All posts in Dyslexia

Teaching Math to Students with LD and ADHD: Interview with Adena Young, Ph.D.

Teaching Math to Students with LD and ADHD: Interview with Adena Young, Ph.D.| BayTreeBlog.com

Introduction

Earlier this year, our local group of educational therapists hosted Dr. Adena Young. Dr. Young is a school and educational psychologist with a private practice in Oakland, California. She works one-on-one with students, provides neuropsychological evaluations, and consults with teachers and schools.

Adena Young - headshot

Dr. Young spoke compellingly about how to support children who are struggling with problems common in learning math. Her two-hour presentation just flew by. So I knew I had to interview her for Bay Tree Blog.

Dr. Young and I sat down earlier this summer to talk about math. I’ve synthesized our interview, which is full of take-home, practical suggestions. I’ve paraphrased in some places for brevity and clarity, and you’ll find her direct quotations in quotation marks. The photos, captions, and formatting were all added by me.

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How to End Number Switching

How to End Number Switching (BayTreeBlog.com)

Talk to any kindergarten teacher, and she’ll tell you about her students who transpose numbers. Two-digit numbers puzzle many younger students. It’s not unusual to hear students confusing the numbers “13” and “31” or writing the number “14” as “41.”

This common mistake is sometimes called a transposition. When students transpose numbers, they write down all of the correct numbers, but they don’t put the numbers into the right sequence (place-value order).

Transposition errors often occur in two-digit numbers. For my students, the most commonly transposed numbers are the numbers 12-19. These mistakes with the teen numbers actually reveal the child has a good understanding of the spelling patterns for numbers and words. Mistakes with numbers greater than twenty may indicate that the child needs more place-value practice.

Today, I want to empower you with effective tools for addressing transposition errors. First, let’s figure out why students are confused.

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Webinar: Help Kids Understand What They Read

boyreadingfeature

I’m excited to share this free, 50-minute class on understanding and teaching reading comprehension. Originally recorded live for Learning Ally, the webinar was rerecorded so you can watch anytime.

In this dynamic, practical session, you’ll learn proven strategies to unlock children’s reading comprehension. Together, we’ll explore the best tools and strategies for helping children understand, remember, and enjoy what they read. You’ll learn:

  • How to use YouTube to help kids understand and remember what they read.
  • Why sticky notes are essential for students who forget text.
  • What Calvin & Hobbes can teach us about motivation to read.

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Reading Comprehension Round-Up: Top Educators Reveal Top Tools

Reading Comprehension Round-Up (BayTreeBlog.com)

Comprehension is the pinnacle of reading success and essential for academic achievement.

It’s also, arguably, one of the most difficult skills to teach.

When I started teaching, I knew how to teach exactly one reading strategy. As you can imagine, only teaching kids to visualize didn’t work real well. Before long, most of my students were disengaged. Behavior issues kept cropping up, and reading motivation kept going down. Students were frustrated by their lack of progress. I was frustrated with myself.

I wish I could tell you that everything changed overnight. Sorry, it took longer than that, and I began by doing something radical. I stopped taking on reading comprehension students when I started my educational therapy private practice. (What a privilege it is to work for yourself.) I spent a few years learning how to teach reading comprehension. I read research, attended conferences, and learned from seasoned educators. Then I was ready to start again.

Today, I relish teaching reading comprehension. The complexities of teaching reading comprehension remain. Now they feel like a challenge to be solved rather than an insurmountable problem.

Today, I’m sharing the materials that I wish I’d known about when I first started teaching. These are the books and strategies that have made the biggest difference for my students. I hope you’ll find them as valuable as I have.

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Classroom Secrets for Kids with LD

Classroom Secrets: Simple Strategies Equal Big Breakthroughs for Students with LD (BayTreeBlog.com)

You know those great teachers? The ones that a child remembers for life? I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of these virtuosic educators.

Westy Litz is a fourth grade teacher. A graduate of University of Mary Washington, she holds a Masters of Science in Elementary Education. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys being active outdoors and traveling.

Westy Litz is a fourth grade teacher. A graduate of University of Mary Washington, she holds a Masters of Science in Elementary Education. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys being active outdoors and traveling.

Westy Litz is one of those teachers. In her fourth grade classroom, I’ve seen children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD flourish. I’ve always wondered, “How does she do it?”

Over the summer, we met up for coffee, so we could figure out how she structures her classroom, connects with students, plans lessons, and collaborates with parents. This is a must read for teachers and parents.

Join us in conversation!

Over the years, I’ve provided educational therapy to students with dyslexia in your class. They always tell me that you “get” them. They love being in your class because they feel successful, safe, and valued.

It’s clear that you’re open to meeting the needs of students with LD in your class. How did you develop this perspective?

Before I moved to California I taught in an inclusive first grade classroom where about half of the students had an Individualized Education Program (IEP). I co-taught with a special education teacher who’d been teaching for about fifteen years. I didn’t realize how lucky I was. She was incredible and she helped me build a toolbox of strategies for working with every learner. Mostly, teaching there taught me how to have an open mind and think more flexibly. I learned dozens of different ways to adapt my teaching.

