Sponsored by the Southern Illinois Professional Development Center - part of the Illinois Community College Board Service Center Network

Monday, February 17, 2020

Special Learning Needs Related Sessions at IACEA Conference – March 11-13, 2020

Join us in Springfield for the 40th annual IACEA, the Voice of Adult Education, conference
There are lots of exciting sessions featuring Special Learning Needs-related topics.

Wednesday, March 11th, 9:00-10:15 am

Differentiated Assessment: Student-Centered Options to Maximize Understanding and Success

Are you giving your students authentic opportunities to demonstrate what they know? Are you using real world and real work options to assess your students understanding? You’re differentiating instruction, but are you also differentiating your assessments? Experience some proven student-centered approaches, gather ideas to use next class period, and have some fun with your fellow educators!

Sarah Goldammer - Southern Illinois Professional Development Center

Math Musings: Adding Clarity to Selected Concepts in Pre-Algebra, Algebra & Algebra II

Would you like to learn simple, creative ways to help your students learn and remember math concepts from operations with fractions to factoring quadratic equations? This session will equip you with tips and shortcuts for these subjects as well as others including roots and exponents.

Michael Burgess - Shawnee Community College

Thursday, March 12th, 10:30-11:45 am

Do It (for) Yourself- teaching students how to own their accommodations and advocate for themselves

This session is designed to help adult educators teach their students how to be their own best advocate. Participants will also learn strategies for teaching students to accommodate themselves in the classroom and the workplace.

Ginger Harner - Shawnee Community College

Project-Based Learning

Do you have problems developing lessons/units that interest your students? Project-based learning is an effective way to provide students with a voice in the classroom while still covering the College and Career Readiness Standards. Project-based learning is an instructional approach designed to give students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills through engaging projects. It's also a great way to meet multiple learning needs and styles. In this session, we will discuss what project-based learning looks like, advantages & challenges, and some examples of lessons.
Monica Waller - Lewis and Clark Community College

Thursday, March 12th, 1:45-3:00 pm

All in For a Willingness to Learn

Many of our students have roadblocks to developing a willingness to learn that frustrates instructors. This is an interactive presentation that will include discussions about best practices for encouraging these students. Participants will leave with a better understanding of principles leading to developing a willingness to learn.

Rick Marshall - Lewis and Clark Community College

Thursday, March 12th, 3:15-4:30 pm

Build Your Learners' Reading Confidence with Repeated Reading

Learn about repeated reading and how it can help your learners improve their confidence in and attitude toward reading. An original research study that shows how regular, purposeful repeated reading was used to help low-intermediate English learners improve their reading fluency will be presented, and participants will discuss ways to implement repeated reading in their own classes.

Jenny Siegfried, Shannon Wood - Waubonsee Community College

It's Never Too Soon

This session will teach participants to incorporate algebra and geometry into basic math instruction. Participants will learn how to introduce appropriate vocabulary while teaching basic arithmetic skills. This session also involves learning to relate math concepts to real life situations.

Marilyn Uehle - Shawnee Community College

Teaching and Learning: Brain Science And Cognitive Psychology To Overcome Academic Deficits and Promote Higher Order Thinking

Adult education students and continuing education adults return to school with varying levels of academic deficits, anxieties, and skeptical preconceived notions. In adult education, low and high intermediate levels have become a statistical ‘bottleneck’. This session will share facts and practical strategies that will enable Educators to equip their students with the cognitive abilities and critical thinking skills in order to become architects of their own learning and attain academic progress.

Henry Horace - Kennedy King College

Monday, February 10, 2020

Variability Matters - Todd Rose

Check out this video on variability by Todd Rose of CAST – Center for Applied Special Technology. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn in an online class on Universal Design for Learning through CAST. This youtube video is a great starter!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Inclusive Learning in the Classroom: How to Create the Right Environment

Inclusive Learning in the Classroom: How to Create the Right Environment - an article by Joseph Lathan, PhD

Click here for full article. It's a short but informative read. Here's the quick takeaways for us as educators.

Use Varied Teaching Strategies

Reflect Diversity in Your Teachings

Employ Collaborative Teaching Techniques

That sounds like a lot of Adult Ed teachers I know! Take seven minutes, read the article and think of one more way you can ensure you have created the RIGHT environment for your learners.

Sunday, January 12, 2020


Love this post from Dr. Janet Zadina! Check it out here. Please consider using gratitude journals with your students this new semester. Let's all look for things we're grateful for each day!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Foundations of Special Learning Needs

Working to understand learning needs to best meet our students' needs! Thanks to everyone who made the trip to Parkland last Friday.

Rich discussion allows participants to learn from each other.

Thanks to the educators who met at Sauk Valley last Friday! Great discussion - great input - great energy!

Sharing and learning in a student-centered atmosphere!

Exceptional educators having fun and working hard to best meet the needs of their students! Thanks for your efforts! Please note: something is amiss in this photo. If you can spot the shenanigans, email Sarah for the opportunity for a fabulous prize! People pictured here not eligible:)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

More Learning in Active Learning Classrooms - but Students Don't Know It - Check out new research

From Science News - Harvard University - September 5, 2019
For decades, there has been evidence that active learning -- classroom techniques designed to get students to participate in the learning process -- produces better educational outcomes for students at virtually all levels.
And a new Harvard study suggests it may be important to let students know it.
The study, published September 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that, though students felt like they learned more through traditional lectures, they actually learned more when taking part in active learning classrooms.
Read more: 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Integrating Hands-on Activities to Engage Your Students!

I have had a request from the field for more hands-on classroom ideas to engage adult ed students and to provide a richer learner experiences. I'm asking our experienced teachers who have become Special Learning Needs Specialists to post some of their ideas for our Illinois teachers. Let's use this "back to school" time  to think about reaching our students through differentiated instruction - especially through hands-on activities. Feel free to share your ideas whether you are a Specialist or not. Simple ideas welcome!