December 3, 2015

Multisensory Practice During Winter Break

Of course you want your kids to have time off during Winter Break. But, their brains don’t have to go to mush just because they’re on a break from school. And, you still have to find things for them to do during break to keep them happily occupied.

MultiSensory Learning

Try a few new multisensory practice ideas each day to work on particularly tricky spelling words or math facts with your student. Pick one to three particularly tricky math facts or your child’s personal spelling demons to work on each day. Try lots of different multisensory practice strategies to practice throughout the day. Who knows, you might just find some new practice strategies that work well for your child when they head back to school that will make learning more fun. For all these activities, monitor to make sure your child is practicing with accuracy.

For kinesthetic learners, try practicing spelling words or math facts while jumping on a mini-trampoline, jumping rope, balancing on one foot, or tossing a Koosh ball. Try to keep a balloon aloft and recall one tricky math fact between each time you touch the balloon.

Tap into your child’s craft interests by having them write their spelling word or math fact out in neat large letters on an index card. Then, have them trace over the letters with glue and let it dry to create a smooth raised surface to trace over later. Do it again. But this time, put yarn over the glue for a different surface. Another time, sprinkle on sand or glitter to create a different tactile surface. Once these dry, use them to trace over with their finger for tactile reinforcement on another day.

Tactile learners also do well with tracing the spelling word or math fact on various tactile surfaces with their finger such as carpet, sandpaper, silk, fake fur, corduroy, velvet, their arm or leg, or even the tabletop.

Try building the word or math fact with Wiki Stix. Or, roll ropes of non-air-drying clay, and spell words or build math facts with the clay ropes. Consider modeling the dictionary definition of the word in three dimensions to go along with the clay rope 2D model.

Mental Spelling
For more visual learners, have your child pretend they have a white board just above and in front of their forehead and have them visualize writing their word on their mental white board. Encourage them to use different colors to emphasize particularly tricky parts of the word. Have them spell the word to you reading it off their mental white board. Then have them tell you what specific letters you designate are such as the third letter, or last letter, or middle two letters, or any other part of word by visualizing the spelling on their mental white board. Always end with having them spell through it front to back one final time before they’re done.

Write out the spelling word in large letters and then decorate the word with fun images that provide useful memory hooks.

Create a mini-story that goes along with your math fact and illustrate it.
    In addition to enjoying fun multisensory practice strategies, many online programs such as those offered by Wings to Soar Online Academy in our Custom Path to Success Learning Plans sneak a lot of learning into activities that are actually a lot of fun. Our students enjoy working in programs such as Lexia, Headsprout, and Nessy to build their reading and spelling skills. 

    Sign up for your FREE Just-Right Level Assessments to properly place your student and begin a FREE 2-week trial at


    A very special thanks for this contribution goes to guest blogger, Beth Ellen Nash
    Intervention Specialist with Wings to Soar Online Academy 
    where she helps dyslexics and other 'outside-the-box' learners 
    gain skills and confidence to not just survive 
    but thrive in school and in life.

    December 1, 2015

    Strengthen Skills This Holiday Season

    School breaks are an exciting time for students. Whereas some students end on a high note, others barely survive the semester. The good news: holiday breaks offer low-stakes opportunities to strengthen weak areas and prepare for upcoming challenges.

    Begin with open dialogue.

    To make the most of holiday breaks, begin with open dialogue. Parents find success when they leverage educator knowledge and experience toward improved student achievement. Likewise, educators reap the benefits of sharing performance evaluations and expectations with parents.

    Talking Points for Educators and Parents:
    1. Next semester's big ideas: How will the curriculum unfold in coming months? What are key skills and background knowledge needed to be successful? 
    2. Current semester's challenges: What do progress reports tell us about gaps in knowledge and abilities? How are next semester's learning goals linked to current learning deficits?
    3. Behaviors impacting learning: To a high degree of certainty, behavior effects learners' ability to receive and process information; it also influences assessment results. Take time to explore the how, why, and what that link academic performance and behavior.
    4. Execute a data-driven plan: After gathering information about performance, discuss expectations with learners. Allow them to respond to concerns about academics and behavior; develop a deeper understanding of the challenges your child experiences.
      Don't Practice Until You Get It Right. Practice Until You Can't Get It Wrong.

      Using classroom data to develop and execute a learning plan during school breaks may be a challenge. Jackson Education Support offers customized lessons and assessments based on performance data. When school is out, learning should continue.

      Let us help identify solutions that extend learning during the holiday season. Complete the service form or call 1.601.724.2152 to schedule your free consultation.