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Give charter schools their due and hold ALL schools accountable for student achievement

Give charter schools their due and hold ALL  schools accountable for student achievement | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

"...Charter schools deserve credit for changing the discussion in Los Angeles about poor and minority students. No longer is it acceptable to assume that students from disadvantaged backgrounds cannot be high achievers. The new ideas that charter schools brought into the educational mix, and the competition they posed in attracting students, played a significant role in the improvement of L.A. Unified's traditional public schools.

No one should deny that some ...... concerns about charter schools are justified. Many of L.A. Unified's charters are strong performers, but some aren't very good. In general, the schools have not enrolled a fair share of special-education students. Some parents have complained that their children who did poorly in charters were "counseled out" — or simply thrown out — by administrators who suggested they return to traditional public schools. That helped the charters' test scores look better, but it didn't help struggling students. The district has done too little to investigate such practices; it also should conduct a meaningful examination of charter high schools' four-year graduation rates, which aren't always impressive. And the school board has at times been too willing to renew the charters of schools with subpar test scores.

 

At first, applicants hoping to open publicly funded but independently operated charter schools had to fight for every new campus, opposed by school board members who were strong union allies. But as charters showed remarkable progress with disadvantaged and minority students who had been failing in regular public schools, appreciation for them increased. New laws limited the grounds on which the school board could reject charter applications, and the election of a more reform-oriented board brought the number of students attending charter schools to nearly 100,000, about twice as many as in the New York City school system....."

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How Engaged Are Students and Teachers in American Schools?

How Engaged Are Students and Teachers in American Schools? | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
A recent Gallup poll indicates that students' emotional engagement and well-being at school is powerfully tied to academic achievement.
Lou Salza's insight:

The lesson here is: 'physician heal thyself--and do no harm!' If everyone working with children in schools led with our hearts--our students'  hearts and minds would rise up and follow!  They would be more engaged and achieve at higher levels. A dear friend who taught math at HWRS in Hamilton MA and coached track Steve Sawyer) often told his students: "attitude determines altitude!".  He was one of the most positive, engaged, enthusiastic, spirited, teacher and coach I ever met! --Lou 

 

Excerpt:

"...Gallup found that students who agreed with the following two statements: 1. “My school is committed to building the strengths of each student” and 2. “I have at least one teacher who makes me excited about the future” were 30 times more likely to be engaged.

Unfortunately, most teachers are not in a position to share excitement with students. About 70% are classified as disengaged, which puts them on par with the workforce as a whole. This is surprising in some ways, because teachers score close to the top on measures that indicate that they find meaning in their life and see work as a calling. Unfortunately, the structures that teachers are working in–which may include high-stakes standardized testing and value-added formulas that evaluate their performance based on outside factors–seem to tug against their happiness. “The real bummer is they don’t feel their opinions matter,” Busteed says. K-12 teachers scored dead last among 12 occupational groups in agreeing with the statement that their opinions count at work, and also dead last on “My supervisor creates an open and trusting environment.”

This takes the measure directly to the top. Gallup’s study found that principal talent had a powerful impact on teacher engagement, which in turn affects student engagement. They recommend that principals adopt a more collaborative management style and help new teachers acclimate by putting them together to form partnerships with more experienced teachers.

Surveys and polls aren’t perfect, of course. But overall, the message of this research is a powerful indicator that we need to do a better job at looking at the full range of factors that affect school performance. Gallup is promoting its student poll to districts as another means of making decisions about what really counts in school...."

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Lon Woodbury's comment, April 16, 5:21 PM
I think this is a long standing problem. In my first teaching job years ago, burn-out was a major problem, and I saw many teachers burned out, I suspect because they were being asked to do the impossible with little support and an early reaction was to lose their idealism. -Lon
Lon Woodbury's comment, April 16, 5:22 PM
This was especially common among older teachers who had been teaching their whole careers. It seemed they were just waiting for their pension. :(
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@NeuroscienceNew Researchers Find Brain Activity That May Mark the Beginning of Memories

@NeuroscienceNew  Researchers Find Brain Activity That May Mark the Beginning of Memories | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Tracking the brain activity of a rat as it stops to examine its environment, researchers believe they can mark where memory begins.
Lou Salza's insight:

Clues to memory formation in laboratory rats' hippocampus--Lou

 

Excerpt:

 

In a paper recently published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers state that when the rodents passed that same area of the track seconds later, place cells fired again, a neural acknowledgement that the moment has imprinted itself in the brain’s cognitive map in the hippocampus.

The hippocampus is the brain’s warehouse for long- and short-term processing of episodic memories, such as memories of a specific experience like a trip to Maine or a recent dinner. What no one knew was what happens in the hippocampus the moment an experience imprints itself as a memory....

