SWD may process information slower, have difficulty remembering and prioritizing.
How it helps all students: Everyone has days when distractions (from home or school) and forgetfulness are just the name of the game.
- Provide visuals, and lots of them.
How it helps SWD: SWD need multi-sensory instruction to engage left and right brain activity. Provide visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues. Reduces verbal prompting
How it helps all students: A visual will help everyone remember (Think: exit signs, directional street signs, calendars for adults)
- Preview & Review Concepts
How it helps SWD: Previewing information allows for better organizing, prioritizing, and processing new info.
How it helps all students: Repetition reinforces commitment to memory.
- Provide a cue that change is coming.
How it helps SWD: Switching attention from one activity to another can be very difficult. Providing a cue that transition is coming can make the transition smoother and allow the brain time to start processing new info.
How it helps all students: Providing a cue for change promotes a positive classroom environment.
- Keeping instruction time between 10-15 minutes and provide a variety of activities for practice.
How it helps SWD: Students with learning disabilities may have a shorter attention span when we talk “at them.”
How it helps all students: By keeping instruction to the point and interesting students will be more engaged and focused.
- Expecting ALL SWD to take notes without a visual outline or a friend to be a note-taker is limiting them access to their curriculum.
How it helps SWD: Writing tasks are typically very difficult for students with learning disabilities. Add that to slower processing, no visuals, and a lengthy lesson and you have a disaster on your hands.
How it helps all students: Students need to learn what’s important to write and what’s not.
- Slower pace instruction.
How it helps SWD : Slow down and be clear. This helps with processing.
How it helps all students: Taking time to allow for student understanding and matching pacing to the needs of your classroom fosters a positive learning environment for your classroom.
- Assume nothing…connect everything.
How it helps SWD: One concept at a time helps with…Processing! Teach one concept at a time and draw connections to prior knowledge. This will help strengthen brain functioning.
How it helps all students: Even the smartest kid in your class may need help making connections. (Remember the joke YOU didn’t get 🙂 )