A Strategy that Help Students with Down Syndrome Learn New Content to Mastery!

A Strategy that Help Students with Down Syndrome Learn New Content to Mastery!

It’s always important to match proven strategieswith student needs.  Students with cognitive delays need us to scaffold supports so that they can reach their goals and feel that success and confidence.

Students with Down Syndrome are particularly in need of taking in information at a slower rate.  If you work with this group, you know that if you are not giving enough support or if you are going too fast or if the content is higher than the student’s instructional level, you will get behaviors or you’ll get a disengaged student who has shut down.

I am sharing a strategy today that can be used when you want your student to learn new content and build on the skills they already have.

Take a look!

It’s important to know that even though our students who have Down Syndrome learn at a slower rate than their peers, they DO continue to learn and grow throughout their school years and beyond.  I know you know this, but it is always good to remind ourselves that we need to keep it moving.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to teachers, “let’s keep going, don’t keep presenting the same things over and over again when the student has shown mastery.  We should always have that expectation that we keep it movingand not stop presenting good quality content in academic areas.   I tell my staff that if we get the student to a 3 rd grade reading level then we keep going to 4thgrade reading level.  As an example we have a student in 3rdgrade in our Life Skills program who has all of his Kindergarten, 1stgrade, 2 grade and 3 grade sight words vocabulary words that our general education students work on.   It is SO EXCITING when we see students work hard to meet our high expectations!  When we set the bar high, they step up!  Instead of asking why, we ask why not?

When content is presented in a way that students can learn, we get the most out of their potential.  By the way, this strategy is not exclusive to students with Down Syndrome, it’s just that it works beautifully with these students.  Try it with your other students with cognitive delays and see how this works for you!

I know it’s the end of the school year, but think about sharing this idea with parentsto try over summer break, or use it with your students in summer school or extended school year services.  It’s also a good time to think about how you my use this strategy as you begin to plan for next year! 

Leave me a commentand share your experiences! I try to answer everyone in a timely manner!

You take care and I’ll see you next time! 

Carla

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