These resources were created and/or collected by Outreach staff to assist you in better understanding how to teach students with LBLD.

  • Summer Reading 2020: Race, Equity, and Inclusion

    The 2020 summer reading list was created by our high school librarian, Amy Veling, and inspired by the work of and conversations with Landmark’s Diversity and Inclusion Advocates, a group of faculty on campus that strives to recognize racial and cultural inequality and to help make sure that the school community embraces diversity and is

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  • A young girl writes at a desk with an open computer

    Expository Writing Across the Curriculum

    “By the time a child is in late elementary school, expository writing demands are almost everywhere, in every subject.” – Jean Gudaitis Tarricone Expository writing begins early and exists in every subject from history to math class. Producing sequential, enumerative, compare/contrast, cause/effect, opinion, and descriptive writing is an everyday occurrence in the curriculum from late

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  • The Six Teaching Principles and Online Learning

    Promote accessibility to your online classroom by incorporating the Landmark Six Teaching Principles™ into your content. The Landmark Six Teaching Principles™ were developed to guide teachers in approaching the presentation of both content and skills across the curriculum and can be adapted to work in a remote learning environment.   Provide opportunities for students to experience success. Online

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  • Social-Emotional Learning Activities

    No matter where instruction takes place, incorporating social-emotional learning activities is important. Research conducted by both the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) outline that understanding and honoring student emotions are essential to not only creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment, but are also essential to

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  • A man speaks to a classroom of boys

    Study Skills: Materials Management

    In order for students to become independent and competent learners, they need to possess strong study skills. In other words, they need to understand and use strategies to help them manage their time, materials, and language. Many students diagnosed with a specific learning disability (SLD) benefit greatly from direct instruction in study skills, including methods

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  • What to Know: Dyscalculia

    The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) defines dyscalculia as, “a specific learning disability in math. Children with dyscalculia may have difficulty understanding number-related concepts or using symbols or functions needed for success in mathematics” (Horowitz, Rawe, & Whittaker, 2017, ch. 1).  The ability to acquire arithmetic skills without being explicitly taught to do so

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  • Diagnostic and Prescriptive Teaching

    What is it? Diagnostic prescriptive teaching is an educational approach that has existed for decades. To implement this type of instruction in a classroom, teachers first diagnose their students’ academic abilities and limitations, then prescribe an appropriate course of action to address areas of weakness. Like a doctor trying to decide the correct pill dosage

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  • Receptive and Expressive Language and Specific Learning Disabilities

    Children are not explicitly taught to listen or speak because these skills develop naturally as we are exposed to language. However, students with a specific learning disability (SLD) such as dyslexia often experience difficulty with these critical language skills that are essential to classroom success.    The skills of listening and speaking in the classroom falls

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  • Effective Use of Context Vocabulary

    Vocabulary words are most useful to students when they recognize them in their reading and can use them in their writing. Therefore, it is important to introduce students to unfamiliar words before they are exposed to them in a text. If students come across an unfamiliar word while reading, they are more likely to wonder

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  • A boy reading in a classroom

    Metacognition and Reading Comprehension

    “Creating and improvising opportunities to involve students in the learning process allows students to become aware of how they learn and why certain skills benefit them. As a result, students are more motivated and more likely to apply those skills when working independently. In short, an included student becomes an invested student who is eager

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  • Games to Reinforce Reading and Spelling

    The Relationship Between Reading and Spelling What are the most effective methods for reading instruction? Much of the scientific research and data points to the importance of using a systematic approach to teaching reading. In other words, instruction must start with the origin of reading: recognizing, understanding, and manipulating the sounds we hear in our

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  • A boy in a striped shirt sits at a table while a teacher helps him

    Provide Models

    From infancy onward, we all need models to learn new skills. Infants’ babbling mirrors the sounds of caregivers and lays the foundation that enables them to develop spoken language. Children learn by watching models and mimicking—to dress themselves, show manners, and swing on a swing set, for example. In fact, throughout our lives we depend

