Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Learning strategies with children with special needs

 The following are eight elements that teachers and researchers have found to be essential in adapting instruction to assist children with special needs to become successful readers, whether these children are just entering school or are older children who are learning to read. While these elements are key for the success of students with special needs, they are oftentimes valuable in assisting other student who are struggling readers. The eight elements are linked to the essential components for research-based program for beginning reading instruction:
  1. Children with special needs benefit from explicit instruction
  2. Children with special needs benefit from multiple opportunities to practice and demonstrate learning so that reading becomes automatic
  3. Children with special needs benefit from instruction that includes opportunities to maintain and transfer (generalize) the skills and strategies learned
  4. Children with special needs benefit from instruction in which their progress is monitored regularly and adjustments made as needed
  5. Children with special needs benefit from instruction using materials at their reading level
  6. Children with special needs benefit from flexible grouping and intense instruction
  7. Children with special needs benefit from technology-assisted reading instruction
  8. Children with special needs benefit from collaborative efforts among school personnel and parents that support the children’s unique learning abilities and needs
The goals of beginning reading instruction for children with special needs are the same as those for all children
  • Provide opportunities for children to listen, talk, read and write in the many ways that children use language both inside and outside of the classroom
  • to systematically develop the skills and strategies needed in the component areas of phonological awareness, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and connecting reading and writing
so that reading, writing, listening and speaking become meaningful and effective ways of communicating in school and in life.

PS twenty four

Monday, January 2, 2012

The BIG APPLE of Study Habits: Parent’s Guide

B   Brain Food!

Snacks can help students concentrate and keep their focus. . Many students can become uninterested if they are concentrating on the rumbling in their stomachs instead of their assignments.   The snacks should not be a distraction.  Finger foods that are not too messy are best.  For instance, you could provide fresh vegetables and a dip. It is a good idea to avoid sugary or other unhealthy snacks.

I Involved

Monitor your child's homework assignments. Make a point to ask your child about their daily assignments, and help them schedule an appropriate amount of time to complete each one. Ask your child's teachers how involved you should be in various assignments. Some homework tasks a child attempts without help, while others are intended to get the entire family involved. By learning more about assignments and their accompanying due dates, you will be able to better monitor your child’s skills and progress.
G  Guidance
If your children continue to struggle with their homework, contact your child’s teacher or the counselor at school. They will be able to look through your children's work and make recommendations that would help your children with their learning. The recommended help may be tutoring.

A  Assistance/ Attention
For students who need individual assistance, a private tutor may be an effective solution. Tutors are beneficial because they provide one-on-one attention that students oftentimes lack in a classroom setting.
P  Place
Give your child a place of his or her own to do their homework. Make sure there is good light, adequate space and all the materials they will need for projects. The place should be private enough that they can leave things undone and come back to them, without having to clean up the materials at the end of each homework period.

P  Proactive

First, show through your own actions that education and homework are important activities. Put an emphasis on education at home in the following ways:
  • Talk to your child. Agree on a regular time each day for homework. Stick to the schedule!
  • Provide your child with the necessary homework supplies and resources.
  • Set a good example by reading and writing, showing that these activities are valuable for other reasons than just school.
  • Stay in touch with your child's teachers. Ask them to email you if they have questions or concerns.
When you are proactive in your children's education, you are helping them cultivate values that are needed to succeed in school and in life.
L   Lines of communication
The most important thing for you to do is to keep open the lines of communication with your child and their teachers.
E  Enable
While you should not take over your children's homework, you can certainly provide helpful instruction. When providing guidance, learn about and understand your children's learning styles. People learn differently and this knowledge affects the type of help your children will need to comprehend new material. Additionally, help them to become more organized. Children can be disorganized and lose assignments. When you show your children how to keep an organized notebook or folder, you enable them to keep track of their homework.

Study habits

GOOD study habits

Practicing Good Study Habits

Although your children spend hours in school every week, the time they spend at home doing school-related work is just as important. By helping your children learn and practice good study habits, you’ll do a lot to help them succeed in school.

Have a set time to settle down:
By having the same start-time for homework every day, you avoid having daily battles about when it’s time to hit the books. Many families have their kids start their studies as soon as they get home from school. Others wait until after dinnertime. The key is to have a routine and to stick to it.