“There are strong indications that humans and rats share the same spatial mapping functions of the hippocampus, and that these maps are intimately related to how we organize and store our memories of prior life events,” said Knierim. “Since the hippocampus and surrounding brain areas are the first parts of the brain affected in Alzheimer’s, we think that these studies may lend some insight into the severe memory loss that characterizes the early stages of this disease.”..."

 
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One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for Variety in Learning By @JonathanLWai

One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for Variety in Learning By @JonathanLWai | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
When you want to improve your physical health, you don’t have to eat one specific type of food or exercise in a specific way. Rather, you need an appropriate mix of healthy foods and exercise -- no one thing is required. Different types of exercise and foods are in some sense interchangeable. What matters is that you get the appropriate dose. Could this common idea from health translate into the world of education?
Lou Salza's insight:

As we have seen for so long in our classrooms being fair to  the learners in any classroom requires that we adjust content, process, and products to fit the different learners around us. Honoring a student means finding the right combination of stimuli to engage and excite curiosity. This applies to assessment as well--It can not be the same for every student! --Lou

 

Excerpt:

"...In a research collaboration with David Lubinski, Camilla Benbow, and James Steiger, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, we conceptualized education as a dose concept. Each different type of pre-college educational opportunity was summed to determine the dose level. For example, Suzie and Greg are both involved in four learning opportunities, so they each have a dose level of four. Our study focused on STEM learning opportunities and outcomes. From a sample of 1,467 academically advanced students, we formed two groups: those with a relatively higher educational dose and those with a relatively lower educational dose. We then compared these two groups on their STEM outcomes 25 years later — PhDs, publications, university tenure, patents, and occupations. The higher dose group was significantly more likely to earn each of these outcomes than the lower dose group. First, this study suggests a higher educational dose may be beneficial for real-world achievements. Second, it may not be any one educational intervention, but an appropriate dose of different educational experiences that matter.

Although this research was on academically advanced students, the concept of educational dose could be applied to all students, because one size does not fit all—each person needs to be educated at the level and in a way that is tailored for them. Students need different kinds of stimulation, and they should seek opportunities they’re interested in because no one thing is going to be the winning formula for everyone. These opportunities can be both inside and outside of school and on and off-line...."

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@Str8AConspiracy Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes

@Str8AConspiracy Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

"Mistakes are the most important thing that happens in any classroom, because they tell you where to focus that deliberate practice.

So why don't students view their mistakes as a valuable asset? Well, students don't think about their mistakes rationally -- they think about them emotionally. Mistakes make students feel stupid. "Stupid" is just that: a feeling. Specifically, it's the feeling of shame, and our natural response is to avoid its source. If we say something embarrassing, we hide our face. If we get a bad grade, we hide the test away. Unsurprisingly, that's the worst move to make if you ever want to get better. Academic success does not come from how smart or motivated students are. It comes from how they feel about their mistakes...."

By Hunter Maats and Katie O'Brien Authors of The Straight-A Conspiracy

Lou Salza's insight:

This supports and recalls Carol Dweck's research about the importance of mindsets.  Acknowledging and learning from mistakes is part of the 'growth mindset' so important to building confidence, resilience and competence in our students. Grading--especially in high school and college is a big part of the problem.  What great things might happen if we changed "F" for "fail"  to "NY" for  "Not Yet!" ??--Lou

 

Excerpt:

"....Changing your students' perspective on mistakes is the greatest gift you can give yourself as a teacher. Imagine having a classroom of students who are engaged and constantly improving -- it's every teacher's dream. Instead, teachers face too many students who are disengaged and really rather surly. That surliness is years in the making. By the time students walk into your classroom, they've likely already internalized their mistakes as evidence that they're just not smart. Getting a bad grade feels like a personal attack. No wonder they're giving the deliverer of those grades the stink eye..."

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Ken Burns chronicles school's use of the Gettysburg Address @KildonanSchool

Ken Burns chronicles school's use of the Gettysburg Address @KildonanSchool | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
LOS ANGELES | The best Christmas present filmmaker Ken Burns ever got wasn’t something he could unwrap.

Instead, it came on a snowy morning after his two daughters had worked their way through a pile of presents. After a moment of awkward silence, Sarah, then 12, stood and flawlessly recited the Gettysburg Address.

“I wept,” Burns says now, several decades later. “It was the first or second year I was a single dad and I was trying so hard to buy them dresses and clothes and toys. And then there was this final present for me. I can start crying just talking about it.”

Lou Salza's insight:

Excerpt:

 

“The Address” (which airs April 15 on PBS) could be just the inspiration students, parents and others need to go back to basics and try something different.

All-too-often, Burns says, documentaries make an observation: “Here’s a big problem…. This doesn’t necessarily offer solutions. But it does reveal a human dynamic that will overcome this.”

“Learning different” students can accomplish great things, he says. “The Fortune 500 is filled with a disproportionate number of CEOs who have some learning differences. The strategies they’ve had to adopt are just differences. They’re not disabilities.”

And the documentary? It’s not an advertisement for the Greenwood School. It’s a look at a simple teaching method that has gotten great results.

