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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Self Advocacy: 5 Reasons this Skill Should be Taught


Self advocacy is one of the most important skills struggling students can learn. Whether it is communicating with a teacher about a best learning approach, a needed testing modification, or a classroom accommodation, self advocacy can assure that students get what they need to learn.


What is Student Self-Advocacy?
Student self-advocacy is when a learner communicates what he or she needs to a teacher or administrator in an academic environment. This skill should be taught in middle school so that students are knowledgeable about the process and procedures by high school.  Although it sounds easy, it’s actually quite complex, because students must be savvy about:
  1. Individual needs: Students should have a comprehensive understanding of their strengths, weaknesses as well as their accommodations, so that they can monitor services and manage their own needs.
  2. Mandated rights: Students should know about the laws that protect students with disabilities, so they can evaluate whether they are getting the needed services.
  3. Speaking up for yourself: When accommodations are overlooked or require adjustments, it is important for students to feel comfortable communicating their concerns to school personnel as well as to their parents or guardians.
  4. Knowledge of school support personnel: Knowing the people and places to go to when assistance is required is vital for students that require services.


How Can Struggling Students Get Academic Services?
Many students struggle with disabilities that can make the learning process a challenge in school. As a result, schools are mandated to provide these learners with reasonable accommodations that can help them reach their academic potential. The process of getting accommodations requires formal testing that uncovers a diagnosis as well as a history of academic underachievement. Then, a meeting with the school and the parents or guardians can determine whether the student receives informal accommodations or a formal 504 or IEP designation.


5 Reasons Student, Self Advocacy Should be Taught:
  1. Helps students learn more about their own strengths, weaknesses, and needed accommodations.
  2. Develops resilience and builds confidence.
  3. Helps students to develop and improve communication skills.
  4. Teaches students the skills, so that they can acquire any needed higher education or workplace accommodations.
  5. Enables students to get the needed modifications and accommodations, so they can show their true abilities and reach their academic potential.


Image result for eye to eye advocacy planHow Can Students Develop a Self Advocacy Plan:
Eye to Eye is a national nonprofit organization run by and for people with learning differences (LD), like dyslexia, and ADHD. They offer a free App that can help students create their own “My Advocacy Plan (MAP)”.  This is a tool that can be used to educate teachers or in an IEP or 504 Plan meeting.  You can get the app HERE.


Clearly, teaching students the need skills to be their own self advocate can help them throughout their lives.  If you have any questions, reach out any time.
 
Multisensory Educational Materials for Students:
If you are searching for fun and multisensory educational materials, be sure to come on over to Good Sensory Learning. Learning specialists, educational therapists, teachers, and parents can find lessons, remedial activities, cognitive therapy publications, educational games and more.  You can also arrange consultations with Dr. Warren.  You can learn more about her services at www.learningtolearn.biz.
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.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Games that Benefit the Brain





Here is an update on a prior post:

Most kids love to play card and board games, but did you know that many offer benefits far beyond the obvious social gains. Many of these activities are actually good for cognition and can exercise the brain.

There are three types of benefits:


1. Brain Breaks: Some games offer quick “brain breaks” that can be used during homework completion. A quick reward, when stamina is low, can energize the brain and regain focus.

2. Brain Integration: Other games can help integrate the brain. Some students can lack integration between the two hemispheres of the brain and these activities activate the whole brain.

3. Cognitive Remediation
: Finally, there are games that help to strengthen specific areas of cognition and they can serve as a form of cognitive therapy. By exercising these parts of the brain, new neural pathways can develop and areas of weakness can be strengthened and even remediated.

I have also written two other blogs that review more games that benefit the brain as well as games that benefit visual processing.

Here is a table that reviews some of my favorite games, lists of the cognitive gains and offers links to the products.


GAME: Time to Play
COGNITIVE BENEFITS
WHERE TO PURCHASE
Spot it:  about 2-4 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Hemisphere Integration

Executive Functioning Games:  about 5-10 minutes
 
  • Visual Processing
  • Working Memory
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Hemisphere Integration
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Nonverbal Reasoning



Blink:   about 2-4 minutes

  • Visual Processing
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Nonverbal Reasoning

Set:  about 5-10 minutes

  • Visual Processing
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning




Reading Games Bundle Digital Download: depends on the game 5-30 minutes
Reading Games Bundle Digital Download
  • Core reading skills
  • Orton Gillingham Based or phonics based approach




Q Bits:  depends on the number of rounds played - 2-30 minutes

  • Visual Processing
  • Spatial Relations
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention to Detail
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning




Master Mind:  depends on the number of rounds played - 10-30 minutes


  • Visual Processing
  • Visual Reasoning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning








Hey What’s the Big Idea: About 3-15  minutes
Hey, What's the Big Idea: Main Idea and Detail Game Download
  • Processing Speed
  • Simultaneous Processing
  • Word Finding
  • RAN Rapid Automatic Naming
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning




Doodle Dice: about 15 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Spatial Relations
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning



Blokus: about 30-45 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Spatial Relations
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning





Word Shuffle: about 15 minutes
Word Shuffle Figurative Language, Literary Term and Grammar Game Digital Download
  • Processing Speed
  • Word Finding
  • RAN Rapid Automatic Naming
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning
  • Linguistic Skills



Logic Links: depends on the number of rounds played - 3-30 minutes
  • Visual Processing
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning




Word Around Game:  depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes
Word A Round Game
  • Visual Processing
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Sequential Processing
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning




Scattergories the Card Game:
depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes
  • Simultaneous Processing
  • Word Finding
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning




Scattergories the Board Game: depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes
  • Simultaneous Processing
  • Word Finding
  • Speed of Processing
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Executive Functioning



Pictionary: depends on the number of rounds played- 5-60 minutes
  • Nonverbal Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Fine Motor Dexterity
  • Speed of Processing

Apples to Apples: depends on the number of rounds played- 10-30 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Attention
  • Mental Flexibility



Cranium: depends on the number of rounds played - 5-30 minutes.

  • Auditory Processing
  • Visual Processing
  • Processing Speed
  • Attention to Detail
  • Attention
  • Hemisphere Integration
  • Fine Motor
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Sequential Processing


Jenga - depends on the number of rounds played- 5-30 minutes.
  • Fine Motor Dexterity
  • Motor Planning
  • Nonverbal Reasoning




I hope you found this helpful. If you know of other card or board games that you find beneficial, please share them in the comment box below. I will then update this blog to reflect your ideas.
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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