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Showing posts from June, 2012

Fun, Free Activities That Sharpen and Strengthen Language Processing Over the Summer Break

The old saying - If you don't use it you lose it - often describes the cognitive setbacks that many students experience over the summer months.  Exercising children's brains with engaging and fun activities is a must.  Here are 5 strategies you can use this summer to help your little ones sharpen and strengthen their skills. When watching TV, discuss the commercials.  See if they can figure out what product each commercial is promoting and see if they can uncover any inferences or hidden messages.Play with anagrams - Write down a word that has at least 6 letters.  In 5 minutes, see how many new words you can create by scrambling the letters.  Play catch with a football, baseball or beach ball.  When you first toss the ball, call out a main idea such as days of the Week.  When your child catches the ball, they have to say one of the days of the week.  When they toss it back to you, you say another day of the week.  Players can only say each detail once.  If a detail is repeated…

Do We Need to Reform Education? Why So Many Students Are Struggling With Executive Functioning.

As a learning specialist and educational therapist, I have been overwhelmed with calls from parents claiming that their children struggle with executive functioning.  These students are often described as lazy and unmotivated, and by the time that I meet many of these students they also have a case of learned helplessness.   Although executive functioning weaknesses can manifest in different ways, the majority of my students find it difficult to record assignments, organize their materials, turn in their homework, pull out the salient information, focus in class and employ meta-cognitive strategies.

Part of the problem is that we live in a society where we are continually multitasking.It’s almost impossible to find a quiet, distraction free spot where one can direct ones full attention to an undertaking.Instead our thoughts are continually diverted to the bleeps, jingles and bings of text messages, phone calls, emails and so forth.Distractions that often make a 15 minute task become …