It’s never too late.

24 01 2013

EEstudyskills
The winter months are often difficult for teachers, parents, and students. Flu season interrupts learning. It’s hard to believe this school year is almost half over. The countdown to the end of the year starts in the back of educators’ minds. It’s not too late to help struggling students improve skills needed for all learning.

Every teacher embraces the responsibility of teaching students the basics…skills which are necessary for successful learning. Good learning habits contribute to positive academic performance. Deliberate instruction of study skills is the key.

Those study skills can be taught by parents.
Here’s a document which summarizes what most teachers know and do. As a parent, you may find you do many of the things as well to help your child perform well in school.
Teaching skills for all learning

Here’s a PowerPoint presentation which clarifies how to explicitly teach nonacademic skills that are the foundation for all learning.
Teaching young children basic skills

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46 responses

26 01 2013
Emily Rush

Hi, I am a student in the Special Education class at Cairn. I was looking over this post and as an education major I really appreciate the fact that you have made teaching tips available to parents of special needs children. I think that this knowledge is very helpful for parents who are trying to help their children succeed.

26 01 2013
Hannah

Thanks for your suggestions! I really liked the idea to color code things in your classroom to help your students, especially those who can’t quite read labels yet. I think that this is defintely something that can be used in a home setting too.

27 01 2013
Wayne Demore

Hi, I am a student in the Special Education class at Cairn. I found this post to be exceptionally useful. Tips for parents are key to getting the student synced with the classroom and study habits at home. When everyone is on the same page, it will definitely help the student reach his or her maximum potential.

27 01 2013
Naomi

Hi, I am a student in the Special Education class at Cairn. I especially liked the aspect of TOP that kept encouraging demonstration of what the teacher wanted the student to do. I know that when there is a demonstration of how to do something, it makes it easier to understand and do what the teacher wants.

27 01 2013
Nate K

Hi, while I do think that using timers to help students remain focused can be valuable, I also want to stress the importance of being careful how you use them. I find that when a timer is introduced into an activity the student spends more time worrying about the time rather then the activity. Timers can sometimes make students feel as if they are under pressure and in turn stress them out. Timers are great but be careful how and when you use them.

27 01 2013
Linda

I’m Linda also a student at Carin. I recall how hard it was to reinforce my children’s classwork and try to figure out what the teacher wanted to achieve with their homework. I had a lot of difficulity with the math. Every year it seems as though the school district had a new way of teaching math. If I taught my child the system that I knew my child became completely confused. That’s just something that I recall and many other parents are still in the same boat. I really like the TOP page. It would be nice if the parents were aware of their teachers methods in the classroom.

28 01 2013
Brandon

The insight in TOP is amazing and the idea for the practical uses are extremely helpful. I especially like the idea of using musical routines in the performance section. But throughout it all how are you able to stay so positive and upbeat. Im sure you have days that are unbelievably rough and during those days how do you not give up?

28 01 2013
Vicki Chandler

Yes, Brandon, there are THOSE days…days that are truly rough. That’s when your walk with the Lord sets you apart from others who don’t know Him as their Savior and Lord. Those days provide opportunities for Christian educators working in pubic schools to be salt and light… examples of God’s faithfulness (in providing strength, patience…).

29 01 2013
Justin

I was actually thinking the same things as Brandon. I love music and I have always been an advocate for using it in the classroom. I was really excited to see that music was included in TOP. Also, I can definitely say that your positive attitude and energy extends beyond how you write in this blog because of my first-hand view in class on Thursday night. To say that I am impressed is an understatement.

28 01 2013
Nicole Nutting

Hello, I am a student in the Foundation of Special Education class at Cairn University and found this post to be very helpful. I think it is such a wonderful idea that this website provides support and various ideas to parents. I found the TOP document to very helpful, as you explained the importance of interaction and the quality of one’s performance. I really liked the ideas to facilitate the learning of these skills, giving advice for both parents and teachers. In the power point I really appreciated the ideas you gave to helping students learn these basic skills to successful learning. The information you provide is exceptionally detailed and I’m certain provides support for many.

29 01 2013
zach

Hello there! Im zach from Cairn U, and I’m very interested in your ideas and practices as a teacher. I am in the Special Ed class as well, and I am quickly discovering that Special Needs is a BIG task to take on. But, lime you said to Brandon, the Lord does strengthen and enable you, because He who called you is faithful, and will also do it. With that said, I noticed that the underlying philosophy of ed you’re holding to is similar to what we are learning in our ed classes. The teacher models how to learn a new concept, teaches the new concept, then gradually allows the students to independently master the concept being taught. So, i found that appealing and interesting in your article about teaching skills for all learners.

