Meeting the needs of ALL students!

General & Special Ed Conference 2015, San Antonio

So... you want to build GREAT readers?

*Studies show that if you want your child to be a great reader, you have to talk and play with your child from the start!

*Brain based studies suggest that children receive no screen time until the age of 2.

*After the age of 2, screen time should be limited to 2 hours per day, because excessive NON-EDUCATIONAL screen time has been attributed to delayed brain development for language and social skills.

*A child's brain is developed through experiences.

*If a child comes from a low socioeconomic background, experiences with language may be very limited.

*As educators, we have to create meaningful experiences for our students, so that we can fill in gaps that may have developed in networks of our students' brains.

*If learning is meaningful to an individual, the dopamine in the brain will allow you to save new information. If not, you lose it!

Kid Snippets: "Reading Tutor" (Imagined by Kids)

Is there a one size fits all intervention for struggling readers?

No! There is not a specific way to teach all students to read. What works for one student may not work for another.

The Essential Components of Reading are:

*Speech perception

*Phonological Awareness


*Speech/Reading Fluency

You have to determine where the deficiencies are in your student's language/reading development and intervene at that child's zone of proximal development- just difficult enough to keep the child engaged, and yet easy enough to maintain high spirits. If you don't, your hours of hard work could all be for nothing!

Click on the different technological intervention tools below to learn more:

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Brain Based research about reading...

*If children do not have a clear brain map, it can affect the development of their speech, grammar, and ultimately reading.

*Brain maps are dependent on if the students can hear sounds correctly.

*The brain develops auditory sensory brain maps of all speech sounds in this order:














Voiced fricatives


*As educators we are actually developing our students brains and also making up for any development that was missed earlier in their childhood.

*Through our instruction and intervention, we are growing brain fibers, increasing the density of grey matter, and changing the cortical network for vision and language in our students' brains.


Auditory Processing Disorders

*Auditory processing can be genetic or it can also be caused by chronic ear infections as a child. Children living in poverty, may have ear infections that go untreated. As their brains develop their brain map does not hear the sounds that correct sounds that consonants make.

*If you have an auditory processing disorder, speech that you hear is very muddy.

*Students with auditory processing disorders will not benefit from phonological awareness intervention only. (for example: Do these words rhyme? big, dig, call, ball)

*These students may tune you out and seem like they are unable to focus.

*Students with auditory processing disorders need auditory training- a process that involves teaching the brain to listen. During this type of training, students are provided with auditory stimuli and coaching that helps them learn to identify and distinguish sounds. Auditory training is usually supervised by an audiologist or speech-language pathologist.

Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

Self Regulation

*SOME of our students are born with natural self control

*Many of our students need to be taught how to self regulate their behavior, thinking, and feelings

*We have to stop making normal behavior from children into a problem , as adults we engage in problem behaviors (whispering to a neighbor during a presentation, inappropriate use of technology, etc.)

Marshmallow Test

What percentage of our students deal with...

•Anxiety about school performance

•Problems dealing with parents & teachers

•Unhealthy peer pressure

•Managing frustration


•Common developmental, adjustment problems

•Fears about starting school

•School phobia

•Dealing with death or divorce

•Feeling depressed or overwhelmed

•Drug or alcohol use

•Suicidal ideation

•Worrying about sexuality

•Facing tough decisions

•Considering dropping out of school

•Traumatic experiences outside of school


•School refusal

•Selective mutism


“If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

-Daniel Goleman

How do I promote my students' social-emotional well being?

*Create a positive, structured, and safe environment

for all students.

* Establish and maintaining positive relationships so all

students feel connected to school.

* Rigorous, effective instruction to teach students

skills academic, social, emotional, and behavioral that

enable school and life success.

* Promoting a sense of purpose, positive mindset, and

motivation in students.

* Making sure that all students receive the supports they

need to be successful.

The Impact of Praise

When implemented correctly, your praise can be powerful!

*If your students don't have a relationship with you, your praise and extra attention will be ineffective.

*Praise specific behaviors and effort, rather than innate behaviors.

How to maintain relationships

*5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions

*Positive notes and phone calls home

*2nd hand compliments

*Be consistent


1. Click the Socrative link below

2. Click STUDENT log in

3. Join room 9h4UhQMG


All information was obtained from Martha S. Burns, Ph. D. and Clayton R. Cook, Ph. D, LP at the Rehab Seminar-General and Special Education Conference. Videos were obtained from and I do not own them.