Month: October 2011

Recent Reporting & Resources on Dyslexia

“Poetry should be a matter of passion, not survival,” writes fellow Rochester, New York native, Philip Schultz. So should schooling. I work with a number of students who bravely face their learning disorders on a daily basis in classrooms and institutions where the ideal of differentiated instruction, the mantra of “all kinds of minds,” and the theory of multiple intelligences have not been fully realized.  Institutional constraints (particularly large class size and reduced  or non-existent funding for appropriate resources), lack of professional development around learning disorders, and systems reluctant to change all contribute to a climate of misunderstanding, resistance, and frustration for students, parents, and teachers.  While media coverage around developmental and learning disorders, including increased visibility of individuals who have managed to succeed both in spite of and as a result of their disorders, may not necessarily result in changes to educational policy or classroom teaching practices, this kind of reporting is important in raising awareness and providing hope to individuals who struggle with cognitive challenges. My Dyslexia: A Poet’s Experience Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Philip Schultz, is …

Materials Management at Home

At-Home Filing To maintain organization in the binder or accordion filer, an at-home filing system is vital.  Students should get in the habit of filing old tests, relevant handouts and notes at the end of a unit in an at-home filer.  This could be a file cabinet or portable file box with hanging files for each subject & manilla folders labeled for each unit. Ultimately, it should be easy to access and kept in the area where a student does his/her work. Developing the habit to clean out the binder after each unit and keeping past unit materials at home will: Help the student stay organized and focused on the most relevant work; Lighten binder load (those binders and books and backpacks are heavy enough!  Students don’t need to drag a whole year’s worth of materials around.) Set the student up for success when he/she has cumulative exams at midterm or end of the year; Reinforce the idea that the student is learning for the long-term, not just for the unit, and that learningis connected.  Many students view learning as …

Binder Systems

There are so many 3-ring binders & filers on the market, it can be challenging to decide what one will be the best fit. If a student decides to use a 3-ring, or is required to do so, then he/she must have a 3-ring hole punch stored inside for ease of filing papers. Many students don’t like 3-ring binders because of that added step of hole punching; thus all the papers collect in the front of the binder. If this remains the case, even with the inclusion of a 3-ring hole punch, and enough practice and assistance to build the habit, then perhaps an accordion style binder is a better solution for organizing work. Traditional 3-Ring Binders Some students like to use the traditional 3-ring binders that do not zip. Some of my students have a 1″ binder for each class, others have 2″-3″ AM and PM binders, and some decide to put all courses in a 3″ binder. The decision to use one of these systems over another is based on how much material a student might receive in …