School & Classroom Environment
A positive classroom environment can make a huge difference for kids who struggle in school. In this month's newsletter, discover resources for evaluating your classroom and school environment, apps for fostering creativity, and get up to date on what's happening this month.
Research on school climate and connectedness has found that it's important to assess and enhance social and emotional conditions for learning. For students with LD and related conditions, the social environment of school can be as much — or more — of a concern as academic achievement. Learn simple things teachers can do to help students feel safe for their new school year.
Sometimes it's the subtleties that make all the difference in creating a welcoming classroom space. Within this cache of resources, you'll find advice on arranging the furniture in a classroom, designing a classroom library, and ways to reach out to parents of English language learners.
There's a notion in the classroom climate literature about charismatic adults: an adult from whom a child or adolescent "gathers strength" and who assists that child in becoming more hopeful and resilient. Sometimes it's a bus driver, the school secretary, or a teacher with whom a child has a special bond. Dr. Bob Brooks, an international speaker on topics of resilience, self-esteem, motivation, and family relationships, describes creating therapeutic environments that can help kids with LD.
What's hot this year? As veteran teachers, we know each year seems to bring new trends. eSchool News identifies five education trends for this year, including assessments for flipped learning, creating your own e-books, and an emphasis on teaching students to code and program. Read more to find out all the trends and to cast your vote on the trend that will likely impact you the most.
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Question: My 15-year-old son has a language-based learning disability. He has now started taking required foreign language classes and is struggling with vocabulary, verbal exercises, and exams. Are there any technology tools or software programs that might help him?
Answer: Learning a foreign language can be frustrating for a student with a language-based learning disability. Many of the same elements that may have posed problems in English (letter sounds, decoding, spelling, grammar), can cause difficulties in foreign language learning. (read more)
Also known as instructional aides and teachers' aides, these individuals provide assistance to teachers in the classroom. They do not provide primary direct instruction but may help clarify material to students through home language or other supports.
"We do not need to teach creativity but rather inspire its daily practice." In the classroom, this may amount to creating a culture where the focus is not on the right answer but creating a climate where risk taking and ambiguity are celebrated. This month's featured resource comes from Edutopia and includes a roundup of apps to help students capture ideas, brainstorm, and think visually.
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"Look what you've done!" Whether they've failed a spelling test or dropped an easy fly, kids with learning disabilities hear those words far too often. It's no wonder we sometimes overlook the "everyday courage" of our children.
This program, hosted by Dr. Robert Brooks of the Harvard Medical School and a nationally known expert on learning disabilities, says we need to find each child's "island of competence" and then build on those strengths. He offers practical strategies for helping children with LD develop the confidence and resilience they will need to succeed.
Looking for information about what's happening this month? Check out our September 2013 calendar.
September is Attendance Awareness Month. How are you planning on raising awareness about this important issue? Learn about communication strategies and tactics to maximize your media outreach efforts and engage parents in your community.
September is also Library Card Sign-up Month. Sponsored by the American Library Association, Library Card Sign-up Month is a time to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all.