Science of Reading and Understanding Learning Disabilities

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Structured Literacy is an approach to reading and writing instruction that is forged in scientific evidence from the cumulative body of work referred to as the Science of Reading. While the term was originally used by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), the framework benefits ALL students. Developed in collaboration with former IDA president Nancy Hennessy, this 10-hour asynchronous course will explore the principles and content of structured literacy. The principles guide how elements are taught in a method that is instructionally sound. Structured Literacy aligns with the Science of Reading and includes the principles of effective reading instruction: explicit, direct, systematic, cumulative, interactive, diagnostic, and mastery driven. The content defines the elements of reading and spelling instruction. The elements of instruction are phonemic awareness, phonology, orthography, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The course will define each principle and content area, offering insights into the research base and some instructional examples for each tier of instruction. Recommended Pre-requisite: Science of Reading Short Course or another introduction to the Science of Reading. Read more

The Science of Reading Short Course is an accessible, self-paced course based on more than forty years of research related to neuroscience, reading processes, reading instruction, and implementation science. The course consists of six modules book-ended by an introduction and wrap-up. Each module also has a knowledge check. The course is designed to take between 10-15 hours and to serve as an ongoing resource for participants. It offers an efficient and practical introduction to the science of reading for a variety of educators – teachers, instructional coaches, school and district leaders, pre-service candidates, and pre-service faculty, whose training may not have adequately prepared them for evidence-based instruction in reading. Based on adult learning theory, each module has clearly stated objectives, explicitly written background information, useful video demonstrations, numerous graphic illustrations, interactive activities to apply and reinforce concepts, and a final knowledge check to support mastery. The course has robust downloadable resources and links to opportunities to go deeper in specific areas for those interested in extending their learning. The original Science of Reading Short Course was collaboratively created through a partnership of five educational organizations across the country to train Teach For America corps members during the first summer of the pandemic. Original partners included Barksdale Reading Institute, Hill Learning Center, The Reading League, Right to Read Project, and The Reading Teacher's Top Ten Tools. As an outgrowth of this work, Hill Learning Center spearheaded an effort to refine the content into a relevant and engaging course for all teachers of reading. The current course is the second version, which has been developed by the following Authors and Advisors: Beth Battle Anderson, Hill Learning Center, Author Kelly Butler, Barksdale Reading Institute, Advisor Dr. Deb Glaser, Developer, The Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools, Advisor Margaret Goldberg, The Right to Read Project, Advisor Sharon Hopper, Hill Learning Center, Author Marion McBride, Barksdale Reading Institute, Author Dr. Barbara Randall, Hill Learning Center, Author Laura Stewart, 95 Percent Group, Advisor Read more

An estimated 1 in 5 individuals have brain-based learning and attention issues, like dyslexia and ADHD. These differences can affect how a person learns to read, write, speak, and do math, as well as how they plan, process, and interact with others. But with the proper understanding, diagnosis, and support, individuals with learning disabilities and ADHD can reach their potential and thrive. Designed for parents, educators, and caregivers, this ~10-hour, self-paced course will provide you with the foundational knowledge you need to help children build the confidence, skills, strategies, and strengths to succeed in school and in life.   This course was developed by Hill Learning Center. We are grateful for Amanda Morin, who made significant contributions to Module 8: Support Strategies for Learning Disabilities and ADHD.  Amanda is an expert in the fields of education and neurodiversity and author of several books including The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education. We are also grateful for the contributions of Belden Long,  an Occupational Therapy Doctoral Student at Duke University and the co-founder of justb, a movement and mindfulness tool designed for kids with autism and ADHD, and Learning Heroes, which released The Parent Journey: Cracking the Code for Families of Children with Learning Differences and accompanying Playbook. Their content helped enrich the course with research-based insights and practical videos. Read more

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