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Special Ed and ADHD

The Learning CircuitTM: How Learning Works

August 20, 2017

The Learning Circuit Video Transcription Learning is nothing more than your brain creating new wires. How does this work? Every time you learn something new, your brain powers a connection from something you already understand. When this happens, the neuron wires in your brain –the information you already understand– create new wires to capture the…

The Brain Circuit: How the Brain Works

August 13, 2017

The Brain Circuit Video Transcription The brain has dozens of different sections. Each section does something different to help us move and process thoughts. Think of the brain like your digestive system… Your digestive system is made of many distinct organs. Each organ does something different. But, these organs work together to digest your food.…

80/20 in Special Education: How Special Ed Can Create Big Gains With Minimal Effort!

June 10, 2017

Can You Relate…? You’re a special education teacher (or maybe you know one) sitting in a building-wide staff meeting.  In the meeting, the results of your state’s annual, standardized test scores were released.  The results are good, except for one segment of students that are not showing enough improvement and thus hurting the school’s overall…

Learning and Soft Skills Empower Special Education Students

June 5, 2017

Are we aiming to have our students “college ready” OR “career ready?” OR both? If both, do we get them “college ready” first, then “career ready?” These are many of the questions that educators seem to wrestle with on a regular basis as our country works to prepare future generations for workplace success. Let’s cut…

How to Help Students Manage Anxiety

May 6, 2017

The key to helping students manage anxiety is to understand what’s happening in their brain. “Emotions are the on/off switch to learning,” says Priscilla Vail, author of Smart Kids with School Problems. You and I both know this is true. We know from our own experience that it’s pretty hard to learn geometry theorems when…

How to Build an “Anxiety-Free” Environment in Your Classroom

May 1, 2017

Previously, I wrote about How to Help Your Students Manage Anxiety. If you haven’t read that article yet, I suggest you start with it, here. It explains what causes anxiety, which is key to understanding how to manage it. Today, I want to share some strategies for building an “anxiety-free” environment in your classroom. Obviously,…

Special Education Teachers: What Makes You Sing Like Taylor Swift?

April 26, 2017

Dear Special Education Teachers, why do you do it? You have to deal with loads of paperwork, angry parents, impossible state standards, and flack from administrators. Doesn’t it feel like you’re constantly swimming upstream? Teaching has become a job, not a passion. Schools are not a warm and fuzzy place anymore. The focus has changed…

College and Career-Readiness for Special Education

April 10, 2017

“My students think they are ‘broken,’” lamented one special education teacher. “They don’t have dreams because they don’t think their dreams matter.” The truth is, our education system is not equipped to help any student explore their dreams and options beyond high school. But special education students have an even greater disadvantage; they don’t think…

The Brain Biology of ADHD & Autism

September 20, 2016

Welcome to part 3 of our 3-part series on special education. In part 1, we explored the brain biology of learning disabilities. In part II, we explored How to Solve and Prevent Learning Disabilities. The brain biology of ADHD & autism is very similar to the brain biology of learning disabilities, as explained in the previous article. Just like learning disabilities,…

RTI Tier 3 Interventions:
Take a Step Back Before Going Forward

January 14, 2016

RTI Tier 3 Interventions are highly intensive. Students have already passed through the first two levels of intervention without success. As interventions become more “intense,” the temptation is always to drill down on the skill. Increase pressure. Push harder. In reality, this increased pressure often does more harm than good. To be most effective, we must…

Six Steps to
Conquer the Chaos

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