If you work with students with learning disabilities, do not miss this week’s TCRWP Twitter chat. Colleen Cruz, Director of Innovation / Senior Staff Developer for the Reading and Writing Project is facilitating, and she is a powerhouse of information on working with youngsters who need extra support to learn best. Colleen is author of a slew of professional texts for teachers, including A Quick Guide to Reaching Struggling Writers and The Unstoppable Writing Teacher.
In A Quick Guide to Reaching Struggling Writers, Colleen describes common struggles that students have with writing and ways that teachers can help their students to surmount them. These include students who struggle in areas such as volume, spelling, and topic choice. Colleen gives practical, immediately applicable strategies to help these students to overcome these issues to become their best writing selves.
In The Unstoppable Writing Teacher, Colleen dedicates a chapter to teaching writing to students with learning disabilities. She describes ways to support students with disabilities that any teacher, regardless of their level of experience and training in working with LD students, can adopt to ensure their curriculum provides access to all learners. Colleen’s advice is practical, based on years of experience, and it works. Her aim is always to provide students with exactly the right scaffolding they need to engage in the curriculum as it is, rather than to offer students with learning disabilities a separate curriculum.
If you are a workshop teacher, you know that the workshop curriculum itself lends itself well to this last notion. A workshop curriculum, with its predictable structure, natural points of differentiation, and emphasis on student choice is an effective framework for teaching students of all levels of ability. At this week’s chat, Colleen will help you to understand key modifications you can make to support LD students to help them fully engage in the curriculum and be fully supported as well.