Students of mine who have great difficulty with algebra have little problem solving the puzzle below, which uses pictures of food instead of standard variables (i.e., x, y, and z). (The solution is at the end of this blog.) Further, two of my current summer students are a 3rd grader and a 4th grader and they can also solve the food puzzle below, even though they are at least two years away from studying algebraic equations in school.
We often think of students who have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), as students who have a learning disability. While it is true that these children may learn differently than others, viewing this difference as a dis-ability is a mistake.
Although school is over, that doesn’t mean the learning needs to or should stop. Keeping your child engaged over the summer and maintaining the momentum and progress made during the school year is one of the most crucial things you can do as a parent of a child with a learning disability.
In “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?,” Frans de Waal discusses how the study of animal cognition is recently breaking free of lumping diverse animals into one category and judging them on one dimension of intelligence. Before this recent shift, researchers would often give the same puzzles to diverse species without any accommodations. For example, chimps easily use long sticks to reach up for elevated food, but elephants do not. Are chimps therefore smarter than elephants? Not if you notice that an elephant does not pick up sticks with the tip of its trunk because the stick would block its nasal passage. Replace the stick with a sturdy box and the elephant will kick the box into position so it can stand on it to retrieve the food.
Teaching isn't easy; it's a challenge for every educator, administrator, and parent out there. The usual difficulties are only compounded when trying to teach a child with a learning disability, or a learning difference. Learning differences not only require us to think about re-framing our approach in the classroom, but also to rethink how parents and school systems play into supporting these children, holistically. When considering the best way to help educate a child with a learning disability, we should consider our schools, teachers, and home environment.
Dyslexia has become the hallmark term for learning disabilities – it’s often mistakenly used to describe any sort of learning issue. Not only is this a false representation of the spectrum of learning disabilities and differences, it also doesn’t do justice to the variety of dyslexia that exists.
Convincing Students to Read More through Independent Reading
“Spy Hacking” Game Brings Algebra to Life
The woodworking course at our school is without a doubt a favorite. The sense of pride that students feel as we all admire and utilize their finished pieces is palpable. While I am certain that each course begins with explanations of how to operate the machinery safely and effectively, it is clear that students dedicate the majority of their class time to measuring, building, and constructing.
The Top 10 Reasons to Send Your Child with Learning Differences to Summer Camp
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, Gladwell makes the case with statistical evidence that the single greatest factor in a child’s academic achievement is not race, socio-economic status, or even IQ scores…but rather the level to which students have a structured academic experience during the summer. Quite simply, students who have regular academic work over the summer – never mind attending a summer program like that offered at Eagle Hill School – achieve academically at a rate that far exceeds their peers. Give your child the opportunity to experience a summer program that balances academic work with a fun camp experience, and you will have truly optimized your child’s academic, physical, and social development leading to profound and lasting positive effects. For students diagnosed with a learning disability, such as dyslexia or ADHD, this additional support can make a tremendous difference during the academic year and long term.