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  • Finding the Main Idea: Prerequisite Comprehension Skills

    Finding the main idea or understanding what you read is one link in a chain of reading skills, and each skill relies on and supports one another. To comprehend text, students must first be able to understand the phonological components of language (that sounds are represented by letters), then they must be able to decode

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  • Mathematical Mindsets

    Jo Boaler, a British education author and a professor of mathematics education at Stanford Graduate School of Education, has completed extensive research on how we learn math from early infancy through adulthood. By studying parts of our brain where math facts are held and manipulated, she concludes that many of the methodologies currently used to

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  • Students eagerly participate in a classroom lesson

    Promoting Student Interest and Motivation

    The Importance of Interest and Motivation Recent research about brain functions demonstrates the value of interest and motivation in the development of academic skills, specifically for secondary students. FMRIs have allowed researchers to study the activation of different areas of the brain during specific tasks. This research suggests that students need to be interested and

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  • An educator measures a student's reading progress while he reads aloud

    Measuring Reading Progress

    How is Reading Progress Measured? Reading is a complex process that involves a variety of skills and components. Before determining a way to measure reading progress, the specific reading skill being measured must first be identified. Please note that phonemic awareness is not included here as that particular skill generally requires more complex progress monitoring.

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  • Student works with educator to apply active reading strategy of highlighting to support comprehension.

    Supporting Reading Comprehension

    Key Factors in Comprehension In order for students to comprehend material, a variety of factors must be intact. First and foremost, students need to be able to read and understand 90-95% of the material on any given page for that information to make sense. Considering this factor, vocabulary knowledge is an essential component of comprehension. Also,

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  • Student practices vocabulary words in structured exercises with support from teacher

    Vocabulary Instruction

    Why is Vocabulary Instruction Important? Researchers know that vocabulary knowledge is strongly linked to academic success. Understanding vocabulary is the cornerstone of accessing background knowledge, communicating effectively, and understanding and learning new ideas. Students with strong word knowledge and vocabularies are able to understand new concepts and ideas more quickly than students with more limited

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  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the Role of Accessible Technology

    What is Universal Design for Learning?  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) encompasses three brain networks, providing insight and strategies to allow all students the opportunity to access academic curriculum. The three brain networks are as follows: Recognition Network: The WHAT of learning. This relates to the need to present material in multiple formats. With differing representations

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  • An educator models fluent oral reading while a small group of students follows along

    Oral Reading Fluency

    What is Oral Reading Fluency? While the definition of oral reading fluency typically focuses on the rate and the correct pronunciation of words, tone and expression need to also be considered when evaluating, discussing, and addressing oral reading fluency. Expression (Intonation) and Volume should be varied and conversational. Students should be able to match their expression

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  • Letter blocks spell out the word "play", which has 3 phonemes. This activity supports phonemic awareness and phonics development.

    Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Word Study

    Defining Terms Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes (smallest unit of sound) in spoken words. For instance, there are three phonemes in the word tree (/t/ /r/ /e/). Phonics is a method of instruction that requires the ability to connect sounds to letters and letter combinations in order to accurately read

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  • Elementary students practice reading and writing sight words with individual white boards

    The Reading and Writing Connection

    What is Reading? Reading is a complex process, and reading skills are considered to develop in a hierarchy according to Jeanne Chall’s Stages of Reading Development. In order to support the development of reading skills, it is essential that educators understand how reading develops. What is the Writing Connection? Reading and writing largely depend upon the

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  • A stack of Landmark School Books and Publications

    Landmark’s Six Teaching Principles™

    The foundation of all instruction at Landmark School is made up of six important teaching principles. These principles guide how teachers approach the presentation of both content and skills across the curriculum. Teaching Principle #1: Provide Opportunities for Success Providing students with opportunities for success is key. Failure and poor self-esteem often result when teachers challenge

