Learning Difficulties Australia

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Literacy - writing

Key Research Papers
Programs & Resources
Useful Links

Key Research Papers

The Write Stuff for Preventing and Treating Disabilities
Author: Virginia Berninger, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle
Written language disabilities are extremely prevalent in the population of children with learning disabilities. Reading disabilities might be identified sooner than writing disabilities in many children, but writing disabilities are more persistent. Public concern and public awareness are on the rise. Now that states are expected to be accountable for students learning, and many have instituted a statewide assessment of writing competence, both educators and parents are concerned about the large number of children whose writing skills are below standard. In this educational climate, students with writing disabilities are much more likely to be noticed.
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/write.stuff.htm

Improving Comprehension of Expository Text in Students with LD
A Research Synthesis
Authors: Meenakshi Gajria, Asha K Jitendra, Sheetal Sood, Gabriell Sacks
Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 40 , No. 3, 210-225 (2007) DOI: 10.1177/00222194070400030301
This article summarizes the findings of research studies designed to improve the comprehension of expository text for students with learning disabilities. Twenty-nine studies were located that met the inclusion criteria. Interventions gleaned from the review were categorized as content enhancement (i.e., advance and graphic organizers, visual displays, mnemonic illustrations, and computer-assisted instruction) or cognitive strategy instruction (i.e., text structure, main idea identification, summarization, questioning, cognitive mapping, reciprocal teaching). Treatment outcomes are discussed in relation to the various instructional approaches, student characteristics (e.g., grade, IQ), instructional features (e.g., materials, treatment length), methodological features, strategy maintenance, and generalization components. Implications for classroom practice and future research directions are provided.
http://ldx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/40/3/210

Beyond Phonics
Author: Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D.
International Dyslexia Association Northern California Branch
Newsletter Winter 2008
Differences between good and poor readers and spellers are associated with significant differences in sensitivity to word structure at the morphological level. Insensitivity to morphological aspects of word structure also characterizes adults who spell poorly
http://www.dyslexia-ncbida.org/articles/winter08/beyond_phonics.html

Left-handedness
Whether a person favours their right hand or their left, and what this reveals about brain function, has been studied for at least 150 years. However, researchers still donÇt understand why around 10 per cent of the population turns out to be left-handed.
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Left-handedness?OpenDocument

Improving Comprehension of Expository Text in Students with LD
A Research Synthesis
Authors: Meenakshi Gajria, Asha K Jitendra, Sheetal Sood, Gabriell Sacks
Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 40 , No. 3, 210-225 (2007) DOI: 10.1177/00222194070400030301
This article summarizes the findings of research studies designed to improve the comprehension of expository text for students with learning disabilities. Twenty-nine studies were located that met the inclusion criteria. Interventions gleaned from the review were categorized as content enhancement (i.e., advance and graphic organizers, visual displays, mnemonic illustrations, and computer-assisted instruction) or cognitive strategy instruction (i.e., text structure, main idea identification, summarization, questioning, cognitive mapping, reciprocal teaching). Treatment outcomes are discussed in relation to the various instructional approaches, student characteristics (e.g., grade, IQ), instructional features (e.g., materials, treatment length), methodological features, strategy maintenance, and generalization components. Implications for classroom practice and future research directions are provided.
http://ldx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/40/3/210

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Programs & Resources

THE BOOK OF SPELLS AND MISSPELLS
Author: Valerie Yule
A treasury of spelling for everyone with selections from Ron Tandberg, Andrew Weldon,
Phillip Adams, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, the worldwide web and many others
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozideas/spmisspells.htm  

Writing Fix
This site is for teachers, students and writers, with interactive prompts, lessons, and resources for writing classrooms. . Sections include teaching the process, writing prompts, writing genres, across the curriculum, and developing projects. There are teacher and student sections.    
http://www.writingfix.com  

HANDWRITING TRACING SHEETS
Using the handwriting sheets: Most schools in England now demand that children learn cursive writing almost from the very beginning. This can cause a lot of problems for children who find writing and spelling difficult. These handwriting practice sheets use a precursive script which enable such children to learn basic letter formation without the complication of 'joining-up'. Once pupils become thoroughly at ease with this script, they can make the transition to fully-cursive writing with very little difficulty.
All of these practice sheets involve tracing. Children enjoy tracing, because they can't get it wrong. Using these sheets for five minutes each day should produce a marked improvement in writing. You may photocopy sheets as often as necessary so children get plenty of practice. When children can form letters without conscious effort, they have much more attention to give to correct spelling and the content of their writing.
http://www.prometheantrust.org/admin/files/tracing.pdf

