My students are amazing; my students are silly; my students are smart, and my students want to learn more! My students are all special education students with a variety of learning, behavioral, and emotional disabilities who attend a school in a high-need community on the northwest side of Chicago.
Despite the challenges they face both inside and outside the classroom, my students all want to learn and work hard every single day.
However, my students often do not have the resources they need to be the most successful. These students already have so many factors working against them; lack of resources should not be one of them.
Being in the special education classroom for part of the day actually means they have fewer resources than their typically developing peers have, as resources often go to the general education classrooms first. Therefore, students with the highest needs often have the fewest resources, especially materials that are at their level and accessible to them. My students are amazing and have made great strides despite this lack of resources, but I can only imagine the successful young men and women they will become with the resources necessary to help them achieve.
Creating a classroom full of excited readers has been a goal of mine since I started teaching. This vision is reflected in many aspects of my classroom, from the continuously growing library, to the variety of word games, to the special weekly read aloud time. While creating a fun reading culture boosts students' interest in reading and motivation to improve their reading, it does not improve their reading abilities on its own.
When I first began teaching, finding a reading program that truly supported my most struggling readers' needs seemed impossible.
I felt that no matter what I tried, I was not seeing the progress I felt was possible. Then I was introduced to the Wilson Reading System.
Using Wilson has opened new worlds for my previous students, and I want to provide the same opportunity to my new students.
The Wilson Reading System is a multi-sensory approach to reading instruction that directly and systematically teaches the structure of the English Language. Wilson provides my students with a variety of decoding strategies they can use to read novel words that would once cause them to shut down.
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