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Showing posts from November, 2018

3 Reliable Ways to Strengthen Hemisphere Integration

Most people know the saying: Two heads are better than one.  Similarly, one brain with two integrated hemispheres can be equally as powerful.  It is common knowledge that the brain has two hemispheres that are bridged by a bundle of nerves that travel across the corpus callosum. Although this overpass exists, it doesn’t mean that it is always used. In fact, you will often hear of people claiming to be right or left brain dominant, and many people function quite well using predominantly “half a brain.” However uniting the power of both hemispheres and assimilating experiences, students can create an internal environment for optimal learning.
What is Hemisphere Integration?
Hemisphere integration is the communication between and activation of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. When hemisphere integration is low, the two hemispheres are not communicating well, there is an imbalance between the right and left sides, or one hemisphere is inactive while the other remains acti…

How to Quickly Teach Multiplication Facts with No Struggle

I know far too well that rote memorization is both boring and frustrating for many young learners.  Over the years, I have also witnessed many students that struggle to learn these foundational skills to resist the process, exhibit anxiety and begin to question their own intelligence.  This is why coming up with a new approach to teaching multiplication and division facts was one of my first priorities when I opened my educational therapy practice 20 years ago.  What are the 4 Secret Ingredients to Learning the Basic Multiplication and Division Facts? 
Creating a multisensory learning process:In other words, how could I meet the learning needs of all of my students by conduct to a symphony of senses?  Tapping into visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic styles was primary, but I also wanted to make the process a highly organized sequence of steps that offered students the opportunity to verbalize, interact with others, and directly experience the learning process.  Finally, I wanted …

What Do Working Memory Problems Look Like in Kids?

With working memory reported to be the number one indicator of academic success, it's surprising that most teachers and parents know little about it. Working memory is like a mental dry erase board where we post information until we need to use it in short-term memory.  This information is accessible through one's inner visualizations as well as one's inner voice. There are a Number of Misconceptions about Working Memory:

1) Myth: Kids with a weak working memory have ADHD or other learning disabilities. 1) Truth: Some kids just have a weak working memory that doesn't warrant a diagnosis of ADHD or a learning disability.
2) Myth: Kids with a weak working memory can't remember what they learn.
2) Truth: Memory strategies & exercises can bypass and remediate a weak working memory.

3) Myth: Kids with a weak working memory always have problems with executive functioning skills. 3) Truth: Working memory is only one small part of executive functioning. To learn more about …

Why are Games the best Teaching Method for Learning?

In my practice as a learning specialist and educational therapist, I quickly learned that games were the secret weapon to learning.  Candy, toys and other bribing forces trigger limited and brief bursts of motivation, but sparking a love for learning remains the bullseye.  Everyone loves to play a game, and when instruction incorporates creative and multisensory merriment to combat and obliterate learning fatigue and frustration, even the most discouraged learners will rise to the occasion. Why do Games Grasp the Hearts and Minds of Students?
Paring pleasantries and positive feelings with scholarship increases the motivation to learn over time.  I can't tell you how upset I get when I learn that a student has been assigned school work as a punishment.  This silent warfare wreaks havoc on self-directed learning and homework completion.  In contrast, when humor, joy, comfort, and nurturance is associated with the process, an insatiable force is ignited.  I have witnessed this transf…