Anything Left-handed - We are a group of left-handed people providing products and information to make life a bit easier for left-handers around the world and campaigning to promote awareness, acceptance and empathy for left-handers. Anything Left-Handed was the first specialist left-handed business in the world. Our mail order operation supplies our wide range of products to individuals and businesses around the world and we have made our products available on the Internet since 1999. We also run the Left-Handers Club, a free association of left-handers worldwide. We publish newsletters for members and act as a forum for their views and a focus for taking action where needed.
Video - Left Handed Children
This unique video provides step by step details of how to help left-handed children with handwriting and other areas of the curriculum. Described by the Teacher Training Agency as "an extremely useful resource, very informative and thought provoking". This video has been distributed by the TTA to all teacher training colleges in England and is invaluable for all left-handed children, their parents and teachers. PAL format for UK and Europe
http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk/

Welcome to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) - The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University
Author: Allen Brizee
As a free service, the indepth Writing Lab at Purdue houses a very large collection of writing resources and instructional material. The Grammar & Mechanics section alone has 30+ topics. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.
In addition, we invite users to submit brief, writing-related questions to our OWL Mail Tutors. You may also find our new grammar blog useful. For more information about services for the Purdue University community, including one-to-one consultations, ESL conversation groups and workshops, please visit the Writing Lab site.
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl
Also see Grades 7-12 Instructors and Students
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/677/01/   

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant
There is no single best way to begin a writing project. What's best is what gets you going and builds momentum or the journey ahead. You may want to start right in on a draft or do some preplanning. The suggestions in Discovering what to Write will help you get going. Often, simply choosing a Subject can be a challenge. You could start Freewriting to locate your subject and generate ideas. Or you might prefer to first gather information from Outside Sources, or to brainstorm using The Journalists' Questions. Look at Organizing Your Writing for help with design and structure. See especially Planning, Freewheeling, Adjusting and Webs and Networks.
http://www.powa.org

Focus on the Sentence
Effective sentences are vital to strong writing. They are fundamental carriers and shapers of meaning; the pulse of style. If you want to work on your sentences, try the following Paradigm sections: Basic Sentence Concepts, Expanding the Basic Pattern, Six Problem Areas, and Designing Effective Sentences. For help with punctuation,try Basic Punctuation.
http://www.powa.org/

The Guide to Grammar and Writing
This site is sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation, a nonprofit 501 c-3 organization that supports scholarships, faculty development, and curriculum innovation.The site is organised with six cascading main headings:† word & sentence level; paragraph level; essay & research level; ask grammar, quizzes, search devises; peripherals & power points; and grammar poll, guest book, awards. Within each main heading are relevant topics, e.g. at sentence level Sentence Parts and Word Functions, Skip to Verbs and Verbals, Clauses, The Garden of Phrases, Diagramming Sentences, Sentence Fragments, Run-on Sentences, Rules for Comma Usage, etc.
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index.htm

Secondary Reading Placement Chart (PDF)
* Secondary Regional Technical Assistance Meeting Presentation from October 2004 (PDF)
This powerpoint was presented at the regional technical assistance meetings for middle and high school principals and reading coaches.
* Primary & Secondary Diagnostic Instruments
A list of assessment instruments generated through a review conducted by in consultation with the Florida Center for Reading Research.
http://www.justreadflorida.com/educators.asp

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Useful Links

Anderson Left Hand Side
Large range of products for left-handed use including children's writing.
http://andersonlefthandside.com.au  

Lefty's
Products and information including resource library for left-handers!
http://www.leftys.com.au/

Teaching Resources – Australian suppliers of left-handed products
Anderson Left Hand Side
Large range of products for left-handed use including children's writing.
http://andersonlefthandside.com.au/

Scholastic - Teaching and Assessing Reading Skills
Extensive website with much information and resources on topics such as Alphabet Recognition, Early Reading, Literature, Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Assessment, Comprehension, Fluency and Intervention, Spelling and Vocabulary for grades 6-8 and 9-12.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/reading/

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