29 01 2013
Brian Sinkiewicz

Hello. My name is Brian Sinkiewicz and I am a Student in the Foundations of Special Education at Cairn University. After reading the post above, I am very impressed with this blog and how you give parents the tools they need to be able to help their children when it comes to learning. Some parents may not have been in a school setting for many years and this post allows them to be able to use the guidelines you have laid out to help teach their children when they are at home. I believe that teachers and parents should be on the same page when it comes to learning. This way when the student goes home the parents are able to apply what the teacher has laid out in the classroom at home which will only benefit the student. I really enjoyed this post and feel that it provides very useful tools for parents.

29 01 2013
carajiggirl92

I think it is so neat that you laid out a tool for parents to utilize in preparing a student for the “rules and regulations” of the classroom. It is often said that parents need to get more involved in their children’s education, but I think your document takes this idea one step further. As a parent, working with your children is more then simply going over math homework and helping to proof a paper. As you outlined, there are simple, practical ways that parents can help prepare their children for classroom life. I have honestly never thought about parent involvement in such a way, so this is really exciting for me, and has broadened my approach to parent interaction. Thank you! 🙂

29 01 2013
Kristy

I am very impressed with the step-by-step classroom tips both on the TOP link and the powerpoint. This would be very helpful to parents but also for prospective teachers. As a student, I do not have much experience under my belt, and I am realizing that there are a lot of things I would not think to do with students. I like the idea of using a T-chart, teaching kids to brainstorm what being a good listener “Looks Like” and “Sounds Like.” Also, explaining to them the concept of sequencing is important but something I would not have thought of. Younger kids need specific steps laid out by the teacher. It may sound basic to us, but it helps them know how to follow directions.

29 01 2013
Rebecca Bryan

When reading this post and looking at the subsequent material I have found some very interesting and helpful tips. I think that using the buddy system is something a teacher should use to help students learn material while also learning to work in a group. The teamwork practices will carry over far into the lives of each student. I am wondering where you would suggest the buddy system stop and the students then work alone. Would you have your students work together for most activities until the time for assessment or testing of gained knowledge comes, or incorporate more individual work too? As a college student in the process of becoming an elementary school teacher information like this will be really important for me to know! Thanks!

30 01 2013
Vicki Chandler

That’s a complicated question, Rebecca. The answer depends on the content being studied, the amount of information already learned related to that content, the student’s needs, the students’ levels, the teacher’s preference…
As teachers, we prepare students to do both: work alone and collaborate with others (sharing ideas with a partner or a team). The benefits of cooperative learning and partner work are numerous. There is also value in having students work independently. Ask yourself, “What would facilitate learning best at this point in time with these students and this content?”
Unrelated to your question, here’s a thought (related to your comment):
Think of the ‘time for assessment’ as ongoing…informal assessment occurs all the time. Sometimes, the goal of independent work isn’t only for a student to demonstrate his/her mastery of a skill or understanding of information. That same task can provide valuable information regarding a student’s study skills (ability to attend to a task, manage materials and time, etc.).
A final encouraging word: You don’t have to have it all figured out on your own. Often the teacher’s manual will suggest when to have students work together and when to have them work independently. Also, fellow veteran teachers are a tremendous source of help when determining what’s best to do.

30 01 2013
Emelie Harvey

Hi! I’m also a student in the Foundations of Special Education class at Cairn University. It’s interesting to me that this is the article I read today. I just started a babysitting job in which the children are home schooled. So, part of my job is to go through their daily school activites, which includes a variety of lessons as well as having outdoor time. When we went outside today, I was just so thankful it wasn’t freezing out like it had been the past week. Although, I still found myself longing for the spring when there’s no need to go through the process of “bundling up” the kids. I didn’t realize it at first, but after reading your article I was made aware that I definitely do slip into that mentality of just longing for something that’s to come, even if it’s as minuscule as warm weather. I appreciate the encouragement to not put off any productive behaviors, whether it be teaching, babysitting, learning, etc., just because you’re too busy hoping for something in the future.

30 01 2013
Juliana

Hello! My name is Juliana and I am a Education student at Cairn University studying Special Education. I appreciate this post for many reasons, one in particular is my part time job in a preschool. The information given in the Power Point about classroom organization and structure is extremely important. I really liked your thoughts about simple ways to create order in the classroom. By using concrete examples such as color coding and object symbols, all students can understand their significance and then apply them to learning. Order in the classroom is especially important since so many children do not experience structure in their homes. By enforcing this in the classroom, children will be well-equipped for life. It is very true that non-academic skills are necessary for performance in school, particularly in the elementary grades.

30 01 2013
Chanyung Woo

I just looked through these powerpoints and found them to be very helpful, especially for parents and teachers who interact with special students on regular basis. I agree that both parents and teachers have to have a very good understanding of their children/students in order to help them succeed in their education. I believe that many of them will appreciate your tips and advice as they work hard to help their students achieve their best.

