Tag Archives: education corner

Education Corner: How to Beat the Winter School Blues

edcornerThe holidays are over and school has resumed. While parents may have been excited to get their little ones back into the classroom, children may not be as enthusiastic. Are your students as motivated about school as they were in September? Often, parents and teachers find that at this time of year many students experience the winter school blues. As a teacher, I referred to this as the “third quarter slump”. Here are a few things to consider to help your students snap out of it (or even prevent it!):

Atlanta author and columnist Adlen Robinson, and mother of six children, offers tips to help adults address those winter blues with their students:

  • Speak to your child’s teacher to get the true picture. Ask if your child is struggling in a particular area and how you can help.

Teachers are always happy to discuss ways to remedy or head off problems before they fester.

  • Buy some new school supplies. Remember how excited children are to buy school supplies for the first day of school?

Try letting your child pick out a new notebook or other items. This would also be a good time to examine the current notebooks and folders. Maybe their entire organizational system needs a checkup.

  • Take an interest in what your child is studying. Talk about what subjects you liked when you were that age.

Similarly, admit what you struggled with. My children all knew about my childhood struggles with certain subjects

  • Start a reading club in your family. Choose a book that you can all read and then discuss during dinner.

The classics are great, of course, but try alternating who selects the book. Keep an open mind when they ask you to read their latest favorite.

Read more tips for parents here http://www.forsythnews.com/archives/22708/

The National Education Association recommends that teachers re-energize the second semester with things that will keep up the momentum of the school year:

  • “A Sneak Peak” – Before winter break, review what has been learned up to that point and provide a teaser for what students will be learning after they return

“This created anticipation among his students, says [Carl]Clausen. “When do we start?” they would eagerly ask. “

  • “Ownership Over Learning” – “I stress how grown up [the children] are, and I recognize their maturity as students,” [Michelle Wise Capen]she explains. “I have shown them a number of ways to work on spelling words during the first semester. In the second semester, I ask students to assess how they learn best and allow them to choose a learning approach on their own. Since the classroom expectations are still the same, children begin to take ownership of their learning without it being micromanaged by me.”
  • “Nothing Works Like Space and Technology” – Vicki Vieau’s class at Salem Grade School in Salem, Wisconsin, participates in the NASA cloud cover project, in which students record observations daily about the weather as the CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) satellite passes over their town.

Read more tips for teachers here http://www.nea.org/home/30024.htm

There are many ways to help your students beat the winter blues. Check out the resources and re-energize!

Education Corner: Students with Disabilities: Which Plan is Right?

edcornerThe school year is well under way and the first quarter has ended. After countless meetings, lack of progress despite numerous interventions, and lots of testing, your child has been classified with a disability. You have so many questions! There are various plans for students with disabilities in the educational setting – IEP or 504? What are they and which one is right for my child?

The Utah Parent Center, a training and information center founded in 1983 by parents of children and youth with all disabilities to help other parents facing similar challenges throughout Utah, has posted a webinar called “IEP vs. Section 504 Plans: Which Is Right for My Child?” (http://www.utahparentcenter.org/iep504webinar). The webinar is presented by the Utah State Board of Education and can be downloaded by viewers. Topics include:

IEP vs Section 504 Which is Right for My Child Slides


IEP Tips For Parents

“Children with disabilities who qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) receive services under an IEP plan. However, some children with disabilities do not receive services under an IEP but are instead served under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). This interactive webinar, presented by Jennifer Slade and Naté Dearden at the Utah State Board of Education, will describe similarities as well as differences between the IDEA and Section 504. For some children, providing the appropriate modifications and accommodations they need is the only way they will be successful in their school experiences. A thorough understanding of the provisions of these two laws and how they differ can help you and your child’s teachers plan the most appropriate education for your child.”

After view this webinar, you are likely to still have questions and in need of support. Be sure to maintain contact with your child’s school and his/her educational team. Working together has great benefits! Outside of the school you can contact the Utah Parent Center for resources, trainings, and support. Services provided by this non-profit organization are free.

Parent involvement is crucial to the education of all children. Children with disabilities are at higher risk for not completing school, not being employed or not pursuing higher education. Family involvement is especially crucial for these children. Seek out the resources you need to help your child be successful!

More information or questions can be directed to Education Corner author Deanna Taylor, transitionuniverse@gmail.com


Education Corner: Nurturing a Growth Mindset With Your Child

How would you describe your child’s mindset towards school? Is your child eager to learn, accepting challenges and mistakes as opportunities as she progresses through your days at school? Or does your child experience low self esteem, giving up easily because she does not feel she is able to learn as readily as her peers?edcorner

The research of Dr. Carol Dweck on Mindsets has expanded beyond leaps and bounds in the last 10 years in all realms, including education and parenting. The two types of mindsets that have emerged from her research, and are the focus of many initiatives, are Fixed and Growth Mindsets.

A person with a Grown Mindset is believes that intelligence can be developed and that learning is a process through challenges and mistakes and productive struggle.  A person with a Fixed Mindset believes that intelligence is static and cannot be developed – that “you are who you are” and there is nothing to be done to improve that.

As parents, we have the power to help shape the mindsets of our children.

A growth mindset is the understanding that we can develop our abilities and intelligence. Research has shown that our implicit beliefs about the nature of intelligence can have a great impact on our achievement. Mindset Works Co-founder Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. first coined the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset,” and explains how a growth mindset leads to a focus on learning, increased effort, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

Mindset Works

Melissa Benaroya of Grow Parenting in Seattle advises these three things to nurture a growth mindset in your children:

  • Use Encouragement
  • Respond To Setbacks As Opportunities for Learning and Improvement
  • Modeling a Growth Mindset As A Parent