I've taught numerous students who have ADD or ADHD. The main difference between the two is that students with ADD typically are easily distracted and tend to have racing thoughts which prevents them from keeping focused for longer periods of time. Students with ADHD have the above problems, but they also have hyperactivity problems, such as not being able to sit still or keeping their hands still. Their bodies are overstimulated and require additional tools/feedback,so that they can improve their attention span. Many students with ADD or ADHD tend to need some form of physical therapy,occupational therapy and specialized instruction from qualified therapists/teachers. One way that helps these students is to provide them with the feedback their bodies are craving. Giving the student a stress ball to squeeze or having the student sit on an exercise ball are two ways to help a student with ADD/ADHD. There is an abundance of information regarding these difficulties. I would love to talk with anyone who would like additional information.
Algebra can be a very difficult subject to learn because it deals with abstract equations and problem solving. Where as a student may have an easier time learning Geometry because it is concrete and you can see the shapes, angles and use manipulatives to assist with visualization and comprehension. I've found over the years that students tend to better at either subject and have difficulty with the opposite subject. However, with assistance from either a tutor or teacher, a student can be good at both. I try to make these two subjects fun and use as many tools/manipulatives as needed to provide the student with the learning style that best fits them.
English and grammar can be tricky, but when a student is taught the mechanics and writing process their comprehension improves. Especially when the rules/mechanics are simplified.
I am a certified special education teacher and director, who has extensive experience working with Aspergers diagnosed students. I was involved in performing both academic and cognitive assessments for these students. I worked cooperatively with the student's educational team, which included the school adjustment counselor, the child's outside psychologist/psychiatrist, speech and language therapists, physical and occupational therapists, the child's parents and classroom educators. Additionally, I was responsible for providing individual and group instruction, both in the inclusion classrooms and in the Resource Room setting. My experience working with these students has broadened my knowledge of the challenges they face on a daily basis. Understanding that these students require and depend upon daily routines is vital to their learning. Assisting them with social integration skills and coping skills is paramount to their success as a student. Academics are only a part of their educational needs. I often found that if I could assist a student with feeling comfortable and confident in their designated classroom, their academic learning was greatly enhanced. Asperger children and adults do not do well with over stimulation and/or unexpected changes to their routines. Loud sounds, such as fire engines and fire alarms, large groups participating in a lively activity often upset them. Providing the child/student with clear and precise expectations for their behavior and learning provides for a calm learning environment for everyone. Therefore, if an adult can alert the student, before something is about to occur, they are better able to cope with the situation.
My approach to teaching all students requires that I first get to know who my students are, what their learning style is, what obstacles are they experiencing that interrupt their learning (both academically, socially and emotionally) and what things they are interested in. I believe that every student requires a holistic approach which includes social integration skills, coping skills, study skills and a desire to learn. I work hard to promote and motivate my students, especially when they are struggling. I enjoy my work. I find it very rewarding when a student makes progress, even if it is only a small gain. The best part of my job is when one of my students has that "Ah ha!" moment and they truly understand the concept that I am presenting. Aspergers Syndrome not only affects the child/student, it affects their family members, their classmates and their friendships. Every Aspergers student can be successful and happy when provided the right learning environment, the needed supports and a routine they can rely on. I know I can provide your student a successful learning experience.
I have Mixed Dyslexia, so I know how frustrating it can be for students with dyslexia to learn. I was very fortunate to have been tutored from grade 1 to grade 7 by students from Lesley University. I know how understanding the concept of time can be a huge problem, how differentiating between letters and numbers and similar words are confusing, but over the years I've learned many tricks to help myself and my students. Additionally, I have taken several courses that focused on what Dyslexia is and the wide variety of methods to help these students.
