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Showing posts from February, 2014

Executive Functioning: Problems and Solutions

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Many young learners are being diagnosed with executive functioning weaknesses and schools are struggling to meet the needs of this population of learners.  The problem is that many teachers and administrators don’t understand the difficulties associated with this problem and therefore find accommodating these students an ever increasing challenge.
What is Executive Functioning?  The command and control center of the brain The conductor of cognitive skills The cognitive process that connects learned experiences with present actions. The place that encodes, retrieves and manipulates information.What is the Impact of Executive Functioning Difficulties? On the one hand, a weakness or deficit in executive functioning can impact an individual internally in a number of ways:
1) Cognitive Performance: Slow processing speedDifficulty maintaining motivationLimited staminaPoor goal-directed persistence
2) Emotiona…

Strategies for Teaching the Different Types of Angles and Lines

Using multisensory instruction always makes a lesson more engaging and fun for students.  In fact, one of my favorite learning modalities to integrate into instruction is kinesthetics or movement.  For many learners having to sit still is not conducive for learning, and other children just need to get their bodies moving and their blood circulating from time to time to fully focus on a lesson.
One of my favorite topics to teach are the different type of angles and lines.I like to cover these concepts with a multisensory and interactive PowerPoint that I created, then I get the students to use chants as well as their bodies to encode the information.Just this week I created a free YouTube video, where I share some fun activity ideas for lines and angles. If you like the video and would like to also acquire my multisensory PowerPoint presentation, Click Here to learn more. Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Le…

Color-Coded Writing: A Scaffolding Approach for Word Formation

Many young learners struggle with the sizing and formation of letters.   In addition, writing across the paper in a straight line can be challenging.   For these students, I like to offer a color-coded scaffolding approach that provides support and also brings the fun factor into the learning process.  I call it, Color-coded Handwriting and it helps my students master this difficult, fine motor task. 

What's the Process:
I offer my students color-coded paper as well as color-coded letters.  I tell my students that all the letters have to match up with the colors.  I share with my students that the colors represent, “the sky - blue, the grass – green, and the ground - orange.”  Letters that are green, such as the lowercase letter “o” are called grass letters, tall letters such as “t” are grass and sky letters, and letters such as the letter “g” are grass and ground letters.  All letters rest on the line below the grass. You Can Make This Yourself, or Purchase it Ready Made:
You can ma…

Embracing Positive Learning Environments

Part of the learning process is making mistakes.However, inadvertently teachers and parents often correct young learners with negative remarks.Kids continually hear the words "no," "incorrect" and "wrong."What’s more, in moments of frustration, many children must withstand cutting, belittling names such as careless, lazy and unmotivated.I think we have all been called these names at some time in our life, and I can promise you, these negative labels never help the situation.It only breeds frustration and disempowerment.In fact, if teachers or parents get too critical, students can feel dejected and even develop a sense of learned helplessness.
Stop the Negative Labels: Have you seen Dan Siegal speak about the psychological impact of the word, “no?”  Here is a link to a YouTube Video where he shows an audience the difference between “no” and “yes” responses (Click Here).I hope you have a moment to view it.  
Replace Negativity with Words of Encouragement: Ho…