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Why children with dyslexia struggle with writing and how to help them

Children with dyslexia often have related writing difficulties. In the simple view of writing model, high-quality writing depends on...
Children with dyslexia often have related writing difficulties. In the simple view of writing model, high-quality writing depends on good transcription skills, working memory, and executive function-all of which can be difficult for children with dyslexia and result in...
Children with dyslexia often have related writing difficulties. In the simple view of writing model, high-quality writing depends on good transcription skills, working memory, and executive function-all of which can be difficult for children with dyslexia and result in poor spelling and low overall writing quality. In this article, we describe the challenges of children with dyslexia in terms of the simple view of writing and instructional strategies to increase spelling and overall writing quality in children with dyslexia. Method: For spelling strategies, we conducted systematic searches across 2 databases for studies examining the effectiveness of spelling interventions for students with dyslexia as well as including studies from 2 meta-analyses. To locate other instructional practices to increase writing quality (e.g., handwriting and executive function), we examined recent meta-analyses of writing and supplemented that by conducting forward searches. Results: Through the search, we found evidence of effective remedial and compensatory intervention strategies in spelling, transcription, executive function, and working memory. Some strategies included spelling using sound-spellings and morphemes and overall quality using text structure, sentence combining, and self-regulated strategy development. Conclusions: Many students with dyslexia experience writing difficulty in multiple areas. However, their writing (and even reading) skills can improve with the instructional strategies identified in this article. We describe instructional procedures and provide links to resources throughout the article.
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Reading and Oral Vocabulary Development in Early Adolescence

International assessments show that 20% of adolescents cannot read simple texts with understanding. Despite this, research has focused on...
International assessments show that 20% of adolescents cannot read simple texts with understanding. Despite this, research has focused on early reading in childhood and skilled reading in adulthood, neglecting reading development during adolescence. We report a longitudinal study assessing...
International assessments show that 20% of adolescents cannot read simple texts with understanding. Despite this, research has focused on early reading in childhood and skilled reading in adulthood, neglecting reading development during adolescence. We report a longitudinal study assessing reading and vocabulary development at 12, 13 and 14 years in a sample of 210 adolescents who were unselected for ability. Word reading accuracy, word reading fluency, reading comprehension, receptive vocabulary and expressive vocabulary were assessed using standardized assessments. Latent variable models showed consistent rank order amongst individuals (high stability), significant progress over time, and evidence that achievement gaps between the least and most able adolescents were narrowing. Oral vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension were best conceptualized as indices of a common language construct. Low levels of reading proficiency were also observed in a substantial proportion of this sample, underlining the importance of providing ongoing reading and language support during adolescence.
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Evidence-Based Practices for Vocabulary Instruction

The Strategies for Reading Information and Vocabulary Effectively (STRIVE) professional development (PD) model was developed through funding from the...
The Strategies for Reading Information and Vocabulary Effectively (STRIVE) professional development (PD) model was developed through funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. As part of this research project, a cadre of upper-elementary school teachers...
The Strategies for Reading Information and Vocabulary Effectively (STRIVE) professional development (PD) model was developed through funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. As part of this research project, a cadre of upper-elementary school teachers worked closely with researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University to design evidence-based practices for social studies instruction in grades 4 and 5. The STRIVE PD model featuring these practices was refined through researcher-practitioner collaboration, the latest developments in reading research, and the results of pilot studies. Several efficacy trials have reported positive outcomes in teacher quality and student vocabulary and comprehension development as a result of participation in STRIVE PD. This research brief provides in-depth descriptions of the STRIVE evidence-based vocabulary practices.
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A Fresh Look at Phonics

This article provides useful information for leaders on what to look for in effective phonics instruction and lists the...
This article provides useful information for leaders on what to look for in effective phonics instruction and lists the 10 common breakdowns to effectiveness.
This article provides useful information for leaders on what to look for in effective phonics instruction and lists the 10 common breakdowns to effectiveness.
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A sentence-combining intervention for struggling writers: response to intervention