I'm a certified Elementary Teacher with over twenty-five years experience teaching children from age 3 to age 22. I've worked as the director of many summer programs, afterschool programs and vacation programs. While working as the director, I also worked as a teacher or tutor. My experience with pre-kindergarten and elementary age students has been in the capacity of a Special Educator. My role has been to go into the regular education classrooms and work with the children who are experiencing learning challenges. It doesn't matter if they are special needs children or regular education students, I believe that it's my duty to help all students. I've also worked as the Resource Room Teacher where I take a small group out of their primary classroom and teach them the same skills or concepts as their classmates, but at a level and in a manner that is appropriate for them. I'm also the mother of four daughters who had their share of difficulties. They were all on IEP's (Individual Educational Plans) for most of their elementary years. Two of them were able to come off of the IEP's during fifth grade. The other two were kept on IEP's all the way through high school. Because of my experiences with my daughters, I feel that I can definitely relate to what parents go through.
Math is built upon previously learned concepts, such as number identification, number values and counting. Elementary Math builds upon these skills to include addition and subtraction and gradually builds up to multiplication and division. It includes basic geometry and simple algebra concepts. Generally, by fourth grade, students have learned and perform equations which include money skills, decimals, fractions, percentages, graphing, number lines and multiple step word problems. Fifth and sixth grade math builds upon all of the previously learned skills and includes more complex Pre-algebra and geometry concepts.
Students with short term memory concerns, learning difficulties and Dyslexia often have a very hard time with math, because math requires the ability to build upon previously learned skills and the ability to distinguish between numbers. Such as learning addition, so that you can learn multiplication. If you can't remember your addition facts, you'll have an even more difficult time remembering and understanding your multiplication facts. If you have a difficult time distinguishing between two or more numbers, you're going to have a difficult time following sequences, patterns, directions and the difference between math functions. (Examples: understanding the difference between 12 and 21 or 123 and 321; distinguishing between 3+4=7 and 3x4=12; following sequences 1234, 123_, 1236, etc.; word problems, John and Bill went to the store to buy candy. John bought 2 candy bars for 50 cents each and Bill bought four candy bars for 85 cents each. How much money did the the two boys spend all together? Knowing that you need to figure out what each boy spent first is key to figuring out how much they spent together. These are just a few examples of what students struggle to comprehend.)
All students can learn all of these concepts and skills, when the material is presented in a learning style that bests fits the student and when the students receive the additional assistance that they need. Math can be challenging, yet it can also be a lot of fun, at the same time. Generally, logical thinkers tend to have a little easier time learning math. Teaching students the reasons for learning math and how it applies to their everyday lives, makes math more relevant and meaningful. It may also provide an incentive for learning more complicated skills.
I have been trained in a few different reading programs that have been developed using some of the same principles as the Orton Gillinham method/program. Phonics can be very hard for students to comprehend because they can't process the sounds of each letter or letter combination. If you have a visual learni,it could be difficult for him to learn phonics.If you have a child with any type of challenge/disability that involves processing, most students will have some type of problem. Phonics is exceptionally hard for students with Dyslexia because of the way they process information. There are a number of different ways to teach phonics and it depends on what type of learner your student is. Some programs work well with a selection of students, while another program works for a different set of students. Phonics is not always the best method for all students.
Pre-algebra helps prepare students for Algebra I. It can difficult for students with learning disabilities. However, with the right instruction all students can experience some form of success. Pre-algebra is challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun. Graphing coordinated pairs to draw a geometrical design is just one example. Learning percentages, fractions, square roots and absolute values are just the beginning. Learning these concepts helps the student develop a good foundation for learning and building upon future lessons. I love to teach pre-algebra because I can teach the concepts while making it fun for my students. I use real life experiences and relevant examples that the students can see and understand. I also use other methods that are better suited to some of my students.
Reading can be a hard skill to learn for anyone, including me!
I didn't learn to read until the third grade. It took a lot of hard work and assistance from specialists, teachers, tutors and most of all, my parents. I am very lucky and fortunate to have all of those people to help me overcome my many challenges learning basic skills, like phonics, word recognition, vocabulary and reading comprehension. It took a long time, but with consistent help and a desire to learn, I was able to learn how to read and write. I'm extremely passionate about teaching. My ability to communicate, listen and most of all patience, have allowed me to teach all types of students. But most of all I work very hard to make learning fun!
