Orlando (first grade)
Comprehension Learning Disability
Active, arrives on time everyday, enjoys school, especially group activities and the arts. Struggles with simple comprehension questions. He is working on retelling main events, main components, and predicting, summarizing, and questioning after reading a short passage at his instructional level.
General Characteristics of a Learning Disability
Different for each and every student!
A learning disability might involve:
- Reading Skills (decoding and comprehension)
- Written Language Skills (handwriting, spelling, written expression)
- Math Skills (spatial organization, lack of alertness to visual detail, procedural errors, failure to shift mindset, difficulty forming numbers correctly, difficulty with memory, judgement and reasoning, language)
- Learning Skills (attention, organizing and interpreting information, reasoning skills, motor skills, independent learning, academic survival skills)
These students might have multiple disabilities, but a learning disability does not equate to a social, intellectual, physical, or behavioral disability.
Struggling in the classroom might cause emotional stress or lead to troubles creating healthy social relationships with fellow students, along with periodic behavioral outbursts due to frustration.
Delivery of Services
Students with learning disabilities account for 40.7% of all students receiving IDEA services.
They typically are included in an RTI/MTSS program or have an assigned IEP.
By addressing their learning disabilities early, these students can acquire a set of skills that help them manage such disabilities throughout their life.
- Including Students with Special Needs, Ch. 7
- Case Study 3
Orlando can benefit from graphic organizers, repeated reading, specific comprehension strategies, read-alouds, think-alouds, and talk-alouds.
A graphic organizer will appeal to his passion for the arts and help him visualize what he is reading, while reaching out to a variety of learning styles within the class.
Repeated readings will provide him with multiple opportunities to gather information from the text and check what he thinks he knows. This can be done with partners, small groups, or he can receive the readings ahead of time to prepare.
Any number of specific comprehension strategies will target his individual needs for each passage and text type. Teaching comprehension strategies can be done for the benefit of the whole class, or during small group work for RTI.
The alouds are a means of explicitly teaching and modeling fluency strategies for Orlando and all of his classmates, making them ideal for whole class instruction. Skills taught with any of the alouds are skills that students can utilize throughout and after school.
The key is to not modify - to accommodate. Understand the disabilities that your students have so you can differentiate instruction.
- Break learning into small steps
- Supply regular, quality feedback
- Use diagrams, graphics and pictures to augment what they say in words
- Provide ample independent, well-designed intensive practice
- Model instructional practices that they want students to follow
- Engage students in process type questions like “How is the strategy working? Where else might you apply it?”
Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) is a test that targets reading comprehension. The test adjusts the difficulty to the accuracy of response to prior questions and gives a suggested reading level for the student.
State Standardized Assessments are also good for measuring improvement. If the students in getting better with reading comprehension, their reading results should increase between school years.
Basic formative assessments and questions can check the students improvement throughout the year.
Apps for easy creation and manipulation of graphic organizers (Popplet, Mindmash, Perfect Captions, Idea Sketch, iCard Sort).
Audiobooks might help Orlando and fellow students remember key details from the text, if they are allowed to listen while they read. This can make sure that they are reading the words correctly.
Rewordify is an engine that can simplify text, provide activities and personal strategies, and have text-specific quizzes for the user.
Another website for comprehension assistance is Snap & Read Universal. It can read text on the screen and create an outline for the text based on selected main ideas.
- He gets direct and explicit instruction that helps clarify the learning process.
- Orlando can show his strengths by visually displaying his knowledge.
- His confidence will rise with each new goal he meets and every success.
For the Class
- All students are receiving thorough instruction in literacy, which will help them become better readers, writers, speakers, and listeners.
- With students on a more balanced playing field, the lessons can be more complex and enriching.
- Small group work assigns responsibility to all students and builds their confidence in their academic abilities.
- Including Students with Special Needs, Ch. 7