With “The Address,” Burns says, “We’re celebrating that which beats inside all of us.”

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How the Brain Pays Attention: key found to shifting our focus from one object to another

How the Brain Pays Attention:  key found to shifting our focus from one object to another | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

A new study by MIT neuroscientists reveals how the brain achieves this type of focused attention on faces or other objects: A part of the prefrontal cortex known as the inferior frontal junction (IFJ) controls visual processing areas that are tuned to recognize a specific category of objects, the researchers report in the April 10 online edition of Science.

Scientists know much less about this type of attention, known as object-based attention, than spatial attention, which involves focusing on what’s happening in a particular location. However, the new findings suggest that these two types of attention have similar mechanisms involving related brain regions, says Robert Desimone, the Doris and Don Berkey Professor of Neuroscience, director of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and senior author of the paper.

“The interactions are surprisingly similar to those seen in spatial attention,” Desimone says. “It seems like it’s a parallel process involving different areas.”

Lou Salza's insight:

There is a simulation of the task that was used in this research--try it then re-read the article. Fascinating information regarding the coordination of different processing areas in the prefrontal cortex where executive functions are understood to reside.--Lou

 

Excerpt:

"....In both cases, the prefrontal cortex — the control center for most cognitive functions — appears to take charge of the brain’s attention and control relevant parts of the visual cortex, which receives sensory input. For spatial attention, that involves regions of the visual cortex that map to a particular area within the visual field.

In the new study, the researchers found that IFJ coordinates with a brain region that processes faces, known as the fusiform face area (FFA), and a region that interprets information about places, known as the parahippocampal place area (PPA). The FFA and PPA were first identified in the human cortex by Nancy Kanwisher, the Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT.

The IFJ has previously been implicated in a cognitive ability known as working memory, which is what allows us to gather and coordinate information while performing a task — such as remembering and dialing a phone number, or doing a math problem..."

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From "Learning Styles" to "Learning Strategies"| Knewton Blog

From  "Learning Styles" to "Learning Strategies"| Knewton Blog | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

At Knewton, we talk about learning strategies instead of learning styles, but the idea is the same. We think of strategies in the game theory sense, as something a person does whether she intends or not.

A learning strategy is a student’s learning path, whether deliberate or not, through particular content, and the resulting learning outcomes. And Knewton can measure the effects of these strategies, to the percentile, for every student, at the concept level.


Via Nik Peachey
Lou Salza's insight:

This reframing makes sense to me. It does an 'end run' around the arguments about learning styles--and goes right to the heart of what works for learners.--Lou

 

Excerpt:

 

A learning strategy is a student’s learning path, whether deliberate or not, through particular content, and the resulting learning outcomes. And Knewton can measure the effects of these strategies, to the percentile, for every student, at the concept level.

There are myriad learning strategies that Knewton measures and adjusts for. A sample of the ones we’re focused on now: the amount of content covered per session, the format of the learning experience (text vs. video vs. game vs. physical simulation vs. group discussion, etc.), the difficulty level of prose explaining a given concept, the difficulty of accompanying practice questions, the time of day, whether content contains mnemonic devices, whether it confuses cause and effect, whether it makes use of lists, student attention span, student engagement with particular learning content, strategic modalities (e.g., does the content define a procedure vs. address a common misconception vs. use a concrete example?), the presence or absence of learning aids (e.g., hints), user-specific features (e.g., difficulty relative to the student’s current proficiency), and many, many more.

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Nik Peachey's curator insight, March 26, 5:39 PM

Interesting and controversial article.

aiguarentacar's comment, April 4, 3:30 PM
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 8, 12:37 PM

It is more likely we possess a mixture of learning styles, learning strategies, and intelligences. Schools have become places where we attempt to push students into conforming and moving towards a mythical ideal which means those who do not conform stand out and there must be something wrong in their learning. It is more likely humans are on a continuum and learning is different for each of us. Yes, there are some who are at extreme ends of the continuum and learning is a challenge which has to be met. What would happen if the vast majority were given more freedom in their learning and teachers given freedom in working relationally with students?

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22 Interactive Lessons to Bring Earth Day to Life

22 Interactive Lessons to Bring Earth Day to Life | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Some great resources to bring environmental science alive in the classroom.
Lou Salza's insight:

Some of us were there at the first Earth Day and this is near and dear to our hearts! And if you were not there--you are here now and our students need to know that we share a concern for the quality of their lives beyond school. Add to that our love for projects that promote hands-on-mind -engaged learning--and we have a compelling opportunity this Earth Day!-Lou 


Excerpt:

 

By Almetria Vaba

"Planning for Earth Day 2014 is well underway around the world. Bring environmental issues to your classroom with resources from PBS LearningMedia. Highlights include an animated video from Loop Scoop using orange juice consumption to teach about biodegradation, a lesson tracking waste in neighborhoods from America Revealed, and a QUEST video transporting viewers to the beginning of the environmental movement.

