Category Archives: Cognitive development

Easy Peasy Assessments – either Benchmark or Norm Based

You asked for easy assessments. You don’t want to think through the issues of validity and reliability. Hiring a professional would be great. Well will talk about that later. But what is a TEACHER to do, who has no time but wants to start doing assessments?
I have the answer! Easy assessments for 18 months, 2 years old, 3 year olds, and 4 year olds. Better than others because they include social & character items as well as gross and fine motor skills and other academic readiness items. Only $20.00 for each age, and you may reproduce them for your entire class.
Either mail $20 for each one you select, along with your address and $5.00 for shipping or pay by Paypal.
for toddlers
for 2 year olds
for 3 year olds
for 4 year olds
Now, if you want a norm based assessment, then I can come out to give you Kauffman Kindergarten Readiness assessment for only $30.00 a student. This is a great deal: a scientifically strong test, tailored exactly to the needs of rising 4 year olds, and a fraction of the cost of what a psychologist would charge. Call me to set up a schedule for your graduating 4 year olds or all your school! 512/249-7629 Call now — or email me at info@orgstrat.net

See you at the AAEYC Conference April 10 & 11

I will be speaking on Assessments at the upcoming AEYC Conference, April 10 & 11 at the ACC Eastview campus. Even experienced directors will find it worthwhile to come to hear what I have to say; I won’t say what you have heard over and over from others. Ever wondered  what the difference was between norm based and criterion based? Ever wonder how assessments could be used positively?  Every wonder what all the confusion was around testing? I can answer your questions.  Imagine having a real benefit, head and shoulders above the other centers around for your assessment. Imagine having no worries about your children’s transition to their next school. Imagine having no worries about how you will speak to their parents about this. You do not have to be an AEYC member to come. I will look for you!

Lower SES Students do Better in Private Schools

“Students in the lowest SES quartile who attended a private school in 8th grade were nearly four times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than students from the same quartile who attended a public school.” — Council for American Private Education
This is a significant statement. Students in private school outperform public school — and NOT merely because their parents have higher incomes. It is true that parents’ income correlates with higher grades, but that is not the primary predictive factor. Something else about private school is predictive. Coleman 88 pointed to the expectations of the parents and educators. When one looks further, one sees that religious schools outperform — a counter-intuitive finding. Researchers think this is because all religious schools, regardless of class or mission, all aim at character formation. When adults care about students, expect them to do well, and train them in good character habits, then students excel.
Everyone one of us can implement this in our school. What are your plans this year to include character formation in your curricula or school culture?

New Summer School-Aged Program

Vacation Liberty School, a new program for your elementary aged summer program. It teaches the history of the founding of our nation in an interactive and fun way for ages 5-10, and runs about 20 hours. Founders visit. Games abound. Inspiring and well researched.
This is about 20 hours. Cast normally present every morning in the Austin metro area. They can make flexible arrangements outside the Austin metro area.
Ronda McAuley, from Georgetown, developed this program. 972-467-0516 (apologies, will post URL soon) Suitable for Licensed Centers, for churches, or civic groups.

Detox! Hydrate!

Detoxing, drainage, off loading toxicity is all the rage among the health-interested adults. I am not going to urge you try some de-toxing protocol on children, but I am going to remind that you pay how important it is to allow children enough water. Cutting edge science is pointing to toxicity as a major problem for children! As the weather gets warmer, children need even more hydration, just as we do. Remember that orange juice, pop. and tea do not hydrate. Be sure that the drinks are not heavily loaded with sugar, either. Off-loading too much sugar from a little system puts hydration and detoxifying off balance too. Water is always great. Well, test the water. Be sure it tastes good. Purified, cold water is always good.

Promised list of resources for children's learning problems in Austin now posted.

