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What research tells us about reading, comprehension, and comprehension instruction

For many years, reading instruction was based on a concept of reading as the application of a set of isolated skills such as identifying words, finding main ideas, identifying cause and effect relationships, comparing and contrasting and sequencing. Comprehension was viewed as the mastery of these skills. One important classroom study conducted during the 1970s found that typical comprehension instruction followed what the study
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8 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

  8. Children with special needs benefit from collaborative efforts among school personnel and parents that support the children’s unique learning abilities and needs Collaboration among parents, teachers, and administrators is essential for children with special needs to achieve academic and behavioral success. School personnel and family members can share valuable information about early reading skills, teaching strategies, co-teaching possibilities, and school/home coordination. The
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7 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

7. Children with special needs benefit from technology-assisted reading instruction Assistive technology devices and services can be used to help children with special needs access and comprehend text more successfully. Assistive technology devices should be selected based on the reading tasks in the classroom and the special needs of children. Assistive technology services should be provided to ensure that devices are obtained and training
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6 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

6. Children with special needs benefit from flexible grouping and intense instruction When Children with special needs have been taught the routines for working together, they learn best from instruction in small same-ability groups and from working with more capable peers. They benefit from small-group instruction that is intense (e.g., five days a week for at least 20 minutes) so that they can develop
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5 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

5. Children with special needs benefit from instruction using materials at their reading level Children learn best when they work with materials that are challenging but not so difficult as to be frustrating. It is important, therefore, to have in the classroom materials with various difficult levels. Materials can also be adapted to better match the learning levels of children with special needs. In
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4 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

4. Children with special needs benefit from instruction in which their progress is monitored regularly and adjustments made as needed Children learn at various rates. Keeping track of the progress of children with special needs through regular monitoring helps ensure that they are learning efficiently. Based on information gained from monitoring, instruction can be adjusted, extra assistance can be given, or reteaching can occur.
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3 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

3. Children with special needs benefit from instruction that includes opportunities to maintain and transfer (generalize) the skills and strategies learned Children with special needs benefit from activities that allow them to use their newly learned reading skills and strategies during independent practice activities (maintenance) and with a variety of materials, in different settings, and with different people (generalization). Different setting might include the
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2 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

2. Children with special needs benefit from multiple opportunities to practice and demonstrate learning so that reading becomes automatic To become fluent in various reading skills and strategies, children with special needs require extensive practice. Provide time for children to repeat and/or select related activities until they are performing the skills effortlessly and quickly. Be creative in giving them several ways to “show what
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1 of 8 Essential Elements for Adapting Instruction to Facilitate Beginning Reading Success for Children with Special Needs

1. Children with special needs benefit from explicit instruction To teach children with special needs to be successful readers, instruction needs to be tailored so that they can learn efficiently. Explicit instruction promotes efficient learning for children and includes: Thinking processes that are visible through modeling. For example, the teacher may demonstrate how to form and say different sounds as children watch the teacher’s
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Twelve Essential Components of Research-Based Programs for Beginning Reading Instruction

Research-based programs for beginning reading instruction provide comprehensive, well-organized instructional plans and practice opportunities that permit all children to make sense of reading. Some children begin school with a well-developed understand of many aspects of reading and become accomplished readers with minimal instruction. Other children need a great deal of careful and meaningful instruction to become accomplished readers. A teacher’s task is to find
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