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  • Educator works with student to determine reading ability

    Overview of Reading Instruction

    What is Reading? Reading is a complex process that requires the development and interaction of a variety of skills. For early readers, these skills include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Recent research suggests a slight shift for adolescent readers who are still developing their skills. For those readers, instruction should focus on word

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  • Language-Based Classroom Environment

    Students with language-based learning disabilities often have difficulty processing and expressing oral and written language. As a result, these students may experience difficulties with the academic tasks of decoding, reading fluency, reading comprehension, spelling, and written composition. Commonly, students with a language-based learning disability also have difficulty with executive function skills, working memory, and attention

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  • Evaluating the Social Emotional Learning Approach

    Why Teach Social Emotional Learning Skills? Research suggests that Social Emotional Learning skills (self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, social awareness, and responsible decision making) are a core component of student success. Learning is a social process, and schools are often the hub of students’ social interactions. If student progress is hampered by emotions, then learning cannot

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  • A young girl and a young woman work together

    Word-Picture Associations Help Students with LBLD Develop Vocabulary

    Special education teachers place a particular emphasis on effective strategies for teaching reading and vocabulary development, an area where most students with language-based learning disabilities (90%) have significant difficulties (Vaughn, Moody, and Schumm 1998). Rupley, Logan, and Nichols (1998) note that vocabulary development is a crucial aspect of successful reading, primarily, because a highly evolved

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  • Two students in a classroom with a girl raising her hand

    Working Memory: Classroom Strategies

    What is working memory? Working memory requires the brain to learn and manipulate new information in such a way that it can be translated into long-term memory and referenced again. It is essentially the work station of the brain: learning and filtering new information, working with that information, and then storing it for future use.

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  • poetry word in mixed vintage metal type printing blocks over grunge wood

    Written and Oral Expression

    Students with language-based learning disabilities often experience difficulty with written and oral expression. Using diamante poems, which follow a specific, structured format, students utilize different parts of speech to create a poem on any given topic or opposing topics. When students have completed their poems, they can share them with the class. What is a

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  • Informal Assessment

    The ultimate goal of informal assessment is to maximize  student learning as measured through their performance. Through informal assessment, teachers can improve, modify, adapt, and accommodate instruction to reach that goal.

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  • A young girl writes at a desk

    Process Writing: An Overview for Teachers

    Process writing is a way of breaking down the task of writing into its smaller component parts. By completing each step sequentially, writing becomes a less threatening and less daunting task. Students learn that writing doesn’t just happen; it is planned and it evolves, taking shape as it develops. The steps in process writing can

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  • A student taking purposeful research notes

    Taking Purposeful Research Notes

    Research can be a tedious and difficult process.  When it comes to taking meaningful notes and organizing them effectively, many students get overwhelmed. Some get stuck on this stage, while others skip it all together, making the research process even more frustrating.  Use this method to help your students take notes for research projects in

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  • A student and a teacher work on writing together

    The Writing Process: Teach the Thinking Phase

    Students often embark on writing assignments without enough background knowledge to produce more than a cursory summary of basic information. The four Cs are an easy-to-remember strategy for the thinking phase of writing. They are to collect sources, comprehend arguments and points of view, critically think, and craft a response. Excerpted from: Teaching Independent Minds: A Landmark

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  • Two students work together at a desk


    An important component of the writing process, one that often challenges students with language-based learning disabilities, is proofreading. Proofreading is an element of editing focused on the concrete skills of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure. “Critical proofreading, or critical thought, relies on a fairly well-developed metacognitive ability which many students with language-based learning disabilities lack. The language demands involved in applying

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  • girl write on white paper close up

    The Expanded Paragraph/Brief Essay Framework

    For the Secondary School Teacher Students who can write different types of expository paragraphs on concrete topics are ready to write an expanded paragraph or brief essay. The expanded paragraph/brief essayfocuses on less concrete topics and requires students to think about what they can less easily observe. The framework for an expanded paragraph/brief essay is three

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  • Magnified Anxiety word illustration on white background.

