Strategy Instruction for Middle and Secondary Students with Mild Disabilities: Creating Independent Learners
Publication Year: 2013
Teach your students learning strategies that will last a lifetime!
The pressure is on special and general education teachers alike. If we're to ensure that adolescents with mild disabilities achieve the very same gains as their peers, we must first teach them how to learn. Here's a one-stop guide for getting started, pairing the very best instructional methods with assessments and IEP goals so all students can be independent learners.
Driven by research, this indispensible resource features: Evidence-based strategies for teaching vocabulary, reading, written language, math, and science, as well as study skills, textbook skills, and self-regulation; Clear presentation that describes strategies in context; Informal assessments for every content area or skill addressed; Case studies that link assessment results, IEP goals, and learning strategies; Application activities with ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
Part I: Introduction to Secondary Special Education
Part II: Informal Assessments, Ieps, and Strategies
- Chapter 3: Vocabulary: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 4: Vocabulary: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 5: Reading Decoding: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 6: Reading Decoding: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 7: Reading Comprehension: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 8: Reading Comprehension: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 9: Written Language: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 10: Written Language: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 11: Study Skills: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 12: Study Skills: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 13: Textbook Skills: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 14: Textbook Skills: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 15: Self-Regulation: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 16: Self-Regulation: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 17: Mathematics: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 18: Mathematics: Methods and Strategies
- Chapter 19: Science: Informal Assessments
- Chapter 20: Science: Methods and Strategies
Copyright © 2013 by Corwin
All rights reserved. When forms and sample documents are included, their use is authorized only by educators, local school sites, and/or noncommercial or nonprofit entities that have purchased the book. Except for that usage, no part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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You have probably heard of the Chinese proverb: Give me a fish, and I eat for a day; teach me to fish, and I eat for a lifetime. This statement reflects the learning strategies philosophy. The strategies approach teaches students how to learn and be independent learners rather than isolated skills or facts.Rationale for the Book
Special and general educators from all grades and subjects are searching for ways to be more effective and efficient in their teaching. They are looking for ways to help students eat for a lifetime. School administrators and teachers must demonstrate that students are making academic and social-behavioral gains. For various reasons, some students are more challenging to teach, and they require more powerful instructional tools in order to make significant gains. The good news is that years of research—as well as our experiences teaching adolescents with mild disabilities—support the strategies approach.
Middle and high school students with disabilities are especially well suited for strategy instruction, because they are expected to meet rigorous general education curriculum standards and pass state and district tests. To accomplish these tasks, students need more than exposure to skills, which is an approach that helps them only to eat for a day. Rather, they need powerful and effective methods to help them understand, retain, and apply difficult skills and concepts. Because the strategy approach teaches students a new way of thinking, it requires more deliberate and explicit instruction (especially teacher modeling) and therefore takes more time than other approaches, but the results, we believe, are well worth it.
Secondary students are also unique because they have only a few more years remaining of their K-12 education. Unless secondary general and special education teachers use powerful instructional approaches, students may not make sufficient growth to meet goals on their individualized education program (IEP) or meet annual yearly progress goals [Page viii]under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) / No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Further, without an approach that emphasizes independent learning, students are at a higher risk for dropping out of school and accepting and maintaining entry-level jobs over the course of their lifetime.
In addition to identifying a need for powerful instructional strategies, researchers have questioned existing instructional practices at the secondary level. One concern is that resource rooms often function as modified study halls, where students primarily complete homework for their general education classes. This often leaves little time for strategy instruction. Admittedly, students need support to maintain satisfactory progress in their general education classes. The challenge (and not an easy one) is for special educators to find the balance between helping students with their class work and teaching them strategies that help them become more independent in those classes and with future tasks.
Researchers have also noted confusion about the secondary special education teacher's role in co-taught classrooms. Many secondary special education co-teachers function as assistants in general education classrooms because they have not mastered the content to assume instructional parity with their general education co-teaching partner. The one-teach one-assist model is the most frequently used yet least effective co-teaching approach. This model often does not expose students to powerful instructional strategies. In contrast, special educators in co-taught general education classes can establish themselves as strategy experts by teaching efficient and effective learning, organizational, study, or behavioral strategies to all students in the class.How to Use This Book
With these thoughts in mind, we present this practical book on instructional strategies for secondary (middle and high school) students with mild disabilities. The first two chapters provide the context and background for teaching secondary special education. Chapter 1 introduces the array of instructional approaches used by secondary special educators. Of the approaches discussed in Chapter 1, the strategies approach is the focus of Chapter 2 because many experts in the field recommend this approach for initial skill instruction. Strategy instruction is the focus of this book.
