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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Check out this youtube link on neuroplasticity

Christine Decker of Parkland shares a great link they use in their new student orientation:
During new student orientation, we share new research shows that the brain is actually more like a muscle; it changes and gets stronger when you use it. When you practice and learn new things, connections in the brain get stronger and multiply. In the scientific world this is called NEUROPLASTICITY

Then we show this video:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Using a self-monitoring chart to teach responsibility and build self-esteem

Submitted by Janet Young of Spoon River College, Adult Education Advisor
Janet is part of the central SLN Institute

I am trying to teach students responsibility.  Part of that responsibility is coming to class.  The teacher and I both give lots of positive verbal feed back to those that are sitting in their seats, notebooks out and ready to start class right on time.  We also try to build their self-esteem by showing them where they were at at the beginning of class, to where they are now by using the progress they have made on their writing, post-testing, vocabulary and math.  Everyday we have them fill out a self-monitoring chart on the progress they have made just for that day.  We started at the beginning of class by having them write down the reason they wanted to come to GED class.  Then at the end of each class period, they have to write down what they accomplished that day towards their goal, one thing they learned that day and what they could do to improve something they are struggling with.  We do this in the last 15 min. of the class and then ask anyone if they want to share.  We have found when they are proud of themselves for something they learn, they love to stand up and brag about it.  The rest of the class usually claps and is excited for them.  The students that maybe struggling will sometimes talk about something that is going on with them that is making it hard for them to reach their goals, but the rest of the class is supportive and encourages them to keep trying.  I have found that they are willing to help each other and work better in groups by doing this self-monitoring chart this year. Plus it also helps us know our students better and how we can help them.  It is a good monitoring tool for us, because if the student keeps writing down the same thing that they are struggling with, day after day, it helps us to see that we need to teach in a different way, or go back and spend more time on that subject.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Special Learning Needs Southern Group Meets at Olney Central College

The day was gloomy last Friday but the southern group was upbeat and worked hard at the initial meeting of the SLN Institute.

This Friday, October 17th will be the first group online meeting. See you in the virtual classroom!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Northern SLN Group Meets at Waubonsee

Our northern group met for the first time last Friday, October 3 at Waubonsee. Thanks to everyone for their efforts!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Central SLN Group Begins Training

Thanks to all of the great educators who worked collaboratively last Friday to begin the Special Learning Needs Institute at Parkland.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sign up now for SLN Institue beginning this fall

Be sure to check out the application for the the Institute to Credential Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists beginning this fall all around Illinois. Click the link on the right side of the blog to learn about training at Waubonsee, Parkland, and Olney Central. Choose the one closest to you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Academic Writing Strategy

The strategy instruction idea I use is from the content area of writing.  It is very important students learn how to write academically.  Learning to create content that flows is critical.  I like to teach using the analogy of a car without a driver.  A car without a driver is going no where.  Students have to learn to approach writing considering the reader.  Where are you going?  What is your opinion?  How can you support your opinion?  Opinion plus three topics = your thesis statement.  The thesis statement tells your readers what you are going to write about.  

Thanks for this post from Venise Haynes, South Suburban College, from the Institute to Credential Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists Training fy14

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Archived Assistive Technology Session Now Available

The archived session highlighting free and low cost assistive technology resources is now available on the ICCB iLearn site. Send an email to sipdctrainer@gmail.com or email Sarah at sgoldam@siue.edu to be able to access all of these valuable resources. Special thanks to Christopher Lee for sharing his wealth of knowledge with us!

Check out Christopher's book, "What About Me? Strategies for Teaching Misunderstood Learners."

Archived Assistive Technology Session Now Available

Accessing free and low cost assistive technology is now archived on the ICCB iLearn site. Just send an email to sipdctrainer@gmail.com if you want access or write Sarah at sgoldam@siue.edu. There are a ton of resources! Thanks to Christopher Lee for sharing his knowledge with all of us.

