October 2014

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McCoy Educational Consulting, LLC Newsletter 

You may not know what's around the next bend, but one thing's for sure: "The road to success is always under construction." (Lily Tomlin). To ensure a successful journey for your organization, invest in your members through customized professional development, specialized consultation, mentoring, or other activities that directly target the unique needs of your schools. The team at McCoy Educational Consulting, LLC is ready to work with you to create 'Customized Solutions for Real Changes'. Contact us at (603) 490-5874 or [email protected] to discuss how our team can help your school system serve students better.

This month's newsletter includes articles on 'brain-centric' language, non-verbal learning disabilities, encouraging children to cooperate at home, teaching independence and more! Read on and be sure to share the information with employees or colleagues who might find the information beneficial.

Happy Fall from the team at McCoy Educational Consulting, LLC!

Brain-Centric Talk Links Behaviors to Benefits

Grown ups often reference the human body when providing rationales for why children should engage (or stop engaging) in particular behaviors. "Carrots are good for your eyes".  "Milk makes bones strong".  "Exercise helps your muscles become big". These statements are not only based in fact but they also help children understand the benefits of healthy choices for their bodies, such as eschewing French fries in favor of vegetables.  Furthermore, by anchoring behaviors to biology, seemingly unrelated concepts become interconnected in a way that has personal meaning for the child, especially those who want to have good eyes, strong bones, or big muscles.

But what about the child who longs not (only) for bigger muscles but a larger vocabulary or a better understanding of mathematical concepts? 

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Tips for Parents From Teachers: Cooperation in the Home

Argh! You know that feeling: Joey has been redirected for what feels like eighty times in the past ten minutes and he still hasn’t followed through on what you’ve asked him to do. In reality, it’s only been five times, but STILL… Maybe Mrs.Compliance, Joey’s 2nd grade teacher, has some tips…

Good teachers, over time, will develop the proverbial “bag of tricks,” a collection of strategies which help them in the classroom for management, compliance, instruction, etc. These strategies become essential to be able to get the essential job at hand, education and learning, done. However, things can be very different at home. Ms. Compliance cannot go home with Joey, assess the situation, and give his parents strategies that apply to their own situation.

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Meet Sue Drouin, M.S., CCC-SLP

Sue Drouin is a MA & NH licensed, ASHA certified speech and language pathologist in the field for 29 years. Sue has operated a private practice, CommuniK-9, Inc. since 1994 focusing on providing intensive and individualized home, school and community based speech and language therapy, evaluations, and consultations to students, families and educational staff from infants to transitioning young adults.

Her areas of expertise include severe special needs, augmentative-alternative communication, apraxia of speech, developmental disabilities, social-pragmatic disorders, specific language impairments, assistive and iDevice technologies.

Sue is a lifetime learner and keeps her knowledge up to date with the most current treatments, methodologies and best practices for a large variety of communication, language and social disorders, ensuring the best treatment outcomes for her clients.

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Increased Independence for Students is Key to Inclusion and Future Success

The era of accountability in education has focused strongly on academic progress, sometimes at the expense of schools’ efforts to foster the independence that students with disabilities need to flourish in school and in life. Despite the pressure to emphasize academic progress, schools retain the responsibility to adequately address the functional and developmental skills students need to become more independent. Increases in independence facilitate inclusion, build self-efficacy, and promote access to a full range of environments and opportunities. Some schools, however, are struggling to balance the many demands that are placed on them.  How can they work to promote student independence given the complex challenges they face on a daily basis? The answer is not as complicated as it may seem. 

Use these 13 collaborative steps as a guide, and you’ll systematically ‘create luck’ for your students by giving them the independence they need to more successfully access and engage in a broad range of school and life activities. (Exclusive materials, including a PDF document you can distrubute to your staff, available only through this link)! 

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More NVLD Insight from Dr. Ed Jacobs

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.

They can experience enormous difficulties in social interaction and making friends. Academic difficulties arise from their inability to sort out the important from the unimportant information in what they hear and what they read.

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Meaningful Grading Practices for Exceptional and Struggling Learners

Do you feel confident about the way you grade students with atypical learning needs? Most teachers have some difficulty devising ways to grade students with educational disabilities, those who are struggling learners, and those who are still learning the English language.  They want grades to be fair and accurate but are not sure just how to do that.

Grading Exceptional and Struggling Learners, by Lee Ann Jung and Thomas Guskey, is a 'quick read' that offers specific guidance to educators who want grades to be both meaningful and encouraging - even for those really 'tough to grade' students.

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