Learning Activity 2

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Learning Activity 2

Modle 2

Choose one of the following activities  and       Complete the learning activities. Research the topics. 1000 words each.

  • Choose a learning activity
  • Research the topic on the www, Google Scholar, Wikipedia or your readings.
  • Complete and submit online for peer discussion.
  • Recommend resources etc. in follow up discussions.


  • Pedagogy and Instruction

What do we know about the learning needs of students with learning difficulties and learning disabilities?

  • The individual and educational needs of the student will be complex and unique.
  • Learning difficulties that involve social or personal problems such as poverty, illness or transience require a responsive understanding at the school level so classroom strategies can be effective.
  • Learning disabilities involve neurological differences that interfere with learning. Learning disabilities are life long and pervasive.

We have also acknowledged that research and gathering information about the issue, the disability and the student is an important first step to responding to the student’s individual needs. Really getting to knowing the student, their learning history and learning profile involves building a positive relationship with the student and where possible their parents / carers. Positive student / teacher relationships are identified by students with specific learning disabilities as extremely important, often making the difference between early school leaving and staying at school and achieving success.

The next step is to prioritise learning needs by assessing the nature of the difficulty and then implement strategies that are most likely to be effective.


Some strategies will conveniently by-pass the learner’s difficulties and as we have already mentioned, the use of technology is an example of this. Software programs for mathematics are increasing in scope, interest and effectiveness. Of course, the use of calculators and computers may also be helpful. Assistive technology, such as speech recognition devices are particulalry important for students with communication difficulties.

Learning activity 3.1

Search the www for software programs that are suitable for a student with a mathematics disability. Go to the Closing the Gap – Resource Directory for an overview of effective maths software. Are there any other sites you can recommend? Also consider what might be available within the mainstream software programs. Are the add on applications or ready to access applications that can be used as accessibility options for students with specific learning disabilities?


Assessing the student:

Unless you teach in younger grades, you should not have the responsibility of identifying a learning disability. Read the school files, talk with the parents and the student and you should find all the information you need. Intervention at early learning stages is much more effective that intervention later in the student’s learning experience when bad learning habits may be established.

Once you have gathered as much information as possible from the files, the student and the parents, and a relationship of trust has developed with the student, it is important to focus on the nature of the difficulty. Check that hearing and eyesight have been assessed recently and rule out other causes of learning difficulty such as ‘glue ear’ or illness.

Observations can tell you if the crisis situation in learning is contextual, specific or general. Is there a pattern to the learning difficulties? Are there antecedents to disruptive or avoidance behaviours? In our model of addressing learning differences, observations can also provide you with information about the

student’s strengths, interests and abilities.

Learning Activity 3.2

Below is a table that identifies possible standardised tests that may help to diagnose the nature of a specific learning disability. List either the test or the learner behaviours. These tests are commonly used in Australian classrooms and may be used by a teacher.



Student is unable to distinguish if two spoken words are the same or different.
Brigance assessment of basic skills. Tests of reading, language arts and mathematics for years K-8.


Peabody picture vocabulary test


Neale Analysis.




Stage 0. Emergent counting: The child cannot count visible items. The child either does no know the number words or cannot coordinate the number words with items.


Daily classroom activities will provide a lot of information for the teacher. Consideration should also be given to evaluating motivation, memory, communication, organisation and planning, and social skills in daily classroom activities.

Learning activity 3.3

Speaking, reading, writing and understanding words is a complex task that involves several skills. We have already identified the many variations of Dyslexia. Teaching strategies need not be directed to the area of difficulty rather than a generic approach to learning reading. Briefly describe (or develop) a classroom evaluation tool that can identify a student’s difficulty in the area of:

Spoken language

  1. Syntax: The way words are arranged into meaningful sentences
  2. Semantics: Understanding contextual cues that give a word its meaning.
  3. Morphology: Changing the meaning of words by adding endings or speaking in the third person appropriately (his/hers etc.)

Learning activity 3.4

Go to the Web link titled How do children learn to read by the Reading Doctor under the e-resources tab. This is a web page that provides a very clear overview of the difficulties that occur for children with a reading disability such as dyslexia. Within this reading there are several hyper links in blue – these are important readings to build on the basic information provided through the Reading Doctor website and are written by academics within the area of learning disability. Please ensure you link on each of these for more information on the barriers to reading for children with dyslexia as well as the political debate current in Australia in regard to the teaching of reading skills.

  1. What are the components of reading?
  2. Describe the student behaviours with:
    1. Reversals
    2. Word attack
    3. Decoding and
    4. Comprehension


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