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MORE NVLD Insight from Dr. Ed Jacobs

  • Posted on: 17 September 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

I was so taken by the response that I received on my last column, which was about children with nonverbal learning disabilities, that I thought there might be an interest in more information on the subject. As I said in my last column, children with NVLD have strong verbal abilities and significantly weak visual-spatial abilities, which makes it difficult for them to organize their thoughts, understand the main ideas in what they read, and interpret and respond to social cues. They are often clumsy or have poor fine motor control, which shows up as poor handwriting.

Stop Spinning Your Wheels: SLIMM Book Review

  • Posted on: 25 August 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

Do you feel like your school is working on the same things year after year with very little discernable progress or improvement? Is the question, "What's the process for that?" often answered with shrugs or "I think Mrs. Smith does a good job with that... why don't you go and ask her?" Do new teachers have to learn most of the expected practices in your school through teachers' room talk? If so, your school is not unusual.

Tips for Parents From Teachers: Strengthening the Parent-Child Bond

  • Posted on: 25 August 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

Has this every happened to you? It’s conference time and you are meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Concerned. You are prepared to review the current report card and discuss Johnny’s many classroom successes and what he needs to work on. The conversation begins to take a turn where the parents want to discuss other issues that Johnny is having, mainly at home: squabbles with siblings, losing his toys, etc.

Why So Many OT Referrals for Written Expression in the Schools?

  • Posted on: 17 August 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

As a practicing occupational therapist of 30 years, I have seen the number of referrals for O.T. in the public schools increase, especially in the area of written expression.   Thirty years ago only the most severely handicapped children were serviced by O.T.  Now O.T. services are provided to a much wider developmental range, and especially to children struggling with written expression.   What has changed?

NVLD Insight from Dr. Ed Jacobs

  • Posted on: 10 August 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

Paul wanted nothing more than to have a friend. He tried to talk to the kids who shared his table in his third grade class, but he rarely “got” their jokes, and he pretended to laugh when they all started giggling together. No matter how hard he tried to fit in, they never invited him to play at recess. He became frustrated and angry, which he expressed freely at home through tantrums, crying spells, and refusals to do his homework.

Schools Shape the Future

  • Posted on: 6 August 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

"There can be no failure for a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self-respect, or his self-confidence" Orison Swett Marden

The recent and continuing emphasis on raising academic test scores is not bad in itself, but it may ultimately turn out to be detrimental if it squelches or pushes aside the role that schools can and should play in helping to make the world a better place - now and in the future.

Build Followers, Not Fear

  • Posted on: 19 May 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

One of my favorite authors, Thomas Sergiovanni, wrote about the concept of 'followership'. He expressed the idea that without followers, there are no leaders. This begs the question, 'What is a follower?' From my perspective (and in the context of education), followers are professionals who think critically and choose to align themselves with a leader in order to fulfill a mutual cause or achieve a collective goal. Well, the age of accountability has been really hard on followers... the people who do the real work of educating our students.

Join DISES for an International Perspective!

  • Posted on: 19 May 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy
Join DISES

Have you ever wanted to learn more about special education and related services in other countries? Do you wish to communicate and collaborate with professionals across the globe who are working to better serve students with exceptional education needs? Well, if we don't 'reach out', then we will 'miss out'. While the challenges in our own communities will always demand our time and attention, we can learn and benefit so much by establishing communication and relationships with others around the world.

ONE BOOK for Summer Reading!

  • Posted on: 19 May 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy
Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn

In terms of this year's summer reading, Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn is a clear winner! Don't end your summer with a long list of books that you 'didn't get to'. Instead, focus your reading on one phenomenal book, and broaden your perspectives on teaching and learning in the context of current research.  This book is guaranteed to make you think more deeply about practices in your organization, and will make you a stronger educator, leader, mentor or consultant.

Ten Important Assumptions About Curriculum!

  • Posted on: 9 May 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

Assumptions are the things you believe to be true…and we all have them. They can change and evolve, become refined or rigid. They can blind us, or increase our resolve. Our assumptions are informed by our unique layers of life experience and learning. They are the lenses through which we view every situation, make every decision, take every action, and form every reaction.

While schools are expected and legally obliged to serve many purposes, my central assumption is:

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