PBS LearningMedia allows 3 resource views before it will ask you to create a free account to gain full access...."

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Betty Skeet's curator insight, April 10, 10:28 AM

Interactive lessons to make Earth Day a lively experience.

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Studies Offer Practical Ways to Bring 'Growth Mindset' Research to Schools

Studies Offer Practical Ways to Bring 'Growth Mindset' Research to Schools | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
At a packed session of the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, presenters offered simple and practical research-based methods of increasing student achievement by increasing motivation.
Lou Salza's insight:

Check out the link back to the September, 2013 article in the Washington Post describing some of the simple interventions--usually language or a story used to introduce  student project or discussion--that galvanizes student motivation, increases the likelihood of success and reduces the instances of failure. --Lou

 

Excerpt:

 

"For the past decade, researchers have accumulated a growing pile of evidence on the effectiveness of "growth mindset" interventions that teach students that intelligence is like a muscle that strengthens with effort rather than an eye color that you inherit at birth......

 

A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 1,584 students at 13 high schools found that course failure occurred  8 percent less often for members of the treatment group that received the growth mindset intervention than for their control-group peers. (The control group were asked to write about something unrelated to the growth mindset idea.) In total, treatment group students passed 94 more additional courses than students in the control group.

With the assistance of such funders as the Raikes Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (both of which help support some topic-specific coverage in Education Week), the Center is currently running multiple studies that permit schools to receive the interventions for free. Like the intervention, the study recruitment also takes place online, permitting the researchers to study far-flung schools...."

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3 Professional Development Tips For Schools Going 1:1 - Edudemic @acgaleas

3 Professional Development Tips For Schools Going 1:1 - Edudemic @acgaleas | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

As our 1:1 initiative moves forward, I see that there are three kinds of teachers that are part of the process: 1. The teachers who are ready for change (!!) 2. The teachers who are willing to change 3. The teachers who just want to get by."

Lou Salza's insight:

Professional development, ongoing one to one and group support are keys to success in any curricular initiative--Lou

 

Excerpt:

I wish someone would have told me about this! But, I’m glad I had the chance to be a teacher before becoming an Instructional Technologist. That background has led me to approach the teachers as students first & teachers second. I pondered and pondered how 1:1 should be implemented(after I had also read some literature on it). I came up with the idea that because I target three different groups of teachers, my sessions need to be differentiated to meet their needs.

So, here are my recommendations for implementing 1:1 from a professional development standpoint:

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Video: Ken Burns; THE ADDRESS at the Greenwood School for boys with dyslexia, Putney VT | PBS Video

Video: Ken Burns; THE ADDRESS at the  Greenwood School for boys with dyslexia, Putney VT | PBS Video | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Ken Burns talks about his new film The Address. Watch online: Ken Burns on his new film, THE ADDRESS from The Address. On demand, streaming video from PBS
Lou Salza's insight:

Kudos to Stewart Miller, Headmaster at the Greenwood School for boys with dyslexia, the faculty and students as well! The tradition of memorizing and delivering the Gettysburg Address, long a part of the program at the residential school in Putney Vt, so impressed and moved Ken Burns that he decided to produce a PBS special about the boys at the school, and the project itself.   Burns is challenging us all to join the students at the Greenwood School and memorize the most stirring words ever spoken in our nation.--Lou

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Tips to Help Your Teen or Young Adult Manage Stress @LD.org

Tips to Help Your Teen or Young Adult Manage Stress @LD.org | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
How can college students relieve stress? Here are easy tips for teens and young adults to reduce stress and explanations of why these stress relief techniques work.
Lou Salza's insight:

Great suggestions for all of us!--Lou

 

Excerpt:

"A survey by mtvU and The Jed Foundation found that 63 percent of college juniors had been so stressed that they couldn’t get things done at some point during the preceding three months.

You can help by acknowledging signs of stress in your children, understanding the causes and helping them determine the best course of action to reduce or redirect it. Fortunately, it’s possible to manage and maintain stress at relatively healthy levels. Here are some approaches to discuss with your child:

