Resources

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

  • More Fun than Memorization: Interactive Strategies for Spelling Success

    January 16, 2024 More Fun than Memorization: Interactive Strategies for Spelling Success by Hazel Crowley Spelling is Hard For many students with language-based learning disabilities, learning to spell can be emotional. It may be hard because, too often, students have been raised on flashcard learning and rote spelling tests which have permanently established a punishing

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  • Research Writing Process: Organize, Outline, and Draft

    March 1, 2023 The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) report titled Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively asserts that “Effective writing is a vital component of students’ literacy achievement, and writing is a critical communication tool for students to convey thoughts and opinions, describe ideas and events, and analyze information” (Graham et al, 2016, p.1).  

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  • A student taking purposeful research notes

    The Research Writing Process

    Updated February 13, 2023 Why do students with LD struggle with the research and writing process? In their review of recent research into writing interventions for students with learning disabilities, Amy Gillespie Rouse and Ashley Sandoval (2018) make the following observation: “Compared to their peers without learning disabilities, these students spend less time planning for

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  • The Hidden Demands of Writing

    December 12, 2022 Writing is a complex, high-level task that incorporates and synthesizes many language skills from phonemic awareness to handwriting to critical thinking and analysis. In their research to confirm the efficacy of Self-Regulated Strategy Development, Steve Graham and Karen Harris asserted that “skilled writing was a highly demanding process that was self-directed, requiring

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  • Notebook open, with pen lying across

    Research Writing: Finding and Evaluating Sources

    May 1, 2023 Writing a cohesive research paper requires an extensive amount of self-talk, self questioning, and self-monitoring. This internal language or metacognitive process can be under-developed in students with LBLD as they often allocate so much cognitive energy understanding and reading sources, as well as composing their thoughts based on this information, that they

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  • Vocabulary Strategy: Use of Context

    by Joan Sedita This post was reprinted with permission from Joan Sedita.  The original post can be accessed here and all posts by Joan Sedita can be accessed at the Literacy Lines blog.  January 10, 2023 An important strategy to help students build their vocabulary is use of context – i.e., using the clues or hints provided in the

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  • Bottom-up and Top-down Teaching

    by Rob Kahn January 6th, 2022 I had a recent discussion with a tutor who mentioned she was about to teach writing multi-paragraph essays to a freshman in high school. This was uncharted ground, i.e., subject matter that was new to her, and she asked if I knew good sources for curriculum guidance where she

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

    The Reading and Writing Connection

    November 15, 2018 Reading and writing skills are the cornerstones of academic proficiency, and there are many cognitive processes that must coordinate in order for students to access content and demonstrate mastery. Literacy experts believe that reading is developed through a series of skills that help us connect our speech sounds to letters, those letters

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  • The Simple View of Reading

    November 29, 2021 Developed by Phillip Gough and colleagues (Gough & Tumner, 1986; Hoover and Gough,1990; Juel, Griffith, & Gough,1986) in 1986, the Simple View of Reading was one of the first models of reading development that explored the process of reading acquisition. Their research asserted that the endgame of reading is comprehension, and they

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  • Handwriting and Literacy Development

    October 28, 2021 In the digital age, many people consider handwriting to be an antiquated form of communication. The emphasis on handwriting decreases as students get older, and many places do not require direct instruction in letter formation past the first grade, instead shifting the focus to keyboarding. Although typing skills are also critical to

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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. Studies show that most people learn best and retain the most information when  ideas are presented in a multisensory fashion. Novice teachers are often advised to let the wisdom of Confucius guide their planning: “I hear and

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  • Assessing Writing: Challenges and Strategies

    by Keryn Kwedor January 21, 2021 Put yourself in the place of a student who just got an important writing assignment back from their teacher. You see a letter grade alongside the comment that justifies the teacher’s scoring decision. You might wonder what makes a C different from an C+? Maybe you worked on this

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  • A student and a teacher work on writing together

    The Writing Process: Teach the Thinking Phase

    November 12, 2020 The thinking phase of writing refers to a student’s opportunity to think about what they know about a topic and put that understanding in writing. This phase is much more complex than it appears on the surface, as successful writing incorporates many academic and metacognitive skills. When students are asked to write,

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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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  • Supporting High School Student’s Executive Function while Teaching the Writing Process

    By Lauren Murphy May 15, 2020 I’ve been teaching writing since I started teaching at Landmark, and as someone who enjoys writing, teaching writing has been an exciting (and sometimes frustrating) opportunity for me. The majority of the students I teach have executive functioning deficits; thus, the writing process can seem like an insurmountable task