Children who struggle with writing are a heterogeneous group and may experience difficulties in a range of domains, including...
Children who struggle with writing are a heterogeneous group and may experience difficulties in a range of domains, including spelling, reading, and oral language. These difficulties are reflected in their writing and may influence their responsiveness to writing interventions....
Children who struggle with writing are a heterogeneous group and may experience difficulties in a range of domains, including spelling, reading, and oral language. These difficulties are reflected in their writing and may influence their responsiveness to writing interventions. The effectiveness of a targeted sentence-combining intervention to improve the writing skills of 71 struggling writers, aged 7 to 10 years, was compared with a spelling intervention and a business as usual (waiting list) control condition. Some struggling writers also performed poorly on measures of reading and oral language. Children's performance on a range of writing measures were assessed at baseline (t1), immediate post-test (t2) and delayed post-test (t3). Children receiving the sentence-combining intervention showed significant improvements in the sentence combining measure at t2 and t3 compared to both the spelling intervention and waiting list controls. Exploratory regression analyses found that children in the sentence-combining intervention, with a low t1 sentence combining score, low reading skills or better t1 spelling skills, were more likely to show improvements at t2. Findings indicate that when devising interventions for struggling writers, specific profiles of skills should be considered. Specifically, sentence combining may be more appropriate for SWs whose primary area of difficulty is reading, rather than poor spelling or oral language.
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Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Intervention in the Elementary Grades

This practice guide provides evidence-based practices that can help teachers tailor their instructional approaches and/or their mathematics intervention programs...
This practice guide provides evidence-based practices that can help teachers tailor their instructional approaches and/or their mathematics intervention programs to meet the needs of their students.
This practice guide provides evidence-based practices that can help teachers tailor their instructional approaches and/or their mathematics intervention programs to meet the needs of their students.
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Identifying and Teaching Students with Significant Reading Problems

As researchers who have studied mechanisms for improving literacy outcomes for more than 30 years, Drs. Sharon Vaughn and...
As researchers who have studied mechanisms for improving literacy outcomes for more than 30 years, Drs. Sharon Vaughn and Jack M. Fletcher offer a sobering review of what is known about how to help struggling readers.
As researchers who have studied mechanisms for improving literacy outcomes for more than 30 years, Drs. Sharon Vaughn and Jack M. Fletcher offer a sobering review of what is known about how to help struggling readers.
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The Role of Background Knowledge in Reading Comprehension: A Critical Review.

A critical review was conducted to determine the influence background knowledge has on the reading comprehension of primary school-aged...
A critical review was conducted to determine the influence background knowledge has on the reading comprehension of primary school-aged children. We identified twenty-three studies that met our criteria and focused on the links between background knowledge and reading comprehension...
A critical review was conducted to determine the influence background knowledge has on the reading comprehension of primary school-aged children. We identified twenty-three studies that met our criteria and focused on the links between background knowledge and reading comprehension of children in the mid to late primary years. Review findings highlight that higher levels of background knowledge have a range of effects that are influenced by the nature of the text, the quality of the situation model required, and the presence of reader misconceptions about the text. Our findings also indicate that background knowledge impacts differentially on stronger and weaker readers. Readers with lower background knowledge appear to benefit more from text with high cohesion, while weaker readers were able to compensate somewhat for their relatively weak reading skills in the context of a high degree of background knowledge. Implications of the findings for early years classroom practice are outlined, together with suggested future research directions.
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Principles of instruction: Research-based strategies that all teachers should know

The article presents a discussion of the ten research-based principles of instruction for classroom practice, adapted from Principles of...
The article presents a discussion of the ten research-based principles of instruction for classroom practice, adapted from Principles of Instruction by Barak Rosenshine.
The article presents a discussion of the ten research-based principles of instruction for classroom practice, adapted from Principles of Instruction by Barak Rosenshine.
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Early Identification of Reading Disabilities Within an RTI Framework

Early and accurate identification of children at risk for reading disabilities (RD) is critical for the prevention of RD...
Early and accurate identification of children at risk for reading disabilities (RD) is critical for the prevention of RD within a response to intervention framework. In this study, we investigated the use of universal screening and progress monitoring for...
Early and accurate identification of children at risk for reading disabilities (RD) is critical for the prevention of RD within a response to intervention framework. In this study, we investigated the use of universal screening and progress monitoring for the early identification of RD in kindergarten children. A total of 366 children were administered a battery of screening measures at the beginning of kindergarten and progress-monitoring probes across the school year. A subset of children who showed initial risk for RD also received a 26-week Tier 2 intervention. Participants’ achievement in word reading accuracy and/or fluency was assessed at the end of first grade. Results indicated that a screening battery containing measures of letter naming fluency, phonological awareness, rapid naming, or nonword repetition accurately identified good and poor readers at the end of first grade. Findings also showed that children’s response to supplemental and/or classroom instruction measured in terms of growth in letter naming fluency added significantly to the prediction of reading outcomes.
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