Part 2 Last time, we reviewed some of the reasons why vocabulary development can be so difficult for students. Now, we will focus on ways to help students begin to gain a full understanding of language that will last a lifetime. Vocabulary is learned through a wide variety of mediums, including conversation, watching television, listening to the radio, etc., but for the purposes of this post we’ll refer to strategies to help students master vocabulary within assigned academic reading. As students are reading, they should get into the habit of highlighting or underlining words they are unfamiliar with. They should venture a [...]
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Part 1 All too often, students study vocabulary words for a test only to never think about them again once that test is over. They don’t realize, or perhaps don’t care, that they are being taught these words to utilize indefinitely, to include as part of their repertoire. Vocabulary is the keystone to comprehension, and developing an understanding of it in a deep way, through use in conversation and writing, is an essential life skill to be successful in a verbal world. Our students are struggling with vocabulary (as well as reading, spelling, writing, and comprehension) because of an invalid [...]
As a society, we seem to be in a constant state of multi-tasking. We watch television, surf the Web, and talk on the phone simultaneously. Meanwhile, we have dinner in the oven, and are watching the kids on the swing set out the kitchen window. In today’s modern world, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. We want to teach our children the importance of listening, paying attention, and following directions, but it can be tricky when we’re not always leading by example. We forget that these skills are not innate—they must be learned. Of course, not all learning is done in a classroom. [...]
Fall is the season when many students are taking aptitude tests for entrance to a private Catholic high school or a four year college. The SATs are used for college entrance, but private high schools may use tests like the COOP (Cooperative Admissions Examination), and HSPT (Scholastic Testing Service High School Placement Test). The material covered usually falls into verbal skills (vocabulary, reading, comprehension) and mathematics. The acronyms and content are not as important as the fact that these tests are stressful by the very nature of their design. That is to say, these tests challenge students’ abilities well above [...]
There has been much speculation and discussion about the idea that people with dyslexia seem to have particular strengths in areas of the brain responsible for perceptual reasoning or visual spatial tasks. Visual spatial tasks or visuospatial processing refers to strengths in tasks that are based on the ability to work with pictures not words. Strengths in visual spatial tasks in the everyday world translates to the ability to understand maps, make origami, figure out puzzles, assemble things, read graphs of data, build complex structures with Legos, make model airplanes, excel at woodworking, draw, direct a school play, make creative videos, [...]
Many of the people who we consider as changing the course of history for the better were dyslexic. These people were not only able to think outside of the box, but they had the ability to shatter the limitations of the current thinking of their day. They were visionaries who gave birth to ideas that have impacted history in remarkable ways. These revolutionary thinkers are not limited to one area of pursuit, but have contributed to the world in all areas. They were inventors & scientists, political leaders, writers & journalists, filmmakers, actors & entertainers, athletes, artists, designers, architects, lawmakers, military [...]
Shane is a very bright fourth grader who has a strong vocabulary and enjoys when his parents read to him. He is creative, artistic, and loves to build complicated structures with Legos. Mathematics comes easily to him, particularly geometry. He loves social studies and science particularly when it involves hands-on activities, but Shane struggles to read and spell basic words. Shane has dyslexia. October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month and since at least 1 in 10 people has symptoms of dyslexia, it’s important to know the facts. Let’s start out with the official definition and then unpack the meaning. The International [...]
Many parents these days have opted for a private school experience for their child for a variety of reasons. These parents want to know what they can expect in terms of special education supports for their child in a private school setting. The fact of the matter is that students enrolled in private schools by their parents do not have the same right to special education under the law as students enrolled in public schools. Students with disabilities attending public schools have the educational right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The operative words here being public education. FAPE refers specifically [...]
What can we say to parents who are baffled by the fact that their child has been receiving special education for some time, and yet, their child still cannot read with any degree of consistency? On the surface, it looks like everything that can be done is being done, and many parents have become resigned to the idea that their child will always be on the outside looking in with regard to knowing how to unlock the hidden mysteries of the English language. However, this should not be the case. “Scientists now estimate that fully 95 percent of all children [...]
We’ve gathered a few of our favorite back-to-school tips to help ease the transition. Before School Starts Review all school information, fill out permission slips, and send in contact information Mark your calendar and note important dates, especially back to school nights and arrange for babysitters if children attend different schools Make copies of your child’s health and emergency information Turn the TV off and encourage children to do quiet games like puzzles or playing with flash cards Designate a place to do homework and a place to put school bags so they are not forgotten Get to know the [...]