The remaining chapters are of two kinds: assessment chapters and methods/strategies chapters. Using case studies and the strategies approach, each assessment chapter connects student informal assessment [Page ix]results to IEPs, and in the subsequent corresponding methods/strategies chapter, evidence-based strategies are connected to IEPs. The assessment chapters provide background information about the skill or content, informal assessments, and the student's IEP. Methods/strategies chapters describe strategies teachers taught to meet the student's IEP goals in each case. Therefore, “matching” chapters (e.g., chapters 3 and 4 on vocabulary) make more sense if read together. Many chapters provide ready-to-use forms as well as teacher think-alouds for modeling the featured strategy. Subheadings direct readers to a specific strategy, and end-of-the chapter questions provide application activities. This book is also unique in that rather than providing short descriptions of numerous strategies, chapters provide a more intense look at specific evidence-based vocabulary, reading, writing, study, textbook, self-regulation, math, and science strategies.Intended Audience
Strategy instruction can occur in general, special, and Response to Intervention (RTI) settings and is appropriate for all learners (students with and without disabilities) who are learning common core state standards. Therefore, the informal assessments, suggested IEP goals and objectives, and think-alouds provide templates for you, whether you are teaching in inclusive, resource, or self-contained settings; consulting or co-teaching with general educators; designing RTI approaches; studying special or general education as a preservice teacher; or providing district-level leadership as an administrator, teacher-mentor, curriculum coordinator, or staff development planner. Therefore, regardless of your current position, we trust that you will find the ideas in this book informative as you teach your students to eat for a lifetime.
Corwin gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:
- Sally Jeanne Coghlan
- Special Education Teacher
- Rio Linda Preparatory Academy, Twin Rivers USD
- Rio Linda, CA
- Debi Gartland
- Professor of Special Education
- Towson University
- Towson, MD
- Cheryl Moss
- Special Education Teacher
- Gilbert Middle School
- Gilbert, IA
- Catherine Orlando
- Teacher, Administrator, Adjunct Professor, Consultant
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Miami, FL
- Karen L. Tichy
- Associate Superintendent for Instruction and Special Education
- Archdiocese of St. Louis
- St. Louis, MO
About the Authors
Appendices[Page 268][Page 269]
Appendix A: Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots, and Combining Forms[Page 270]Most Common Prefixes
Prefix Meaning Example in not incorrect un not, opposite of unhappy dis not, opposite of distrust mis wrongly misspell fore before forefather re again rethink de down, away from deplane pre before pretest en, em cause to be enable non not nonskid Prefix Meaning Example in, im in or into input over too much overeat sub under subway inter between interstate trans across transatlantic super above superhero semi half semicircle anti against antiwar mid middle midday under too little underpaid
All other prefixes (about 100) together account for only 3% of the total number of words containing prefixes.Most Common Suffixes
Suffix Meaning Example s, es plural cats, boxes ed past tense verbs jumped ing verb, present participle running
Suffix Meaning Example ly characteristic of sadly er, or person connected with jogger, actor ion, tion, ation, ition act or process action Suffix Meaning Example ible, able can be done fixable al, ial having characteristics of formal y characterized by messy ness state of, condition of kindness ity, ty state of activity ment action or process enjoyment Suffix Meaning Example ic having characteristics of strategic ous, eous, ious possessing qualities of joyous en made of golden er comparative smaller ive, ative, itive adjective form of noun active ful full of helpful less without headless est comparative smallest
All other suffixes (about 160) together account for only 7% of the total number of words containing suffixes.
Sources:2001). Teaching phonics and word study in the intermediate grades. New York, NY: Scholastic Professional Books.(2003). Unlocking literacy: Effective decoding and spelling instruction. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.(1997). Phonemes, phonetics, and phonograms; Advanced language structures for students with learning disabilities. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 29 (3),(Most Common Latin Roots
Root Meaning Example port carry transport rupt to tear apart disrupt scrib, script to write transcribe tract pull distract cept, ceive take, catch accept spect see, watch, observe inspect ject throw reject struct build construct dict tell, speak diction mis, mit send transmission Root Meaning Example flect, flex to bend inflect cred believe credible duc, duct lead conduct pend hang, weigh suspend pel drive, push expel fac, fect make, do factory vers, vert to turn, change convert form to shape reform aud, audi to hear, listen audible vid, vis see visible[Page 272]Common Greek Combining Forms
Greek word parts are referred to as combining forms because several Greek word parts combine to form a word. Some examples are telegraph, geology, and photography. Many of these words are specialized words used in science and mathematics.
