Special Needs Learners Articles

5 Tips to Minimize Final Exam Anxiety

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

misc 2009 2010 072Final exams can be stressful, but here are some tips that can help make exam season go smoothly:

  1. Get started now! Anxiety builds as you worry and do nothing. It may feel very difficult to get started, but you will feel immediate relief.
  2. Begin reviewing now. You need not wait until teachers hand out review guides. Get out your old tests and quizzes and begin reworking them. (Don’t merely reread the questions and answers; you need to cover up your old answers and actually rework /rewrite each question on paper).

The Connection Between Attention, Memory and Learning

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
P1010013My son, Matt, uses this simple trick to keep track of his cell phone: Whenever he puts it down, he taps it three times; the tapping focuses his attention just long enough for the location of his phone to register in his memory.
Meanwhile, I spend way too many frantic minutes searching for my phone, my calculator, my car keys, my gym bag…and bemoaning my “terrible memory.”

In Defense of Your “Lazy” Child

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

I’ve been a tutor for 40 years, and I’ve never encountered a lazy student.

Scratch the surface of laziness and underneath you’ll find fear, confusion, frustration, lack of knowledge, lack of skills, anger, sadness…

And, often, just plain exhaustion.

Willpower is a limited resource, and the demands of the school day can drain a student of her ability to attend and persevere.


Better Math Instruction, Fewer Learning Issues?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

I’m hoping that as math instruction improves and becomes more “brain-friendly,” we’ll see fewer kids struggling in math.

When I was in my doctoral program, I was amazed at some of the research coming out on kids’ understanding of math concepts. We assume that children all learn pretty much the same math at roughly the same ages, and that they learn these concepts in math class.

In fact, there’s a wide natural variation, and not necessarily a lot of correlation between the math kids are taught in school and the math they actually know.


Learning to See Both Sides

Monday, November 28th, 2011

[I'm devoting my Monday blog posts to the topic of Learners with Special Needs, which, I find, describes us all in some way or another.] 

I work part-time at a school for students with all kinds of special needs. In addition to the usual academic subjects, kids also take classes in such topics as executive function, sensory integration and behavior therapy.

So much of the instruction is simple and useful and applicable to all of us!

When kids at the school have some conflict, they are required to fill out a Conflict Resolution Sheet:


Anger Management Made Super-Simple

Monday, November 21st, 2011

[I'm devoting my Monday blog posts to the topic of Learners with Special Needs, which, I find, describes us all in some way or another.] 

I work part time at a school for students with all kinds of special needs. In addition to the usual academic subjects, kids also take classes in such topics as executive function, sensory integration and behavior therapy.

I’ve been fascinated by how simple and useful a lot of the instruction is, and how applicable it is to all of us!


The Worst Room of the House for Studying

Monday, November 14th, 2011

[I'm devoting my Monday blog posts to the topic of Learners with Special Needs, which, I find, describes us all in some way or another.] 

Here’s a thought for students with executive function issues, and for anybody trying to get some studying done:

I’m a nerdy person and I study all the time, and pretty much everywhere. My favorite study locations are my dining room table, my coffee table, and any public library.

I also do just fine in coffee shops, on the train, in waiting rooms, in the car (reading while parked, or lectures-on-CD while driving), on the beach (I have been known to bring a textbook to the beach, yes), and while watching a less-than-enthralling movie on TV (I’ll browse a book during the dull parts).

I even watch Khan Academy videos in the kitchen while doing dishes; I set up my laptop on the counter and try not to splash.

The ONE place I don’t study?  My bedroom. Why? Because I go in there and open a book and fall asleep!


Khan Videos for ADHD? and for Everyone

Monday, November 7th, 2011

[I'm going to try devoting my Monday blog posts to the topic of Learners with Special Needs, which, I find, describes us all in some way or another.]

I’m so impressed with the Khan Academy videos, and I’ve been experimenting with ways to use them with my students….and with myself!


 

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