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Showing posts from 2008


Effective transition programs require the childcare center, preschool, parents and school to work in partnership to create the most positive experience for the child when they are moving to a new grade or school. Here are some concept to keep in mind when creating transition programs:

1. The focus should be on creating positive relationships with all stakeholders. Encourage meetings with future teachers, parents and current teachers to develop a plan of transition.

2. Facilitate the child's development as a capable learner who is involved in the process of transition. Take the child to the new environment (not just once) so the child can become familiar with the changes that are occurring.

3. Develop long term transition plans with the intended schools in the neighborhood.

4. Involve a range of stakeholders in the process.

5. The transition should be well planned and evaluated taking into account any special circumstances or strategies the child may need in order to be succ…



The label "inflexible-explosive" child is not a diagnostic term recognized in DSM-IV, the official diagnostic guide for psychiatric disorders. Instead, it is used by Dr. Greene to capture the key features of children who are extremely difficult for parents to manage. According to Dr. Greene, the key features of such children are the following:1. A very limited capacity for flexibility and adaptability and a tendency to become "incoherent" in the midst of severe frustration.These children are much less flexible and adaptable than their peers, become easily overwhelmed by frustration, and are often unable to behave in a logical and rational manner when frustrated. During periods of incoherence, they are not responsive to efforts to reason with them, which may actually make things worse. Dr. Greene refers to these episodes as "meltdowns" and argues that the child has little or no cont…


These are suggestions from Dr. Serena Weider for activities to help a child read and respond to social signals more naturally.

1. Charades based games like: Charades for Kids, Step On It or Kids on Stage.

2. Pretending: Eating, dancing

3. Pantomime Games: Games without words or gestures without words

4. Scavenger Hunts: Use clues that are both verbal and non-verbal: Pointing or using clues as a collaborative method for a team of players.

5. Hide and seek: Where two children work together to find another.

6. Doing real tasks together: Washing the car: What needs to happen first then second...

7. Build from the foundation of the individual child: Not top down. Encourage back and forth interaction that is enticing, warm and pleasurable.

MOTIVATION - Continued

The elements of the model for developing expertise feature five key areas, Metacognition, Knowledge, Motivation, Learning, Thinking (Sternberg, 2005). Each area is fully interactive with influence in either direction. For example, knowledge leads to thinking and further thinking facilitates further knowledge (Sternberg, 2005). At the center of this model is motivation. Without motivaiton all the other key elements would remain static (Sternberg, 2005). Motivation is the driving force for metacognition which triggers learning and thinking which then cycles back to metacognition for review. This cycle demonstrates that the learner who is motivated to seek higher levels of knowledge through increased learning, thinking and metacognition has the ability to go from novice to competent to expert and increase self-efficacy in the particular areas of interest to the learner.
Urdan and Turner (2005) examined the implications for best practice in relation to competence motivation in the c…


School systems have tried to inject billions of dollars into alternative programming to increase academic achievement for defeated and discouraged students (Sagor and Cox, 2004). Sagor and Cox (2004) have stated that little success can be attributed to specific programming and pilot programs designed to help remediate those students experiencing school failure. Why is it so difficult to engage defeated and discouraged learners?

Educators refer to Psychology to investigate those theories that apply to student motivation and behaviour to address students who may be at risk of leaving school early. Many motivational theories can be examined that may be applicable to defeated and discouraged students however one motivational theory that has gained recognition in the past has been developed by Dweck and Elliot (2005) and is referred to as “Acheivement Motivation with Competence as the core” (Dweck and Elliot, 2005: 3).

Dweck and Elliot (2005) explain that the weakness of achievement lit…


The student’s perception of the school's climate and culture is essential for leaders to analyse as it effects the engagement of students. Smyth and Hattam (2002) explored the perceptions of early school leavers in reference to how they perceived administrative power within the schools they resided. The study identified three different themes that emerged as students voiced their opinions; the aggressive, passive or active school culture (Smyth & Hattam, 2002). The aggressive school culture emphasised a “culture of fear”, which brought many school leavers into conflict with the authoritarian style of leadership (Smyth and Hattam, 2002: 383). Students defined the passive school culture as “nice on the outside” but had no idea how to engage the youth of today. The curriculum was boring and was not relevant to youth and their interests (Smyth & Hattam, 2002). The active school culture created environments that worked with their students. Students approached school pers…


Goal setting requires the student to be specific in an action or end (Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 2005). Teaching youth at risk to set goals is beneficial to the outcome of their willingness to stay involved in education. If youth have no goal in mind it is easy to become distracted and confused as to the direction they would like to take. Goals become a guide that facilitates the student to extend himself/herself to greater achievements if they are motivated to do so.

Other key self-regulatory processes are “task strategies” that encourage the student to analyse and identify specific methods for learning or performing a particular task. “Imagery” is a process where students create or recall vivid mental images to assist learning. “Self-monitoring” involves observing and tracking one’s own performance and “self-evaluation” requires the student to make self-judgements. “Environmental structuring” which involves structuring environments for the best learning outcomes, and “adaptive he…


The first step in addressing social compencies for students at risk is to identify their current positive social competencies versus their social incompetencies. Knapczyk & Rodes (1996) state that it is important to ask the question, “What must these students learn to improve their behaviour?” This focuses the student and the teacher on improving the skills the student requires to be successful in achieving their social and academic goals. The requirement then is to define the traits that competent students utilize in order to be successful and lay the foundation for teaching the student the skills they may be lacking (Knapczyk & Rodes, 1996). Initial assessments and observations are required to determine the areas that the intervention needs to target. A well-planned approach and discussions regarding the expectations of the student in a particular environment or setting is essential to developing an appropriate intervention for the individual student (Knapczyk & Rod…


The importance of organization, delivery and time for students to learn specific material is crucial to increasing student engagement in school.

Williams-Bost and Riccomini (2006) have presented 10 principles for implementation of effective instruction to increase engagement for students with disabilities.

1. Active Engagement
The definition of active engagement is the amount of time students are actively engaged in relevant instructional tasks. The amount of time students actively engage can be increased using effective design and delivery of lessons, selection of interesting materials that are culturally relevant and appropriate to the students’ instructional levels, offering a variety of opportunities for student responses and reinforcing class participation.

2. Provide the Experience of Success
Teachers must provide students the opportunity to experience academic success early and regularly. Matching students’ level and task assignments is crucial to providing successful o…

Using O-LADS to Structure a Classroom Discipline Plan

Hello everyone: Hope you all had a wonderful break and are rested up for another year. I thought I would write about a framework for structuring your classroom discipline that may be beneficial at the beginning of the year.

The program developed by Jerry Olsen (1989) is called O-LADS which refers to the following areas:

O - Ownership: Ownership should give your students a sense of security through control or possession of an object or idea. For example, classroom rules can be developed by all in the group, students are responsible to explain the rules to new students or visitors to the classroom, children may be given the opportunity to work on long term projects of their own choosing, contracts or mediational essays can be used to give children ownership of the problem, children are given a role to play in meetings with parents.

L- Limits: Appropriate boundaries must be set using rules, standards, and defining of areas in which the children work. Children are more secure when they…