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Teaching Inferences: 7 Fun Ways to Master Implied Meaning

Inferences or an implied hidden meaning is an abstract higher-order language skill that is challenging to teach and tricky for students to master.  For many concrete learners, taking the leap into hidden meanings is both confusing and frustrating.  Most students first come across inferences when reading books, but I like to prepare and teach my students how to make sense of implied meaning through images, metaphors, product names, games, and more.  
7 Fun Strategies that Teach Students How to Uncover Inferences: 1) Review magazine advertisements and search for hidden images and messages that lure buyers to purchase products.  Look at the pictures, words, colors, backgrounds, expressions, layouts, and more.   2) Encourage your students to find their own magazine advertisements.  Ask them to cut out their five favorites and answer the following questions. 1) What are all the hidden messages in each advertisement that helps to sell the product?  2) Can you think of any other hidden message …

Managing Stress and Anxiety in the Classroom Improves Grades

Over the last 20 years as a learning specialist and educational therapist, I have witnessed increasing numbers of students in all age groups struggling with stress and anxiety. What was once a rare referral has become a common complaint that undermines confidence, riddles the mind, and sabotages study skills.  
What is the Culprit Thats Causing Concern and Consternation? There are a number of factors that have led to the rise in classroom angst.   Stress is Passed from Teachers to Students: It’s not uncommon for me to hear from my students that, if they don’t do well on their test, their teachers may get in trouble.  With teachers being held responsible for classroom grades on standardized tests, many are passing on their own worries to their learners.Standardized Assessments are more Prevalent for Students of All Ages: Due to government and state officials seeking accountability for other countries/states boasting better student outcomes, state te…

Processing Speed: 7 Powerful Strategies for Student Success

Dear Friends:  This is my second post on processing speed. Last week, I addressed the definition, causes, assessment options, and revealed 5 ways that a slow processing speed can impact learning. This week, I will discuss 7 power strategies for student success as well as reasonable accommodations in the classroom.

A Quick Review: Processing Speed: The speed at which one makes sense of incoming information from the senses and then generates a response. Tests such as the WISC intelligence test and the Woodcock Johnson IV Test of Cognitive Ability and Test of Oral Language offer subtests that assess some types of processing speed. A slow processing speed can be caused by any of the following: difficulties receiving and perceiving information through the senses, problems making sense of that information in the brain, and/or challenges producing a response or action. A slow processing speed can impact the understanding of oral and written concepts, note taking skills, homework completion, test …