Best Practices for Students Diagnosed essay

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(Thompson, Morse, Sharpe and Hall, 2005, p.40)

The work of Vaughn, Levy, Coleman and Bos (2002) entitled: "Reading Instruction for Students with LD and EBD" published in the Journal of Special Education repots a synthesis of "previous observation studies conducted during reading with students with learning disabilities (LD) and emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD)." (p.1) a systematic process of review of research conducted between 1975 and 2000 is stated to have "yielded a total of 16 studies 11 independent samples) that met all preestablished criteria." (Vaughn, Levy, Coleman and Bos, 2002, p. 1) Finding from the study include: (1) There was substantial time allocated for reading instruction, though the time varied based on whether students were in special education or general education or both; (2) students were provided more individual and group instruction in special education; (3) the quality of reading instruction was low, overall, with excessive time allocated to waiting and limited time allocated to actual reading of text; and (4) independent seatwork and worksheets consumed large amounts of time allocated for reading." (Vaughn, Levy, Coleman and Bos, 2002, p. 1)

The work of Stanberry and Swanson (2008) entitled: "What the Science Says: Effective Reading Interventions for Kids with Learning Disabilities" relates the most important outcome in reading instruction in word recognition is that "students learn to recognize real words, not simply sound out 'nonsense' words using phonics skills." (p. l) the most effective instruction for improvement of word recognition skills in students is stated by Stanberry and Swanson (2008) to be that of "direct instruction...[which]...refers to teaching skills in an explicit, direct fashion. It involves drill/repetition/practice and can be delivered to one child or to a small group of students at the same time." (p.1) Stated as the three instruction components "most effective in increasing word recognition skills in students with learning disabilities" are those as follows: (1) sequencing; (2) segmentation; and (3) advanced organizers. (Stanberry and Swanson, 2008, p.1) in sequencing, the teacher: (1) Breaks down the task, (2) gradually recodes prompts or cues; (3) sequences short activities; and (4) uses step-by-step prompts. (p. 1) in segmentation, the teacher: (1) breaks down the targeted skills; (2) segments or synthesizes component parts. (Stanberry and Swanson, 2008, p.1) in advanced organizers the teacher: (1) directs children to look over material prior to instruction; (2) directs children to focus on particular information; (3) provides students with prior information about tasks; and (4) tells students the objectives of instruction upfront. (Stanberry and Swanson, 2008, p.1)

The 'Current Practice Alerts' Journal reports in the work entitled: "Reading Recovery: Use Caution" that Reading Recovery (RR) is an early literacy intervention that provides one-to-one tutoring to children who perform at the lowest levels in their class after one year of school reading instruction." (2002, p.1) This was developed by Marie Clay, in New Zealand "to interrupt the cycle of reading failure in the first years of school before problems become more severe." (Current Practice Alerts, 2002, p.1) Reading Recovery was introduced into the U.S. In 1985 and is now available in all fifty of the U.S. states and is utilized in providing reading instruction to approximately 150,000 children each year. Reading Recovery is an intervention that is short-term and last approximately twenty weeks and is reported to result in "various levels of success" by students. This program is designed specifically for LD students however, the only qualifier for a student to take part in Reading Recovery is their classroom teacher's referral. There is not a "predetermined sequence with specified lessons" used by teachers in Reading Recovery. Instead, the teachers utilize "ongoing analysis of the child's reading and writing behaviors to plan individualized instruction." (Current Practice Alerts, 2002, p.1) it is related by the Current Practice Alert article that "books are leveled according to text characteristics that provide varying amounts of support for developing readers, including the number of lines of text on a page, picture support, repeated patterns, high-frequency words, language and vocabulary complexity and text structure." (Current Practice Alerts, 1999, p.2) During the Reading Recovery lesson the teacher: (1) listens to the child read familiar books to promote literacy; (2) takes a running record assessment of text reading; (3) provides a brief lessons targeting letter identification and word patterns; (4) scaffolds the child's knowledge of the alphabetic principle as he/she writes a familiar story; (5) cuts up the child's sentence for the child to reassemble, and (6) scaffolds the reading of a new book after a brief introduction. (Current Practice Alert, 2002, p.2) the work of Matthew K. Burns entitled: "Research-Based Academic Interventions" reports a review of research syntheses and states that five common components were found that are research-based academic interventions: (1) correctly targeted; (2) explicit instruction; (3) appropriate challenge; (4) opportunities to respond and (5) immediate feedback with contingent reinforcers. (Burns, VanderHeyden, and Boice, in press, in Burns, nd, p.1)Burns states that interventions that are found to be effective are those which are "matched to the student's current learning stage." (nd, p.1) the work entitled: "Interventions for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Meta-Analysis with Implications for Practice" relates that older students "with learning disabilities (LD) benefit from reading intervention when it is appropriately focused." (p.1) the work of Torgesen et al. (2007) entitled: "Academic Literacy Instruction for Adolescents: A Guidance Document from the Center on Instruction" made identification of six factors that are held to be critical to the proficiency in reading in late elementary, middle and high school levels: (1) Fluency of text reading; (2) vocabulary, or the breadth and depth of knowledge about the meaning of worlds; (3) Active and Flexible use of reading strategies to enhance comprehension; (4) Background, or prior knowledge related to the content of the text being read; (5) higher level reasoning and thinking skills; and (6) Motivation and engagement for understanding and learning from text. (in Scammacca, 2007, p. 5)

