Wiggly Students

If You Want Children to Sit Still, You Have to Let Them Move
Children need to move their bodies in order to be able to stay focused and to learn.  A good thing to remember is that a nerve in the inner ear, called the vestibular nerve, serves to tell the body how upright, aroused, and present to be in direct response to movement. The only way to activate the vestibular nerve so that it can do its job is to move.
Normally, a small amount of movement, like a quick stretch and turn of the head, will make the nerve fire and talk to the muscles.  When children are fidgeting and finding it difficult to stay still, they are unconsciously attempting to activate that nerve in the inner ear to improve their ability to sit up and focus.

Are Your Students in the Just Right State orin a Sensory Needs State? 
When we are forced to sit still for long periods, we are either in one of two states: the just right state, meaning that our bodies can support our ability to stay present by remaining effortlessly aroused and upright, or in a sensory needs state, which means that we cannot attend because our bodies need something to help our brains stay alert and ready to learn.  The just right state doesn't last long when we are forced to sit without moving, unless what is happening in the room is highly interesting and engages our full attention. Attention spans in young children are quite short.  Most of the time, they require constant movement and novelty to stay engaged.
Some children don’t have responsive vestibular nerves.  If a child has had a series of ear infections, for example, and has had tubes placed in his ears, his vestibular nerve may not fire with just a little bit of movement. His vestibular system requires a great deal more intensity before it will respond and tell his muscles to sit up.  This child will have an especially hard time sitting for long periods without being allowed to get up.
How Can I Keep My Classroom


Types of Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities are neurological disorders that affect the brain's ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. 

Dyslexia - A language processing disorder can hinder reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even speaking.

Dyscalculia - Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving math.

Dyspraxia - Dyspraxia, a disorder that affects motor skill development, often coexists with learning disabilities.

Dysgraphia - This LD affects writing and can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting, and putting thoughts on paper. 

Executive Functioning - Many people with LD struggle with executive function, which governs your ability to plan, organize, and manage details.

ADD/ADHD - Although not learning disabilities, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and other disorders are not uncommon among people with LD.

Find out more at NCLD.



Memory Tips for Students

By: Anne Hoover (2009)
As exam time approaches students with learning disabilities often find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of information they need to remember. Teachers wisely tell their students to review in each subject as they go along through the semester.
Research tells us that if we review information within 24 hours of learning it, we are much more likely to remember it in the long run. Well thought out homework is designed with this kind of review in mind. Each student should choose strategies for memorization that fit their own learning styles:



ReadWorks.org is a Common Core aligned website with over 1,000 nonfiction text passages.  The passages are Lexile Leveled and can be searched in a variety of ways, including by skill.  This month, they have special passages related to Thanksgiving.  As a descendant of a Wampanoag chief, I hope you take the time to teach the facts about the First Thanksgiving.  I hope you find this site useful!


Cover Copy Compare

CCC, or Cover Copy Compare is a simple, research-based math computation intervention.  Below is some information from www.InterventionCentral.org regarding the strategy.  Here is a link to make your own CCC intervention sheets.  

When first introducing Cover-Copy-Compare worksheets to the student, the teacher gives the student an index card. The student is directed to look at each correct item (e.g., correctly spelled word, computation problem with solution) on the left side of the page.

The student is instructed to cover the correct model on the left side of the page with an index card and to copy the problem and compute the correct answer in the space on the right side of the sheet. The student then uncovers the correct answer on the left and checks his or her own work.