Check out Christopher's book, What About Me? Strategies for Teaching Misunderstood Learners.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Matching Mainstream Technology Solutions to Assist Adults with Learning

Join Christopher Lee, internationally known expert and author of "Faking It: A Look Into the Mind of a Creative Learner" and "What About Me?: Strategies for Teaching Misunderstood Learners" as he explores free and low cost technology solutions for reading and writing. 

Topics include computer operating system access features, application support options (e.g. Microsoft Word), speech-to-text, text-to-speech, useful apps and resources. 

Have an opportunity to ask questions and be exposed to mainstream technology solutions to help your students learn and cope. 
Online session: Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:00-11:00am
Registration limited to the first 25 registrants.
To register, follow this link and complete the registration form.

The data will be collectively summarized at the SIPDC Tech Match: Matching Mainstream Technology Solutions to Assist Adults with Learning Webinar hosted on June 26, 2014 with presenter Christopher Lee

Here is a link to the survey:

This link is uniquely tied to this survey and your email address. Please do not forward this message.

Thanks for your participation!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ideas from the Field

A teaching strategy that I used was instructing students on how to study for test. It is important to have learned how to take effective notes in order to prepare to study. 

Preparing to study should be compiled of three components: main idea, reviewing, and practice self-testing. All of my students were special education and seeing that my strategy only involved three steps made them more willing to try it.

Main Idea: Very important: students must have already identified with being successful in knowing main idea. The main idea is normally listed within the first paragraph of any lesson. Once this has been established, moving forward to small and large details of the main idea should be identified. Most of this information should be highlighted, written, placed in order of action, etc.

Reviewing: Once information is complete, reviewing should take place as soon as possible. This is what I call the train brain; this gives the brain a slim chance at being allowed to disremember any new information that is expressed as being important. After reviewing is performed within days (2 to 3) revisit prior to self-testing. 

Self-testing: Self-testing which is speaking questions out loud and then writing and speaking answers aloud, the brain will 90 percent of the time store information giving brain the ability to recall more swiftly. Most of my students who were presented with these tips identified them as being effective when used to prepare for testing in most subjects. 

Please note that when studying for math, students would perform self-testing by writing down problems while speaking aloud as they would write and then writing and figuring answers/solutions while speaking aloud as they would write. Almost like a check and balance sequence. This really worked well for students that learned better visually/hands-on. This gave students the opportunity to utilize written out/spoken aloud notes continually while preparing for test.

Submitted by:

Gail Bonds Carpenter

Manager, Services for Students with Disabilities Office

South Suburban College

Monday, April 14, 2014

Enhancing Support for Special Populations through Understanding Neurodiversity

ICSPS invites you to join Dr. Ann P. McMahon for an engaging and informative day learning to serve learners through an understanding of neurodiversity.  Dr. McMahon will provide an overview of the research on how attachment, scarcity, trauma and response to failure form neurodiverse patterns in the brain.  Participants will be invited to apply the research to create strategies that accommodate neurodiverse learners in their classrooms.  Through an increased understanding of neurodiversity, workshop attendees will be better equipped to support learners to consider, pursue and succeed in both traditional and nontraditional careers.
Target Audience
Secondary and Postsecondary Administrators and Adult Education Providers

Address: Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
201 Broadway Street
Normal, IL 61761

Date & Time 
May 21, 2014
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Visit the link below for more information or to register:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Congratulations to Illinois Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists

Institute to Credential Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists Central/Southern Group – 2013-14

Ben McDaniel, Illinois Community College Board, Monica Grove, Olney Central College, Monica Foster, John Wood Community College, Sandra Hoffmann, Heartland Community College

Institute to Credential Special Learning Needs Resource Specialists   Northern Group – 2013-14

Beverly Gage, Richard Daley College, Sarah Goldammer, SLN trainer, Ellen Lindsey, Greater West Town Training Partnership, Gail Carpenter-Bonds, South Suburban College, Camille Johnson, South Suburban College, Pam Carpenter, William Rainey Harper College, Venise Hayes, South Suburban College, Andrea Young, Parkland College, Erica Humphrey, South Suburban College, Evette Fortenberry, Olive Harvey College