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Is Wilson appropriate for students with low cog?

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theroad theroad is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2014
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theroad
 
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 37
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Is Wilson appropriate for students with low cog?
Old 09-13-2019, 02:15 PM
 
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I teach in a public school setting and we have two separate programs in my school - one for children with a language based learning disability and one for children who qualify under the category of "neurological." I teach in the second program. All of my students have well below average IQs (high 60s to mid 70s) and so obviously, my students need lots of hands on repetitive practice across all of the curriculum.

Each program has it's own class for grades 3 - 5, so there are a total of six program classrooms.

The students in the language based program are receiving instruction using the Wilson reading system since that is what the third grade teacher (who has been there forever) is certified in. My training was in Orton Gillingham through IMSE, since that is what my last district "endorsed/encouraged" I guess you could say. I have had great success implementing my IMSE OG training with my students and many of my now 5th graders are reading only half a grade level to a grade level behind.

Last year my principal hired a new 4th and a new 5th grade teacher for my program; I teach third. This year, she wants all of us to be "consistent" in our delivery of instruction but instead of sending the new teachers through OG training over the summer, she sent them to Wilson and is now sending me to Wilson training next week, with the expectation that I adopt teaching Wilson this year.

I was under the impression that Wilson was a system that was designed to meet the needs of students who were of average cognitive ability but were failing in reading. I have reviewed the Wilson materials and I honestly don't feel they make sense for my students.

I spoke with one of the language based teachers and she mentioned she had a student in her class last year that was below average IQ and should have been placed in my program, but was placed in her classroom anyway based on the parents' insistence. That child never made it out of book 1 of Wilson.... over the span of the whole year... I simply cannot ethically do that to my students. Meanwhile, her students who truly had a learning disability in reading made gains.

Any help on how to approach my principal would be greatly appreciated. I'm a relatively new teacher (6th year, but third in this district) but I get to know my students very well and I feel I should be the decision maker in which training/approach I use.

Thoughts???


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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Haley23
 
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:12 PM
 
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I have never used Wilson myself but it's an OG based program as well, so I would think it would be similar. I have used SPIRE, which is made by the same people. All of the OG programs I've used have been similar.

If your data is that good, I would simply take that to your admin and ask about why a change is being made when you have proof that the current methods work. I'd also do some googling and see if you can find any concrete information that says Wilson is not meant to be used for students with intellectual disabilities, and you could bring that in as well.

My district is doing this huge kick on explicit phonics instruction this year (something we've all done in sped for years, of course) and even their "guru" says it's the best method for everyone EXCEPT those with intellectual disabilities, as it's too difficult for those students to learn and internalize the patterns. She does emphasize that this is maybe 4% of the total student population. I would think that would also apply to the IMSE stuff though too.
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