Sunday, February 28, 2010

Helping EVERY Child

Helping children with learning disabilities is an essential aspect of every classroom. According to the article “How Can I Help Children with Learning Disabilities” written by Joanne F. Carlisle, there are certain steps a teacher can take when developing a classroom that accommodates ALL students. It is very important that teachers realize that teaching to students with learning disabilities is not a rare occurrence. “About 5% of school-age children are identified as having specific learning disabilities (LD). This means that in a class of 20 children, one child is likely to have a learning disability”. What this means is that we, teachers, need to be aware of the steps to take that will allow children with LDs to not only succeed, but thrive. That is our goal for our students, so why would we be comfortable settling with merely having students with LDs to “get by”. That just doesn’t seem fair to me.

As I said before, there are specific steps a teacher can take to ensure that children with learning disabilities have roper educational care. These steps are characterized by “effective communication and collaborative problem solving.” The first step a teacher should take is to identify whether or not a child has special needs and monitor that child. Teachers need to collaborate with others to prepare a proper educational environment for that child. Communication between educators, the student, and, especially, the parents is VERY important. Regular evaluations are also essential. This ensures that, if any changes occur, the student will continue to succeed. Another step that is important in fostering a caring, safe, and educational environment for a child with learning disabilities is to help that child develop a positive attitude towards themselves and their education. We need to have high expectations for these students; they can live up to them! They just need to be given the chance.

In order to successful complete these steps, teachers should be aware of the ways that they can successfully foster literacy development in their classrooms. Classroom lessons that integrate direct and indirect literacy instruction, with the incorporation of a variety of reading and writing activities that occur throughout the entire day is a very important first step. But, first and foremost, teachers need to create a classroom environment that fosters acceptance. This kind of environment will enable students will work collaboratively and respectfully with one another, and in turn, they will succeed.

1 comment:

  1. Rachel,
    I think it is great that you posted a blog about reaching every child. I think it is much easier for us to talk about helping every child, rather than actually following through with it, so it is important to bring this to our attention. I have seen this going on in my placement as my teacher caters to a student with Asperger's. Although he is a very high functioning student, there are certain procedures that she does to help him with social situations and interacting in the classroom. This is important for collaborative work and interactive settings, so she is definitely making an effort to reach out to all the students in my class regardless of their achievement levels or learning techniques. How have you seen this taking place in your placement? Do you have any students in your class that have learning disabilities? If so, how is your teacher accommodating them? This is a great issue that can start important discussions around subjects that are significant in our classrooms.