Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension
According to Dr. Kelly Cartwright, author of Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension, three core executive skills are cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibition.
- Cognitive Flexibility allows student to shift attention between components of a task (i.e. decoding and text meaning).
- Working Memory is the capacity to be able to work with and hold information in the mind (i.e. a visual image of a character with the character’s actions).
- Inhibition is thinking before acting and ignoring distracting information (i.e. irrelevant, multiple meanings of words).
Executive skill development is essential to comprehending text. Skilled readers need to use high level thinking skills as they make a plan for understanding text, resist distractions, manage information, and make sense of text. Without these skills, students can struggle to comprehend what they read. Her research is summarized in Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension. Fortunately for struggling readers, these executive skills can be taught.
Attend the workshop: Thinking About Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension
Check out a copy of Dr. Cartwright’s book, Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension, A Guide for Educators (2015) from the T-TAC/ODU Lending Library.
Executive Function 101 Prepared by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Enhanced Scope and Sequence
The SOL Enhanced Scope and Sequence (ESS) was created by a team of general and special educators and VDOE personnel. ESS provides teachers across the state with differentiated lessons that are aligned with the essential knowledge and skills found in the Curriculum Framework at VDOE. The ESS is organized by content areas (i.e. Mathematics, English, History and Social Science, Science), and can be accessed at the Virginia Department of Education Standards of Learning.
Virginia Department of Education Instructional Resources
- The Standards and SOL-based Instructional Resources
- Math ESS Lessons
- English ESS Lessons
- Science and Social Studies ESS Lessons
Suggestions for Communicating With and About People with Disabilities at the CDC.
The VDOE Reading Network provides K-12 teachers with effective strategies to increase the reading achievement of students with disabilities. Following are useful resources.
Virginia Department of Education Resources
- 2017 VDOE English Standards
- VDOE English/Reading/Writing Resources
- Targeted Literacy Interventions Webinars
T-TAC Online Reading Resources
Reading Sites of Interest
Students with disabilities have the right to an opportunity to read. Here is an excerpt from the Literacy Bill of Rights (Yoder, Erickson & Koppenhaver, 1997).
The IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University is a national center dedicated to improving education outcomes for all children, especially those with disabilities birth through age twenty-one. Find a list of reading related resources in this document: The IRIS Center’s Resources for Teaching Reading
- Online professional development dedicated to improving instruction for all students, especially struggling readers, English language learners, and special education students.
PALS Virginia Activities and Resources
- Providing educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.
- Lexile measures are reported with the scores of students taking SOL reading tests in grades 3-8. Instructional resources can be found at the Lexile.com website. One helpful resource is the Find the Book feature. Enter either a student Lexile score (from a recent SOL test), or the student’s current grade level. Next, choose subject(s) of interest, and a tailor-made, leveled book list will be created for the student.