To sign up for text updates: text corks21 to 76278
To sign up for text updates: text corks21 to 76278
By Mrs. Mazon, Intervention Specialist
Now that we will be in school mode at home for at least the rest of the year, here are some tips to help you and your kids get the most out of your day and stay sane! It is never too late to start good habits. Most of these tips are from a free online webinar from ADDitude. They offer many free resources for parents of students with ADHD. Though geared towards students with ADHD these tips would benefit many students.
Routine, routine routine.
Create a To Do List
Don’t Complete Assignments All at Once!
K – 2 1.25 – 2.5 hours
3-4 1.5 – 2.5 hours
5-6 2 – 3.5 hours
7-8 2.5 – 4 hours
Give Everyone Their Own Space to Work
If you’re interested in learning more about this topic or helping your child build similar skills during this time stuck at home, sign up for ADDitudes 8 week online webinars:
Dolin M.Ed., Ann. Coronavirus Crash Course for Parents: Keeping Kids with ADHD in ‘Study Mode’ While Home from School. New Hope Media LLC. 19 Mar. 2020. Webinar.
Summary by: Erin Russell, CCC-SLP
Those are intimidating words that define the five major areas of executive function. Children are supposed to develop these skills throughout their academic career, starting in their Preschool years! These skills are largely linked to academic confidence and success in our 21st-century learners. Below, I will provide quick tips on how you can help your child strengthen their executive functioning skills in the home environment. All of my information comes from an e-book titled, Executive Function 101, in which I will cite at the end of the article with its link (it’s a free recommended must read).
First of all it’s important to remember:
How can I help my child with these Executive Functions at home?
National Center for Learning Disabilities (2013). Executive Function 101: First Edition. Retrieved from https://www.chconline.org/resourcelibrary/executive-function-101-e-book-downloadable
Meltzer, L.J. (2010) Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom. New York: Guilford Press.
Meltzer, L.J. (Ed). (2007). Executive Function in Education: From theory to practice. New York: Guilford Press.
One of the most daunting tasks your child will undertake in middle school is studying. Try not to let them get overwhelmed by all of the information they must remember or apply. Help them find a way to organize it all.
Books Resources to Use:
Play has changed significantly over the last several years. Remember when you were young? If your mothers were anything like ours, she probably stood in your backyard and yelled down the neighborhood calling you inside for dinner and then would do it again in 3 hours for bed! As children, we were NEVER inside. So what has changed? How is it affecting our children, and how can we as parents support our children better?
In the past fifteen years, educators and professionals have made significant strides in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of children who are different learners. However, more children are being diagnosed in schools with not only learning issues but attention and emotional issues that are impacting success in the classroom.
|Predominantly Outdoors||Predominantly Indoors|
|Manipulatives (blocks and puzzles)||Electronics|
|Free Play (Jungle Gyms)||Structured/Guided Play (organized sports)|
|Little Litigation||Hyper Litigation (no swings on playgrounds)|
|Trophies for One||Trophies for All|
|Authoritative Parenting||Friendship Parenting|
|Parent Directed Household Structure||Child Directed Household Structure|
|No Social Media||Social Media|
|Boredom allowed- sparked creative play||No Time for boredom- constantly connected|
|Average of 2 hr. Recess throughout the day||Average of 30 minute recess|
|Creative Play||Guided Play|
|Movement-based play||Screen Time|
|Child dominated play||Adult directed play- organized sports|
|Full Sensory Exploration (barefoot)||Limited Sensory Exploration “you’ll get hurt”|
It used to be believed that the brain was for thinking and the body was for movement. It has now been proven that movement enhances cognition. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that focuses not only on learning but also movement; it has direct neuronal path to areas of the brain involving attention, memory, and spatial perception (ALL areas impact and promote learning).
|Encourage or require daily outdoor play- even if for brief periods of time||Build Forts|
|Hike/Walk your dog||Build with block|
|Jump on the trampoline||Play board games|
|Ride bikes||Play cards|
|Play catch, basketball, wiffle ball||Play with play-doh, slime|
|Hide and seek||Hide and seek|
|Tag||Make cookies or bake|
|Swing||Make an obstacle course|
|Zip-Line||Draw- while seated, while laying on stomach, or while laying on back under a table and drawing on paper|
|LIMIT SCREEN TIME||LIMIT SCREEN TIME|
In conclusion, schedule play into your child’s day. Any opportunity that you can engage creatively with them will increase and foster development. However, children playing on their own fosters independence and problem-solving. Don’t be afraid of the ‘b’ word. Boredom is beneficial for the brain as boredom sparks creativity. If you would like to read more about play and how it enhances learning, click on the links below. These are the references that were used.
By: Jen Schehr, Intervention Specialist
Working memory, or short-term memory, refers to thoughts or information that you temporarily retain in your memory so that it is available to complete a task. It acts as a kind of shelf in your brain that can hold several items at a time. The number of items each person can hold in his or her working memory at a time varies, as everyone develops at their own pace and has different memory capacities. Young children may only be able to hold onto one or two items in short-term memory. Children and adults with ADHD or ADD typically struggle with weak or limited working memory. Working memory is necessary to learn new ideas and skills, follow multi-step directions, to take in new information to be committed to long-term memory, and to remember what to do or bring on any given day.
We can increase the amount and importance of information that is stored in the working memory, and help to move ideas into the long-term memory for later retrieval through several strategies.
