What every teacher needs to know about students with learning disabilities

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Karen Goepen-Wee grew up in a family of ‘makers’ and problem-solvers. Now, this solution-oriented mindset helps her students with learning disabilities. For her TED-Ed Innovation Project, Goepen-Wee created a digital collection of resources that she finds useful for her students, their teachers, and their parents. This collection, called LearnAbilities, provides accurate, teacher-approved information about topics such as anxiety and executive function in the classroom. Below is Goepen-Wee’s recap of the project —  and her wish for every teacher of students with learning disorders:

As an educator, you are much more effective when you have immediate access to the tools and information you need. Yet one of the most time-consuming aspects of an educator’s job is research. Now that I am a teacher of students with learning challenges, I not only look for content, I also look for strategies, tactics and professional resources. My project goal was to create a well-researched series of TED-Ed lessons that document the tools that I have found effective, with a wealth of information in the ”Think” and “Dig Deeper” sections of each lesson. Here are 4 lessons that teachers can use to make a difference in their classrooms on a daily basis:

  1. Executive Functions

  2. Anxiety: Making Peace with Your Enemy

  3. Educating a Neurodiverse World

  4. I Know What I Need: Accommodations and Differentiation

I hope that teachers take these lessons, use them, share them and customize them. I would love to see what resources and changes they make.

As a teacher of kids with learning disabilities, sometimes I find myself only focusing upon the child’s disability and not their ability. Every child can learn, and often it is because of their other abilities that learning takes place. My wish for every teacher of students with learning disabilities is that we enable children to access and use their learning abilities. To support that goal, I created LearnAbilities, an ongoing blog that includes these 4 lessons and more ways to support students and teachers with diverse learning needs.

Closing thoughts:

Every school has a challenge that they need to solve. By employing design thinking, an entire staff, a department or an individual teacher can design a solution for that problem. TED-Ed Select Lessons are a great way to represent the learning or solutions that a teacher creates for their particular challenge!

This article is part of the TED-Ed Innovation Project series, which highlights 25+ TED-Ed Innovation Projects designed by educators, for educators, with the support and guidance of the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program. You are welcome to share, duplicate and modify projects under this Creative Commons license to meet the needs of students and teachers.

1 Comment

  1. Darnelle

    some kids don’t get it other ways some kids do so it is important to teach it more then once.

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