Take a breather: Just like schools have recess, children need to have mini-breaks when they’re working hard to complete homework or projects, or studying for tests. Come up with some five-minute break ideas that will appeal to your child-doing some stretches, playing with a pet, grabbing a glass of juice, etc. Every hour or half-hour (depending on your child’s age and attention span), set a timer for five minutes and take a break. If it’s been a particularly long study session, make it a 10-minute break. Just make sure, when the timer rings, that it’s back to work, no questions asked (or no break next time!)

Create a study space: Every family needs the basic “ingredients” for studying and doing homework: a workspace with good lighting, the tools needed to complete the work (e.g., paper, pencils, markers and ruler), basic reference material available either online or in print (dictionary, encyclopedia and atlas) and a library card for special projects. Keeping all the materials in one area makes it faster and easier to get work done.

Turn off the distractions: Your child’s study area should be distraction-free during study/homework time. That means the TV, music and computer games should be off or out of view and earshot. Kids may say they have no trouble studying with the TV or music on, but studies show that they have trouble retaining what they’ve learned.

Teach them responsibility:
Children have to absolutely know that it is their responsibility to know what work has to be done and when it’s due. And of course, it’s their job to make sure they get it done-correctly and on time.

Make day-by-day lists: Keep track of what needs to be done by creating a daily check-off list and posting it in a prominent place (e.g., on the refrigerator). Write in things that are due the next day, as well as longer-term work (such as upcoming projects or tests). Make a big deal out of every item crossed off.

Get in the “flash card” habit:
From the earliest grades on (all the way through college), students can benefit hugely from using homemade flash cards to learn facts, spelling and math. Not only does drilling with the cards help cement the knowledge, but the act of writing down the information on the cards in the first place (writing the answer on one side and the question, problem or definition on the other side) is a great learning tool.

Keep a watchful eye: Although you don’t need to sit with your children while they do their homework, it helps to be nearby. They see that you’re keeping track of whether they’re daydreaming or working, they know you’ll be available if they are stumped, and they learn that you care about what they’re doing-that learning is important to you, and to them.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The BIG APPLE of Study Habits

The BIG APPLE of Study Habits

B    Brain food
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Snack on fruits and vegetables.  Yogurt, cheese, and milk also make bones stronger.  Skip the sugary drinks and reach for a bottle of water instead! Remember to get a good night’s sleep every night to rest your brain and your body.

I     I am in charge of myself.
·         I am ready to begin my day!
·         I will work smart, and to do my best, all day.
·         I will be patient with myself.
·         I cooperate with my teacher, and with my classmates.
·         I know what I need to know for this exam.
·         I encourage my classmates to be their best.
·         I am a positive thinker, and I am confident about my gifts.
·         I have gifts and talents that make me special.
·         I ask for help when I need it.
·         I am a good listener!

G   Goals
What do you want? Do you have a career in mind? If so, everything flows towards achieving that. The fewer goals you have, the more you’re able to focus on them. Try having two goals.  Write your goals down or draw a picture. This helps you focus instead of think and dream. The more you see your goal, the more likely you are to reach it. Put it in your pocket and keep it there to remind yourself of what you want.

A  Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  This is your class time. Not knowing or understanding is a good enough reason to ask a question.  If you will get better because of the answer, then at least 5 other class mates will also be better from it, whether or not they know it at that time

P   Prepare yourself
Form a routine to follow every day. This means making a place and time for homework, shower, brushing teeth, going to bed at a decent time, getting up on time, catching the bus, anything you need to do to help you get ready for school.
Make sure you have all your school supplies ready for the day.
Do you have your  pencils sharpened?
Do you have enough paper?
Do you have all your books?
Is your homework ready to turn in at class time?

P  Practice
Make studying for a test as fun as possible. Study for tests with classmates and come up with new test questions to share. Ask the teacher if you have any questions about the test.  Save lesson copies and notes that have helped you to understand certain questions. Write jingles or rhymes to remember lists.   Games such as charades and bingo will help you remember information.

L  Listen
What is the difference between “listening” and “hearing”?   Listening is paying attention to what you are hearing.  Hearing is just being aware of the sounds.  Look directly at the person who is speaking.   Do not speak when another person is speaking.  Remember to take turns.

E Exciting! 
Remember that learning is fun and exciting!! Every day you can learn something new. On the days you go to school, you can probably learn five or ten new things. Your time in school is the perfect time to learn about many different things and discover what kind of work you would like to do. Be open-minded; you may not like math now, but in a few years, you may decide that you want to be an engineer.