To Test or Not To Test  That Is the QuestionWritten by Sandy Gauvin
Little Suzy has really been having a hard time getting some of her assignments done. When she reads in class, she struggles with many words, and her mother reported at conference time that Suzy spends hours each night on homework. At same time, Suzy carries on intelligent conversation, and when you ask her about what she learned from class, she has some good feedback. She is getting excellent grades in math class and, when she does experiments in science class, she knows exactly what to do and gets great results. You’ve thought about referring her for testing, wondering if a learning disability is getting in way of her reading – a skill that underlies everything a child does in school. You know she struggles with reading, yet she does so well orally and mathematically. Should you test her? Little Johnny can’t remember his multiplication facts. Much of time, he struggles with subtraction facts as well. His reasoning skills for determining whether he should add or subtract, multiply or divide, are faulty. And when he writes a math problem on paper, there are no columns. The numbers are all over place. He gets very confused with entire process as well. But, boy, can he read. He reads books that are way above what other students in his class read. The words in them are harder, and they are more difficult to understand.
  Clear and Appropriate AssignmentsWritten by Sandy Gauvin
As a teacher of students with learning disabilities, I found that one of most difficult things for many of my students was understanding and completing homework assignments. Here are 10 tips to help students be successful in completing their homework for you: 1) Make sure your students and their parents understand homework policy. 2) Assign work that students can do. If your student has a learning disability in written language, chances are you won't get 10page written report you assigned. Perhaps he could tape information or present it in a different way, such as through use of pictures or a skit. 3) Make sure student understands assignment and has written it down correctly. That may mean you'll have to spend a little extra time with student to show him examples of what you want and to answer any questions he might have. Often, this involves an element of trust, especially as child gets older. He needs to be able to go to you and know that he will get help, not rejection. 4) Don't overload student with homework. Remember, it takes these students longer to complete assignment in first place. So, it might be a good idea to cut number of multiplication problems you assign him in half. Or, perhaps you would reduce amount of reading you want him to do in his reading book for night. 5) Relate new learning and homework with real life. If child understands how she can use this information in her life, it means more to her and she will learn it much more easily.