    Working Memory and Anxiety

    What is anxiety?  Anxiety is a sense of fear and worry, and it is not uncommon among students with language-based learning disabilities. According to, this anxiety stems from a fear of not being able to keep up with peers, as well as feeling different and worrying about the future. These issues can oftentimes interfere with

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  • Students practice responsible decision making by choosing what they want to eat at school

    Responsible Decision Making (Social Emotional Learning)

    What is Responsible Decision Making? Responsible decision making is defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as “the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms.” Essentially, all aspects of a potential decision and its consequences must be considered

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  • Algebra I with Number Sense: an LDA Presentation

    Brigid Houlihan and Maura O’Riordan, both Landmark High School math teachers, presented about their class “Algebra 1 with Number Sense” at the 2018 Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of America conference. Number sense is a student’s ability to be flexible with numbers, understand their relationship to one another, and apply them in real-world situations. Their course content

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  • Students draw different color stick figures on a canvas banner for social awareness and unity

    Social Awareness (Social Emotional Learning)

    What is Social Awareness? Social awareness is defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as, “the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. [It is] the ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and

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  • Students develop their relationship skills by working together on a group project

    Social Emotional Learning: Developing Relationship Skills

    What are Relationship Skills? Relationship skills are an important component of Social Emotional Learning. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), relationship skills pertain to “the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.” To demonstrate appropriate relationship skills, students must learn to: Communicate clearly:

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  • Silhouette of student meditating with mindfulness words surrounding

    Mindfulness in the Classroom

    What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice meaning, “to live fully in the present moment with intention and without judgment” (Kriyonich, 2017). It’s the act of paying attention to what you are doing while you are doing it (Buck, 2017) or being present in the moment. Why Teach Mindfulness? Study outcomes suggest that

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  • open book on white background

    Improving Vocabulary Across Curriculum

    With the completion of Collaborative Strategic Reading, this resource focuses on improving vocabulary across the curriculum to improve student comprehension of the material. Why Vocabulary? Words are the essential foundation for everything we do to learn- every aspect of learning is tied to vocabulary and the ability to understand. Therefore, it is imperative that teachers expose students

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  • Self-Management (Social Emotional Learning)

    What is Self-Management? Self-management is an essential component of social emotional learning. Building from the foundation of self-awareness, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines self-management as, “the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations.” This regulation is achieved by effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself.

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  • Self-Awareness (Social Emotional Learning)

    What is Self-Awareness? The first main skill associated with Social Emotional Learning is self-awareness. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), self-awareness is the ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values, and how they influence behavior. It is the ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with

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  • Social Emotional Learning Overview

    What is Social Emotional Learning? Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is “generally defined as the capacity to identify and manage emotions, resolve problems effectively, and establish healthy personal relationships” (Berman, 2016). When referring to SEL, there are five main skills included: Self-awareness Self-management Relationship skills Social awareness Responsible decision-making Why Social Emotional Skills? According to a

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  • A hand on a key board

    Modeling Writing in Content Areas

    Providing models or templates for students does not mean doing an assignment for them. Models allow students to see what the teacher’s standards and requirements look like in a finished product, and offer them a point of comparison for their own work. Models can come in many forms: oral examples of participating in a discussion;

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  • An image of a finding the main idea strategy

    Finding the Main Idea

    How Can I Locate the Main Idea? Once you can find the topic, you are ready to find the main idea. The main idea is the point of the paragraph. It is the most important thought about the topic. To figure out the main idea, ask yourself this question: What is being said about the

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  • A young man thinking at a desk in a library


    Phonology is the study of the sound systems of a language. Children with a phonological impairment, or a lack of phonological awareness, appear to have disorder in the organization of the sound system. Although their hearing is normal, they do not accurately perceive speech. Among other factors, it could be that an average speaking rate

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  • A young girl bends over a piece of paper writing with a pencil

    Written Expression and Academic Competence

    The Essential Role of Writing in School Academic competence rests on three complex skill sets. One is literacy skills; students’ fluency in reading, writing, and speaking have an enormous influence on their success in school. Written expression is a literacy skill. The other two skill sets that lead to academic competence are study skills and self-regulation and self-efficacy skills.