Here is the promised to post resources in Austin for children with special learning needs .   This is not necessarily an exhaustive list, just the ones I know about. Please be invited to post your favorites too.  I do think every director ought to have a list.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Johnson Center The Johnson Center for Child Health & Development :
www.johnson-center.org/site/contact The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development 1700 Rio Grande Street, Suite 200 Austin, TX 78701 Telephone 512.732.8400 Fax 512.732.8353 (Expensive and have been snooty to me, but I still think they are the best such resource in town for autism.)
ABA – Today there is more than one provider. CARD was the first one.
CARD 9390 Research Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78759 New inquiries: (855) 345-2273   Phone: (512) 330-9520 Fax: (512) 330-9505 Email: info@centerforautism.com   It is clear that some have been helped a great deal by this.
Dr. J. Cunningham – in San Marcos, closed his center.
The Dan Center for Autism Wellness and Recovery www.thedancenterforautism.com One MUST read CAN! Book. It includes scores of refercnes to scientific peer reviewed journals, has fairly precise protocols, and a summary on the back cover that will open your eyes. Your child does not have to have autism. Many children have improved so much that it is possible to say that “they used to have autism.”
I do not recommend “autismspeaks” because I think it is unduly negative, not scientifically informed, and while I do not know for sure about this organization, I do know that some groups that appear to be parent support groups are really marketing arms for large corporations. DAN! has parent training that is scientifically based.
Sensory Integration and Clumsy Child Syndrome (yes that is actually the technical name)
Kathy Nicholson, From the Heart Therapy Center Phone: (512)-306-1707 Fax: (512)-306-7380
Nicki Branch OT moved.
There are other OT s in town.  There is a debate about what discipline should be “treating” SI or even exactly what the problem is, but the OT’s seem to be helping in lots of cases.
Dyslexia
Scottish Rite – free and time tested “language retraining”
Fast4Word, (from Scientific Learning) unduly expensive, phonemic awareness training via computer.  Will help those for whom it is meant. Brain HQ has a similar program out meant for seniors.  Please let me know about competitors.
Pat Sekel is Austin’s top teacher trainer for dyslexia, has a doctorate from UT.
Dr. Swank has a tutoring center and experts say she does voodoo, but if she has good results, you might check out her center.
ADD/ADHD
Oy vey – stop the red dye!!  More than 80 % of people exhibit ADD  symptoms when consuming red dye. There are many more substances that might cause similar problems, but each individual is different.  They work like allergies.
Austin Holistic Healing Center | Natural Hormone Replacement …
www.centerforhealthandhealing.org › … › Detox › Gluten intolerance (Run by Dr. Ted Edwards MD and Dr. Teri Beim, ND)
If you need a very knowledgeable pharmacist, see Tom Schnorr, Apothecary Shoppe, Duval
Autism; ADD/ADHD; G.I.Issues For Kids; … Why should I consider alternative health medicine? … Wellness clinic Services at our Austin location include:
Linda Classen is the educator’s most educated about the field. She knows about the real, if possibly rare, brain dysfunction and how to train teachers and how to deal with public school teachers.
Feingold diet, although much poo-poo-ed does work form many people and has the advantage of a scientific trial for each person. There is no harm in trying and perhaps a great deal of help, so I do not understand the poo-poo.
(There is a lot of disinformation out there.  I urge you to consider  1) the poo-ppo-er’s pecuniary interest 2) real claims of real science rather than standard practice of traditional medicine and 3) a reasonable protocol which should always start with basic health and wellness, and thus education. Anyway, a book is cheaper than a drug.  Start there.)
There are educational resources at People’s Pharmacy

Importance of Play

Here is another article, also urging play over kill-and-drill for preschoolers.
http://braininsights.blogspot.com/2010/08/brain-fact-early-childhood-programs.html
I am for hands-on, but I want to be clear that play is not aimless.  I would not urge aimless, non education  during school.
“Drill and kill” may be correctly labeled. Early childhood educators should be well aware of the importance of play. However, we might make a little balance or clarity by leaving room for directed play. Huh? Okay, what I mean is like in the Montessori Method, the children choose their work, but the environment is prepared. So the children have the delight of play, while they also tend to cover the “learning objectives” that educators might want. And similarly in “emergent curricula” sometimes we have a list of learning objectives promulgated for instance by the state government. So when it is raining, and the children make damns, we might see that as an opportunity to talk about hydoelectric damns. So we are NOT talking about “dry 2D boring stuff” nor are we talking about play as in “go amuse yourself on the tarmac.” Play doesn’t have to be aimless. In good preschools, we do have directed play.
Of course, there should be time for children to really play, really manage their own time, really occassionally be not directed.  This is vital and so rare these days.
 
 

The Importance of Play

Depending upon where you are located, you may have parents who are overly concerned about academic achievment. Pushing two year olds! Spreadsheets for acheivement for children!  Bragging on worksheet! OH MY!
Here is an article I thought you might find helpful, if you are in that neighborhood! http://www.braininsightsonline.com/
How I wish I could convey to all concerned that “playing” with red rods teaches so much more about quantity, and thus math, than a million worksheets!  If we only “allowed” our youngsters the right kind of “play” we would not have droves of remedial math classes in every community college.
A balanced view would be so much healthier than either push or neglect.  Playing in an enriched environment makes cognitive development child’s play.