By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 03/08/2017
10 Fluency strategies for struggling readers

Literacy skills are one of the most important areas of ability children develop in their first few years at school. They begin by sounding out words and learning to recognize common vocabulary from books and classroom materials. With sight reading and spelling practice comes greater fluency.

Reading speeds up and comprehension of more complex texts becomes possible as vocabulary knowledge grows exponentially. However, not all students find learning to read such an easy process. Struggling readers can quickly fall behind their peers and may develop low self-esteem and a lack of confidence as a result.

Because reading ability impacts performance across all areas of the curriculum, including writing skills, it’s important to provide adequate strategy training as early as possible. Ideally remediation is tailored to the individual student’s needs, particularly when a learning difficulty is involved.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 02/28/2017
Jobs for people with Down syndrome

A growing number of adults with Down syndrome enjoy greater independence and enhanced skills development today thanks in part to employment opportunities. Having a job builds confidence for people with Down syndrome, whether it is a paid or volunteer position. It’s also a good way to increase awareness of learning difficulties among the general public, especially when it comes to showing the many talents these very capable and special individuals possess.

From working as baristas in community coffee shops to taking positions in national chains, handling the front desk at offices, or working with their hands in the great outdoors, people with Down syndrome can thrive in a wide range of positions when they have the support, drive and skills they need to perform the job.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 02/21/2017
Dyspraxia vs. apraxia of speech

Dyspraxia is a fine and/or gross motor skills difficulty that may also impact on learning. Symptoms range in severity and can make it difficult for a child to dress him or herself, hold a pen or pencil and perform other daily activities. Estimates in the UK suggest that 1 child in every 10 struggles with some form of dyspraxia.

While apraxia is a related neurological condition, it represents a complete loss of motor skills impairing a person in a particular capacity. There are many kinds of apraxia but in the case of apraxia of speech, the muscles of the mouth including the tongue, jaw, cheeks, palate and lips cannot be coordinated to produce intelligible spoken language.

By Anonymous 0 comments 02/14/2017
Dyslexia reading strategies that can help

A guest post by Cigdem Knebel.

The English language is full of linguistic inconsistencies that make reading much harder for students with dyslexia. If you are like the majority of native English speakers, you may not even be aware of these inconsistencies because it is your mother tongue.

The irregularities are due to using the 26 letters in the English alphabet to create 44 sounds. To make up for the difference, there are several different ways a letter can be pronounced (‘a’ for apple, car, or ball, and ‘c’ for cat, ceiling, or scent).

Moreover, letter combinations create new sounds (ch, sh, ea) and these combinations can also be pronounced in different ways (chair vs. chorus, eagle vs. earth). This makes decoding a serious challenge for struggling readers, particularly those students who have dyslexia.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 02/06/2017
How to improve typing speed in a few easy steps

If you’re interested in improving your typing speed you’re not alone. Many people would like to type faster so they can work more efficiently, whether it be for essay writing at school, typing up reports at the office or responding to personal emails and message chats.

If a keyboard is involved, touch-typing is the best solution. It takes less time and means you can translate your message through the use of muscles in the fingers. You’ll automatically turn your ideas into text without having to think about how to hold a pen for comfort. You’ll also make fewer errors and improve your spelling too.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 01/30/2017
What is child-led learning?

Child-led learning is a term used to describe education programmes in which children are responsible for deciding what to learn. In some cases it extends to kids being in control of how long they spend on a particular lesson and the methods and materials used for study. Quite often it is undertaken in a home-school environment or in a private tutoring context.

While this movement typically stands in opposition to a fixed curriculum, some schools offer individual classes or after-hours programmes that take a more child-led approach. There are also situations in which giving a child a greater role in deciding how much and what to learn is more appropriate, such as sessions for kids who struggle with learning difficulties.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 01/25/2017
Developing spelling skills in learners

Spelling skills are not something people are born with – we learn to spell at the same time as we learn to read and write. For individuals who struggle with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, spelling can pose a particular challenge as it requires the ability to split words into sounds and then match those sounds to letters and letter combinations.

This is easier said than done because in English there are many ways to spell the same sound. There are also plenty of silent letters, words that break the rules, and foreign words with unintuitive spellings.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 01/17/2017
Note-taking skills for kids

Writing information down facilitates its transfer into long-term memory and provides an opportunity for learners to engage with content on a deeper level, including through review.

Note-taking also strengthens sound-letter mapping and spelling skills, particularly when children copy text from the board.

Making notes while reading can aid with comprehension. Notes may be used as a glossary or evidence of new vocabulary learned at school.

Notes can also serve as a record of group work and in some cases provide insight into problem solving approaches.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 01/09/2017
Activities for stroke patients

For the majority of stroke patients, the road to recovery is a long one that includes many hours of therapy aimed at restoring both physical strength and language capacity. People who suffer a serious stroke may lose the ability to coordinate muscles and execute complex movements.

They can have trouble performing routine tasks including bathing, dressing and feeding themselves. Some will experience numbness or lose feeling in their limbs. Many will have difficulty understanding and producing language. While is not always possible to recover completely from a stroke, with the right treatment plan quality of life can be improved.

By Meredith Cicerchia 0 comments 01/03/2017
Tips for adult learners

Adult learners approach education in a very different way than younger students. Many will be studying part-time as they continue to work and support their families. They tend to know more about their individual strengths and weaknesses as students, have set attitudes toward school, and be more intrinsically motivated.

An adult can bring real world experience into the classroom, which often enriches lessons. Older learners may also carry negative emotions, including reservations about entering college later in life and some fear and anxiety about being students again. However, with the right approach to study, every learner, no matter what their age or situation, can reach their full potential in the classroom.