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Questions parents can ask to increase reading comprehension


So here is an issue that comes up a ton at Student Study Team meetings. What can parents do at home to help students improve in reading comprehension and math other than just making their kids read and help with homework? I always go back to ask your kids questions. Reading comprehension isn’t a skill that just applies to books. If you have a kid who has difficulty giving a retell of a story, they probably also have difficulty giving a retell of the TV show you just watched. Ask you kids to tell you what happened in the TV show and ask follow us questions– so what happened first? Ok, what then? If your child is having difficulty with higher level comprehension (inferencing, finding theme and lessons) ask lots of why questions. Why do you think she did that? How did she change in the movie? So what was the big idea of this episode?  Reading comprehension boils down to being able to TALK about things that you have read and to answer questions. Asking questions about movies, TV shows, the book that your kid just read, and even video games that they are playing can build those same skills. My new project is going to be creating a handout of questions so if you have any good ones let me know!

Advice for parents at IEP meetings

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  1. Don’t sign the IEP if you still have questions. Take home the IEP and think about it. You have 10 days (think I got that number right) to make a decision on giving or with holding consent. Don’t let anyone rush you.
  2. Bring people to the IEP meeting (especially important ones like initials). The fact is, this is your kid people are talking about. You are going to have all sorts of emotions to process in the meeting. Bring someone else who can ask questions and support you. Most of us bring someone to the doctor when we have an important appointment because we know we will forget to ask some important questions– think of IEP meetings the same way.
  3.  Ask questions about how. Words on a paper are really nice– and often what gets litigated in the court. But I always want parents to ask about HOW I am going to get their kid to meet their goals and what their day is actually going to look like.  Even the best written IEP is pretty useless– it is the quality of the instruction and support that matter so that is where the discussion should focus.
  4. Please, please be on time. Every person at that table is incredibly busy and is taking time away from actually teaching, supporting students, and a million other things to be there with you. When you are late, you are taking time away from your child and other children. If you want a good relationship with the school team, come on time and avoid cancelling meetings at the last minute.
  5.  Speak up when you are confused or disagree. Honestly, I struggle with understanding some people when they present at IEP meetings. They finish their presentations and I am thinking, “Huh?” If you don’t get what they are saying or disagree, share it at the meeting. I really appreciate it when parents ask me questions– it shows me that they are engaged and let’s me focus on what is important to them.
  6. Be present in the meeting. I have sat in meetings with 15 people trying to figure out why a student is struggling enormously in school while the parent keeps looking in their lap to check their text messages or takes three phone calls.  If you figure that each of those 15 people are making $30-$50 an hour, that one hour meeting is costing the school district at least $600. We are investing that money and time because parents matter, not because we want to talk to each other.
  7. Know your rights. Basically your parent rights say that you are the most important person at that meeting. The law is written to favor you– not the school or teachers. Don’t let the school overwhelm you– you really, really do matter and that has been proved over and over again in the courts.
  8. Put things in writing. You can request an IEP meeting, request an assessment, and request records– but you need to ask for things in writing. Email counts.

Goals and scoring guide DONE!

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Like everything else, finishing the scoring guide for my assessments took about a month longer than I expected. The good news is that it is DONE and up! I was originally going to just put up pictures of the scored assessment but instead I decided to go ambitious. I wrote sample present levels to match the scored assessments and put up a ton of Common Core aligned goals. These are goals that I actually use– which is why I built things like assistive technology, multiplication charts, and read alouds into them.  I am still adding to the goal bank so if you think there are important academic areas that I missed, let me know.

Check them out and let me know what you think! Assessments and goals

Take care,


New content up!


Look around the site! I am holding off on blogging for a bit until I have all the base content up. The goal is for this site to be a mixture of a blog and of useful teaching and parenting resources. I have a ton of new content up on behavior contracts and technology.  Let me know what else I need up!

Welcome to Rose’s Resources!

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Welcome to Rose’s Resources!

For those of you who have been asking if I had a blog  or a site to share my materials, here it is!

About 10% of our kids nationwide get special education supports. That means there are millions of parents– and teachers– nation wide trying to navigate a system than can feel overwhelming. After more than a decade working in the field, I have a few tricks up my sleeve and materials to share. Feel free to browse and leave comments! I look forward to hearing from you!

For those of you looking for teaching resources for special education, check out my  site on TeachersPayTeachers. I have all sorts of curriculum and assessment materials up there to browse!

For those of you looking for general Common Core teaching resources, check out Teachapedia, my website of general teaching resources.


Thanks for visiting!



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