I have been teaching Special Needs students for over 30 years. The types of students range in age from 3yrs to 21yrs to adults. The types of special needs that I am certified to teach are: general special needs, non-specific learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum to Asperger's, developmental delays, physical challenges and psychological needs/behavior problems, non-verbal learning disabilities, etc. My philosophy is: Everyone is born with some amount of learning potential,no matter how small or great it may be. If an educator treats every student with equal respect, listens to and observes their students carefully, that teacher will be able to teach their students something. It could be something as simple as teaching a child/student to toast a piece of bread or if it's a physical challenge it might be something as simple as rolling over. On the other hand, an educator may have a student, who wants to learn quantum physics! Obviously, the educator needs to have the appropriate training for each type of disability and/or subject. I do not like and try my best not to use the word disability. Instead, I prefer to use the word challenge because everyone has some type of challenge(s). If we didn't, we would know everything, which in my view is impossible. When a child/student is trying their hardest they will reach their specific learning potential.
Study skills include things that help a person get organized and assists in remembering, visualizing, comprehending and showing what they have learned. A child may use notecards to help remember specific facts. They may use a computer to search various topics or talk to their classmates to get directions, find an answer, help each out and help each other learn. Some students may use change/coins, dice, building blocks (like Legos), models and displays, or other manipultives to help them with money skills, answering questions or displaying how they completed an assignment. Children learn by watching others perform various tasks, but the child also needs to remember how to perform the task. This takes practice and concentration. It provides time to ask questions for clarification.
Giving a child a set schedule that includes time for homework or studying, helps the child organize their activities for after school and vacation. It assists students in knowing how important studying is and in knowing the expectations for completing homework. It allows the student to plan out a long term assignment on a calendar.
Things that help a person study include flash cards, note cards, writing paper, assorted color folders, that moght be labeled for a specific subject or assignment. Sometimes the student will need to dress up in a costume or provide a visual display.
Colored folders assist in finding information, finding homework assignments and/or materials needed to complete their assignments. Color coding helps in keeping notebooks neat and organized, instead of everything being thrown into a backpack or having papers falling out of books, which ends up with loosing papers, assignments and information. Vocabulary/spelling words, important facts or diagrams/charts/ pictures and procedures/directions are ways for the child to focus on the material, comprehend what they learned, practice, and allow parents to quiz them.
Students use highlighters to make vocabulary, facts, and procedures/directions to stand out. Most children use repetition as a way to study. Others use manipultives to find an answer or to show their work. A manipultive can be a ziplock filled with coins, building blocks, dice, puzzles, or other material.
These are some of the ways students study. Study skills include organizing your thoughts, putting them down on paper, then organizing them in planning how to answer an essay or write a story or poem. It also includes re-reading your responses and then editing your work, so that it makes sense and it answers the question(s).
I have over 30 years of teaching experience both in regular education and in Special Education.
Developing good study habits when a child enters first or second grade will help the child for the rest of his academic life.
Children learn to write words in different ways. Some learn by sounding out the word or spelling it how they say it. While, others learn by seeing or hearing or by doing all of those things. However, if a child is having a hard time with learning to read, it affects how the child learns to write.
Older students learn the parts of speech and how to punctuate a sentence. Younger children learn to spell words by reading them, sounding them out, by sight or by some other means. Once, the child has learned to write the alphabet, then he/she can learn how to spell and write their own name. They gradually progress into writing short sentences or phrases and they usually spell a word the way they say it or phonetically. The process continues as the child grows. However, some children have a difficult time putting their ideas on paper. They can't organize their thoughts or they don't know where to start. How a child learns generally determines how he/she will be taught. There are several writing processes that can be used and it's a matter of which one works for the child.
When a child is eager to learn a new skill, it's important for the child to be encouraged, even if the words are misspelled or the sentences don't make sense. Who knows, your child could be the next Robert Frost or Steven Spielberg!