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  • Boy tired of study and sleeping near the clock

    Basic Time Management Skills

    Being able to tell clock time is different from understanding the concept of time. Many students can read the clock perfectly well, but when asked to estimate how long an assignment will take, they can seldom provide an accurate answer. While some grossly underestimate the time required and set themselves up for disappointment and frustration,

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  • Language-Based Learning Disabilities: What to Know

    The development of fluent language skills is rooted in complex cognitive processes that include attention, auditory and visual perception and processing, memory, and executive function. Students who have difficulty in any of these areas may also have difficulty acquiring the facility with language that school requires. To understand a reading selection, for example, students must

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  • A person working over a math worksheet

    Math as a Language

    Children with learning disabilities are not necessarily deficient in mathematics due to an inability to grasp spatial tasks or estimate quantity. Their difficulties often lie in language dysfunction. When teaching mathematics, treat their difficulty as a manifestation of a language-based learning disability. Students may have poor decoding (reading) skills or expressive or receptive language difficulties.

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  • The Master Filing System

    Materials Management The best way to teach materials management is for a school, or a team of teachers, to settle upon a system by which students will organize their school materials — books, papers, pencils, equipment, etc. The system should be designed to account for everything students need to participate in the school day and do

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  • Brain decline and dementia or aging as memory loss concept for brain cancer decay or an Alzheimer's disease with the medical icon of a old rusting mechanical gears and cog wheels of metal in the shape of a human head with rust.

    Working Memory Overview

    There are three types of memory. Working memory is the process that occurs when information is stored temporarily in the short term memory bank, connected to previously learned information, and translated into long-term memory. Put more simply, working memory refers to the ability to hold information in the mind and manipulate it while readying it to

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  • Executive Function: Activation Routines

    Several Outreach resources are related to six aspects of executive function: activation, focus, effort, emotion, memory, and action.1 In addition, we’ll continue to organize the resources in relation to Landmark’s Six Teaching Principles™. This resource focuses on strategies to activate students toward successful task completion by exploring reference tools, working on time management, and cueing students to empower them

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  • Using Appropriate Technology to Access Curriculum

    Technology Review While there are a variety of technological tools that can be used to aid students as they access curriculum, technology should never replace skill instruction. Teachers should be intentional about which programs and apps they choose to incorporate, as well as how they plan to utilize them within their lessons. Technology is best used

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  • Children reading on an ipad with a teacher assisting them

    Accessible Technology Across Grade Levels

    How to Choose Technology With a variety of technology options available for classroom use, it can be difficult to know what to choose and when to incorporate it. Joy Zabala’s SETT Frameworks provide helpful documents to aid teachers in determining if a technology is appropriate, as well as help them to consider which skills the

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  • A young child types on a laptop at a blue desk

    Written Expression and Technology

    Written Expression Overview Students with language-based learning disabilities (LBLD) can experience a multitude of receptive and/or expressive language difficulties. Receptive language skills are associated with listening and reading because the brain is receiving and processing language. On the other hand, expressive language skills are related to writing and speaking, as these tasks represent the expression

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  • A young boy in a classroom using a e-reader

    E-Reader Technology

    Reading Remediation Overview Reading remediation is often at the center of instruction for students with language-based learning disabilities. While prescriptive in nature, reading instruction can take many forms and follow a variety of programs. At the core of this remediation is the need for structured practice that includes specific and immediate feedback with an opportunity

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  • A person using a tablet device to organize their thoughts

