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Special Education

September 2017
Welcome Back, Students and Parents!
This year, I will be continuing to service Kindergarten through Grade 8 students with Special Needs in their deficit areas such as ELA, Math, and Early Intervention in my Resource Room, as well as in the regular classroom for Grades 5-8. I will also be incorporating Responsive Classroom and Growth Mindset language into my curriculum as much as possible.
We all know that homework is a difficult issue for most children with learning challenges and their families.  They can spend an inordinate amount of time completing their assignments, frequently double or triple the time it takes a more typically developing student.  Since kids with learning challenges work so hard at school and life, they need time to recoup and recharge their batteries.
 The following suggestions are constructive ways parents can help their child complete their work in a timely way:
  • Accept reality.  Children with learning challenges will probably always need to spend more time on homework than other children.
  • Work with the school to make sure your child is doing enough homework to receive practice they need to consolidate their skills and understanding.
  • Since your goal is to encourage your child to become an independent and autonomous learner, supply the kind of help that encourages them to realize their goal.  Be available for questions, verbal clarifications, and explanations.  Help your child start on an assignment and then let them complete the next portion of the assignment independently.
  • Children with learning challenges over-rely on previously learned material when they are asked to learn something new.  Ask them to summarize the previous events before they tackle a new part. Ask them leading questions to help them connect what they know with new information.
  • Curb their tendency to perfectionism while still encouraging a pride in their work and learning. Help them realize the main point of the assignment and encourage them to channel their energy into "the big picture" and not every detail.
  • Help them construct drawings, charts, and diagrams.  They can tell you what to draw so you are not doing their work for them.  Encourage them to use the computer to construct visual representations.
  • Take an interest in what they are reading.  Continue to read to them even after they are proficient at this skill. Discuss the ideas and characters contained in the works.
  • Help them develop a system of organization so they can locate papers and books. One system employs a series of different colored folders, each used to hold a different subject (Math homework in the red folder, etc.) Have the child write the name of the subject on each folder.  Try to keep an extra set of textbooks at home. [Taken from "Helping Children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities to Flourish"]

Hopefully these suggestions help your child become an independent and autonomous learner.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at school at 246-7082 or email at mmiller@scs.sau7.org.  Have a great start of the year!

Meg Miller, Special Educator


"There is no substitute for hard work."  Thomas Edison