I am thrilled to introduce Sherry Cramer to you. Sherry is an educational therapist with over thirty years of experience working with exceptional students. She recently published a four-part series on motivation and ADHD in the Educational Therapist Journal. It was the best piece I’d ever read in the journal, but the publication is only accessible to Association members.
I wanted more educators and parents to read what she has to say, so I’m honored that she graciously agreed to guest post. Sherry is an educational therapist after my own heart; I hope you enjoy her article as much as I do. You’ll find it chock-full of concrete, actionable strategies to help students find, increase, and maintain motivation.
We all know them – kids with ADHD who are bright, energetic, and creative – yet struggle in school. They don’t enjoy learning. They prefer easier work. They give up easily.1 By all accounts, they lack motivation.
But why? Is it due to a bad attitude? Is it laziness? No, it’s in the wiring!
Earlier this year, our local group of educational therapists hosted Dr. Adena Young. Dr. Young is a school and educational psychologist with a private practice in Oakland, California. She works one-on-one with students, provides neuropsychological evaluations, and consults with teachers and schools.
Dr. Young spoke compellingly about how to support children who are struggling with problems common in learning math. Her two-hour presentation just flew by. So I knew I had to interview her for Bay Tree Blog.
Dr. Young and I sat down earlier this summer to talk about math. I’ve synthesized our interview, which is full of take-home, practical suggestions. I’ve paraphrased in some places for brevity and clarity, and you’ll find her direct quotations in quotation marks. The photos, captions, and formatting were all added by me.
Talk to any kindergarten teacher, and she’ll tell you about her students who transpose numbers. Two-digit numbers puzzle many younger students. It’s not unusual to hear students confusing the numbers “13” and “31” or writing the number “14” as “41.”
This common mistake is sometimes called a transposition. When students transpose numbers, they write down all of the correct numbers, but they don’t put the numbers into the right sequence (place-value order).
Transposition errors often occur in two-digit numbers. For my students, the most commonly transposed numbers are the numbers 12-19. These mistakes with the teen numbers actually reveal the child has a good understanding of the spelling patterns for numbers and words. Mistakes with numbers greater than twenty may indicate that the child needs more place-value practice.
Today, I want to empower you with effective tools for addressing transposition errors. First, let’s figure out why students are confused.
I’m excited to share this free, 50-minute class on understanding and teaching reading comprehension. Originally recorded live for Learning Ally, the webinar was rerecorded so you can watch anytime.
In this dynamic, practical session, you’ll learn proven strategies to unlock children’s reading comprehension. Together, we’ll explore the best tools and strategies for helping children understand, remember, and enjoy what they read. You’ll learn:
How to use YouTube to help kids understand and remember what they read.
Why sticky notes are essential for students who forget text.
What Calvin & Hobbes can teach us about motivation to read.
You know those great teachers? The ones that a child remembers for life? I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of these virtuosic educators.
Westy Litz is one of those teachers. In her fourth grade classroom, I’ve seen children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD flourish. I’ve always wondered, “How does she do it?”
Over the summer, we met up for coffee, so we could figure out how she structures her classroom, connects with students, plans lessons, and collaborates with parents. This is a must read for teachers and parents.
Join us in conversation!
Over the years, I’ve provided educational therapy to students with dyslexia in your class. They always tell me that you “get” them. They love being in your class because they feel successful, safe, and valued.
It’s clear that you’re open to meeting the needs of students with LD in your class. How did you develop this perspective?
Before I moved to California I taught in an inclusive first grade classroom where about half of the students had an Individualized Education Program (IEP). I co-taught with a special education teacher who’d been teaching for about fifteen years. I didn’t realize how lucky I was. She was incredible and she helped me build a toolbox of strategies for working with every learner. Mostly, teaching there taught me how to have an open mind and think more flexibly. I learned dozens of different ways to adapt my teaching.
This week, I’m excited to share with you two different posts (written by yours truly) on websites other than Bay Tree Blog.
Today’s article is on Adrianne Meldrum’s website, The Tutor House, and features actionable strategies for supporting students with executive functioning weaknesses. The Tutor House is a beautiful site, and if you have a moment, you should check out some of Adrianne’s terrific resources there.
I’ll get you started on today’s article right here, but to finish reading this post, you’ll need to hop over to Adrianne’s blog. Please enjoy!
Why Your Students Can’t Stay Seated, Organized, or Focused (And What To Do About It)
So, your students forget to turn their homework in too?
Mine certainly do.
Maybe you also have students who can’t sit still? Who can’t follow instructions? Who’s backpacks make your recycling bin look organized?
It’s not like your students aren’t capable. They’re bright, imaginative, and kind. Heck, they even fix your pencil sharpener for you!
Despite your best efforts, your students just don’t seem to be getting anywhere.
You might be wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”
If your disorganized, distracted students aren’t making sufficient progress, chances are good they struggle with executive function deficits.
The normal tricks of the trade aren’t going to cut it. You need explicit, strength-based strategies for supporting these different learners.
Do you have students who do their assignments, but can’t remember to turn them in? Or maybe they want to get better test scores, but they can’t seem to initiate studying at home. Maybe they don’t even know what good study habits look like?
Chances are good your students are struggling with executive function.
I have a few of these students myself. As a matter of fact, most of my students have some sort of executive function challenge.
That’s why I’ve created and shared this free workbook of executive function resources. This downloadable PDF has detailed teacher instructions and templates for teaching students to make their own homework plans, organize test preparation, and overcome emotional frustrations.
Welcome to the first episode of The Exceptional Educator!
I’m excited to launch a new format for delivering actionable teaching strategies to learning specialists and parents – the podcast. The Exceptional Educator will feature master teachers, authors, thought-leaders, and researchers for in-depth discussions about the best ways to reach every student in the classroom, regardless of ability or learning difference.
I can’t think of anyone better than my good friend and mentor, Pamm Scribner, to kick off the inaugural episode of the show.
Pamm is a world-class teacher and specialist helping kids with ADHD find success in school and life. Pamm is a Board Certified Educational Therapist, and a certified PEERS Coach through the UCLA PEERS Clinic. She is also an instructor for the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Extension: Educational Therapy Certificate Program and an educational consultant for schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has extensive experience supporting students with executive functioning disorders and assessing and treating learning disabilities. An all-around-good-person and volunteer in her community, Pamm has been an inspiration to me, and I know she’ll inspire you as well. Please enjoy!