Illinois at Chicago
www.shanahanonliteracy.com scroll down to “Powerpoints”
Response to Instruction: Literacy Education in Special Education
How do we ensure that all children – including those with special needs – succeed in learning to read? This presentation will explore how multi-tiered support systems can help to ensure that students receive all the instructional support that they need and research-based ways of building students’ reading skills.
Here is the link to the Powerpoint presentation: RTI: When Things Don’t Work as Expected
New studies show that RTI isn’t working.
Based on research, assessing students twice a year, put in small group interventions but kids did worse or no better.
Instead of being a teaching model, RTI became a bureaucratic way to get kids into sped
Dr. Shanahan suggests a 9 tier RTI model (tongue in cheek):
RTI – 9 tier model (RTI on steroids)
Basic idea is that we don’t give up on kids.
· T1: Classroom Instruction with 2-3 hours per day of actual instruction; pulling him out for RTI during instruction is crazy! Should receive explicit teaching in phonological awareness, phonics, oral reading fluency, vocabulary (oral language), reading comprehension, writing
· Best way to teach fluency was having students read text aloud multiple times.
· Reading comprehension: summarize what you have read
· Writing: 93% of studies show that read a text and then write about it increases learning the most
· Definition of quality teaching (see slide)
· T2: Added-scaffold interventions (see slide); planned intentional adjustments made within the classroom
· T3: In-class, teacher intervention; extra instruction by the teacher
· T4: Parent involvement intervention; parent involvement was most powerful when it was the most like teaching
· T5: Pull-out (soft) intervention – additional help by another teacher; small group extra instruction
· T6: Pull-out (intense) intervention - 1 on 1 or no groups larger than 3
· T7: Afterschool programs
· T8: Summer-school programs – make better strides than in the school year
· T9: Special Education – fewer than 1 in 10 children is likely to need such placements
Two pilots – talk to each other, teachers need to be talking more, offering suggestions, be willing to accept ideas from other teachers
Many times only the tested skills get taught.
Teaching some skills while ignoring other essential ones is not a way to build stronger reading achievement
weekly progress monitoring is “pretend” vigilance; actually could be harmful towards achievement
CCSS shifts attention to skills in the context of reading complex text
New standards: text difficulty is central to learning
Here is the link to the Powerpoint presentation: Teaching with Challenging Text
No performance differences due to question types: literal and inferential
Main idea/author’s approach, supporting details, relationships, meaning of words, generalizations and conclusions
Text differences affect reading performance
Higher levels assigned to the grades (see slide)
Betts (1946): informal reading inventories
used to estimate students’ reading levels
Independent (fluency 99-100%;comprehension 90-100%)
Instructional (fluency 95-98%;comprehension 75-89%)
Frustration (fluency 0-92%;comprehension 0-50%)
This study was never done!
Many studies show that – with scaffolding – students can read “frustration level” texts as if they had been placed in books at their “instructional levels.
Instructional level is something a teacher creates.
Examples of scaffolding (see slides)
Some examples given:
1. Tell vocabulary – if a word is explicitly defined in the passage, don’t teach it but those that aren’t, go ahead and teach them those words
Tier 1 words – basic words that is heard in spoken language
Tier 2 words - you don’t hear too much in spoken language but shows up in text
Tier 3 words – words not frequently used
2. Help with Sentence Structure - Guide students to interpret complex sentences; in dense prose, help find the subject and verb; complex punctuation, such as split quotes
3. Use fluency training as a scaffold
In the afternoon we had “Hands-On” Writing Stations: Using a Co-Teaching Model to Support All Young Writers where Professors and Students from Bob Jones University actually modeled the co-teaching models. This was extremely relevant and meaningful because everyone could see how the models work in real life. I like this as a way to show information rather than just telling the audience and expecting them to relate it to life on their own.
This was an interesting speaker but I’m not sure I agreed with everything he says. He did give some interesting suggestions though. A lot of things he said made common sense and it was sad that teachers were not already doing some of these things.