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Book Review: 101 School Success Tools for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

Posted Oct 16 2011 12:15am
I truly enjoyed reading  101 School Success Tools for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities , by Betty Roffman Shevitz, Marisa Stemple, Linda Barnes-Robinson, and Sue Jewler. Not only did I learn a lot by reading the book, I was able to help my son's teachers better understand him through tools provided in this book.

101 School Success Tools for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities is a narrative guide to discover and teach twice-exceptional students, packed full of charts, activities and checklists to make the experience a success for the teacher and the student. While the book is written for teachers, I feel it is a valuable tool for parents as well. I had my son complete some of the activities to discover his learning style and to pinpoint what parts of writing are most difficult for him and I sent them to his teachers. I gained a vast array of ideas for alternatives to written assignments when difficulties due to dysgraphia hamper his ability to complete his work.

As well,  101 School Success Tools for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities helps a teacher map out lesson plans that include all different learning styles, so each child can be reached, taught, and further challenged.  It makes a great guidebook to differentiated instruction.

Here are my top three favorites from this book
  1. Tool 5: Student Tool: Famous People who Overcame Learning Challenges: This activity doesn't just tell them a list of famous people with learning disabilities, it challenges them to choose an individual and research that person. 
  2. Tool 59: Student Tool: Solving the Mystery: Why is Writing so Hard? This is by far my favorite thing in the book I think, definitely the most useful for me. It asks the student how often they struggle with a list of things, broken down into tiny aspects of writing from "My hand gets tired when I write" to "I have trouble getting my thoughts down in the right order." This is a very valuable tool. 
  3. Tool 86: Student Tool: Student Letter to Teacher. The student completes this chart with the following information: Things I'm good at, things that are hard for me, interesting things about me, things that bug me, my goals, my interests, how I learn best, accommodations I need. This helps them learn self-advocacy, a crucial skill for kids with ADHD. 

Purchase  101 School Success Tools for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities and give it to your child's teacher, or read it yourself and use it as a guide to help them tailor appropriate instruction for your child. Much of the contents would be very helpful in IEP meetings. It has become a reference tool for our family to guide Luke's educators.

Learn more about  101 School Success Tools for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities  , its authors, and see some contents by visiting Prufrock Press.
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