Welcome! - The UW-Platteville Office of Continuing Education (OCE) and the Wisconsin Institute for Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia, Inc. (WILDD) thank you for your interest in learning about the Carpenter Language Achievement and Strategies System™ (CLASS™.) As educators, you know that your life-long learning benefits every student with whom you come into contact. You are at this site because you either know or suspect that children in your classroom are struggling with dyslexia—the most common specific learning disability—which makes sense since research shows that one out of five children in the U.S. has dyslexia. You also know that given the right tools and resources you are capable of helping students who are not responding to other methods of instruction. The right tool is the CLASS™ methodology, a scientific, research-driven, evidence-based intervention (SRBI) that was created by a dyslexic special education teacher, for dyslexic/specific learning disabled students. The right resources are provided to you during your training where you will learn how to reach your students, keep them engaged, and teach your hardest-to-reach students how to read, spell and express themselves in written format. We urge you to review CLASS™ results and client testimony to learn how this particular method of instruction can change the lives of so many students struggling in our schools today.
Response to Intervention – WILDD’s CLASS™ methodology works as part of the RtI Multi-Level System of Support and can be taught to teachers who, once certified, can employ the unique and highly effective intervention one-on-one as a Tier III intensive reading intervention or as a supplement to Tier I universal instruction or Tier II targeted interventions. Analysis of CLASS™ completed by the University of Wisconsin found a large effect of intervention in comprehension, reading skills, fluency, spelling, decoding/phonics and broad reading. CLASS™ will be your most successful intervention with dyslexic and specific learning disabled students.
CLASS™ Curriculum and Method - The Carpenter Language Achievement and Strategies System™ (CLASS™), an academic therapy curriculum, was developed by former special education teacher, WILDD co-founder and dyslexic learner Ervin Carpenter, in the late 1980's. CLASS™ has been consistently updated over time as scientific advances on the dyslexic brain and new scientific information about dyslexic learners becomes available—brain research is ever-involving and WILDD keeps up with innovations in research. CLASS™ distinguishes itself from most dyslexia remediation programs by focusing on student outcome, which includes reading fluency and comprehension. The path to this outcome uniquely involves teacher education on the social and emotional impact of dyslexia, as well as the multiple skills outside of reading that are affected by dyslexia, so that teachers gain the skills necessary to reach your dyslexic/SLD students and support them through the learning process. CLASS™ is rooted in the instruction first developed by neuropsychiatrist and pathologist Samuel Orton and gifted educator and psychologist Anna Gillingham based on their pioneering work in the 1920's with individuals who failed to establish appropriate cerebral organization to support the association of visual words with their spoken forms. However, CLASS™ transcends traditional Orton-Gillingham remediation because it was developed by a highly skilled dyslexic educator, who understands, on every level, how the dyslexic brain best learns, and processes, information.
This direct instruction method, rich in simultaneous, multi-sensory technique and phonological awareness, successfully remediates language deficits and creates independent learners. An independent learner is a student who reads, spells and writes largely for himself or herself with accommodations sometimes limited to simple things such as extended time for tests and assignments, a quiet room, and advanced notice of new vocabulary words. Because CLASS™ was created by a now-retired public school special education teacher it is designed to create independent students who can free up a teacher’s time to work with others in greater need.
CLASS™ instruction begins by helping the teacher understand the complexities of the dyslexic/SLD learner’s brain. It then focuses on the structure of language and gradual movement toward reading, with each lesson building upon the previous. The method provides, for the student, immediate feedback and a predictable sequence that integrates reading, writing, penmanship, and spelling as one logical body of knowledge.
Supporting Teachers and Schools - We’re working in Wisconsin school districts right now, training teachers to implement this life-changing instruction with their students. This means schools are reducing their achievement gap and meeting new state standards for teaching and student achievement. Your school or district can contract with WILDD to train teachers and other school personnel to successfully deliver and support the delivery of the CLASS™ program to students from Pre-K through 12th grade.
As a result of the partnership between WILDD and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Office of Continuing Education, districts and individual teachers have the option to receive this training on a non-credit or credit basis. Both undergraduate and graduate credit is available. The first course in this 5-credit series is Curriculum in Language Remediation. It is designed to inculcate in the teacher, or other school personnel taking the course, a precise series of methodologies, including the CLASS™ method, to remediate students identified with language deficits and those identified with dyslexia/specific learning disabilities. Understanding learning disabilities, specific learning disabilities/dyslexia and the CLASS™ remediation approach are the focal points of the course. Teachers/Trainees will learn the definition and characteristics of specific learning disabilities/dyslexia and how to teach a person with these handicaps, using a systematic, simultaneous, multisensory approach. The second, 2-credit course provides a 100-hour practicum, a minimum of 5 hours of intense supervision, evaluation, on-going supervision and on-going cognitive training.
Wisconsin Educator Mandates - The program is designed to fulfill the 2013 requirements of the Read to Lead legislation. Section 21, 118.19 (14) (a) states The Department [of Public Instruction] may not issue an initial teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education unless the applicant has passed an examination that evaluates the applicant’s knowledge of reading development and scientifically-based reading instruction; integration of knowledge and understanding of phonological and phonemic awareness; concepts of print and the alphabetic principles; the role of phonics in promoting reading development; word analysis skills and strategies; vocabulary development; the application of reading comprehension skills and strategies to imaginative, literary, informational, and expository texts; formal and informal methods of assessing reading development; multiple approaches to reading instruction; development of reading curricula; and the evaluation of the results of instruments used to screen pupils for reading acquisition skills. For further information about the new teacher licensing requirements (Education Reform Bill Wisconsin State Statute Section 118.19(14)(a) and Section 19, 115.415 Educator effectiveness) click on Benefits to Schools.
Specific Learning Disability Ruling – The 2013 SLD Ruling requires all public schools to use progress monitoring data from a student’s response to intensive SRBI for all initial SLD evaluation of their students. WILDD supports school districts with implementation of this ruling and is available to: assist with establishment of progress monitoring that complies with DPI requirements; supply teacher training that works, at an affordable price; supply an SRBI curriculum that works for all students; and provide an effective Tier III RtI that serves those students who need to learn how to read, write and express themselves in written format.
Certification and Credits - WILDD will provide each teacher/trainee who satisfactorily completes the training program with a certificate stating that the teacher/trainee has completed the WILDD Teacher Training in the CLASS™ method. The certificate will state that the participant has completed the initial level of training in the CLASS™ curriculum which fulfills the “Read to Lead” state teacher licensing requirements contained in the Education Reform Bill at Wis. Stat. sec. 118.19(14)(a). The curriculum will not satisfy that portion of the licensing requirements which is based on school-wide reading scores.
Consultation - WILDD can also provide school districts with suggestions and recommendations for materials that will assist teachers/trainees with the implementation of the CLASS™ program, including the best hardware and software to assist LD, SLD and other struggling students, as well as other proven materials to integrate and supplement the curriculum.
In addition, WILDD can provide all administrative paperwork, syllabi, course outlines, lesson plan forms, phase of instruction tracking sheets, and suggestions for sequence of curriculum, to assist teachers/trainees with successful implementation of the CLASS™ program.
Fidelity of Methodology - School districts must agree to maintain the fidelity of the CLASS™ program through routine professional development training services delivered by a WILDD-certified CLASS™ trainer and further agree to maintain the fidelity of the CLASS™ program through the use of the program en bloc, understanding that successful outcomes of the program are based on the use of the CLASS™ curriculum en bloc.
If you are interested in the WILDD Teacher Training in the CLASS™ Method program, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
To register for a course or view course syllabi, click the course title below.