31 01 2013
Libby Maddox

I really appreciate this post. I have seen a lot of teacher basically give up and get too lazy once they hit the 100 day mark. It makes the last few months of the year a joke. I really like that that is being addressed here as well as suggestions for keeping the students focused is provided. Keeping control of the classroom is important. And it is important to keep the students interested, even when the teacher is not. Your simple ideas are great for classroom management and engagement.

31 01 2013
Jessica Meyers

Hello, I am also a student at Cairn enrolled in the Foundations of Special Ed. course. I really liked this post and these resources because they really get at the heart of learning. Teaching classroom and study skills is important because students can continue to use those habits and skills throughout their lives to learn a variety of different things, in a variety of different settings, and to be successful in a variety of different ways. Thank you for these resources.

31 01 2013
Leia

Hello,
I am also a student in the Foundations of Special Education class at Cairn University. I just want to thank you so much for all of the helpful resources to look through. As someone preparing to become a teacher, it was really helpful to be reminded of how important teaching these lessons are in addition to the core academics. In order to be able to teach the main subjects effectively it is vital that the children are also learning how to interact with those around them and learn how to give quality work. I know often times teachers begin to feel like broken records as they repeat the same things over and over again to their students, therefore, I found the techniques, such as using music, posting pictures, using non-verbal cues, color coding and along with other things really helpful.

31 01 2013
Nate Woodcock

Like many of the comments above I am also proud to say that I am a Cairn University student. I am glad that you provide parents, students, teachers and whomever else with practical down to earth solutions to questions and concerns. It pleases me to see you have this blog because I can already tell that it is a safe haven and a resource to many. I write this to encourage you to keep up the good work! I liked the way your powerpoint helped gather a ton of key life/teaching experience lessons that I am sure took you a while to grasp so that myself and other can benefit from it.

31 01 2013
Kelly

The TOP document is extremely helpful! As a (hopefully) future middle school teacher I feel like I will often forget that the students might not know how to act and behave or study on their own for work. They might need to be reminded how to act and these tips are very helpful with steps on how to instruct them to remember things and interact with different things in the classroom. Also as a future parent one day I can use these tips at home with my children to prepare them for school and help them focus and behave in the classroom. Thanks!

31 01 2013
Shelby Wischan

Hey! My name is Shelby and I’m an education major at Cairn University. I have been considering getting a specialization in Special Education and after reading your blog I have to continue praying about it further because I feel God leading me to do so. I appreciated that you admitted that teachers have a countdown in the back of their mind because it was an honest thing to say, and it assures me as I have a countdown in the back of my mind to graduating from college. I bet parents appreciate your honesty, because when they read of ways that parent interaction and involvement can help their student grow and learn, they know that they can trust you because you are genuine in your thoughts and support. Lastly, I was thankful that you said for teachers to not give up; it’s never too late to teach your students something. In my experiences as a student, too often teachers throw in the towel the last few months and coast through the remainder of the year. I don’t want to be a teacher that does this, and I am glad that you are encouraging others to not be this way either.

31 01 2013
Jeff Bishop

I am also an education student at Cairn. The thing that I really found interesting was the slide that went over the skills that need to be applied to anything from study skills to organization skills. I find the skills that were listed to be ones that are important for every students learning and many that aren’t stressed while students are young. I know that I would have done much better in school growing up if I was simply more organized and took better notes. By enforcing those ideas and making sure that kids have all of the basic skills that will then benefit the students for years to come and will effect them in more ways than they even realized.

31 01 2013
Kacie Loucks

Hello, I’m Kacie from SPE a Cairn. From this post I like the fact that the winter months can bring legitimate interruptions to the learner.I also like how you recognize that the student needs to learn more than just the facts, they need to learn tips that will help them to better understand what they are learning about. The TOP page is a great resource for those that are with the child and is organized in a way that is easily understood.This is also a good reminder that winter break does not mean restarting or giving up on accomplishing anything; it is a continuous journey that can still be pushed through to make the student succeed.

31 01 2013
Juliann Langworthy

Hello, My name is Juliann and I am currently a sophomore in the education program at Cairn University focusing on Special Education. I really enjoyed reading your variety of blogs because I have personal had several of these thoughts or questions pop up in my head through out my education. Your site really provides a lot of information to a variety of people. I found the documents on this post to very informational and useful. The power point was very enjoyable and being that it provided several pictures and examples would make the children more interesting. I think that using gestures can be both beneficial but detrimental to others. Do you think in anyway that it can be distracting to others? You may have a specific gesture to keep one child focused but that might distract another. Do you think this can be true in some instances or am I just thinking it through too much? The information provided seems to be an extension and reflection of what I have been learning through out my education here at Cairn. As a college student building my way up to becoming an Elementary school teacher what do you think is a very helpful tip you would leave me with? Thank you!