    Technology to Support Study Skills

    What is Study Skills? The term “study skills” refers to the management and organization of time, materials, and information. Study skills topics range from time management and organization to utilizing specific strategies for comprehending material. Instruction in study skills can incorporate the physical organization of materials, as well as the organization of information through note-taking

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  • A young boy using technology to support his learning

    Technology to Support Executive Function

    What is Executive Function? Executive Function encompasses a variety of specific skills and abilities, including activation, focus, effort, emotion, memory, and action. Previous Free Landmark Teaching Strategies have further explained each of these categories with connections to how to implement specific approaches in class instruction. Hill, Skill, and Will by Gardner & Horan Seanna Moran

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  • Apply Language-Based Teaching Strategies in Science Class

    “When teachers instruct the language in a given science unit, students can more easily understand the concepts. Language-based exercises and hands-on activities used in conjunction to teach science concepts offers students with language-based learning disabilities opportunities for success in science class.” -Sophie Wilson, Landmark Elementary-Middle School Science Department Head Students with language-based learning disabilities often categorize

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  • A young girl wearing glasses writes in a notebook

    Executive Function Overview

    Several Outreach resources highlight aspects of working memory deficits and slow processing speed, how these issues present themselves in the classroom, and what you, as the teacher, can do to help. Before discussing those topics, however, let us first look at an overview of executive function skills. What is Executive Function? According to Patricia W.

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  • A student uses a multiple modalities to learn a skill

    Categorizing as Practice and Review

    Practice and review help students develop automaticity. Automaticity enables students to focus their attention on applying knowledge and skills in complex situations. While worksheets and drills provide practice, another activity that students enjoy is categorizing cards. This multisensory strategy for review and practice is flexible enough to use across the curriculum. Students can practice with

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  • A picture of a brain with rays of light coming out

    Cognitive Load Theory

    What is Cognitive Load Theory?  CognitiveLoadTheory (CLT) supports the idea that students can learn only if their mental capacity is not overloaded. In relation to this theory, it is important to be aware of the amount of information a student is asked to learn. When an overload occurs, there is often an increase in errors, poor

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  • A young girl writing with a pencil at a desk in a classroom.

    Collaborative Strategic Reading: Click & Clunk

    This resource explored the second tenet of Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) – click & clunk – and its connection to Landmark’s 5th Teaching Principle, “Provide Models.” For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Provide Models,” click here. Click & Clunk is a strategy used during reading that allows students to monitor their

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  • Three female students sitting outside reading a book

    Collaborative Strategic Reading: Get the Gist

    Continuing with Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR), this resource will examine the third step in the process: get the gist. While preview occurs before reading, both click & clunk and get the gist occur during reading. Essentially, get the gist refers to understanding the material and being able to identify who or what the reading is about (the topic) as well as

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  • Two young boys working together in a classroom

    Collaborative Strategic Reading: Preview

    Collaborative Strategic Reading is a method to appropriately engage students in meaningful lessons and discussions.1 CSR breaks down learning into four main parts (preview, click & clunk, get the gist, and wrap up). This ensures student understanding especially for students with LBLD who have difficulty processing language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Throughout the year, the

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  • Students reading in a group in a library

    Collaborative Strategic Reading: Small Group Work

    After completing instruction in the Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) methods of preview, click & clunk, get the gist, and wrap-up, the teacher can implement this process through small group work, which is the focus of this resource.  Small Group Work Oftentimes, the teacher can utilize or adapt this concept of CSR to meet the needs of small group collaboration. By

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  • Children gathered around a computer

    The Role of Technology in Cognitive Load Theory

    In a different resource, research into technology and its role in the Universal Design for Learning classroom is reviewed. This new strategy will look at how technology can alleviate time demands, particularly for students with slow processing speed and impaired working memory. In order to fully understand the impact of technology, it is important to first

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  • Student and teacher working collaboratively on reading a book

