× Please Note: The current offerings and information on paraeducator.com do not meet the new Washington paraeducator certificate requirements scheduled to go into effect September 1, 2019, found here. Puget Sound ESD is working on what we will be offering to support our districts with these new requirements. This website contains valuable information and resources pertaining to teacher and paraeducator teams. All current paraeducator.com subscribers will be notified when we have more concrete information to share. Please email questions to paraeducator@psesd.org.



Technological advances usher in the future of reading
By Alex Pham and David Sarno
Los Angeles Times
Originally published Sunday, August 1, 2010

Emma Teitgen, 12, thought the chemistry book her teacher recommended would make perfect bedside reading. Perfect, because it might help her fall asleep. Then she downloaded “The Elements: A Visual Exploration” to her iPad. Instead of making her drowsy, it blossomed in her hands. Read More >>

Make a Splash! Read
State Librarian, Jan Walsh, encourages all families to participate in their local public library  summer reading program. Research has shown that children who continue to read over the summer maintain their reading skills and that this involvement with reading leads to better academic skills when children return to school in the fall. Make reading and learning a regular part of summer by joining others in the community for fun reading-based activities and lots of good reads at your local public library.


Stop the Summer Slide
Got a reluctant reader in your house? Keep him reading all summer long with our great book list suggestions and stop the summer slide! These titles will encourage your kids to love reading, while sharpening their language skills all summer long. Read More >>


Best Books for Teaching about Memorial Day
Are you looking for literature to support classroom instruction about Memorial Day? Check out Our Editors’ Choices for titles recommended by the Education World team. Read More >>


NEA’s Read Across America
Oh, the Thinks They Can Think
Looking for lesson plans and activities to make your events Seusstastic?  Read Across America partners  Reading Rockets, Seussville, Read,Write, Think.org, and a to z teachers offer a terrific collection of resources. Think Read Across America is only for elementary students? Think again, adlit.org offers ideas and plans for high school and middle school.


Teaching Day-by-Day: Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a celebration of African American heritage, culture and accomplishments. Let's spend the month learning! Read More >>


Text Comprehension Instruction
Comprehension is the reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. Good readers are both purposeful (they have a reason to read) and active (they think to make sense of what they read). Research over 30 years has shown that instruction in comprehension can help students understand what they read, remember what they read, and communicate with others about what they read. Read More >>


Classroom hand signals are a sign of the times
Sign language has become a saving grace, a way to communicate without interrupting instruction in schools across the country. Signing has long been a tool for teachers to help special-education students develop language skills. Its use as a management tool appears to be on the rise. Read More >>


American Sign Language
American Sign Language is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body. To learn more about American Sign Language go to http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/asl.asp


Para-Teacher partnerships
What’s the secret behind successful Teacher-Para Relationships?
The National Education Association Today asked three experienced paraeducators to comment on what makes teacher-para relationships click.  Mutual respect, team work, common goals, and student success were factors mentioned by each paraeducator. Learn More >>


Supporting the Educational Success of Students in Foster Care: Teachers and school staff can make a difference
On any given day in Washington State, there are about 9,000 children in foster care. They score fifteen to twenty percent lower on achievement tests and are fifty-seven percent less likely to complete high school. With the right tools and strategies, supportive teachers and other school staff can be key players in reversing these trends. Learn More >>


Microsoft explores educational link to video games
Microsoft has put up $1.5 million to start The Games for Learning Institute, a joint venture with New York University and other colleges. The goal of the research is to see whether video games — and not just software specifically designed to be educational — can draw students into math, science and technology-based programs. Learn More>>


Infants learn earlier than thought

Scans of young brains by UW researchers show infants are far more aware of their surroundings than they may appear to be.



Making Sense of K-5 Problem Solving
A learning session presented by Pam Boldrin at the PSESD 9th Annual Regional Paraeducator Conference.

1.  What is the question?

  • Can I repeat or retell the question in my own words?
  • Do I understand the words in this question?
  • What information do I need to solve this?

2.  What should I do to answer this question?

  • What strategy will help me solve this question?
  • What is my plan to solve this question?
  • How will I go about solving this problem?

3.  Have I described my thinking?

  • Did I “show and tell” all of my thinking?
  • Have I explained my thinking?
  • Did I share all of my ideas, even the ones that didn’t work out?