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5 Writing Hacks for Children with ADHD, Dyslexia, or Dysgraphia

5 Writing Hacks for Kids with LD (BayTreeBlog. com)

Imagine seeing your child eager to write. Wouldn’t it be great to see him enjoying the challenges of composition?

How thrilled would you be to see your child proudly turn in her book reports?

Well, it’s absolutely possible.

I recently taught a fourth grader whose writing didn’t reflect his thoughtful personality. His compositions were a jumble of misspelled words, run-on sentences, and off-topic musings.

But his latest paragraph? It was clear and accessible. Best of all, it sounded like him!

It’s inspiring. I want you to see what’s possible after a few hours of targeted instruction.

I want you to know that teaching writing to a child with dyslexia, dysgraphia, or ADHD doesn’t have to be such a struggle.

There’s no secret to it. Just like everything we share here, it’s a matter of taking small steps and giving kids the right supports.

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The Science of Spelling with Pete Bowers, PhD (The Exceptional Educator, Ep. 3)

The Science of Spelling with Pete Bowers, PhD (The Exceptional Educator, Ep. 3) (BayTreeBlog.com)

Have you ever heard a teacher say, “Just sound out the word,” to a struggling young speller?

Or maybe you’ve said those words to a student yourself?

This simple strategy frequently backfires, especially for kids with dyslexia. Why do students end up spelling words like “jumpt,” or “advenchur”?

In this episode, Dr. Pete Bowers reveals why “sounding it out” isn’t enough. He demonstrates how sound-symbol correspondence is a key principle in literacy instruction, but often we miss crucial components of our writing system: orthography and morphology. What’s more, research shows that this type of instruction is most powerful for struggling learners.

Using Pete’s methods, teachers can revolutionize spelling instruction into a dynamic opportunity to foster logical thinking, vocabulary development, and deepen literacy skills.

Pete Bowers

Dr. Pete Bowers

Pete Bowers is the founder of the WordWorks Literacy Center in Ontario, Canada. In his career, he’s worked as an elementary classroom teacher, researcher, writer, and worldwide presenter. He’s a sought-after speaker in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

This summer, I had the pleasure of attending a conference Pete presented here in California, and it transformed my understanding of spelling and inspired my teaching. I know you guys are gonna love this one!

Listen to this episode, subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, or stream the episode below:

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Do You Make These 3 Mistakes Teaching Phonemic Awareness?

3 Mistakes You Could Be Making With Phonemic Awareness (BayTreeBlog.com)

You know that nagging voice inside your head? The one that says that you’re missing something BIG?

“What’s wrong with my teaching?” it says. “Why can’t my students do something as simple as blending together three sounds?”

The little worries keep piling up. Most of your students are doing fine. But that little voice reminds you that things are not working for all of your students.

“Well, those students aren’t trying as hard. They’re just distracted,” you say.

“What if it has nothing to do with your students?” the voice replies.

What if it really is you? What if that little voice is telling the truth?

We’ve all been there, and THAT’S the truth.

I know I have.

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37 Ways to Help Students with Dyslexia Flourish in the Mainstream Classroom

Classroom Tips for Teaching Students With Dyslexia (BayTreeBlog.com)

As promised, here is guest post number two!

I feel honored to be featured on Rachel Lynette’s popular blog, Minds In Bloom. I’ve included the introduction to the article below. You’ll find my 37 tips over at Minds In Bloom (link below). Please enjoy and share with a friend if you’re moved to do so!

37 Ways to Help Students with Dyslexia Flourish in the Mainstream Classroom

You work so hard. You’re dynamite with your students. You spend hours preparing your classroom activities. And yet, your hard work isn’t paying off for all of your students.

You’re not alone.

Most classroom teachers have a small handful of students who misspell words, struggle to memorize math facts, or hate to read out loud. Sound familiar?

Chances are good that some of these students have dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a loaded word.

There are lots of misconceptions and misunderstandings about this condition. Maybe you’ve heard a few of these myths?

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Five Games You Can Use Today To Skyrocket Student Success

Growing Engagement Through Games (BayTreeBlog.com)

When students come to work with me, I ask them to do the tasks that are hardest for them. Then I ask them to do those tasks again and again. All this after a full day of school, where these same students fight tooth and nail to keep up with their classmates.

I can’t help but feel complimented when my students run down the hallway and burst through the office door to see me (…to the frustration of the accountant and architect next door. Sorry about that!). Bar none, the biggest reason my students are excited about our educational therapy sessions – games. Kids love games. We know this, but it can be easy to forget the power of play.

We all know that academic learning time (ALT) is hugely important. Some research indicates that kids only spend about 20% of their day successfully engaged in academic tasks (Archer & Hughes, 2010). Twenty percent. Good heavens! Think about it – kids feel successful and excited when playing, which in turn boosts their attention and retention. Games are the secret sauce for ALT. This is why I want to share with you five of the top-requested, most-played games I use every week in my practice.

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Teaching Tools for Educational Specialists