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Showing posts from March, 2015

Working Memory Definition, Facts, Symptoms and Strategies Infographic

Did you know that working memory is now suggested to be one of the best indicators of academic success? Working memory is a cognitive functioning that enables an individual to remember and use relevant information to complete an activity. Information enters the brain through the senses and our conscious awareness processes and makes sense of the information through thoughts, inner visualizations, and the inner voice. It also enables learners to hold multiple pieces of information in the mind and manipulate them. It is often described as a mental workspace that helps students stay focused, block distractions and stay abreast of their surroundings.

What is the Working Memory Process?
Attending to the immediate experienceAccessing prior informationHolding and processing informationSatisfying current goals.What are Some Fun Facts about Working Memory? Working memory focuses attention on experiences in the moment.Working memory only lasts a few seconds.Working memory can hold about four item…

The Power of Nonprofits: Solving the U.S. Achievement Gap

This week, I am featuring an insightful and impressive guest blog by Marissa Zych, an an advocate for global literacy and accessible education. As an advocate for global literacy and accessible education, it’s difficult for me to swallow the United States education pill that is the achievement gap. Directly related to both the learning and opportunity gaps, the achievement gap commonly refers to the “significant and persistent disparity in academic performance or educational attainment between groups of students.” The roots of this disparity run deep.
According to the National Education Association, the student groups that commonly experience achievement gaps (as indicated by test performance, access to key opportunities, and attainments such as diplomas, advanced degrees, and future employment) include racial and ethnic minorities, English language learners, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families. Inner-city schools, which some researchers call “dropout facto…

10 Ways to Teach Planning, Time Management and Organization

Teaching students planning, time management and organizational skills is necessary in education. Although some find executive functioning to be quite obvious, there are those that need to learn the process. Here are 10 recommendations:

Provide an organized environment.Set an example. Use a planner and create a structured routine for yourself and use labeled boxes, shelves and filing systems so that everything has it's place. Praise self initiation. In the beginning, rewarding kids for executive functioning skills will provide greater motivation. Organize time and post schedule around the house or classroom so that a daily routine can be established. Provide structure by offering a lot of support in the beginning. Do the process together and slowly pull away as the needed skills are acquired independently. Give reminders and help students come up with systems so that they can remind others as well as themselves. Use calendars. Show the different calendar options to students an…

Letter Cube Fun: Freebie Language Arts Game

I love to use foam blocks for all sorts of language arts fun. Most recently, I created a game that my students adore. I call it letter cubes.  Here are the steps, so you can create it too.
You can purchase colorful foam cubes on Amazon for a very reasonable price. I included a link at the bottom of the post.Select 12 cubes. I line the cubes up in a row and write all the vowels in capital letters (including "y") on each cube two times making sure not to place the same vowel on a single cube more than once. Then I add the consonants as suggested below.I assign the point value on the bottom right hand corner. This will also help the players to orient the letters. For example the letter P will look like the letter d when it is upside-down but as long as the number indicating the point value is in the bottom right hand corner, players can recognize that they need to rotate the letter to the proper orientation. Also, using capital letters helps with letter confusion.Other i…

Using Simple Images to Teach Math Concepts

Utilizing imagery and visual memory can be very helpful when learning mathematics. A single picture can help a student define and remember a concept, or it can even help them to recall the steps required to compute a problem. What’s more, it often brings the “fun factor” into the learning environment as students can pull out their crayons, colored pencils or magic markers to complete the activity. I recently learned about the Palm Tree Method. I scoured the internet to find its origin, but came up empty handed. So, although I did not come up with this idea, it is still one of my favorites for solving proportions.

Where Can I Find Other Fun and Multisensory Math Lessons and Activities?
If you would like to learn about my multisensory math strategies, lessons and imagery activities to help your students learn math concepts, you might like my blog entitled Mathemagic or my products: CLICK HERE.
Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multise…

Mindful Meditations for Children: An Interview Heather Bestel

It is with great pleasure to share with you an interview with Heather Bestel - the creator or Magical Meditations for Kids. Heather is a holistic therapist and mindful teacher that embraces the ideas of "hope, love, kindness and forgiveness." She believes that "everyone is capable of doing great things" and she helps many along their path to success. New research suggests that meditation benefits children academically, emotionally, and personally, and Heather's materials are truly outstanding. My students love Heather's meditations!

Erica: If you had to put it into a single sentence, what is at the heart of Magical Meditations for Kids?

Heather: Inspiring children to connect with their inner sense of calm.

Erica: Why did you create your products?

Heather: I had been working with children as an educational psychotherapist for many years and loved to use stories and meditations with them as part of the process. I’m passionate about the power of story and lo…