31 01 2013
Vicki Chandler

Hi Juliann. Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
Regarding your first question, I have two thoughts.
1. Gestures are meant to be subtle and can be made close to a specific student.
2. Remember: What’s good for one is good for all…a gesture meant to refocus one student may also remind others to pay better attention.

Regarding your second question: I guess my best tip is to plan ahead. You never know what’s going to happen in life. Had I not developed this habit, the recent two deaths in our family last week would have added undue stress to an already sad time.

31 01 2013
Vicki Chandler

Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful remarks. I’m glad you all found this post and blog useful. Pass it along to others (fellow educators and teachers).

31 01 2013
Nick Schnittjer

This is a really beneficial tool that I think can and should have a more significant place in the realm of education. The ability to post useful information about schools and tips for students, parents, and teachers is a really cool function of this technology. The benefits are apparent, unlimited posts about anything relevant and important to the poster, and others have access to interact with specific material in conversation form. My question is why this blog technology isn’t more popular in the education realm. I have seen it becoming more popular at a college level but I think our secondary students could really benefit from incorporating blog technology in their classes. Just my random thought.

31 01 2013
Vicki Chandler

Hi Nick,
Here’s one example of a teacher’s blog…you’ll find it on this fantastic website for teachers:
http://www.4teachers.org/

31 01 2013
Peter Lepera

I really liked the power point on teaching young children basic skills. I think this is really important because this can easily be forgotten. Then, when students are struggling later on, it ties back to them not learning these skills in the first place! I like that this article emphasizes being intentional about these things.

31 01 2013
Emily Troia

Hi, I’m a student in the Foundations of Special Education class at Cairn. I really enjoyed reading this post because I found it to be very helpful. I think it’s highly important for teachers to want parents to be involved because it will benefit the student. Students should practice what teachers show them at home so it sticks with them and having the parents involved makes this actually work. Parents have just as much of an important role in their child’s education as teachers do. Thank you for posting this!

31 01 2013
Ariel Gulick

The charts looked very useful. I am glad you are providing these resources to parents. I know that a lot of parents really want to help their child succeed in school and just don’t know how.

31 01 2013
Calvin Hoffman

I really appreciate all the effort and heart that is seen this blog. I know that many are and will be blessed by the work the God is doing through you and your blog!

31 01 2013
Amanda Rearick

I enjoyed the Teaching Skills for All Learning document that you posted. It is definitely important for teachers to understand how their students’ minds work because each child is different. It is fascinating how students will behave and perform just from observing the teacher’s model. Thanks for providing a list of helpful key points to enable us to be effective teachers in the classroom to every learner in our classroom!

5 02 2013
Rich

Hi I am a student from Cairn University and I am taking the Foundations of Special Education course this semester. I agreed completely with everything that was written in the blog and also in the “TOP” link. I have seen first hand parents, teachers, and students working on these types of skills in order to truly get a student to possibly maintain focus or increase focus. I believe that a great part of all of this is a sensitivity to the needs of the student and a desire on both sides (teacher and parent) to be active in the life of the student. This is a great blog that shows how possible it is to truly make a difference and be an effective part of a students life.

5 02 2013
Vicki Chandler

Rich,
Thanks for your thoughtful comment regarding this post. Good job attending to all the details in your life (since your recent injury that complicated it!).

6 02 2013
Janita Ortega

This was very informative and useful especially for low functioning kids. Parent and teacher communication is crucial in the development and goal achievement. I am in agreement with what has been expressed in the blog. It is encouraging to see when a student progresses when everyone is on one accord toward the student success.

7 02 2013
Danielle Rodriguez

The TOP tip is so helpful! Sometimes I feel like there’s so much to learn and remember as I go through all my education courses, so any “key” or simple way of remembering what is important is extremely helpful. I’ve written it down in my “Future Teaching Tips” book that I keep. Thank you!

7 02 2013
Vicki Chandler

What a fantastic idea to have a “Future Teaching Tips” book!

13 02 2013
Immigration Advisers Tottenham

You are so interesting! I don’t think I’ve truly read something like this before.

So nice to find another person with some genuine thoughts on this
issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web,
someone with a bit of originality!

13 02 2013
Vicki Chandler

I’m glad you found it useful. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any other needs, or want to know any specific strategies to address any difficulties a student might have. I’d love to pass along more…never sure what others need/want.

13 04 2013
Immigration Advice in Westminister

Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

It’s always helpful to read through articles from other writers and use a little something from their websites.

13 04 2013
Vicki Chandler

So glad you found it worthwhile! Thanks for visiting.

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