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Topic Archives: Uncategorized

The Secret to Solving Word Problems. Hint: It’s Not about Math

November 12, 2017

Solving word problems is far more about effective reading skills and far less about math. You might be asking, then, why do so many strong readers fear solving word problems? Because, math word problems have a perception problem. Why Students Fear Solving Word Problems Solving word problems doesn’t feel like it “follows a rule” the way it does when you solve an equation. That can feel overwhelming to students who lack confidence in math. They just don’t know how to get started. The good news for your readers is that there are rules they can follow (keep reading). Better still, the thinking they need to do is quite similar to the close reading that is required of them in English class. The key is to help them see it that way…. Read More

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Parent Teacher Conferences: Making the Most of 15 Minutes

October 30, 2017

  For many, the coming weeks bring parent teacher conferences. If that engenders some hesitation, you are not alone. Parents, teachers and administrators all acknowledge the parent teacher conference system is flawed. Teachers feel rushed to cover too much information. They might feel barraged by questions from parents who recognize they have limited time and want lots of answers. Parents regularly complain there isn’t enough time to hear all they need to help their child improve. Even the typically objective wikipedia cynically describes parent teacher conferences as: Meetings generally led by teachers who take a more active role in information sharing, with parents relegated mostly to the role of listeners. It’s not that schools don’t want to fix the system. It’s just logistically challenging. See the side bar for a quick read on one… Read More

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The Coach Approach for Kids with ADHD (and other Complex Kids)

October 27, 2017

This is the second in our two part series for ADHD Awareness Month. Last we wrote about why identifying ADHD is so important. This week our guest blog is from Elaine Taylor-Klaus, co-founder of ImpactADHD and past board member of CHADD, who discusses the importance of parent coaching. The best way to help our kids is often to help ourselves, the adults in their lives who are there to love and support them on a daily basis. by Elaine Taylor-Klaus Do you frequently ask yourself, “why can’t this child just,” or otherwise at a loss for how best to help a child who is struggling daily? You probably parent or teach a complex child. Ranging from 4 to 24, complex kids may be quirky or odd, sensitive or angry, isolated or lonely,… Read More

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ADHD: What every parent NEEDS to know

October 3, 2017

Let’s start with a clarification. ADHD is a medical condition, not a personality flaw. Just as you need to be aware of, monitor, and support any other medical condition your child might have, the same is true of ADHD. Here’s why: A child who isn’t paying attention, isn’t learning Even if your younger child is managing now, you will find that as they progress in school and the workload gets greater, what was once manageable through some extra time on homework or parent support, is no longer sustainable. It’s like the old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Only in the case of a child who has ADHD, “You don’t know if you don’t know what you missed.” Unidentified ADHD impacts social skills,… Read More

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Is Social Media Giving Our Kids ADHD?

April 19, 2017

No, social media is not giving your kid ADHD, but it might be giving your kid ADHD symptoms. There is no clear link between screen time and ADHD in adolescents.* ADHD is a brain-based biological condition. It’s not something that you “get” because of something you did. However, most students aren’t diagnosed with ADHD until grade school, the same time social media usage is on the rise. So it could feel like screens are causing ADHD. However, screen time could be affecting your child’s sleep, which looks a lot like ADHD symptoms. It is true that parents are reporting an increase in ADHD-like behaviors. It’s also true that students are spending a lot more time on social media, and it’s indisputable that screen time interferes with sleep. So while it’s unclear… Read More

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The Best Flashcard Apps and Memorization Strategies

April 5, 2017

Spring is here. If you’re a student, that means…Finals are coming. And plenty to memorize. Flashcards remain one of the most effective study tools. Picking the best flashcard app, and using it correctly, can save you A LOT of time. The best flashcard apps will have some key features, so be sure your choice has the following: Create your own flashcards: The process of creating the flashcards helps you learn. And when you create your own, you know you are studying accurate information. Never rely on open-sourced flashcards. Random order: You want to mix up the order of your cards each time through the stack. Otherwise, you might remember the information only in order. Rest assured, the test questions won’t be in the order you studied, so mix… Read More

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The Value of Sibling Relationships: Don’t Listen to the Stereotypes

March 8, 2017

The nature vs. nurture question comes up frequently in education and parenting circles. By most estimates, it’s about 50-50. In other words, 50% of who you are comes from genetics and the other 50% is environmental. That allows parents and educators plenty of influence. So what does that imply for stereotypes about the “selfish only child”, the “responsible first child” or the “lazy youngest child”and the value of sibling relationships? Parenting and psychology expert Dr. Susan Newman provides us the research behind the stereotypes. She explains what parents can proactively do to avoid the stereotype trap so “onlies” have the value of sibling relationships without the siblings. What is the Stereotype? If you are the parent of one child, it’s hard not to… Read More

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How to Get Kids to Do What You Want

February 15, 2017

Without question the best way to get kids, all kids, to do what you want them to do is… Let them choose. If this is a new concept to you and you are dealing with a teenager I’m not going to guarantee it will work the first time. However, after a few trials you are likely to discover why this approach, while perhaps against our most visceral impulses, is far more effective than asking, telling or demanding a child to do what you want. Why it works? Quite simply, choice empowers. When students choose, they take responsibility, and when they take responsibility they follow through. Glorious isn’t it? Ok, so it doesn’t always work perfectly. But as you get more comfortable letting… Read More

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News Fatigue: Supporting Students in Challenging Times

February 2, 2017

by Nancy Weinstein Is there anyone not feeling news fatigue? It’s hard to watch and yet you must. If you are a parent or teacher the challenges are compounded. Quite simply, you can’t hide kids from the news. And lest we forget, kids are not little adults. In most cases, they are not socially, emotionally and intellectually ready to process the drama, trauma, and full implications of what they are hearing, seeing and reading. Our solution: business news. Yes, business news. The networks like CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business that cover the daily markets. While their programming of charts, graphs, and, let’s face it, [mostly] men in suits might not garner the same enthusiasm of general news, you can rely on them for factual, bi-partisan information across… Read More

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After the Denial: When your child doesn’t get in to the gifted program

January 11, 2017

  Did you learn your child didn’t qualify based on the school’s gifted program test? Does this fly in the face of anything you know about your child? If your child didn’t get in, don’t give up. You have options. Are You Sure You Want In? First, be certain you want the program. Do some research. Learn about the quality and the time commitment. Get a sense of the trade-offs for your child. Often kids need to miss other classes. Is it worth it? Keep in mind it might take time, money, and a lot of effort to appeal. If you’re still certain, read on to find out how to get your child into the gifted program. Get the Facts on the Gifted Program… Read More

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