4.  Did I go back and read the words and look at the pictures on my paper?

  • Does my work make sense?
  • Is my work just how I want it? Did I share my thinking?
  • Do I need to add something more to this solution?


Media Literacy: Five Ways to Help Kids be Really Smart about the Media
Media Literacy: Five Ways to Help Kids be Really Smart about the Media Media Literacy 101 is an online primer for parents and teachers on the key concepts of media literacy. Review five key concepts of media literacy, with explanations and suggestions for ways to talk with and teach kids how to:

  • Become active and critical thinkers about media
  • Develop criteria for making decisions about media use
  • Find and identify quality media resources
  • Talk about what media they are consuming and why
  • Become better able to use media for learning and communicating.



From Junie B To Wayside School
Even fictional characters have to go to school! Read a book with your children or students where the setting takes place in the hallowed (or not so hallowed) halls of learning. Check out the new back-to-school booklists for ages 6-8, 9-12, and 13+


Differentiated Instruction for Reading
Differentiated instruction is based on the premise that instructional approaches should vary and be adapted in relation to individual and diverse students. This brief looks at how differentiation strategies applied to reading can be designed to help students learn a range of skills including, phonics, comprehension, fluency, word prediction, and story prediction. READ MORE


Results-Oriented Job Descriptions: How Paraeducators Help Students Achieve
The mission of every public school district is to develop and implement goals that will create an education environment which enhances student achievement. This mission cannot be achieved without the contributions and accomplishments of paraeducators. READ MORE.


Guidelines for Choosing Multicultural Books
Source: RIF Exchange Show#207
Multicultural books can open the world to children. By introducing young readers to new people and places, they can begin to see similar human qualities that are common bonds between all people and discover the wonderful differences that distinguish one culture from another.
Read More. READ MORE.


Repeated Interactive Read-Alouds in Preschool and Kindergarten
By: Cheryl K. Iannucci (2007)
Research has demonstrated that the most effective read-alouds are those where children are actively involved asking and answering questions and making predictions, rather than passively listening. This article describes in detail a technique for a three-step interactive read-aloud using sophisticated storybooks. READ MORE.


Summer Reading: English Language Learners at the Library
By Kristina Robertson
Libraries today have changed in a number of ways to meet the demands of our modern society, but their underlying purpose for children is still to help them discover the joy of reading. READ MORE


‘Advice to Kids with Learning or Social Problems About Siblings’ 
By Rick Lavoie.
This article offers suggestions to children with learning disabilities to help them build positive relationships with their brothers and sisters. It also offers tips for helping children who have siblings that have special needs. Read More.


Consequences, Privileges, and Positive Discipline. 
By Jennifer Besso.
Managing a classroom effectively keeps unwanted behavior at a minimum and encourages learning for all students.  In this articles the author provides suggestions for managing students by the use of consequences, privileges, and positive discipline. Read More.


Tales of a Fourth Grade Slump: How to help students leap to success. 
A lot of literacy and math testing starts at third grade, a time when readers are transitioning from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”.  Researchers recognize this as a time in a reader’s development when he or she needs extra support to make the transition to a fully proficient reader.  Readers who are not able to make the transition fall victim to what has been referred to as “the fourth grade slump”.  In this new year, help your students leap to success! Read More.


Print Awareness
Children who have awareness of print understand that the squiggly lines on a page represent spoken language.  They understand that when adults read a book, what they say is linked to the words on the page, rather than to the pictures.  Find out how to help students develop or increase print awareness.  Learn More.


First Person Following Bliss
Jamie Janover describes how his learning disability has turned out to be his greatest strength and positive asset. Included are tips that will help anyone with a learning disability deal with their learning and attention challenges. Learn More.


Lazy Kid or Executive Dysfunction?
Do you have a student who seems incredibly lazy?  Intentionally forgetful? Absolutely unmotivated?  Deliberately late?… This article has practical tips for educators to help students with “Executive Dysfunction”, a term which refers to difficulties with planning, flexibility, organization and self-monitoring.  Learn More.


Dissecting Dyslexia
Advances in brain imaging techniques provide researchers with new ways to study the brain function of students with and without dyslexia. In this article you will read about intensive intervention techniques that may actually re-train the brain, especially when they happen early. Read More.


