All posts tagged: back-to-school

What if Students could choose their learning material rather than be ‘told’ how and what to learn? Educator & Mom Katie Novak Shares

By Leslie Lindsay  BACK–TO–SCHOOL SERIES: School would be so much better if students could select their learning material from a buffet, rather than a casserole. Educator and mom, Katie Novak, describes this and more in LET THEM THRIVE.  When I was a kid, I hated math. I never understood the ‘why,’ to many of the the concepts. It wasn’t put into real-world perspective (at least for me when I was a kid). And then I read Katie Novak’s description of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in her book, LET THEM THRIVE: A Playbook for Helping Your Child Succeed in School and Life and it made perfect sense.  Learners (even adult learners) need to understand the ‘why’ of learning for it to be meaningful. That’s what the UDL calls the ‘affective’ piece of learning. Recruit their interest. The second piece is ‘the recognition network,’ that is, the ‘what’ of learning; what they need to know and the third component is the ‘strategic network,’ activating and action plan to express the new information in a meaningful manner. THRIVE is teaching kids …

The Teacher is Talking: Special Back-to-School Series–The ABC’s of SUCCESS!

By Leslie LindsayToday’s the last in our back-to-school series!  Wow–that seemed to fly by. Here’s an alphabetical listing of things you and your student(s) can do to ensure a successful year: A: pple.  Does your child eat enough fruit? Apples are high in flavonoids, which help keep you healthy and fights off infections.  In medieval times, apples were consumed at the end of the meal to keep teeth clean, in lieu of a toothbrush! B: ackpack.  A child’s backpack weight should be no more than 10-20% of the child’s actual weight.  A 50 lb 2nd grader’s pack should be 5-10lbs only.  C: omputer.  Does your child have Computer access at home?  More and more schools are teaching computer skills at earlier ages…and some prefer computers to Cursive handwriting instruction.  D: illy-dally.  Learn to avoid it with a structured morning and after-school routine.  I find we can avoid it if I open the garage door and sit in the car–that really gets the kids moving.  Also try setting timers.  Use the one built-in with your microwave or oven…”you …

The Teacher is Talking: Special Back-to-School Series–Organizational & Memory Strategies

By Leslie Lindsay As a kid–and even as an adult–I love to be organized!  Give me a three-ring binder and some tab dividers and you might as well put me in nerd-heaven.  Wait?!  What’s that you say?  Your child is anything BUT organized?  They have a junky room?  Backpack is over-flowing with notes, papers, Kleenex?  Ah…I see.  I have one of those, too.  I call her my oldest daughter.  How is it that the Queen of Organization gave life to the Princess of Junk?  It baffles me, too.  But there is a little hope in the Kingdom of Clean.  Princess Junk is entering 3rd grade.  And from what I can tell about 3rd grade, it’s the year of learning to be organized, resourceful, and independent.  That said, this post will cover all grades–early education through elementary school. ORGANIZE IT! EARLY EDUCATION/PRESCHOOL: Teach what goes in and what stays out of the backpack each day.  Take actual photos or make your own visual reminders by either drawing or priniting out Clip Art from your Word program. …

The Teacher is Talking: Special Back-to-School Series

By Leslie Lindsay Has your summer flown by…or are you counting down the days till your wee ones head back? Perhaps you’re worried about a few things–maybe your child is starting a new school…or, she’s not very good at making first impressions, staying organized, or playing fair.  Now’s the perfect time to begin working with your child on some of those skills as you polish up the back-to-school shoes and shop for glue sticks.  Follow along as we discuss a different topic related to school readiness each week now through the August.  Topics include: Back to School Stress & Anxiety Easy Transitioning to a New Grade or School Social Skills & 1st  Impressions Organizational & Memory Strategies Self-Esteem & Positive Behavior Playing Fair & Respecting Others [if you have a child with apraxia, or another special need, please remember to follow along on http://www.speakingofapraxia on Mondays for apraxia-specific back-to-school tips beginning 8/5/13.  With a combination of these and the apraxia tips, your family will be ready for success!] Without further adieu…here’s a little refresher on back-to-school stress & …

Apraxia Monday: Welcome to IEP-land

By Leslie Lindsay (image retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/iep.html 9.10.12) You may have just gotten your kids settled in school, and already you are beginning to think about the dreaded IEP.  Is it up to date?  Is is “good-enough?”  Is it helping your child tackle the things she or he really needs to tackle?  Are the teachers reading it?  Hummm…I feel your pain.  Here are some ideas to get you back into IEPland…. Remember, an IEP is a legally binding contract between the school and your family. It lays out: What your child’s qualifying disability is (in this case, a speech-language disorder called Childhood Apraxia of Speech, though there may be other diagnoses you child is also struggling with).  Your child’s present level of functioning (this is where assessment results are reported—are her receptive language skills at the level of a six-year- old, while her expressive language skills are at the level of a four-year- old?) What goals the IEP team thinks she should work on, over and above what is covered in the regular school curriculum (does …

Apraxia Monday (on Thursday): Teaching the Teacher about Apraxia

By Leslie Lindsay If you are like me, then you have just spent a good chunk of your evening wondering about your child’s new school year.  Who is her teacher?  What time is the bus coming?   Do I have all of the necessary school supplies?  What about shoes?  That first-day-of-school outfit?  (It’s a big day for all that in my neck of the woods here in Chicagoland).  But have you thought about how you might broach the subject of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) with your classroom teacher?  Like many, your child’s teacher may not know what CAS is–or how to help.  It’s up to you to inform them.  Short of giving them a copy of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012)–okay, shameless plus–you can do a few other things to prepare yourself and your child for a successful year in the classroom.  Teaching Your Child’s Teachers about Apraxia [excerpted from Speaking of Apraxia, Woodbine House 2012.  Available where books are sold)  Do you wonder what you should tell your child’s teacher about apraxia?  Not …

In My Brain Today: Back-to-School Shopping

By Leslie Lindsay The back-to-school season is upon us.  I’m a bit excited about this–not just because my kids are going back to school, thus freeing up some of my time–but because I just adore school clothes and school supplies.  Yesterday, the Pottery Barn Kids package arrived.  I knew what was inside:  a brown owl print backpack and matching lunch box for my soon-to-be full-day Kindgergartner.  She picked it out after weeks of surveying the catalogs that filled our mailbox…Lands End Kids, L.L. Bean, Hannah Andersson, and of course PBK.  We would rip out the pages of the packs she liked best and toss the rest of the catalog.  But when PBK came in, she fell in love with the brown owls.  I ordered…and the delivery man cometh.  http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/mackenzie-backpacks-chocolate-owl/?pkey=e%7Cbrown%2Bowls%7C126%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C24&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules– (Please don’t make us out to be snobs. I know how this sounds.  But, here’s the deal:  I would rather spend a bit more $$ on a pack that will last several years and is sort of classic in style than one that has bling and the …