Get Active: Regular physical activity can help the mind and body deal with stressors. Research clearly demonstrates that getting regular exercise improves mood, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and improves cardiovascular health. Studies have also shown people with mild to moderate depression experienced a 50 percent reduction in depressive symptoms when they participated in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three to five times a week. Examples of aerobic activities include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking and playing basketball.Find 20 Minutes: Encourage your child to find just 20 minutes of alone time to relax, take a walk, write in a journal or meditate. Research shows meditation may decrease stress, reduce anxiety, pain and depression, and enhance mood and self-esteem.Work the iPod: Many experts believe music really can help soothe the soul. One study showed that listening to classical or other calming music shortly after being exposed to a stressor can reduce negative emotional states.Manage Time and Energy: One cannot overstate the importance of developing a realistic schedule that allows for dedicated time to balance one’s academic, social and athletic responsibilities. Actively seeking out the academic advisor or learning center for help in developing a workable time and energy management strategy is one approach your student may wish to take.Hit the Sack: Lack of sleep can play havoc on students’ critical thinking skills, which can result in poor academic performance, regretful social decisions and a compromised immune system. It can also exacerbate existing mental health issues or trigger new ones.Good Nutrition: Lifestyle and diet changes can aid your child’s sleep and have a positive effect on her overall feeling of wellness. Many students report an increased consumption of sugary and starchy foods (comfort foods) during their first year at school or during periods of stress or depression. This type of diet can make them feel sluggish and interfere with their focus. Eating a healthy, balanced diet—while avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or heavy meals before bed—are proactive steps towards emotional health...."
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What Does Learning Look Like? A Look At Physical And Digital Spaces - Edudemic @edtechteacher

What Does Learning Look Like? A Look At Physical And Digital Spaces - Edudemic @edtechteacher | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
What does learning look like? Is it a classroom? Is there a teacher? Are students working by themselves or collaborating with others? Are they listening or constructing? Can all of these answers be correct?
Lou Salza's insight:

Provocative question!--Lou

 

Excerpt:

"I would like you to concentrate on the first image that comes to mind. Ready? Here is the question: What does learning look like?

Did you picture a classroom? Was there a teacher? What were students doing? Were they working quietly and individually? Or were they noisily collaborating? Were they sitting passively and listening? Or were they actively constructing something?

When I pose this question to groups of educators, I’m struck by the diversity of learning visions. For some, there is no teacher with the students, and the students are learning entirely on their own. For others, there is not even a classroom and students are helping students. In a world of ubiquitous mobile devices, where we can connect with information and people anywhere and any time, limiting student learning to a traditional classroom environment seems increasingly shortsighted..."

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 4, 1:45 PM

The idea of having laboratory-like settings is good. It is a way to bring into practice theory and research in very real ways.

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@_jculp Kudos to Lawrence Student Athletes! April's National Signing Day 2014 - cleveland.com

@_jculp Kudos to Lawrence Student Athletes!  April's National Signing Day 2014 - cleveland.com | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Lawrence School has three athletes signing today. They are pictured below from left to right: Lucia Keller (Salve Regina, basketball), Nicole Mahoney (Ursuline, lacrosse) and Alisha Meyer (Notre Dame College, volleyball)."

 
Lou Salza's insight:

Kudos to these remarkable student athletes! They excel in class as learners and on the field of competition in athletics! We are proud of their courage and confidence--we are grateful for their many contributions to the life of Lawrence School!!--Lou

 

Excerpt: "CLEVELAND, Ohio -- On Wednesday, more high school athletes will finalize their college decision by signing their National Letter of Intent during the NCAA's spring signing period.

Senior athletes in many sports -- everything besides football, soccer, field hockey, cross country, track and field and water polo -- can sign anytime between Wednesday and Aug. 1.

 

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@DyslexiaYale How Teachers Can Build a Word-Rich Life for Dyslexics

@DyslexiaYale  How Teachers Can Build a Word-Rich Life for Dyslexics | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), not only does the amount of reading “for fun” outside of school directly correlate to academic achievement, but there are numerous other studies to demonstrate that there is no better way to increase vocabulary than independent reading.

Lou Salza's insight:

We have now several decades of research that establishes the importance of reading and exposure to text in order for children to develop concepts and vocabulary sufficient to learning upper elementary and secondary curriculum. The fact that dyslexics struggle to read has always posed a major risk factor in so far as their exposure to text is significantly limited by the enormous load on their phonological processing.

Text to speech apps like VoiceDream, 'Immersion reading,' Book Share, and several other technology  breakthroughs now offer opportunities for readers who have print challenges to by-pass print and go directly to content--and that means that dyslexics can have the same critical exposure to concepts and vocabulary that anyone else has!--Lou

Excerpt:

 

"...The NAEP study does not distinguish whether the higher achievement scores of students who read more reflected an increased exposure to more words or the specific act of decoding, but I would argue that it is the former.  It is hard to imagine that the mechanics related to reading are responsible for these academic gains.  We know that good thinkers need words, and reading is a gateway into the world of words and ideas.  Therefore it would follow that how one gathers words is less important than how many words one gathers.

What does this mean for dyslexics?  Reading is harder and slower for dyslexic students. Consequently, they typically read less.  If they are to keep up with their peers academically, then it is imperative to find additional ways to expose them to as many words and ideas as possible.

This is a challenge.  Dyslexics often encounter a gap between their reading level and their intellectual level.  This can turn them off of reading altogether.  They don’t want to read “baby books”.  Some handle this by faking engagement with thick sophisticated titles while others decide that they don’t like to read at all and avoid it completely.  Both can be disastrous responses.  Fortunately, there are a few tried and true tricks for building word power for elementary students with dyslexia..."

