Wilson

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by waterfall, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 9, 2016

    My P called me the other day to see if I would be willing to go to a 3 day training for this program this summer. I have no prior experience with it, but we do use Fundations (same company) in gen ed and it has helped my younger students. I can't go to the training she suggested because I'll be out of town. She asked if I was interested in looking for another one and I told her I would do some research and get back to her. We got a reading grant from the state this year and I guess they're willing to provide money for the Wilson program in addition to the gen ed curriculum we're getting if the school can prove they've got people that are trained in it.

    What are your experiences with this program? My understanding is that you can only start it in 3rd grade, which is a small portion of my caseload since I work with K-3 (4-6 teacher has already been trained in a previous district).

    Are there set times that you're supposed to do the program weekly? A big problem with the programs we have available now is that you're supposed to do them for huge amounts of time, and we just don't have that. I never use our current reading intervention program (Language!) because you're supposed to do it for 90 mins per day, 5 days per week. In a good week (seems like something is always interrupting) I have 30 mins per day, 4 days per week for reading.

    Is there a set number of students you're supposed to have in a group (this has also been an issue, many programs say 3 students, and I often have at least 5-6, sometimes up to 8 or 9).

    Is there a specific kind of student you've found the program to be successful with? The great majority of my kids have really significant decoding problems and are just struggling with learning how to read in the first place. I haven't had a kid who could decode but struggled with comprehension in years.

    How engaging are the lessons? Looking at my caseload for next year, I have A LOT of students with significant behavior issues.

    How scripted is it/how well would it fit in with a general curriculum? A big problem I've run into is that intervention programs are supposed to be followed "with fidelity" but a HUGE expectation at my school is that teachers are "aligned." Lack of alignment is often blamed for poor performance of students that are in interventions (mine or title 1). They think it's too confusing for the kid to have a resource teacher using one set of language while their classroom teacher uses another (for example, they don't want the classroom teacher to call it "magic e" and then the resource teacher call it "bossy e"- they want them to pick something and use the same language). I'm currently using a lot of Orton Gillingham structures, but using the language from the gen ed curriculum.

    My district seems to purchase a lot of programs that end up sitting in boxes because we later find out they just aren't practical or possible with the limited number of teachers we have. I want to make sure that using this would be plausible before I say we should get it.
     
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  3. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jun 15, 2016

    I have done that 3 day training twice. It is just a taste of the entire system, the tip of the iceberg. Wilson recommends 45-60 minute instructional sessions to complete 1 lesson, it takes 3 lessons minimum to complete the substep. It is very scripted. It works, my colleague is finishing Level 1 certification (will start Level 2 in the fall) and has evidence of student growth. You have to do it faithfully and according to the program to get those results though. It is very difficult to do with more than 3-4 students.
    It may be appropriate for some 2nd graders, but generally speaking it does begin with 3rd graders, however the program is mastery based, not connected to grade levels at all. It is a pretty expensive program to invest in. I've been using it in some way since 2007.
    Ask any more questions if you have them.
     
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  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 15, 2016

    Thanks for replying, I will pass on that information!

    So does that mean that you really need more training beyond the three days? Would I be able to start using it after doing the first training?
     
  5. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2016

    You can use it with the intro training, but certification is encouraged. Level 1 is a series of online classes, on site meetings, and Skype observations of a year long practicum. It costs about $1000. I wanted to do it but didn't because of small children, and now I am working on a doctorate. My best teacher friend is doing it.
    We had a parent complaint a few years ago about not providing adequate services with Wilson and my district has invested quite a bit in it. Every IS has had the 3 day intro, 1 is almost level 1, most K2 teachers have Foundations, as well as intervention aides.
    I really believe in the program but it is a huge time investment. I think 4, 60 minute lessons a week is ideal for growth, but unrealistic in the classroom.
     

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