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Showing posts from May, 2015

Should ADHD Students Sit Still? New Research on Movement and Learning

Can you imagine trying to learn in a classroom all day while being bound in a strait jacket? For many kinesthetic learners as well as kids with ADHD, requiring them to sit still during instruction is quite similar to binding them in their chairs. Although some learners do benefit from sitting motionless, for others it is almost impossible to learn while their bodies remain idle.
Why Do Most Middle school and High school Teachers Require Their Students to “Sit Still?”

It makes sense that one would teach in a way that they, themselves, learn. As a result, most teachers reflect upon their own ways of processing information when they create their lesson plans. I have found in my many years of conducting workshops with teachers, that very few teachers personally find movement helpful with the learning process. In fact, I have my own theory that teacher education does not attract many kinesthetic learners, as the process to become a teacher requires little to no movement. This hypothesis wa…

Sleep and Learning: Strategies to Help School Children Fall Asleep

Do your students or children struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Do they complain that they are fatigued during the school week? Many youngsters are up late doing homework, and as a result, they do not get the needed rest. In fact, recent research suggests that insufficient sleep has been shown to cause poor school performance, cognitive and emotional problems, disciplinary problems, sleepiness in classes, and poor attention skills. 
Insufficient Sleep Can Also Lead to:
1. symptoms of depression and anxiety
2. aging of the skin
3. serious health problems
4. weight gain
5. impaired judgement

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?
According to WebMD, the amount of sleep needed varies per age.
· 7-12-year-old children need 10 - 11 hours of sleep per night
· 12-18-year-old adolescents need 8 - 9 hours per night.

What Does the Recent Research Suggest?
Recent research has revealed an association between insufficient sleep and poorer grades and behaviors in…

Teaching Mental Math to All Elementary Students

Many people think that mental math is too difficult for elementary learners, but, in fact, youngsters have wonderful imaginations and capacities to visualize that can be utilized while doing mathematical calculations. In addition, it teaches them how to use their brains in an efficient, mindful and active manner. What's more it develops working memory, executive functioning skills and attention abilities that can serve them for the rest of their lives.

How Can Mental Math Utilize and Develop Working Memory, Executive Functioning and Attention?

Working memory is the key mental process that enables one to hold, manipulate, organize and process both new and stored visual and auditory information. When employing working memory, students also develop their executive functioning skills as well as their attention so that they can retrieve, integrate, and process the problem at hand.
Teaching Children the Power of Visualization Makes Mental Math Fun and Memorable

Another important compon…

Why Copying from a Board is Ineffective for Dyslexics

Having to take notes by copying from a board or projection while a teacher is lecturing is challenging for any learner, because it requires students to multitask and constantly shift modes of learning. The process demands students to read, listen and write while making sense of the material. However, for students with dyslexia this teaching method can be disastrous. How Has Technology Impacted Note-taking?
Before the rise of educational technology, students used to copy while the teacher wrote on the blackboard, however, with the use of devices such as the Smartboard and software like PowerPoint, the words just magically appear. As a result, many teachers lecture while the students are trying to read and write from the projected image, and what often happens is confusion, shoddy notes, gaps in knowledge, and frustrated learners. But what about students with dyslexia that are also dealing with weaknesses in language processing and memory? According to the British Dyslexia Association, …

An Overview of the Orton-Gillingham Approach to Reading Instruction

Many parents and professionals ask me about the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading and spelling. It is a well-researched and multisensory way of teaching struggling readers.  In fact,  popular programs such as Lindamood-Bell, Wilson, Barton, Fast Forward, and Spire are all based on this incremental approach.
What is at the Heart of the Orton-Gillingham Approach?
I created the following infographic to help provide an overview of the process:

When was the Orton-Gillingham Approach Created, and Who Designed it?
The Orton-Gillingham approach has been around since the 1930's. It was designed by a Samuel T. Orton, neurologist and pathologist, and Anna Gillingham, an educator and psychologist. They developed an explicit, incremental and diagnostic way to teach reading instruction for students with dyslexia.  There are many programs that use this approach.  CLICK HERE to see a list.

Limitations to using Orton-Gillingham Based Programs: 
Although the programs available on the market today …