Equality and Diversity for All: A Resource for Educators Leda Velychko-Simpson Tammy Ortynski

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Transcript Equality and Diversity for All: A Resource for Educators Leda Velychko-Simpson Tammy Ortynski

Equality and Diversity for All:
A Resource for Educators
Leda Velychko-Simpson
Tammy Ortynski
Winn Braun
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Needless Suffering
“Children who experience too much
failure too early in life are
exquisitely vulnerable to a wide
range of complications”
Mel Levine, Educational Care, 2001
Unrecognized and untreated problems can be prone to…..
Behavioural problems
Emotional difficulties
Wondering what to do
Asking Why/How
Running to the
resource teacher for
Who is this?
 Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina
Medical School in Chapel Hill
Pediatrician, Researcher & Learning Disability Expert
 Work has been a foundation in teacher training programs for
 co-founder of the non-profit organization All Kinds of Minds
promotes research in practice in teaching children with learning
disorders through information and professional development
 He is an author – some of his published works include; A Mind
at a Time, The Myth of Laziness and Ready or Not, Here Life
 based
on clinical, educational and research
Favors informed observation and description over
Takes into account the great heterogeneity of
children with disappointing school performance
Strong emphasis on identifying and using the
innate strengths of children
Recognizes both that children’s brains change
over time & that the school changes over time in
terms of the level and complexity of demands
placed on children
Academic Skills
Academic Subskills
Neurodevelopmental Functions
Enables a student to possess the needed academic skill
 word decoding and comprehension are subskills of the
academic skill of reading
 letter formation, spelling, mechanics, use of language on
paper, generation of thoughts during writing, organization
of ideas are all subskills of writing
 never ending inflow of new subskills in math
• Basic brain process needed for effective performance
• help a student spell accurately
• an aspect of motor function required for legible letter formation
Which subskills are weak and not doing their share?
Which of the neurodevelopment functions needed
for those Subskills are deficient?
Manifestation of one or more neurodevelopmental dysfunctions
(gaps, delays, variations in the way a child’s brain is developing)
There are many causes for the above including chemical/metabolic
Abnormalities, uneven brain growth, lack of appropriately dense nerve
connections in specific regions of the brain, unusual patterns in the blood
circulation in the brain.
Simply, there is no exact cause that can be defined. What can be
said for sure is that we are certain that the dysfunctions themselves
have the potential to interfere with learning, productive work output
and with behaviour in school.
To help teachers help their students be
successful we decided to research
Dr. Mel Levine’s framework further in order to
create a working document where
we wanted to emphasize to teachers to
accurately recognize and understand
the problems of the child in front of them and to
supply them with different ways
to manage the child within the classroom.
What is the framework?
Higher Order
Handbook Sections
 All created with the same headings within each
 Offers teachers an easy to follow method for
looking up needed information
 Includes individual support for teachers within
each of Mel Levine’s 8 framework parts
Definition –
Gives an explanation of the section topic
Outlines the subsections or sub skills within the
What is __________?
What to watch for–
Outlines and lists “red flags” or concerns for
teachers to watch for
Each subsection will have their own varying lists of
Acts as a guideline for teachers when observing
their students
Recommended teaching strategies
 Strategies for teachers to apply within their
classroom to help with student concerns
 Range of ideas that are practical and can be
easily implemented
 Additional areas for others to add
ideas as it is meant to be an ongoing
collaborative document
Case Study
Grade 5 boy – Chase Smith
reads slowly and with limited comprehension
 letter formation is weak making printing laborious
is disorganized / forgetful – often loses homework, forgets
to turn in hot lunch money, field trip notices, etc.
Human beings differ with their
gifts and talents.
To teach them,
you have to start where they are.
Yuezheng in 4th century B.C.
Higher Order Cognition
What to watch for–
Memorizes, but can’t generalize learning
Difficulty making connections
Decodes, but doesn’t comprehend
Can’t “read between the lines” – unable
to make inferences
Weak problem solving skills
Temporal and Sequential Ordering
What to watch for–
 Approaches tasks in illogical order (e.g. glues
before cuts)
 has difficulty “keeping track of belongings”
 Unable to follow multi-step directions
 Poor time management
 Stories do not follow a logical sequence
 Has difficulty with sequential mathematics – e.g.
counting, understanding more and less, etc.
 Words are spelled with correct letters, but
incorrect order
What to watch for–
 lazy, unmotivated and / or oppositional
 often does not complete writing task or it takes
considerably longer than other students
 frequently engages in avoidance behaviours –
frequent washroom breaks, often asks to go to the
bathroom, needs to sharpen pencil , needs a Kleenex
from backpack
 sits and stares Even
 disrupts the class
Recommended teaching strategies / activities –
model strategies, ask student to reflect on how
effective the strategies he used were
guided reading
use Handwriting Without Tears / Co-Writer
encourage the parents and student to designate a
specific place at home for backpack, homework, etc.
. . . students must understand
whether they understand.
So they should cultivate the habit
of comprehension monitoring –
(Do I really get this? If not, where
is my breakdown in understanding
Mel Levine
Educational Leadership (2007)
“Appreciating learning differences is the first step.
Celebrating the differences is the goal.”
Levine (1999)
“I always tell people that from the
moment a kid gets up in the morning
until he goes to sleep at night, the
central mission of the day is to avoid
humiliation at all costs.”
- Dr. Mel Levine