 

 By Kyle Redford, Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity
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@drsanjaygupta How do I know if my child's dyslexic?

@drsanjaygupta How do I know if my child's dyslexic? | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Dyslexia is the most common form of learning difficulty, yet most people who have it aren’t formally diagnosed and don't get the support they need.

By Sanjay Gupta, MD

Lou Salza's insight:

Excerpt: Many children with dyslexia also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and distinguishing between the conditions can be tricky. Is a child’s reading problem due to dyslexia, or because they’re easily distracted and have a hard time concentrating related to ADHD?

“When you can’t read automatically, you use up all your attention and effort trying. Those kids in class may look like they’re not paying attention and looking around, so it can be confused with attention disorder,” said Shaywitz. “Similarly, the kids with reading disorder often do have attention disorder and it’s missed.”

In general, symptoms of dyslexia are limited to reading and writing, whereas ADHD will present behavioral problems. A teacher or guidance counselor can help assess a child’s behavior (if they’re able to pay attention, follow instructions, sit still) and academic performance.

Since there’s no specific test for dyslexia or ADHD, diagnosis is usually based on a combination of medical, psychological, and neurological tests..."

By Sanjay Gupta, MD

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Kudos to @DDIA13 ! Early literacy bill defines dyslexia for 1st time

Kudos to @DDIA13 !  Early literacy bill defines dyslexia for 1st time | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
For the first time, dyslexia has been officially defined in Iowa law in an attempt to improve literacy among young students across the state.
Lou Salza's insight:

Kudos to Decoding Dyslexia Iowa! -Lou

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - For the first time, dyslexia has been officially defined in Iowa law in an attempt to improve literacy among young students across the state.

Following passage by the Legislature, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill this week that effectively establishes a definition for the reading disability in Iowa code and offers support for teachers so they can better evaluate student literacy and intervene as necessary.

Decoding Dyslexia Iowa, a group of Iowa parents dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for dyslexic students and reducing the stigma around dyslexia, brought its cause to lawmakers last summer. Members called for the early detection of dyslexia, more focus on struggling readers and the identification of the best practices to better serve them.

“Getting this done in a year’s time in both chambers and a governor’s signature, as legislation goes, is remarkable,” said Sen. Brian Schoenjahn , D-Arlington, who led the bill in the Senate. “I already feel that there was a great deal of support out there, a great deal of concern, and it was addressed.”

Dyslexia is a reading disorder that makes it difficult for an individual to fully comprehend what is read or do so with fluency. At times, it can affect an individual’s ability to correspond written words with the way they should sound.



Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/12/early-literacy-bill-defines-dyslexia-for-1st-time/#ixzz2yjZxYrFK ;
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TY! @CMMatthiessen @benfoss 4 ways to advocate for your LD child under Common Core

TY! @CMMatthiessen @benfoss 4 ways to advocate for your LD child under Common Core | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
LD expert Ben Foss on what parents need to know to prepare for the new education standards.
Lou Salza's insight:

Ben Foss nails it yet again: advocate for their child unapologetically, find a teacher to be an ally for your child, inquire about how standards will be assessed, and what accommodations are available and will be provided for homework.--Lou

 

 

Excerpt:

 

By Connie Matthiessen

"Are the Common Core State Standards keeping you up at night?

Many parents have concerns about the new education standards and how they’ll impact their child’s education, but if you have a child with learning disabilities, the stakes are even higher. Under the best of circumstances, it can be a struggle to get appropriate services for kids with learning issues. The new standards mean new benchmarks, new approaches to teaching, and — scariest of all — new tests. No wonder parents are concerned!

To find out what the new standards will mean for kids with learning issues, we talked to Ben Foss, author of The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan and founder of the website, Headstrong Nation. Here is Foss’s cheat sheet of what parents need to know:.."

 

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TY! @Ryan_Masa for: Department of Education Releases New Parent and Community Engagement Framework | ED.gov Blog

TY! @Ryan_Masa for: Department of Education Releases New Parent and Community Engagement Framework | ED.gov Blog | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

The fourth quarter of the school year is generally a time of preparation for schools and districts as they finalize next year’s budget, student and teacher schedules, and professional development for the upcoming school year. During this time of preparation, it is important that schools and districts discuss ways that they can support parents and the community in helping students to achieve success.

Lou Salza's insight:

Excerpt:

"....To help in this work, the U.S. Department of Education is proud to release a framework for schools and the broader communities they serve to build parent and community engagement. Across the country, less than a quarter of residents are 18 years old or younger, and all of us have a responsibility for helping our schools succeed. The Dual Capacity framework, a process used to teach school and district staff to effectively engage parents and for parents to work successfully with the schools to increase student achievement, provides a model that schools and districts can use to build the type of effective community engagement that will make schools the center of our communities..."

