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Showing posts from September, 2014

Teaching the Alphabet: Tailoring Instruction

One of my favorite things about being a learning specialist and educational therapist is creating a unique approach for each of my students.  Each learner comes with a one-of-a-kind set of strengths and weakness, as well as likes and dislikes.  Therefore, with the help of my students, I'm continually fashioning new instructional approaches and materials.  But meeting the needs of my students is just half my professional pie, as I also strive to assist and guide colleagues and parents in solving onerous, remedial needs.

Cracking Difficult Student Cases:
I often get emails from my followers asking for my advice about how to meet the needs of students that are challenging to remediate.  I recently received an email from a reading specialist asking me to help with a tricky case.  As my response could benefit others too, I decided to share my ideas in this week's blog!

Teaching Peter the Letters:
Peter is four years and eleven months and is presently in preschool (student name changed …

Turning Homework Into Home Fun

Motivating students to complete homework assignments can be tricky. After a long day at school, few learners look forward to tackling academics on their free time.  So what can we do to make the process less taxing, and possibly enjoyable?

Strategies for Turning Homework into Home Fun:
Who came up with the idea to call after-school assignments "homework?" Clearly, they were not thinking about the psychological sabotage embedded in that word.  I mean, really, who wants to take schoolwork home?  Here are a number of strategies that will help you to improve students attitudes and motivation, about home assignments.
Don't call home assignments, homework, but come up with a name that is more appealing and motivating such as home fun. Think like an advertising agency that is trying to sell a product, and be sure to create fun and enticing names for all your assignments and lessons.  For example, I never teach script or cursive. I teach roller-coaster letters! Furthermore, gener…

Tailoring Reading Remediation for Faster Results.

There are thousands of reading remediation programs out there as well as reading specialists that can help learners master the complex task of learning to read.  However, the process can be taxing, time consuming and expensive.  In fact, many students are placed into slow and boring programs that force them to wade through a sequence of lessons, many of which are not needed and not fun.

How Can Reading Remediation be Tailored to Meet Individual Needs?
Assessing each students' needs is imperative so that time can be used efficiently and positive results can abound quickly.   This will allow the instructor to individualize remedial goals for maximum results.

How Can Individual Needs be Assessed?
There are a number of areas that need to be evaluated to see where there are gaps in proficiency. Once you know where the problem areas lie, you can focus remediation.  Here are the areas that should be assessed.
Letter: name/sound recognitionRhyming words

Simplifying What is Best for ADHD Learners

Students that struggle with ADHD battle maintaining their focus on classroom materials and can be a challenge to hook and reel in for any teacher.  Many teachers and parents ask me to help them address what is best for ADHD learners, and the magic for motivating and enticing these students falls into five realms: the learning environment, the teaching approach, the teachers presentation, mindfulness training and the assessment of learning method.

The Learning Environment:  Create an engaging, multisensory learning environment that offers fun learning tools.
Offer hands on experiences and consider creating learning stations where students can complete a variety of activities that reinforce lessons.Offer a variety of seating options.  Some students learn best when sitting still, while other students need to move around.  Options, such as the Zenergy Ball Chairstand up school desks and bouncy bands offer opportunities for students to move without distracting their classmates. Play games…