Scammacca, et al. (2007) states implications of practice from findings of the study as follows: (1) adolescence is not to late to intervene, and older students who participate in interventions can benefit; (2) older students with reading difficulties benefit from interventions focused both at the word level and at the text level; (3) This meta-analysis suggest that teaching comprehension strategies to older student with reading difficulties is associated with an overall effect equivalent to a gain of about one standard deviation; (4) Older students with reading difficulties benefit from improved knowledge of word meanings and concepts; (5) Word-study interventions for older students with reading difficulties are associated with small-to-moderate gains, even on standardized outcome measures; (6) Interventions provided by both researchers and teachers are associated with positive effects; (7) for older readers, average gains in reading comprehension are smaller than gains in other reading and reading-related areas; (8) Additional research that uses measures that more closely mirror typical group-administered reading assessments is needed; and (9) Older students with learning disabilities (LD) benefit from reading intervention, when it is appropriately focused. (Scammacca, et al., 2007,p. 13)

Torgesen, Houston, Rissman, and Kosanovich (2007) state the following grade levels and targets of instruction and methods used for instruction:

1) Kindergarten

Phonemic awareness;


Learning to recognize a small set of high frequency words 'by sight';

Vocabulary; and Oral language comprehension. (p. 6)

2) First Grade

Phonics/word analysis;


Vocabulary; and Reading Comprehension.

3) Second Grade

Phonics/word analysis;


Vocabulary; and Reading Comprehension.

4) Third Grade

Word analysis;


Vocabulary; and Reading Comprehension.

5) Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades


Vocabulary; and Reading Comprehension. (Torgesen, Houston, Rissman, and Kosanovich, 2007, p. 6)

The "Position Paper of the Learning Disabilities Association of America" (2001) states that in 1996 it was expressed that the Learning Disabilities Association's position is "that to effect a significant increase in reading achievement for all people the following elements must be in place: (1) a variety of methods for teaching reading in schools (in regular and special education) and in adult literacy programs, (2) intensive teaching of reading, written language, and spelling in elementary and secondary schools, (3) screening and diagnostic programs to identify students with reading disabilities, (4) evaluation of program effectiveness that goes beyond mandated periodic testing, (5) teacher certification requirements for elementary, secondary and special education teachers include substantive courses in reading methodologies, (6) individualized reading programs for students with learning disabilities, and (7) a strong commitment to research which will identify causes/prevention of reading failure and effective interventions. (p. 1) Additionally the Learning Disabilities Association states support for the "current efforts at both the federal and state levels to strengthen reading instruction in the early school grades by: (1) improving teacher competence in teaching reading, (2) using careful diagnostic reading assessments, (3) providing reading instruction that is research-based; and (4) implementing data-based evaluation of student reading achievement. (Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2001, p. 1)

The work entitled: "LD Talk: Reading and RTI" published by the National Center for Learning Disabilities reports an interview between Dr. Sheldon Horowitz, the Moderator, and Dr. Sharon Vaughn and Dr. Jeanne Wanzek in April…[continue]

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