Welcome to the BES Learning Support website!
 Instructional Approaches

    Students may receive instruction both in and out of the general education classroom, as designated by their IEP.

    Within the Resource Room, a balanced approach is used to teach reading, writing, spelling, and math.  Students receive direct instruction.  Direct instruction includes  mini-lessons on a skill or strategy, as well as skills games, and review, reinforcement, and practice activities.  All students are taught through a multisensory approach.  In other words, teaching is done using all learning pathways in the brain—visual/auditory and kinesthetic-tactile—simultaneously in order to enhance memory and learning.  Daily homework is usually assigned to students receiving daily instruction in the Resource room.

 Recommended Books

1.  The Myth of Laziness by Mel Levine

2.  The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz

3.  Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit In

4. The Goodenoughs Get in Sync by Carol Kranowitz-great family book about sensory integration


Frequently Asked Questions
 1.  Is my child eligible for special education?

A child is eligible for special education if he/she meets the following  criteria:

  • The child must be found to have a disability.
  • The child’s lack of academic progress must be a result of the disability.
  • The child must require specialized instruction.

2.  What is an Individual Education Program (IEP)?

An IEP is a document that is written by the child’s TEAM, specifically for the child, once it has been determined that a child is eligible for special education.  In general, the IEP is written to meet the child’s specific learning needs in one or more areas.  The IEP explains what the child can presently do, and what accommodations and modifications may be helpful to move the child forward in his learning.  An IEP must be signed by the child’s parent,or guardian before the child can receive instruction.

3.  How can I help my child do well in school?

  • Read, read, and read some more with your child.   Read to your child, whatever their age.  Read with your child; alternatereading page by page, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence or word by word. In discussions about the material, make connections to what your child already knows about topics in the reading.  By putting ideas into their own words, children are better able to comprehend and retain information.
  •  Encourage your child to write, write, and write some more.  Writing doesn’t have to be lengthy.  Writing simply needs to convey a message.  Ask you child to make lists for you, reminder notes, to show you the latest cursive or manuscript letters he/she has mastered, and to write thank-you notes and letters to friends and relatives.  Writing also includes drawing.Children enjoy labeling their maps, charts, illustrations, and diagrams.  Praise your child’s efforts at spelling.  The more your child practices both reading and writing, the better his/her spelling will become.                      
  • Practice those math facts.  There is time in every day to quiz/practice with your child.  Just minutes a day will make a big difference.

 

4.  What is Occupational Therapy or OT?

     OT supports skills for living.  In school, that means handwriting, organization, self-care, and overall sensory functioning.  

5.  Why is handwriting so hard for some children?

     Handwriting uses many skills:

  • eye-hand coordination
  • visual perception (making sense of what you see)
  • visual acuity (are eye glasses needed?)
  • eye muscle coordination (are the eyes working together?)
  • understanding of language (individual letters combine to make words, but what do the words mean?)
  • clear neurological functioning so that the brain correctly tells the body what to do and the body responds correctly
  • trunk strength/shoulder stability/hand strength and stability

     It's a miracle any of us can write!

6.  Why do you have so many toys?

     When a child needs OT services, it means certain activities are very hard. The best way to work on challenging skills is by having fun.  Games and toys help make the work fun! 

7. What type of teaching strategies are used in a typical reading session?

  A typical reading session consists of any or all the following strategies:

A. Teach the "feel" of sounds. 

     For students who have difficulty discriminating between sounds within words, it is useful to teach them how to "feel" the differences between the ways sounds are produced.

B. Move it and Say It. 

     Students are taught to represent each phoneme in a word with concrete objects (such as poker chips) and to move an object as each sound is pronounced.

C.Tapping Sounds. 

     Students are taught to represent each phoneme in a word by tapping or touching a finger for each sound.  This is a multisensory procedure which students can use for decoding and encoding.

D. Building Words. 

     Students "build" words in a variety of ways using letter tiles, syllable cards, or by writing them in a notebook.

8.What kind of programs do you use to teach reading?

      We use a variety of programs that are based on the Orton-Gillingham method for teaching phonics.  All our programs are well researched and documented.  The two most common are: Project Read and Wilson.

       We also use the Edmark program to teach sight words.

9. How much time are Special Education students out of the regular education classroom?

       We try to be sensitive to the fact that not all students want to leave their classrooms.  Initially, we try to schedule our services to match the same time of instruction as in the classroom (ie: reading at 9:30 am, when this is happening in the classroom).  Pull-out time varies from 30 to 45 minutes.  We also provide in-room support when appropriate.

10. What methods do you use for math instruction?

       We have found that the Investigations program currently being used in the regular education classrooms has been very helpful to all our students.  However, we use the TouchMath program to provide extra support for basic skills.

11. What is Physical Therapy and when is it appropriate for a child to receive this type of therapy?

         Physical Therapy (PT) in the schools is a related service in Special Education. PT helps children reach their highest possible level of functional independence and fitness as it relates to movement and positioning in the school environment. PT is provided if a child's functional independence and/or fitness are interfering with their ability to access the curriculum. The need for PT is determined through comprehensive assessment and IEP Team decision.

12. What Is an Inclusion Specialist?

         Our school district is an inclusive school district.  We believe in welcoming and valusing everyone, regardless of differences.  We believe everyone belongs; diversity is valued, and we all learn from each other.  An inclusive environment meets everyone's needs. An Inclusion Specialist has expertise in a wide variety of learning differences, and helps students, teachers and staff include our students, with the most challenging diagnosis, in their classroom. Students are assigned to the Inclusion Specialist by the district's Special Education Director.


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