Combining form Meaning Example micro small microscopic scope see telescope photo light photocopy graph written down graphic tele far off, distant telegraph phon sound phonograph geo earth geography Combining form Meaning Example meter measure diameter ology study of biology auto self autograph bio life biography chrono time chronometer biblio book bibliography hydro water hydrant
Sources:2003). Unlocking literacy: Effective decoding and spelling instruction. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.(2010). Words: Integrating decoding and spelling instruction based on word origin and word structure. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.(2007). Breaking down words to build meaning: Morphology, vocabulary, and reading comprehension in the urban classroom. The Reading Teacher, 61 (2), 134–144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/RT.61.2.3, (2003). Speech to print workbook: Language exercises for teachers. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.(
Appendix B: Test-Taking Tips[Page 273]For Objective-Type Questions
Skim the whole test to get an idea of length and sections.
Read each question carefully and slowly and note special words such as not, except, all but, et cetera.
Answer known questions first.
Mark questions for which you are unsure of the answer with a bullet or dot and return to those later.
Eliminate answers that are identical, silly, or unrelated to the question.
Carefully read all options. Put a check mark by each option after you read it.
Immediately write on the test any formulas or mnemonics that serve as prompts.
After reading the question, anticipate the answer and look for that answer in the choices.
If one answer choice in a multiple choice question is “all of the above,” and more than one choice is correct, pick “all of the above.”
Change an answer only if you are sure.
If you do not know the answer, pick (B) or (C), as those tend to be used most frequently as correct answers or pick the longest and most detailed response.
Generally, if a true/false question uses absolute terms (all, always, every, only, none, never), the answer is “false.”
[Page 274]Generally, if a true/false question uses terms such as sometimes, mostly, many, often, usually, or generally, the answer is “true.”
All parts of the true/false item must be true for the answer “true” to be correct.
If you are unsure of a true/false answer, answer “true,” as “true” tends to be used more frequently as the correct answer.
Check the test for clues to help you answer challenging questions.For Subjective-Type Questions
Read the question or prompt slowly and several times.
Underline key terms in the question or prompt.
Pay attention to the “writing word” in the prompt. Are you being asked to describe, compare, compare and contrast, contrast, analyze, define, illustrate, explain, or defend? Each of these has a different meaning.
Note special considerations in the prompt such as the number of items to be explained and if the prompt wants you to use information from the text, class notes, et cetera.
Spend a few minutes thinking about and planning your response by making an outline, graphic organizer, or bulleted list.
Write the first topic sentence as a direct reply to the prompt by using some words in the prompt.
Spend most of your writing time on the body of your essay, which includes details and facts. Spend considerably less time writing the introduction and conclusion.
If you cannot think of a response specific to the prompt, write something on the topic that you remember. Reading through the test might help you remember some concepts for your response. You might still get partial credit.
Proofread for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Appendix C: Tips for Developing Effective Study Guides[Page 275]
Develop a study guide that matches unit objectives such as the following:
- two-column study guides that have factual questions listed in the left column and their corresponding answers in the right column
- flip flop study guides (two-column guides with definitions or examples in the right column and their corresponding key concepts or terms in the left column)
- compare-and-contrast study guides for analyzing similarities and differences between items or groups
- summative study guides for indicating vocabulary terms, short-answer questions, and review questions likely to appear on the exam
- textbook activity study guides for noting main ideas and details and for providing a place for students to indicate if they understand or do not understand the material
- interactive study guides that allow students to collaboratively complete the study guide and discuss responses with a partner
- sequential or cause and effect study guides that provide items in a graphic organizer with some cells empty that students complete as they read
Write questions in the same order that the corresponding concepts are presented in the chapter.
To differentiate study guides, include page numbers where answers can be found for students who need this.
If students are writing on their guide, leave adequate space for answers.
[Page 276]Include clear and specific directions.
Reduce the number of items by including only the most critical content or use the same study guide for all students but mark questions that are most important.
Simplify the language of the question without sacrificing the objective. Reduce unnecessary wordiness.
Minimize writing demands by including more true/false, matching, or fill-in-the-blank questions rather than short-answer or essay items, especially for students who struggle with written expression.
When including vocabulary items, provide the definition and have students provide the word; this reduces unnecessary copying of definitions.
Use only one or two different formats.
When writing true/false items, make sure each question assesses only one concept, is clearly true or false, is not copied word-for-word from the text, avoids tricky words, and does not include the word not just to make an obviously true statement false.
When writing fill-in-the-blank questions, include one blank per question, place the blank at the end of the sentence, provide blanks of the same length, ensure that the blank is an important concept, and include enough detail in the sentence so only one response is correct.
(For example, “Our president is________” is too vague. “The last name of the current U.S. president is________” is much more clear.)
When writing matching questions or sections, include no more than 10 items per section, use only homogeneous items, write the longer phrases in the left column, and include lines for students to write the letter of their choice rather than having students connect lines from one column to the other.
When writing short-answer or essay questions, provide context for the question, indicate a general length, note the learning objectives, and include the point value.
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Corwin: A SAGE Company[Page 292]
The Corwin logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development sources for those serving the field of PreK–12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”