Vocabulary Assessment and Instruction
Oral vocabulary, or the knowledge of word meanings, play a key role in reading comprehension. If children are unfamiliar with the meanings of words in a text, their comprehension will suffer, even if they can decode the words. Read this Article on the LD Online Website.


Put Downs and Comebacks
When children struggle in school, they can easily get discouraged.   They might say or think, "I'll never learn how to read" or "I'm just dumb". To turn these self-defeating thoughts and feelings around, kids need the help of caring adults. Discover what a child's "put down" may mean and what "comebacks" you can say or do to encourage a child to keep trying. Read this article on the Reading Rocket website.


Mathematics for Students with Learning Disabilities, Language-Minority Background: Recommendations for Teaching
While educators may consider math to be universal, there are factors related to language, culture and cognition that must be considered in math education. With careful assessment, planning, and implementation, students with diverse learning characteristics can be successful in math.

Read this article on the LD Online website.


Differentiation Instruction. Every Child is Unique.
Although we may rejoice in this fact, it poses a dilemma for educators. The challenge is: How can instruction be diversified to meet the needs of all students? This article includes information on the term ‘differentiating instruction’ and how it is used in elementary and secondary school settings.

For additional information on this subject, watch the professional development webcast called "Differentiated Reading Instruction: Teaching EVERY Child". Panelists include top reading experts. It’s free and you can watch on-line anytime. View the Webcast.


Hooking Struggling Readers: Using Books They Can and Want to Read 
One of the keys to helping struggling readers is to provide them with books that they can and want to read.  Fiction for struggling readers must have its own textual integrity: realistic characters, readable and convincing text, and a sense of the readers' interests and needs. Texts such as non-fiction books, newspapers, magazines and even comic books can also hook students into reading.

Read this article on the Reading Rocket website

Online Field Trips Boost Reading Scores
A free collection of online field trips and other web-based learning materials has been shown to boost reading levels and help improve test scores among middle-school students, according to the results of a scientifically based research study from Maryland Public Television.

Read this article at eSchoolNews.com.

The Child Who Would Not Speak a Word
Christine Stanley will never forget the call. Two weeks after her daughter Emily started kindergarten, the teacher phoned in a panic. Emily would not color, sing or participate in any classroom activities; in fact, she would not say a word to anyone.

Read this article at nytimes.com (requires free registration).

The Invisible Disability: Alabama schools won't accept that the D-word exists
Throughout Alabama, thousands of bright children struggle with the written word in public schools that don't recognize or test for dyslexia. The children have trouble spelling, connecting sounds to letters and remembering what words mean.

Read this article at al.com

Impact of No Child Left Behind on Paraprofessionals
Seattle National Public Radio affiliate reports on the impact of "No Child Left Behind" on paraprofessionals. Thousands of paraprofessionals in Washington are hurrying to meet new educational standards before the January 2006 deadline.

Read or listen to this report at learningcurveonline.org

Remarks by Secretary of Education Spellings at Her Recent Swearing In Ceremony
Read remarks givin by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings at her recent swearing in ceremony attended by President Bush and other senior administration and congressional officials.

Read remarks at the U.S. Department of Education website.

Children and the Tsunami Horror
Almost all of us have seen the unimaginable horror brought on by the tsunamis in South Asia and Africa — huge waves, piles of bodies, devastation for miles, limitless grief and shock — and children, dead, or barely alive, or crawling about ruins. What do our children think and feel when they see the pictures, hear the wailing, and notice our disbelief?

Read this article at brighthorizons.com

Article on Using Technology to Assist Children with Disabilties
Technology can open doors and break down barriers for children, youth and adults with learning disabilities. Whether in the classroom or workplace, technology can provide a vital difference. These articles explore new developments in technology, and practical insights into the promise and realities of making technology work for people with learning disabilities.

How To Support Students with Learning Differences

Considering Your Child's Needs for Assistive Technology

Using Technology to Enhance the Writing Process for Students with Disabilities

Gates Foundation Awards Grants to Expand 'Early College' High Schools
As part of a broader push to improve the college-going odds for low-income and minority students, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced grants totaling nearly $30 million aimed at greatly expanding the number of "early college" high schools around the country over the next four years.

Read this article at edweek.org (requires free registration)


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