Let your child know when you’re about to share important information that he or she needs to remember. Make sure you have his or her attention, provide a short count of details to be recalled, help with visualization, and have him or her repeat it back to you.
Establish a daily routine that includes putting things away in the same place every time, right away. To avoid nagging and constant reminders, create a schedule of important steps in daily routine using pictures and words with your child. Have him or her include what materials to bring. This can be adjusted to be most appropriate based on your child’s needs and age. Check that the child is prepared and has truly checked and completed each task or packed each needed item consistently until the routine is established, and reward that behavior.
Monotask. Only one thing should be the focus or task at a time. Multitasking is linked to shorter attention spans and unfinished tasks. Limit your workspace to only the needed materials and avoid distractions. Have a short list of what needs to be done, and do only one thing at a time.
Use multiple senses to take in and use information. We use both verbal and non-verbal (visual and spatial) memory to take in and retain information. Visual-spatial memory is often stronger in children, particularly those with ADHD or ADD. Pictures and images are often more powerful than words. Visual images of the non-verbal working memory help the brain to act, and the verbal working memory acts as its guidance system. Figure out what senses or combination of senses help your child retain information best.
Break it into meaningful chunks. Instructions and tasks should be broken into meaningful chunks, and new information can be set to songs, rhymes, pictures, or groupings which are typically stored in the brain as one chunk. This way, more can be stored in the working memory at one time. For example, phone numbers may be stored as 3 chunks: (111)222-3333.
Build on associations to known information. Think of known information as hooks on a wall. New information without any association will just “fall to the floor” without anything to hold on to, but associations give it a place to go and an avenue for retrieval.
Add humor. Have your child come up with a silly association, picture, or mnemonic device to remember several names or concepts. For example, have him or her picture a funny image to recall the meaning of a vocabulary word such as nervous dogs performing a skit for the word “skittish.”
Externalizing. Help your child to use the information and created frameworks to store and recall it. Creating a physical representation helps to commit ideas to memory without overtaxing the brain. There are lots of ways to do this, but here are a few that can work for students of all ages.
By Megan Sobecki, Intervention Specialist
While the beginning of the school year can bring about familiar routines, it can also bring with it the frustration of homework time. Whether your student struggles with a certain subject, organization, or time management, we hope these strategies and systems will provide your family with beneficial ideas to make this part of your day a more positive experience.
Does your child routinely forget his/her homework, planner, or lunchbox? Try creating a “launching pad” in your home. Choose a spot near the door, in a cubby, or somewhere your child can easily access. Define the area with a bin, box, or other marking. This is the spot where your child will keep his/her backpack and other materials that need to go back and forth to school everyday. Make it an evening routine to check the launching pad. Ensure planners and homework are zipped inside the backpack, and that lunch boxes and other items are in the launching pad as well. Making this a habit can help mornings run more smoothly and help your child to be independently responsible for his/her belongings.
-Clean Sweep: Keep Archive Toss (KAT)
Papers and books can easily build up in a backpack. Set a consistent time each week to do a “clean sweep” of your child’s backpack. In just five minutes, take out old papers and items. Sort them into three categories: Keep, Archive, Toss (KAT). Items chosen for the keep pile should be organized and kept neatly in the backpack. Archived items should be kept in a predetermined bin or file. Archived items might be work your child is proud of or notes/quizzes/study guides that could be helpful later in the year.
– Must Do, Should Do, Could Do
Help your child learn to prioritize his/her responsibilities by categorizing the tasks as “must do, should do, or could do.” “Must Do” items are those with an immediate deadline or need to be addressed that evening. “Should do” tasks include those that may not be due the next day but would be beneficial to spend a little time on. “Could do” items do not need to be done for several days.
Work Time and Space
Although daily schedules can change depending on extracurriculars and family time, try to create a consistent routine as to where and when homework is completed. If your child needs a break when he/she gets home from school, set a 30 minute timer for him/her to play, eat a snack, and relax. When the 30 minutes is up, homework begins. Right before dinner or right after dinner are other effective times. Try to avoid crunching homework into bedtime. If your mornings are generally easy-going, this may be another time your child could finish up work.
Allow your child to try a few different spaces around your home to discover where he/she works best.
– Using a timer also helps children use their time more efficiently. You may need to help them set realistic expectations for the amount of time an assignment will take. Breaking tasks down into smaller chunks of time with a change of activity in between can also help them stay focused and motivated during the work time.
Constructive Help and Communication
– Don’t tell them how to do it! If your child is stuck or struggling, ask him/her to show you notes or examples. Respond to his/her questions with questions to get him/her thinking: “How do you think you could start?” “What part do you feel confident about?” “Can you teach me what you know about it?”
– Ask POWERFUL questions.
Rather than asking “Do you have homework?” try asking “What are your priorities today?” When you know your child has a test, ask “What’s one thing you might do to study for your ___ test?”
If your child had a challenging task or assessment, ask “Next time, what’s one thing you might do differently to prepare?”
– Encourage your children to seek help on their own by writing the teacher an email or writing a note on the assignment to remind them to ask about it at school.
Homework is intended to reinforce what your child is learning in school. If your student reaches a frustration point, take a break, let the teacher know it was challenging, and positively support your child when he/she is ready to try again.
Remember, your children have already spent the majority of the day sitting and working! Time to move, play, socialize, and being with family play an important role in their success as well.
“7 No-Fail Strategies for Getting Homework Done on Time and Without Drama”
Ann Dolin, M.Ed.