    Collaborative Strategic Reading: Wrap-Up

    The final stage of Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is wrap-up, which centers on reviewing. This is typically the stage where the class summarizes the points of the lesson, and the teacher forms assessments of the students’ understanding. In order to do this, the teacher must have determined what information the students are required to remember and

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  • A teacher stands in front of a chalk board and speaks with students

    Ensure Automatization through Practice and Review

    Automatization is exactly what it sounds like—the ability to perform a task without conscious effort. From tying our shoes to scanning the headlines, we depend on automatic skills to get us through our days efficiently. Imagine what mornings would be like if we could not automatically shower, dress, eat, make coffee, and get to work. We’d

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  • Students and a teacher in a small classroom

    Essential Steps to Effective Instruction

    Motivating students can be challenging. Strategies such as “recognize and celebrate success” or “provide students with opportunities to make decisions and choices” are vital to teaching.1 Landmark’s Six Teaching Principles™ lie at the heart of our instructional strategies. When they guide instruction, these principles help motivate students because they foster engagement with schoolwork and provide students

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  • Two boys playing guitar with a teacher in a classroom

    Executive Function

    “Regardless of their expertise, the musicians need a competent conductor who will select the piece to play, make sure they start playing at the same time and stay on tempo, fade in the strings and then bring in the brass, and manage them as they interpret the music. Without an effective conductor, the symphony will not produce

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  • A student completing math problems on a desk with a calculator

    Executive Function and Action

    There are many aspects of executive function—from activation to focus, to effort, emotion, and memory. The final component is action, which Thomas E. Brown notes in his article “Executive Functions by Thomas Brown,” incorporates both monitoring and self-regulating. However, without knowing what a teacher expects, students will have more difficulty determining if they are on

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  • Students in a math class working with highlighters

    Executive Function and Effort

    We can enliven students’ effort by making sure they are “ready to learn.” We need to help students define a clear purpose for the activity, give specific directions, provide references (such as agendas or steps for a process), and offer cues to begin or transition to the next step. Furthermore, requiring students to brainstorm their

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  • A young boy looking intently at a book holding a pencil.

    Executive Function and Focus

    Sustaining focus (and effort) for long enough to complete a task, and shifting focus to a new task when appropriate are vital executive skills. Students who have difficulty sustaining and shifting focus benefit from being taught how to (and practicing) analyzing and breaking a task into sub-tasks or steps to follow. First, students need to

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  • A student and a teacher having a discussion at a table

    Executive Function and Memory

    The ability to access and utilize memory is an important part of executive function. Thomas E. Brown, of Yale University, highlights memory as one of six clusters of executive function. He writes: “Chronic difficulties with memory appear to be a core problem… but the impairments are not generally with long-term storage memory; instead they involve

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  • A picture of a young male smiling

    Executive Function: Addressing Emotion through Communication

    Students’ emotional responses to challenging situations can influence their concentration, perseverance, application of learned skills, and interactions with others. Abraham Maslow’s expanded hierarchy of needs explains how physical and emotional safety must be satisfied in order to allow people to address cognitive and higher levels of human needs. In order to better create space for

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  • A picture of an expanded kernel sentence template

    Expanded Kernel Sentence Framework

    Where Phrases For the Elementary/Middle School Teacher To start the lesson, the teacher writes an expanded kernel sentence framework across the blackboard: article plus noun plus action verb plus –ed plus where phrase. Note that the verb is in the past tense to teach inflection. The teacher hands out the expanded kernel sentence framework. A sample of

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  • a young woman reads and takes notes

    Finding the Topic

    What is the Topic? One way to find the topic in a reading selection is to see whether one word is repeated in the paragraph. As you count, it is important to consider whether the author is using any synonyms for a word that might be the topic. A synonym is a word that has

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  • Help your Students Incorporate Descriptive Language in their Writing

