Types of Learning

What type of learner is your child? Be in the know about different types of learning and which classrooms are best suited for each type. What is project-based learning? Cooperative Learning? Would your child benefit from a blended learning experience? Explore these teaching techniques and learn how they could improve your child’s performance.
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Updated May 11, 2017 |
Does Your High-Schooler Have Executive Functioning Issues?
If your child has trouble planning, organizing, and executing tasks it could be a condition called executive functioning disorder. Keep reading to learn more.

A recent survey shows that as many as 11% of children aged 4 to 17 years old have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. This is a condition defined by an ongoing pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can interfere with the child’s development and daily function. Some of the most common signs of ADHD like hyperactivity and impulsivity are easy to identify, but there is another category of symptoms that is often less clear – inattention.

Inattention is more than just having trouble staying on task, however, it has lately been defined more broadly as a pattern of difficulties known as executive function disorder (EFD). Keep reading to learn more about executive functioning issues and how to manage them.

What is Executive Functioning Disorder?

If you think of the human brain like a big company, the executive function of the brain is the CEO. Around the time your child hits puberty, the frontal part in the cortex of his brain matures enough to allow him to perform higher-level tasks – things that the chief executive officer of a company might do. This includes actions like:

  • Analyzing a particular task
  • Planning the steps to complete the task
  • Organizing those steps as needed
  • Developing timeline to complete the task
  • Adjusting or changing the steps as needed to complete the task
  • Completing the task in a timely manner

Executive functioning disorder, or EFD, is a disorder that makes it difficult for a child to organize and control their own behaviors in a way that enables them to complete long-term

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Updated September 10, 2015 |
Co-teaching Offers New Opportunities for Students with Special Needs
Although there are some drawbacks, co-teaching is an effective way to help special education students succeed in mainstream classrooms.
What is co-teaching?
 
Co-teaching is an inclusion education model in which students with special education needs are provided the opportunity to learn in a mainstream classroom with the additional support of a special education teacher who co-teaches with the general education teacher. This model has proven successful in many school districts for several reasons.
Benefits for students with special education requirements
 
First of all, the co-teaching model ensures that students with special needs have access to the general education curriculum. By law students with disabilities must be provided access to learning opportunities that do not restrict their ability to progress in a subject or grade-level. In a co-taught class, special education students have the opportunity to move from modified assignments to typical assignments as they develop skills and confidence. As a result, co-taught special education students are generally more likely to meet grade-level standards.
 
While they have access to the mainstream curriculum, co-taught students also continue to receive specialized instruction. Special education teachers within the mainstream classroom can coach students individually, or in small groups, providing them the additional coaching and guidance necessary for them to complete activities and assignments.
 
Differentiated instruction
 
In addition to in-class support for mainstream assignments, co-taught students also have the opportunity to grow within the curriculum through differentiated instruction. Since there are two teachers in the class, the same material can be taught in two or more different ways. The special education teacher can anticipate student needs and, in planning lessons with the mainstream teacher, prepare
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Updated March 29, 2015 |
Parents’ Guide to Special Education: Rights and Education Plans
Special education law is not easy to decipher, with several regulations that govern special education services for disabled students. In this article, learn about the core components of the laws, rights, and individual education plans that can help create the best public school environment for your child.
If you have a child with special needs, you are no doubt familiar with many of the services and accommodations provided to them by their school. You may also have a clear understanding of some of the laws that guarantee your child the appropriate support services in an educational setting. You are likely also familiar with the time, energy and red tape required to obtain services for your child. It is a complicated process indeed, with many legal underpinnings guiding the development and administration of programs for special needs kids.
 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
 
First passed in 1975 as the Education of Handicapped Children Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as it stands today, is the result of revisions in 1990, 1997 and 2004. Prior to 1975, children with disabilities were either placed in segregated classrooms in public schools or denied access to public education altogether.
Today’s iteration of IDEA includes four parts, including Part B, which outlines the service requirements for children from 3-21 years of age, and Part C, which governs the administration of services to children from birth to 2 years of age. IDEA, among other things, establishes that families have a right to:  
  • A Free and Appropriate Public Education for school-aged children.
  • An Individualized Education Plan for public school students.
  • A consultation with a school professional to determine the level of a disabled child’s needs.
  • Access to early intervention services for infants and toddlers.
  • An Individualized Family Service Plan for infants and toddlers.
IDEA
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Published October 15, 2012 |
Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject.
Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it. 

Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members:
  • gain from each other's efforts. 
  • recognize that all group members share a common fate.
  • know that one's performance is mutually caused by oneself and one's team members. 
  • feel proud and jointly celebrate when a group member is recognized for achievement. 
Why use Cooperative Learning?

Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques:
  • promote student learning and academic achievement
  • increase student retention
  • enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience
  • help students develop skills in oral communication
  • develop students' social skills
  • promote student self-esteem
  • help to promote positive race relations
5 Elements of Cooperative Learning It is only under certain conditions that cooperative efforts may be expected to be more productive than competitive and individualistic efforts.
Those conditions are:

1. Positive Interdependence   (sink or swim together)
  • Each group member's efforts are required and indispensable for group success
  • Each group member has a unique contribution to make to the joint effort because of his or her resources and/or role and task responsibilities
2. Face-to-Face Interaction  (promote
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Updated June 17, 2017 |
Is Your Kinesthetic Child Getting the Right Education?
Learn about the kinesthetic learning style and how public schools can support your child's learning patterns and needs.
Through educational research, today’s teachers know much more about learning styles than their predecessors. Subsequently, public schools are starting to create programs that accommodate different learning styles, with kinesthetic learning coming to the forefront.

Kinesthetic, derived from kinesthesia, refers to one’s movement sense. As a result, a kinesthetic learner is essentially a student who learns most effectively from movement-based or motion-oriented activities. According to experts, kinesthetic learners are typically identified as individuals who demonstrate excellence in areas of sports, dancing, hands on tasks, physical activities and motor skills. 

Due to their unique activity-based learning style, many kinesthetic learners often struggle to remain motionless in a quiet and still classroom. As a result, public school leaders are seeking to implement new and innovative kinesthetic lesson plans.

The Signs and Unique Needs of Kinesthetic Learners
 
According to experts, every child tends to exhibit a certain form of “learning style.” For example, some students are auditory learners, wherein these types of children learn best from oral instructions and verbal commands. Other students are visual learners, who encounter the greatest benefits from pictures, charts, or other forms of sight-based structures. 
 
Among the most common type of learning style among younger children, however, is the kinesthetic style. As kinesthetic learners demonstrate an aptitude for movement-based activities, many children who fall into the kinesthetic category struggle to adhere to the routine and movement-free norms of a typical classroom. As DIR Journal Guides further explains, “People with kinesthetic intelligence behave differently to those that completely follow the norms set by society…They have plenty of physical
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