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What is People First Language?

People with disabilities are – first and foremost – people who have individual abilities, interests and needs. They are moms, dads, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, coworkers, students and teachers.  About 54 million Americans one out of every five individuals have a disability. Their contributions enrich our communities and society as they live, work and share their lives.

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Students With Physical Disabilities Speak Out on Challenges in School


Jay Spencer, a physically disabled sixth grader at Hayfield Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, says he wishes his mainstream teachers knew what it felt like to see how he sees.“It’s like if you put your finger in between your eyes and then it disappears,” he says.Jay, 12, has Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), an inherited retinal degenerative disease. People with this disorder typically have severe visual impairment beginning in infancy, or in Jay’s case, when he was two years old. His fine vision is lost, and he can’t detect light and color, but he can see shadows of figures.

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Cary High’s Club Unify welcomes special needs students into the spotlight

Using Clickers? A Note of Caution

A new study shows that the popular edtech devices can improve fact retention but hinder deeper understanding.

If you’re using personal response systems, or clickers, a new study provides a note of caution: While they seem to boost students’ ability to retain factual knowledge, that may come at the cost of deeper conceptual understanding.

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Tips for Tackling Timed Tests and Math Anxiety

By Youki Terada

You can’t make timed tests go away, but you can help make the stress more manageable for students.
Recently we posted a brief research finding from Stanford math professor Jo Boaler: “Timed math tests can discourage students, leading to math anxiety and a long-term fear of the subject.” That terse conclusion, from a 2014 article in Teaching Children Mathematics, provoked a torrent of passionate comments as educators and former students weighed in on the merits of timed testing.

Understanding the Unique Instructional Needs of English Language Learners


Elizabeth Brooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Chief Education Officer, Lexia Learning and Rosetta Stone
What do we know about English Language Learners?

English Language Learners (ELLs) are one of the fastest-growing sub-groups among the school-aged population in the United States. The ELL population is diverse due to differences in students’ exposure to English as well as individual competence in their first language. These differences, along with other social and environmental factors, influence each child’s ability to successfully learn to read and speak English. To best support ELLs, educators must have a clear understanding of their students’ backgrounds, and must focus on providing personalized reading instruction, with varying levels of support.

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Summertime Reading

We all know that summer reading is good for kids. Without it, experts say, reading skills can decrease. Encourage parents to include reading in their summer plans, and help them keep their kids reading by making summertime reading different from what they do at school.

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What Research Says About Reading

How Does Reading Develop?

Learning to read is a relatively lengthy process that begins very early in development, before children enter formal schooling. The quantity and quality of language and early literacy interactions during the preschool years profoundly affect the acquisition of the language building blocks that support skilled reading (Snow et al., 1998). As noted in all of the NAEP reading results for the past quarter of a century, reading failure is most prevalent among children from disadvantaged environments. The gap between these children and their more affluent peers begins early. Lonigan (2003) found that low-income preschool children were significantly less adept at identifying and manipulating the sound structure of language—a skill known as phonological sensitivity—than were middle- and high-income children. Low-income children also experienced significantly less growth in knowledge of phonemes, letter names, and letter sounds.

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Reading Strategy and Reading Program Resources

More reading resources:

These organizations are great resources for families and educators.

Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA)


ACT Assessment for College


Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD)


Council of Educators of Students with Disabilities (CESD)


Education Service Center Dyslexia Contacts for assistance

Financial Aid and Scholarships


HEATH Resource Center


International Dyslexia Association (IDA)


International Reading Association (IRA)


LD OnLine


Learning Ally (Formerly RFB&D)


Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)


Meadows Center


National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)


Schwab Learning


Texas Center for Learning Disabilities


Texas Education Agency (TEA)


Texas Education Agency (TEA) Special Education


English Reading and Language Arts Adopted 2017


Spanish Reading and Language Arts Adopted 2017


English Reading and Language Arts Vertical Alignments-2017


6 Great Reading Apps for Kids

These phone and tablet apps will enrich story time at home or on the road.

In this swiftly changing techy era, it’s tough to sort through what apps are must-have. When it comes to sharing (or creating!) books with your kids, we’ve got you covered. Dig into this list of nifty and distinctive phone and tablet apps.

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