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  • Effective Use of Context Vocabulary

    September 22, 2019 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

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  • Creating Positive Student Outcomes in Middle School Special Education: How to Teach Point of View

    March 19, 2019 This post is part of a series about helping students with LBLD experience academic success. Read Erin’s other blog posts: Start the Year with Writing Instruction Scary Story Contest Tackling Text Structure Creating Richer Personal Narratives by Erin Broudo I’m sure I’m not the only one who has made this mistake. “Rewrite

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  • An image of Piper Otterbein giving her talk on a stage at a TED talk

    Overcoming Dyslexia, Finding Passion: Piper Otterbein at TEDxYouth@CEHS

    High school senior Piper Otterbein in a TEDx Youth video speaks about her struggles with dyslexia and the strengths she has realized because of it.

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  • Creating Positive Student Outcomes in Middle School Special Education: Tackling Text Structure

    April 25, 1920 This post is part of a series about helping students with LBLD experience academic success. Read Erin’s other blog posts: Start the Year with Writing Instruction Scary Story Contest How to Teach Point of View Creating Richer Personal Narratives by Erin Broudo Working with Author’s Purpose As testing season rapidly approaches, I’ve

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  • BLOG SERIES: Helping Students with LBLD Experience Academic Success

    See all of the blog posts that are a part of this series

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  • Creating Positive Student Outcomes in Middle School Special Education: Creating Richer Personal Narratives

    May 5, 2019 This post is part of a series about helping students with LBLD experience academic success. Read Erin’s other blog posts: Start the Year with Writing Instruction Scary Story Contest How to Teach Point of View Tackling Text Structure by Erin Broudo Each year, I do a personal narrative writing unit with my

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  • Study Skills in Early Elementary School: Assigning and Working through Research Projects

    May 28, 2019 This post is part of a series about helping students with LBLD experience academic success. Read Lauren’s other blog posts: Organization of Materials Teaching Time Management Vocabulary Instruction Strategies and Activities by Lauren Guerriero As teachers, we have all been faced with the challenge of engaging our learners in shared research. This activity

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  • Study Skills in Early Elementary School: Vocabulary Instruction Strategies and Activities

    April 25, 2019 This post is part of a series about helping students with LBLD experience academic success. Read Lauren’s other blog posts: Organization of Materials Teaching Time Management Assigning and Working through Research Projects by Lauren Guerriero Vocabulary instruction is a vital part of teaching The more students understand vocabulary, the more they will be

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  • Scary Story Contest: Creating Positive Student Outcomes in Middle School Special Education

    February 13, 2019 This post is part of a series about helping students with LBLD experience academic success. Read Erin’s other blog posts: Start the Year with Writing Instruction How to Teach Point of View Tackling Text Structure Creating Richer Personal Narratives by Erin Broudo Each October, I assign my students a writing challenge in

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  • Dyslexia Resources

    Explore these dyslexia resources from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The web page includes the definition of dyslexia from the International Dyslexia Association, information about early intervention, and resources related to writing IEPs. 

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  • International Dyslexia Association

    Explore the International Dyslexia Association’s website. The site includes valuable resources and helpful background information about dyslexia.

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  • Creating Positive Student Outcomes in Middle School Special Education: Start the Year with Writing Instruction

    January 15, 2019 This post is part of a series about helping students with LBLD experience academic success. Read Erin’s other blog posts: Scary Story Contest How to Teach Point of View Tackling Text Structure Creating Richer Personal Narratives by Erin Broudo I run a language-based program in central Massachusetts for grades 6-8. This year,

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  • Dysgraphia

    Understand more about dysgraphia. Explore Understood.org’s comprehensive resources related to dysgraphia.

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  • Self-Regulated Strategy Development

    Understand self-regulated strategy development through exploring the thinkSRSD.com website. This site is run community of teachers and researchers who use and study Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) and provides useful information and explanation on this complex approach to teaching writing including articles, videos, and other resources.

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  • Oral Versus Written Language: Differences Can Make a Difference!

    by Terrill Jennings and Dr. Charles Haynes

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  • Written Expression in the Digital Age

    Learn more about written expression in the digital age. This article from JStor Daily debunks the myth that the writing skills of students in the digital age are declining. Anne Trubek outlines a study that examined student errors from 1917 to present day.  She discovered that the nature or the errors have shifted but not the

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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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  • 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

    Proofreading

    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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  • A young girl writes at a desk

    Process Writing: An Overview for Teachers

    September 2016 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

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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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  • Meet the Authors: From Talking to Writing, 2nd Edition

    by Terrill Jennings and Dr. Charles Haynes

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  • 6 Tips to help students with dysgraphia

    Learn 6 tips to help students with dysgraphia. This Edutopia article outlines what dysgraphia is, how it impacts students, and strategies to support students.

