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Showing posts from September, 2018

What are the 7 Root Origins of Poor Listening Skills?

It is easy for parents and even teachers to lose their cool when children do not listen to repeated directions. So, if kids aren’t making sense of what they hear, how can the learning process even take place? To solve this problem, it is necessary to uncover the root causes of poor listening skills.  Then, one must find the individualized, cognitive-based culprits for each student. 
What are the Cognitive Skills Behind Listening? There are a number of core cognitive skills that support one's capacity to listen:
Attention - Attention is the ability to tune into information, sensations, and perceptions that are relevant in the moment.Working memory - Working memory is a cognitive function that enables students to recall and use relevant information to complete an activity. It also enables learners to hold multiple pieces of information in the mind and manipulate them. Often described as a mental workspace, working memory helps students stay focused, block distractions and stay abrea…

How to Teach Executive Functioning to Struggling Students

Many teachers are miffed when apparently simple tasks such as using an agenda or turning in an assignment is difficult for their students. Many of my own students have shared that some teachers impose very strict rules and regulations about both recording assignments and due dates. In fact, I have witnessed policies that are so rigid, a zero is divvied out if an assignment is even a minute late. Unfortunately, harsh punishments do not provide the attention and instruction that these students need to develop this skill. Instead, penalties and labels such as careless, lazy and unmotivated simply place these frustrated learners in a state of learned helplessness.  In contrast, these students need structured routines, comprehensive instruction, and a scaffolding approach to planning, managing time, and organizing.
How Hard Can it Really Be to Plan, Manage Time and Organize?
I have to admit, when I first started working with students that struggled with executive functioning, I was perplex…

How to Address Spelling Needs and Nurture Student Success

This week I am thrilled to share a case study of a fabulous teacher named Kim, from Cape Town in South Africa. Kim teaches a 3rd-grade class at a special needs school. The children range from 10-12 years old and most are bussed in daily from very disadvantaged areas all over the peninsula. Kim reported, "I was so thrilled to have stumbled across your website when I was drowning in a sea of unrecognizable words and paragraphs which were proudly presented to me by 8 out of my16 pupils." Kim knew they were capable, "as most of them could do math with the greatest of ease. So what was this?" How Could Kim Meet the Diverse Needs of Her Students?
Kim signed up for my course: Spelling Instruction: Assessment and Focused Remedial Approach.  She shared, "After studying your course, I realized that my student's brains were wired differently as far as language processing." Kim learned that her struggling students had different cognitive based weaknesses that wer…

What are the 5 Important Steps to Navigating Dyslexia?

Navigating and then overcoming the challenges that many individuals with dyslexia experience is a process that requires both time and patience. What's more, a vital approach that tames the turbulence is revealing and addressing inherent weaknesses while embracing the many gifts that come with this diagnosis.

What are the Five Steps to Navigating Dyslexia?
Thorough Screening and Assessment: The first step is to complete a free dyslexia screener, and, if needed, pursue a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment.  This will help to uncover the specific areas of difficulty that need to be addressed and it will also define each student's "genius" qualities that can be fully realized and utilized.In-Depth Understanding: The second step is to have a comprehensive understanding of the unique strengths and weaknesses of each learner. By tapping into a student's strengths they can learn to develop compensatory learning strategies. With guidance and a scaffolding approach