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Showing posts from January, 2014

Working Memory, Hemisphere Integration and Attention Building Activities

Successful learners are fully engaged, can maintain attention and they activate both hemispheres of their brain. However, many young learners go through their daily classroom activities without being fully conscious of the task at hand. Many of these kids struggle with executive functioning and working memory difficulties.  They may be constantly distracted by external stimuli as well as their own internal thoughts that take them on “little trips” outside of the classroom. Although their bodies are present, their minds are elsewhere. What’s more, when these students eventually become consciously involved in the classroom, many have missed important instruction and they may only be activating the dominant side of their brain. So, for example, if a student is only using the right hemisphere, reading can become a difficult task, as for most people, the left hemisphere of the brain is dominant for language. For students that fall into this profile, learning can become difficult, frustrat…

The Teacher Assessment Cycle: Becoming A Better Teacher

Wouldn’t you like to be the first person to know if your lesson was a flop or your students misinterpreted your words or intentions? Whether you like it or not, your students are continually evaluating your teaching materials and instructional style. Their opinions travel quickly to peers, parents, tutors, advisors, and school administrators. Frequently, the last person to hear this feedback is often the actual teacher. In fact, this negative chatter, and exaggerations can turn a minor incident or criticism into a big ordeal. What’s more, the spread of negative gossip can create lasting misconceptions.
Listen to Your Students Ideas and Opinions:
Allowing your students to evaluate your classroom materials, assignments and approaches can provide the needed feedback right to the source – you, the teacher. You will be surprised at the value of your students’ critiques. My students have inspired some of my best materials. 

How Can Teachers Gather This Information?

Utilizing a questionnaire w…

Midterms and Finals: Free Strategies and Handouts for Success

For many students, midterms are right around the corner, and learning how to plan for these comprehensive exams can be key to helping them manage test anxiety and achieve the desired grades. What Can Teachers Do to Help Prepare Students for Midterms and Finals? 1. Throughout the Term Encourage Your Students to Create a “Test Preparation Portfolio”: Help your students to create test preparation materials weekly from homework, classwork, notes, handouts and textbooks. Provide the opportunity for your students to ask questions about prior class content that creates confusion when they are preparing their portfolio.Evaluate each student’s test preparation materials and make recommendations. 2. Communicate with Your Students About Upcoming Exams: · Inform your students about the exams well in advance and provide a study guide.· Inspire your students to organize their materials. Evaluate their approach and offer recommendations.· Encourage your students to create mater…