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  • Technology Resources for Students

    Learn about technology resources for students. The Center on Technology and Disability published this list of apps and programs to support students’ comprehension, writing, and ability to independently complete academic assignments.

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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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  • Teaching Argument Writing

    The New York Times published this comprehensive collection of ideas for teaching argument writing. The article includes ideas to help students understand the difference between fact and opinion, the role of opinion in the newspaper, and the importance of claims and evidence.  

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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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  • Image of the website LD Online

    LD Online

    Explore the LD Online website  to gain valuable and practical resources to support students with learning disabilities and ADHD.

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  • A teacher and student on the floor learn new vocabulary

    Importance of Explicitly Teaching Vocabulary

    Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of explicitly teaching vocabulary, particularly for students with learning disabilities through reading this comprehensive report from the Council for Learning Disabilities. This detailed compilation explains why teaching vocabulary is essential, answers common questions about teaching vocabulary, and offers templates and researched strategies to effectively teach vocabulary.    

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  • Edutopia

    Explore Edutopia, the George Lucas Educational Foundation website. This site features articles and resources on many popular topics in education.

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  • girl write on white paper close up

    Meaningful Feedback for Student Writing Workshops

    Observe Sean McComb on the Teaching Channel as he demonstrates his approach to managing giving meaningful feedback for student writing workshops in his 10th grade English class. He works to give each student personalized feedback and structure class time to promote student independence and metacognition.

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  • Using Appropriate Technology to Access Curriculum

    May 18, 2017 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

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  • A silver pen on a piece of torn sheets of paper

    Skill Based Writing Instruction

    Katrina Schwartz, writing for Mind/Shift, outlines research, data, and testimonials about the benefits of teaching students to write using explicit skill based strategies that start at the word and sentence level and systematically work up to complex essays. She references research by Nell Scharff Panero and the popular Atlantic Monthly article: “The Writing Revolution.”  

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  • A grid of colorful sight words

    Teaching Sight Word Strategies

    Learn strategies for teaching sight words to help students understand how to read and spell words that don’t follow obvious language rules. Edutopia contributor Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Ed.D., outlines how to use etymology and the history of words help students make sense of words that don’t play fair. She includes helpful visuals, videos, and links to

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  • Children reading on an ipad with a teacher assisting them

    Accessible Technology Across Grade Levels

    April 13, 2017 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

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

    Written Expression and Technology

    March 14, 2017 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

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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 desk with a paper on it and papers pinned behind it

    “The Writing Revolution” by Peg Tyre

    Peg Tyre examines the solution that finally turned around a school with failing test scores, facing closure: a systematic and hierarchical approach to teaching writing that made no assumptions about what the students knew and didn’t know about language.  It debunks the popular assumption that writing skills can be simply “caught not taught” and asserts

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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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  • 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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  • Children gathered around a computer

    The Role of Technology in Cognitive Load Theory

    November 22, 2016 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

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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 student holding a pencil explains his thinking

    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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  • A teacher works with students around a table

    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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  • Students and a males teacher conduct a science experiment

    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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  • A teacher helping a student while other students in the background have their hands raised

    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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  • A female student with her hand on her chin smiles

    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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  • A picture of Marion Ivey in front of her class talking about peer feedback

    Student Growth from Peer Feedback

    A teaching channel video that takes us to Teaching Channel Laureate Marion Ivey’s kindergarten class. Watch her conduct a writing workshop that promotes growth mindset through students giving peer-to-peer feedback on each other’s writing  

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  • Theresa Awolesi speaking about self-awareness and success in front of a class

    Self Awareness and Success

    British college student, Theresa Awolesi, speaks about self-awareness and success, as well as how her dyslexia impacted her in her studies. In addition, she believes that it was her ability to understand her own learning needs and self-advocate that helped her find success in her desired career.

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  • Steven Spielberg being interviewed about his dyslxia

    Steven Spielberg – Dyslexia Interview

    Steven Spielberg, one of the world’s most accomplished filmmakers, was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 60. In a recent interview, Spielberg revealed that as an adolescent, he turned to filmmaking when his language-based learning disability made him feel like an outcast.

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  • Electric current with rainbow colors

    Word Atlas in our Brains

    The Guardian summarizes new research that reveals how the meaning of words are organized across regions of the brain.  Through neuroimaging, the study’s participants exhibited that not just one area, but many interconnected regions of the brain light up when they hear words.

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