• Fair Chance Learning

“If I could read and write, I would do school every day.”

We had a dream, as so many other educators do. Our dream focused on how we could accurately identify and remove the barriers that existed for students with learning disabilities; barriers to reading and writing, to accessing curriculum, and to demonstrating learning.

After several years of trialing tools and failing, we needed to look at the big picture. What was preventing students from learning? What resulted was a planful approach to identifying and reducing barriers using evidence-based, best practices.

This grew into a multi-disciplinary collaboration using research, data collection and targeted student-teacher training as well as providing ongoing support to teachers through a learning community. We saw positive feedback and witnessed amazing transformations in learning through planful integration of Microsoft Learning Tools only weeks into the project. Students were inspiring teachers and that is the most motivating experience for a teacher. The project and the movement grew.

Only 4 months into this pilot project, we had an opportunity to share the numerous successes, the stories and the tremendous impact of this project and Microsoft Learning Tools with all administrators in the division. We witnessed, once again, the immediate and significant impact these tools have on student learning when, one week later, we were sent a story that was dictated by a grade 7 student who benefited from the momentum generated from the LRSD AT Pilot Project.

“...I know that I can only keep up so long and then dyslexia. It's like a friend, but it

hurts you. It gets you into the spot where it has you where it wants you and you don't feel good about yourself. You feel worthless. It tells you that the huge sheet of work you have is impossible and that you can't do it, there's no way. So I just keep believing it. It makes you feel like you are nobody...I let it take over me.”

“...(Because of Microsoft Learning Tools) I can tell stories too. I'm good at talking to people. I can tell a story to anyone, I'm just good at story telling. I have tried dictate multiple times in the past, and it never worked. Found out that dictate has changed a lot in the past years. From what l have seen now, I feel like it's going to change a lot of people's lives and how they view school. When I first tried dictate, it was almost emotional for me. It's like learning how to talk and I can finally get my ideas out. I always thought I was going to be a nobody in life...If I could read and write, I would do school every day. All you have to do is sit there and talk to a laptop... If you notice that a student struggling with their writing, show them dictate, honestly, it's the click of a button. It's going to change students' lives.”

This is our dream...reaching students, one story at a time.

About the Authors:

We are a team of like-minded professionals from the Louis Riel school Division who were inspired to explore emerging and innovative methods to support student learning within the classroom environment...and the LRSD AT pilot project was born.

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