Matching Items (4)

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Dynamic assessment of narratives among Navajo Head Start children

Description

Purpose: Over-identification of Navajo Head Start children into special education on the Navajo Reservation has come to the attention of Tribal leaders, Educational leaders, and parents due to the use

Purpose: Over-identification of Navajo Head Start children into special education on the Navajo Reservation has come to the attention of Tribal leaders, Educational leaders, and parents due to the use of invalid assessment measures. Dynamic assessment (DA) of narratives may be a tool for distinguishing language differences from language disorders. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the Predictive Early Assessment of Reading and Language (PEARL), a dynamic assessment of narratives, accurately classifies Navajo Head Start students with typically developing (TD) language or with language impairment (LI), and to examine which measures best predict children’s overall performances on the PEARL.

Method: Ninety, 4- and 5-year-old Navajo preschoolers with LI and with TD language were selected. Children completed the PEARL, which measured both language comprehension and production using pretest and posttest scores, and a modifiability scale. In addition, children completed the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental, Preschool, Second Edition (CELF – Preschool 2) and language samples. A Navajo Speech Language Pathologist confirmed the diagnosis of the participants. Research assistants pretested, briefly taught the principles of narrative structure (story grammar, language complexity and episode) and evaluated response to learning using an index of modifiability.

Results: Results of discriminant analysis indicated that PEARL pretest differentiated both ability groups with 89% accuracy. In addition, posttest scores discriminated with 89% accuracy and modifiability scores with 100% accuracy. Further, the subtest story grammar was the best predictor at pretest and posttest, although modifiability scores were better predictors of both ability groups.

Conclusion: Findings indicate that the PEARL is a promising assessment for accurately differentiating Navajo preschool children with LI from Navajo preschool children with TD language. The PEARL’s recommended pretest cut score over-identified Navajo children with TD language; therefore, a new recommended cut score was determined.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Three's a team: increasing collaboration among instructional assistants, general, and special educators teaching students with disabilities

Description

Children with cognitive disabilities are frequently included in general education classes to access grade level curriculum and socially interact with peers. To assist with the inclusion of students with disabilities,

Children with cognitive disabilities are frequently included in general education classes to access grade level curriculum and socially interact with peers. To assist with the inclusion of students with disabilities, some schools assign instructional assistants to support general education teachers. However, there is often a lack of planning time or a planning protocol for the general education teachers, special education teachers, and instructional assistant to plan for the inclusion of students with cognitive disabilities. This action research project intended to increase the collaboration among instructional assistants, general education teachers, and special education teachers by developing a Community of Practice among the three groups of professionals. The action included a jointly attended professional development opportunity on strategies to include students with cognitive disabilities in the general education classroom, followed by monthly structured collaboration meetings in which the team jointly planned for the students with disabilities. Effectiveness of the project was judged using survey and interview questions derived from Theory of Planned Behavior and the self-efficacy construct from Social-Cognitive theory. The implementation of a team planning protocol increased the team’s collaboration by positively improving communication and connectivity among the team members.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Using literature to help 4th and 5th grade students with disabilities living In poverty develop the problem-solving skills they need to be successful in their world

Description

The critical-thinking skill of problem solving needs to be part of the curriculum for all students, including those with learning disabilities living in poverty; yet, too often this is not

The critical-thinking skill of problem solving needs to be part of the curriculum for all students, including those with learning disabilities living in poverty; yet, too often this is not the case. Too often students in poverty and students with learning disabilities are provided a curriculum that is watered down, focused on the basics, and aimed at managing their behaviors instead of helping them learn to think critically about their world. Despite their challenges, these students can learn to problem solve. Educators need to help students make connections between the critical-thinking skills learned in school and the problem-solving skills needed for life. One solution might be to use literature with characters facing similar problems, hold grand conversations, and teach them a problem solving method. Together, these three parts have the potential to motivate and lead students to better thinking. This action research study explored whether literature with characters facing similar problems to the study's participants, grand conversations, and the I SOLVE problem solving method would help students with disabilities living in poverty in the Southwestern United States develop the problem-solving skills they need to understand and successfully navigate their world. Data were collected using a mixed methods approach. The Motivation to Read Profile, I SOLVE problem-solving survey, thought bubbles, student journals, transcripts from grand conversations, and researcher's journal were tools used. To understand fully how and to what extent literature and grand conversations helped students gain the critical thinking skill of problem solving, data were mixed in a convergence model. Results show the I SOLVE problem-solving method was an effective way to teach problem-solving steps. Scores on the problem-solving survey rose pre- to post-test. Grand conversations focused on literature with character's facing problems led to an increase in students' motivation to read, and this population of students were able to make aesthetic connections and interpretations to the texts read. From these findings implications for teachers are provided.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Gifted learners, dyslexia, music, and the piano: rude, inattentive, uncooperative, or something else?

Description

About piano students who display disruptive behavior and perform far below reasonable expectations, teachers first conclude that they are lazy, rude, disinterested, and/or lacking intelligence or ability. Most dismiss such

About piano students who display disruptive behavior and perform far below reasonable expectations, teachers first conclude that they are lazy, rude, disinterested, and/or lacking intelligence or ability. Most dismiss such students from studios and advise parents to discontinue lessons. In truth, many of these students are both highly gifted and also have a learning disability. Examined literature shows that the incidence of dyslexia and other learning disabilities in the gifted learner population is several times that of the regular learner population. Although large volumes of research have been devoted to dyslexia, and more recently to dyslexia and music (in the classroom and some in individual instrumental instruction), there is no evidence of the same investigation in relation to the specific needs of highly gifted dyslexic students in learning to play the piano. This project examines characteristics of giftedness and dyslexia, gifted learners with learning disabilities, and the difficulties they encounter in learning to read music and play keyboard instruments. It includes historical summaries of author's experience with such students and description of their progress and success. They reveal some of practical strategies that evolved through several decades of teaching regular and gifted dyslexic students that helped them overcome the challenges and learn to play the piano. Informal conversations and experience exchanges with colleagues, as well as a recently completed pilot study also showed that most piano pedagogues had no formal opportunity to learn about this issue and to be empowered to teach these very special students. The author's hope is to offer personal insights, survey of current knowledge, and practical suggestions that will not only assist piano instructors to successfully teach highly gifted learners with dyslexia, but also inspire them to learn more about the topic.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013