 
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Betty Skeet's curator insight, April 10, 10:10 AM

It is not just up to the parents, or just up to the schools and maybe the communities.  Education needs to work with a framework for schools and the broader communities they serve to build parent and community engagement.The development of our children is our joint responsibility.

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14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools Posted by @IngviHrannar

14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools Posted by @IngviHrannar | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Saying that it has always been this way, doesn’t count as a legitimate justification to why it should stay that way. Teacher and administrators all over the world are doing amazing things, but some of the things we are still doing, despite all the new solutions, research and ideas out there is, to put it mildly, incredible.

I’m not saying we should just make the current system better… we should change it into something else.

I have compiled a list of 14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools and it is my hope that this will inspire lively discussions about the future of education.

Lou Salza's insight:

I found this on FB posted by my dear friend and colleague, Debra Wilson.  Great list! Time to pivot!-Lou

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Your Child with Learning Differences: Practical Parenting Tips for Home and School

Your Child with Learning Differences: Practical Parenting Tips for Home and School | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Practical tips for making things easier both at home and school for a child with a learning disorder.
Lou Salza's insight:

Great site with practical, specific information. My favorite passage was the following paragraph encouraging parents to take care of themselves, too--Lou


"...Sometimes the hardest part of parenting is remembering to take care of you. It’s easy to get caught up in what your child needs, while forgetting your own needs. But if you don’t look after yourself, you run the risk of burning out.

It’s important to tend to your physical and emotional needs so that you’re in a healthy space for your child. You won’t be able to help your child if you’re stressed out, exhausted, and emotionally depleted. When you’re calm and focused, on the other hand, you’re better able to connect with your child and help him or her be calm and focused too.

 


Excerpt:

"Tips for dealing with your child’s learning disability

Keep things in perspective. A learning disability isn’t insurmountable. Remind yourself that everyone faces obstacles. It’s up to you as a parent to teach your child how to deal with those obstacles without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed. Don’t let the tests, school bureaucracy, and endless paperwork distract you from what’s really important—giving your child plenty of emotional and moral support.Become your own expert. Do your own research and keep abreast of new developments in learning disability programs, therapies, and educational techniques. You may be tempted to look to others—teachers, therapists, doctors—for solutions, especially at first. But you’re the foremost expert on your child, so take charge when it comes to finding the tools he or she needs in order to learn.Be an advocate for your child. You may have to speak up time and time again to get special help for your child. Embrace your role as a proactive parent and work on your communication skills. It may be frustrating at times, but by remaining calm and reasonable, yet firm, you can make a huge difference for your child.Remember that your influence outweighs all others. Your child will follow your lead. If you approach learning challenges with optimism, hard work, and a sense of humor, your child is likely to embrace your perspective—or at least see the challenges as a speed bump, rather than a roadblock. Focus your energy on learning what works for your child and implementing it the best you can.Focus on strengths, not just weaknesses

Your child is not defined by his or her learning disability. A learning disability represents one area of weakness, but there are many more areas of strengths. Focus on your child’s gifts and talents. Your child’s life—and schedule—shouldn’t revolve around the learning disability. Nurture the activities where he or she excels, and make plenty of time for them...."

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Betty Skeet's curator insight, April 10, 10:32 AM

Tips for home and school to make learning easier for a child with learning difficulties.

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TY! @snelson0248 for: Letter Grades for Students Get an 'F'

TY! @snelson0248 for: Letter Grades for Students Get an 'F' | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

"The idea of grading and ranking is deeply embedded in our cultural understanding of school. That doesn't make it right. I suggest that letter grades do more to inhibit real learning than to inspire it."

Lou Salza's insight:

NAIS colleague and Calhoun School Head, Steve Nelson, wrote this blog recently for the Huffington Post.  Steve is a thought leader among progressives in the NAIS community.  In this article he wields a  scalpel and skillfully eviscerates our blithe acceptance of letter grades as a wy to characterize students' performance or progress. My favorite line from Steve's piece: "Grading is an unnecessary violation of a relationship with a child."  --Lou

 

 

Excerpt:

"Many would claim that grades inspire hard work and great achievement. That's probably the most common argument I encounter. Grades may indeed inspire hard work -- it's called "gaming the system." But most research demonstrates the shortcomings of extrinsic motivation and the importance of intrinsic motivation"

By Steve Nelson, Head of The Calhoun School, NY

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@DyslexiaBarton Finding solutions for dyslexia April 19,2014 Rapid City

@DyslexiaBarton Finding solutions for dyslexia April 19,2014 Rapid City | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
It wasn’t until his early 40s that Rich Styles discovered that he was dyslexic.

When Styles, who had started taking a college-level theology course through his church, struggled in class, he was encouraged to meet with a tutor. It didn’t take long for her to give him the news: He suffered from a reading developmental issue called dyslexia.“I thought, 'Well, that explains a lot,'” he said, thinking back to his lifelong struggle with reading and writing and turbulent school days."

