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New Teaching

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is currently the longest recognized word in English, and if you use root words, it breaks down and self defines. It’s about the pneumonia you get from breathing in tiny glass particles from a volcano. This is a wonderful strategy for not only reading, but for approaching education as a whole.

Educational Psychology is the resulting discipline of understanding assessment results and explaining how we learning. We specialize in putting the pieces together and understanding how a limited working memory may be making longer math problems difficult or how visual-spatial issues makes cause and effect difficult to understand. Being able to know what to do with assessment results is critical. While IEPs find areas of deficit, we take an action based approach. Your child took time to complete those test, so the adults should make time to to put in the same effort to come up with a meaningful plan that creates a purposeful plan for success! We do this by carefully looking at processing abilities and aligning them to academic needs. By piecing the information together, we can work deliberately to achieve results. This is sometimes referred to as educational therapy, but we proudly place it in the forefront of our BRAIN programs.

How is this different from neuro-educational strategies? Well, this is what we actually do! Our research was prompted by a wonderful speech pathologist telling us to teach “transitive verbs first.” (Those are verbs that we use that must have an object). Why is this so important? Well, it requires something observable to be done based upon a student’s thinking. Consider the verb “to carry.” You cannot use it without identifying what to carry. “Carry the bag of groceries” makes sense while “You carry” does not. Other verbs are met with minimal thinking and are typically based in habit, like “eat” and “sit” (these are intransitive verbs, if you were wondering). This led us to the wonderful understanding and appreciation of processed based learning!

Process based learning is as simple as “show me 3×4” rather than “What is 3×4?” The former requires an explanation, with modeling, rather than the rote response as required by the later. Memorizing is hard. That’s not to say we don’t want to build fluency and automaticity, but we don’t learn by memorizing. We learn by trial and error. Which is a process.

We also build instruction through the remediation of specific processing needs, essential to neuro-placidity. Why let a child struggle with their visual perceptual skills when we can improve them through game like activities or with the help of our local Developmental Optometrist? By improving the processing, we can help improve the actual process of learning rather than just continuing to support a deficit. We also have strategies for working memory, language, and more, but we’ll follow up with those later.

We’re a big fan of educational kinesiology, too. Creating movement rather than just sitting and clicking a mouse. (We’re looking at you, Kahn Academy. Your proof of concept was in the pandemic!)

If you’d like to know more about how we can apply these to your child’s learning, please reach out to us today!

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