Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kaitlin Baker's Online Module in lieu of class on December 9

Based on articles #1 and #2:
1. What are the social and mental implications for children with learning disabilities?
Children with learning disabilities tend to show many different types of emotional issues. Some of these issue that are noticed are anxiety, depression, acting out, complaining, and poor social behavior; just to name a few. All of these problems that can occur because of the learning disability will affect the child in and out of school, and throughout their lives. We, as teachers and parents, need to take notice of these issues so that we can work with the child, talk with them when they need, and help them do and get past the issue of frustration. "Educators should be cognizant of the different types of social and affective problems they are likely to confront in students with learning disabilities. (p. 277)" It is essential that we have a clear understanding of the different mechanisms of interactions so that we can be as helpful as possible and can use the best strategies for intervention.

2. Think back to when you were in school. What strategies do you remember teachers using (academic or behavioral). Think about how a child with a Learning Disability would respond to these strategies. Explain and comment.
When I was in school if a student was acting out, behaving incorrectly, or not doing their work or what they were supposed to be doing the teacher would move the student to another spot in the room, take away recess time, stand with you nose up at the board, sit alone at lunch, and give detentions; just to name a few. A child with a learning disability would probably not understand why they were being punished, they would probably get very frustrated, and they may either seem as if they don't care because they don't get it or they may get overly upset because they don't get it. Teachers would need to be understanding and patient of a child with a LD and take action differently.

3. How will you refine your practices to address the social needs of students with disabilities?
Students with learning disabilities need much more focus and attention, and social interaction. Planning group activities and interaction would be more appropriate to practice with these children then individual and independent work because it will allow these children to socialize and interact in a meaningful way.

Based on Article #3:
1. How has the evolution of medical technology changed the way we look at disabilities?
The medical technology such as scanning a child's brain has helped us to understand what goes on in the brain's of these people with learning disabilities. It has helped us to understand exactly what goes on in the different regions of the brain along with reading development and reading failure. It has helped us test for reading problems and to make targeted interventions that will help children and adults overcome reading failure.

2. What implications will this new outlook have on teaching and mandated legislation?
This will allow teachers to understand what is going on with the child's brain and to recognize and work with the child effectively to prevent reading failure.

Based on Article #4 and #5:
1. The disproportionate representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse children in special education is a significant issue in education. After reviewing the article:
a. List some of the issues surrounding this topic?
There is an over-representation of culturally and linguistically diverse children in special education and in the quality of their educational experiences, Relative Risk Ratios which is based on a comparison of Risk Indexes for racial/ethnic groups; a Risk Index is an expression of the rate at which a disability condition occurs in a group and can be expressed as a percent, and Re-defining the Problem which prevents defining disproportionality, itself, as a problem and, more specifically, disallows using any index of disproportionality as the means of setting goals and tracking progress in placement rates; along with other issues stated in the articles.
b. Discuss how legislation has attempted to ameliorate this problem
"Through the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the ethnic representation of students in special education at the state and local educational level has been monitored every two years. Where over-representation exists, OCR has required many systems to implement corrective plans to reduce that disproportionality."
c. Describe the problem as you see it
I think these children are just being placed in these special education classrooms because of language barriers and issues that obviously do not want to be worked on, so instead of identifying the true problems with these children they are being labeled as learning disabled and being thrown into a special education classroom when it is not needed.
d. Make a suggestion…What is the solution as you see it?
I believe these children need to be more closely identified before being placed in a special education classroom. By just placing a child in a special needs class when they do not need this type of education; we are just hindering their learning development. We need to look more closely when determining placement for all children.

Kaitlin Baker's How Children Learn to Read

I really like this article for the fact that it explains all aspects of reading for children. This gives insight and an overview of what reading is all about. This article would be great for anyone to review and read, especially for parents and teachers, because it explains in great detail the different areas of reading and what they entail, how we can help our children/students become better readers and get them to comprehend what they are reading, and the things we can do to help a child with a LD in reading and the things we can look for if we are not sure if our children/students have an LD. This whole article really lays it out there and allows someone with even the slightest knowledge in this area to have a great understanding about reading, and what we should do with our children. This is something I can always look back on when working with children with learning disabilities in reading so that I can give them the best help and understanding and allow them to learn the correct way, so that they can learn and be able to do it right the first time.

I watched the video "Reading and the Brain-Reading and Dyslexia". It was interesting. It explained how frustrating reading is for those with Dyslexia. It was interesting when the mother in the video said that people look at those with Dyslexia like they are 'dumb' but she knew when she was younger that she wasn't dumb, but that she was actually very smart, she just couldn't read. I can imagine how upsetting and frustrating this would be for someone, especially when you look at words and have no idea what they actually are; it's just a big mess of 'stuff' on paper. It was also interesting how they showed the brain and the different ways it works from a brain with Dyslexia and a normal functioning brain. I enjoyed this because it shows us that there is help and hope for anyone with a learning disability, and that no one should feel dumb because they are unable to read because there are many people out there who are feeling the same. Once you are correctly taught and able to understand that "mess of stuff" that you didn't understand before, school and reading can be fun!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kaitlin Baker's Misunderstood Minds

When reviewing all of these simulations, I definitely experienced some difficulty in some of the areas and I felt some frustrations and slowness when trying to accomplish accuracy in my attempt at each simulation category. By putting myself in the position of these young kids who deal with these different issues on a day-to-day basis made me truly see how difficult it really can be for them. These simulations showed me how difficult the experiences and lives can be for these kids with learning disabilities, especially in Writing and Mathematics. These two subjects’ seem to be the most difficult and time consuming for these kids because of the length of time each paper or problem(s) may take. Also, within these two subjects it shows how the child's memory can be trying to do and figure out many different things at once, clouding the memory from performing different types of math problems, understanding how to do something, and even blocking out their creative memory. The experiences of there kids with Attention and Reading difficulties makes me realize just how bad and hard it can be to even follow a long with, or to even just understand or remember something from a short time ago. We always hear about so many people having attention problems, but you don't seem to realize the extent to which some may have this learning disability. These LD's may seem minor to some, but to those child with these difficulties it is a challenge and struggle just to get through the day.

Some implications for teaching that these simulations have, could be; allowing the child to be in a area of their own with less distractions, allowing more time for the LD child to read, write, and do math problems, and suggesting that we may not always know or realize a child has a learning disability but we must be and stay aware and work with them to get through the things they need too.