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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Exposing Students to the 12 Ways of Learning


Many know of the four common ways of learning: visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic.  But did you know that students need to be exposed to even more ways of processing information too?   Going multisensory is essential these days and presenting instruction that teaches to all 12 ways of processing, as described in the Eclectic Teaching Approach, can help prepare your students for a successful future of life long learning. 
The other 8 ways of learning include:
1)   Sequential Learning: teach students how to order information alphabetically or numerically. 
Teach with timelines, successive instructions, outlines, and keep materials organized.
2)   Simultaneous Learning: teach students how to categorize materials by similarity. 
Web information, define and discuss main ideas and details, and use flow charts and diagrams.
3)   Verbal Learning: teach students how to process ideas aloud.
Provide opportunities for students to process ideas verbally through one-on-one or group discussions.
4)   Interactive Learning: teach students how to work with others.
Collaborate with your students on projects or classroom ideas, offer collaborative assignments and allow students to work in groups.
5)   Logical/Reflective Learning: teach students how to think about and make connections to what they are learning.
Offer time for students to work independently and process ideas internally.  Free writing activities and journals can exercise this modality.
6)   Indirect Experience Learning: teach students how to observe and learn from a demonstration.
Offer vicarious learning experiences.
7)   Direct Experience Learning: teach students how to learn in their environment.
Lead discussions about what students are learning in the “real world.”  Inform them about educational opportunities available in our communities and local cities (museums, aquariums, historic sites …) and take them on field trips.
8)   Rhythmic Melodic Learning: teach students how to use songs and rhythm to learn information.
Share music that defines a time period or mood, use melodies to help student memorize information, and play educational music.

 
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Executive Functioning: Helping Students with Planning Time Management and Organization


Executive functioning is a newly defined cognitive process that has gained recognition in schools over the past decade and accommodating students that struggle in this area is often neglected.  Inappropriate labels such as “careless” and “lazy” are often placed on this population.  Instead of compassion and strategies, they are often intimidated, harassed and mishandled with discipline and inconsistent methods that result in poor grades.   For these students anger, frustration, poor motivation and feelings of learned helplessness are common.  More and more students are being described with this label and students need to learn strategies for success.  Capable and intelligent learners can sabotage their grades by:
  •  losing materials
  • forgetting to turn in assignments
  • leaving things to the last minute
  • miscalculating or underestimating the amount of time it will take to complete a task
  • failing to record homework in an agenda or planner
  • leaving needed materials at school
  • leaving needed materials at home
  • failing to prepare for tests
  • failing to plan and break down long-term assignments into manageable tasks or goals
  • neglecting to plan for midterms or finals
  • missing assignments
  • forgetting details
  • losing focus and missing important notes or directions
  • losing mental stamina and failing to complete a task
  • misplacing important materials
  • rushing through work

So what can be done to assist these students?
  1. Help students create a structure daily routine.
  2. Help students to set priorities.
  3. Help students create a homework plan. 
  4. Help students break large assignments into manageable chunks.
  5. Help students to create to do checklists.
  6. Help students improve their study skills.
  7. Help students learn note-taking skills.
  8. Help students learn time management skills.
  9. Help students learn test taking skills.
  10. Help students learn memory strategies.
  11. Help students motivation by offering incentives and positive reinforcement.  

To learn all these strategies and more you can purchase my recent publication Planning Time Management and Organization for Success: Quick and Easy Approaches to Mastering Executive Skills for Student. 


 
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Strategies that Help Students to Organize Ideas, Build Paragraphs, and Implement Transitions in Their Writing


         Organizing ideas and building paragraphs can be a taxing and complicated process for beginning writers.  Writing requires multitasking. When some of these tasks are challenging, they can become overwhelming hurtles that trip up the flow of ideas and can stop the creative process in its tracks.  For instance, if a student is still toiling with the formation of letters, the second they go to write down their fabulous ideas, their attention is swept away by the engulfing fine motor task.  Likewise, those that tussle with spelling often lose their thoughts as they get diverted down a path of sounds and symbol associations.  Still, others find that although they have great thoughts, it’s a tough and tedious workout to sequence the surge of scurrying words and ideas.
        
         For many students, they must develop some degree of automaticity before they can gracefully interlace the required tasks that are necessary to become a confident and savvy writer.

So, what are some strategies that can help students to master the basic elements of writing.

1.     If spelling is a challenge, allow the student to dictate answers as you write them down or use voice to text software, such as Dragon Dictate. 
2.    If organizing ideas is difficult, help the student to define main ideas and details and sequence ideas in an outline or web.  An excellent software tool that can help with this is Kidspiration or Inspiration for older students.  You can learn more about it at: http://www.inspiration.com .  You can also find an online, collaborative version of this software on the internet at: http://www.webspirationpro.com .
3.    If handwriting is labored and the student is able to type quite well, allow them to use a computer for written assignments and class work.
4.    If handwriting and typing is a problem, again consider allowing the student to dictate answers to you as you write them down or help them to use voice to text software, such as Dragon Dictate. 
5.    If getting started is a problem, discuss the topic.  Ask a lot of guiding questions and record the student’s ideas in writing or with a voice recording device.
6.    Whenever a student is struggling with any of the tasks required for writing, make sure they get plenty of practice so that they can master the skill. Try to make the exercises fun by using game like activities or software programs that can assist with tasks such as typing.  
7.    If the student experiences persistent difficulties with writing or any of the many tasks required to write, consider asking your school district to provide a full battery of testing to rule out a learning disability.  You can also pursue testing outside your school district with a professional in your community.   

     If you would like to learn more about helping students with the organization of ideas and the layout of writing, look at my recent publication, Categorizing, Paragraph Building and Transitional Word Activities.  The 30 page downloadable document offers a series of printable game-like activities that help students to understand and practice organizing main ideas and details as well as sequencing sentences and adding transitional words.  These fun activities are appropriate for elementary students and there are also additional materials for an older population.   http://goodsensorylearning.com/collections/top-level-category-1/products/categorizing-paragraph-building-transitional-words-activities
 
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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