Lou Salza's insight:

It continually amazes me that we run into so many who are struggling to understand their life long print challenges and have no idea that they have dyslexia!--Lou

 

Excerpt:

"Dyslexia is a developmental reading disorder, which often includes difficulty with learning to read fluently and comprehending accurately. According to the National Institutes of Health, 20 percent of the population is affected by dyslexia.

Being dyslexic means that the brain processes language differently, Watkins said.

“Some can get by without help and others have to be taught differently or they can’t learn,” she added.

Watkins Tutoring is co-hosting a free dyslexia seminar this week with Rapid City Dyslexia Care. Susan Barton, an internationally known dyslexia specialist, will present from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at the Elks Theatre in Rapid City.

Barton first started her work in the dyslexia field after watching her nephew struggle in school. She became so interested in helping him succeed that she changed fields and received training to work with dyslexic adults. She eventually was hired at a clinic for dyslexic children, but became frustrated during meetings with school professionals who were not up to date on research-based information on dyslexia.

In 1998, she founded Bright Start Solutions for Dyslexia, which focuses on educating parents and teachers about causes, symptoms and solutions for children and adults with dyslexia."

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TY! @anniemurphypaul For: NYT Research on Children and Math: Underestimated and Unchallenged

TY! @anniemurphypaul For: NYT Research on Children and Math: Underestimated and Unchallenged | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
New research suggests that kindergarteners are capable of learning more advanced math concepts than are offered in most classrooms.
Lou Salza's insight:

AMP suggests we examine academic policies and practices that sell our children short.--Lou

 

Excerpt:

 

"We hear a lot about how American students lag behind their international peers academically, especially in subjects like math. In the most recent Program for International Student Assessment, commonly known as PISA, students in the United States ranked 26th out of 34 countries in mathematics. On the surface, it would seem that we’re a nation of math dullards; simply no good at the subject. But a spate of new research suggests that we may be underestimating our students, especially the youngest ones, in terms of their ability to think about numbers.

A study published in the April issue of the American Educational Research Journal, for example, finds that kindergarten students learn more when they are exposed to challenging content such as advanced number concepts and even addition and subtraction. In turn, elementary school students who were taught more sophisticated math as kindergarteners made bigger gains in mathematics, reported the study’s lead author, Amy Claessens of the University of Chicago.

Another study, published last year by Dr. Claessens with co-authors Mimi Engel and Maida Finch, concluded that as things stand, many children in kindergarten are being taught information they already know. The “vast majority” of kindergarteners have already mastered counting numbers and recognizing shapes before they set foot in the classroom, Dr. Claessens and her co-authors noted, yet kindergarten teachers report spending much of their math teaching time on these skills..."

 
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Dyslexia Workarounds: Creativity Without a Lot of Reading @WSJ

Dyslexia Workarounds: Creativity Without a Lot of Reading @WSJ | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, seen touring a disaster area, is dyslexic. He says listening to recorded books for the blind helped him get through written material faster. Office of the Governor

 

Mounting evidence shows that many people with dyslexia are highly creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, and neuroimaging studies demonstrate that their brains really do think differently.

Lou Salza's insight:

In so many of these stories there is a theme of a parent, usually our mom, who was an unwavering advocate and support. So we dyslexics can be found just about everywhere in every kind of profession--including stuck in dead end jobs, or unemployment lines! We are in the newspapers, on the web, and we are behind the counters in thousands of innovative small businesses and we are in garages designing and building the next Google, the next Cisco Systems, the next JetBlue. So let's not forget about the thousands, perhaps millions of school aged children right now who are having their spirits crushed by school systems that just don't know and understand enough to honor the way they learn. --Lou

 

Excerpt:

 

"Gov. Malloy credits his mother for believing in his potential and giving him a radio to listen to at night. Having to read slowly helped him master complicated issues as he went from a New York City prosecutor to mayor of Stamford, Conn. He was elected governor in 2010. But even now, he says, "I have to stop and call each word up and do the best I can."

At auditions, Henry Winkler memorized scripts in advance or ad-libbed if he forgot. "Some people got upset that I wasn't reading the words, but I told them I was giving them the essence of it," says Mr. Winkler, who played Fonzie on TV's long-running "Happy Days" and many other roles. He is the co-author of 23 books for children in the series "Hank Zipzer, The World's Greatest Underachiever," about a resourceful fourth-grader with dyslexia.

Jack Horner's reading ability is so poor that he says he bought shampoo for dogs instead of people recently. He left high school in the 1960s with all Ds and flunked out of college.

Mr. Horner also made some of the most spectacular dinosaur finds in the Western hemisphere. He won a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, has two honorary degrees, inspired a character in "Jurassic Park" and is curator of paleontology for the largest Tyrannosaurus rex collection in the world.

How did he do it? He took a low-level museum job and worked his way up. And as he tells his students at Montana State University: "If you're the first to do something, you don't have to read about it."

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