    Have your students ever had difficulty coming up with descriptive words when writing? To make words more accessible, try the ‘personal adjective bank’ below. This template provides boxes for students to “bank” the various categories of adjectives they encounter during class when reading about or discussing a topic in preparation for writing. With a sample adjective in

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  • A teacher and a student work together in a classroom

    Include Students in the Learning Process

    Landmark’s sixth teaching principle calls us to include students in the learning process. We contribute to their academic success when we help them understand that people learn in different ways and guide them to identify their own learning style. Additionally, we enhance their motivation when we invite students to participate in planning how they will

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    Include Students through Reflection and Evaluation

    Including students in the learning process, whether through explaining the purpose of an assignment, asking for ideas, or having students assess their own learning, helps them to become more engaged in their education. This resource shares ideas for how to guide students in evaluating and reflecting on their work. These self-assessments help them set goals for

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    Include Students: Subject Strategies

    As the spring arrives and we begin to prepare for the conclusion of the year, we should continue to think about ways in which we can include our students in the learning process. Can they help determine ways to review material? What about having them make a portfolio of their best work from the year?

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    Lesson Planning Strategies

    On Overview of Resources Many of our resources have focused on working memory and processing speed under the umbrella of Executive Function. Within those two topics, the role of anxiety and the fundamentals of Cognitive Load Theory have also been introduced. • Executive Function: Dr. Thomas E. Brown’s article explores the 6 clusters of executive function

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    Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

    A bumper sticker that appears occasionally reads, “Assume Nothing.” While we don’t need to buy into its cynical view of the world, it does remind us that we often assume a lot about what our students know and what they can do. Poor work quality from students with learning disabilities most often reflects their lack

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    Micro-Uniting Units

    Students often have difficulty managing language, connecting concepts, and staying focused on the goals of a content unit. As a first step toward increasing student success, teachers can break units or chapters into manageable language and concepts and teach each piece step-by-step, further micro-uniting these components as needed throughout the instructional process. Sharing the unit

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    Multisensory Homework

    Class lessons that engage students’ visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic modes contribute to effective learning. What about homework? Planning multisensory homework assignments provides increased chances of success for students with different learning styles. This resource shares ideas for creating multisensory homework. For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Use Multisensory Approaches,” click here.

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    Processing Speed: Classroom Strategies

    Processing speed is simply the speed at which someone does something. For our students, it involves the ability to perceive information (auditory or visual), understand that information, and then formulate a response, whether oral, written, or physical. For students with slow processing speed, this process can be cumbersome, as it takes larger amounts of time

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    Provide Opportunities for Success

    It’s December. Class work has progressed from review to new material.  Homework is getting harder.  Some of your students may be struggling. Our mission is to empower students through their teachers.  Landmark Outreach shares thinking and strategies that support all students’ efforts to become independent learners and develop a strong sense of self-efficacy. At the

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    Routines for Success

    We often talk about students’ success in relation to assessments and assignments, but their success in classroom discussions is equally important. This resource shares classroom discussion strategies related to the first of Landmark’s Six Teaching Principles™, “Provide Opportunities for Success.” When teaching lessons, begin by clearly explaining to students the goal and the plan of action.

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    The Two-Column Method of Note-taking

    The two-column note-taking method requires active reading, that is, processing must occur for the notes to be taken. Two-column notetaking is an especially useful method for detailed and technical information. The act of separating main ideas from details strengthens the understanding and memory of the content area. However, like just about any strategy for learning, students

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    Understanding Processing Speed

    What is processing speed? Processing Speed refers to the pace at which you are able to perceive information (visual or auditory), make sense of that information, and then respond. In a manner of speaking, processing speed is simply the amount of time it takes to get something done. According to the coauthors of Bright Kids Who

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    Use Multisensory Approaches

    At the most basic level, our brains perceive stimuli through the five senses—seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Some people’s sensory perception is stronger in one area than another, and most of us learn best when information and ideas are presented in a multisensory fashion. Novice teachers are often advised to let the wisdom of

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