Individualize Instruction: Classroom Modifications

As we know, all kids learn differently. This means individualized instruction with possible classroom modifications. Some are the ‘easy’ kids who want to please, and have the capability to keep their bodies in check. Some kids simply need modifications. Even if this means they are simply sunning extra errands for the teacher so that they can get their wiggles out. I recently came across this video, which so greatly encompasses the students’ needs. It is great what you can learn by simply talking to the students’ needs. It is also great to help them gain some self-prospective on their own needs. This means that every year they can work toward reaching the goal of filling their own needs, so that they can get the most out of the classroom experience to truly learn. Here’s the video with kids who really know themselves well.

Some basis modifications in a classroom can include (but are not limited to):

  • Listing things on the board, so students do not have to remember it all
  • A wiggle seat
  • A phone book on the floor so that they can truly plant their feet on the ground
  • A squishy ball or something to keep their hands busy
  • Not requiring eye-contact but simply modeling
  • Highlighting important information
  • A visual schedule
  • Extra exercise throughout day to get the wiggles out
  • Limitations of distractions
  • Preferred seating (whether closer to the teacher, materials, or off by self)
  • Role-play
  • Communication book home
  • Limit talking-time
  • Be patient
  • Shorter reading/writing assignments
  • Explain why material is important to learn
  • Use large text, braille, sign, whatever the student needs

It is important to individualize the instruction to each kid. No this does not mean redoing the whole lesson, but it does mean taking everyone’s abilities and struggles into account. This also means getting to know the students.

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online learning

Great Online Learning Sites For Kids

There are so many great online learning sites out there for kids. Obviously monitoring is key, as there are more non-friendly kid sites. Here are just a few of the many:

Sparkle Math – It has math games, activities, worksheets, and more. Starting with preschoolers. It also has a special needs kids section.

Funbrain – It has math, reading, and just a section of ‘fun.’ Great for elementary school kids.

Switcheroo Zoo – This is an online source and an app. It is geared more toward the sciences.

Storyline Online – A cute place full of books. Like books that you would check out of a library. A fun different way to get your kid(s) into the classics if they would rather be online instead.

Hour of Code – This site has things like angry birds, but it is also there to get your child engaged in problem solving and learning

ABC ya – For grades pre-k to 5th, this online source has tons of online game. It includes reading, math, strategies, and skills. It will keep your child/student having fun while learning.

Wordle – Make cool shapes out of your favorite words. This is great for practicing spelling and typing. It keeps the creative energy flowing, while also learning some basic skills for reading and writing.

Starfall -An easy go to for early reading. This online site also has other subject areas like math. It is great for basic beginners.great online sites for kids

When looking for a learning site, look for something that’s not cluttered. Little eyes may have issues filtering through all the jargon. Ads are on almost all sites, unless you pay for membership, but look for one that doesn’t have too many. The ads can get confusing to kids and pretty soon, they will have way too many pages open. Think about what your child really likes and search to see if they have a learning site for that. Building on children’s natural interests has so much potential. They might just have a free site that is full of good learning. What is your favorite site for educating your child online?

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State Stack Up in Early Childhood Development

So this is a little late in my plans on posting, but here is an interesting quick find way to examine how your state stacks up in early childhood development. It looks at specific age groups, but ranks states based on the zero to 18 age bracket.

By State Early Childhood DevelopmentIt looks at things like the population in this age group like: childcare, unemployed families, low income levels, screenings, size of babies at birth, immunizations, loss of jobs, reading with children, intervention, and federal care. It also ranks the states with the top 9 being:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Vermont
  3. Iowa
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Minnesota
  6. North Dakota
  7. Connecticut
  8. New Jersey
  9. Virginia

The Last 5 in well-being for children 0-18 are:

46. Arizona
47. Louisianan
48. Nevada
49. New Mexico
50. Mississippi

massachusetts state facts

As you can see, there is also national  numbers on these data. So although Mississippi has a lower population than Massachusetts, it still falls behind in lots of the ares. Some important things to note from looking at these child development fact sheets. Poverty matters. Programs matter. Reading with your children matters. So although some of the information applies directly to the state, it also can be changed by the parent. This means we not only need to elect government officials that fight for this next generation. We also need to help steer the population ourselves.

If you are interested, go check out your states date. There are four pages worth of information, so it’s not only ranking child well-being by state. It is also showing you what these ranks are based on and what we can do better to improve the lives of our children.

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ADHD in the Classroom

Since 1 to 3 students in the average classroom has ADHD, it seemed like some attention should be drawn to it. We typically think of these students as the ones with so much energy, but there are other symptoms both the teacher and the parent can look for. Things like: making careless errors in math and writing, taking longer to read assignments, regularly losing homework, difficulty paying attention, focusing elsewhere when you talk to them, and blurting out answers. There seems to be much controversy now a days if ADHD truly exists or if it is being diagnosed, but what we do know is that it can be seen in a brain scan. Those with ADHD also have the odds stacked against them with 45% being suspended at least one time while in school, 25% having a serious learning disability, and 35% becoming drop outs. It seems imperative that we give them the tools to succeed in school.


Some easy interventions are:

  1. Physical breaks- they might need to sharpen their pencil a couple extra times or run the errands out of the class for the teacher, but their brains literally need the breaks to focus
  2. A timer- they might need to visually see the time they have left
  3. Less math Problems- Once they demonstrate the knowledge, they need to be able to move on to other learning
  4. Recorder for Writing- their brains often work way to fast for their hands and getting those thoughts onto paper can be confusing; they may need tools to simplify the process
  5. Voice to Text Software- another great tool to capture their ideas
  6. Breakdown Steps- If they can focus on one step at a time and know what comes next, they may be more likely to follow through; visuals are key; Something like a timeline can really help them accomplish the task
  7. Consistent Place for Homework- An easy step at home that will let their brains now it’s work time
  8. An Alternative Workstation in the Classroom-  to help with the wiggles and get them refocused; a standing station in  the back may be ideal
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Mental Health in Kids: What to Know

Did you know there is a whole day that focus’ on Mental health in kids? Today, Thursday, May 7, marks the 10th anniversary of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s, SAMHSA, National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day! Each year, more than 1,100 communities and 136 national organizations, including Federal programs, participate in this celebration. It is because mental health starts at birth. Mental health can be impacted by a variety of things, like genetics and environment. Here are some important facts about parents:

mental health

Note that depression is normal, but it can effect your little one’s mental health and overall development so get help. Talk to a doctor about your concerns. It is also normal for kids starting at birth to have social and emotional problems but talk to a doctor. The earlier you can get intervention the better. For these babies and children with behavioral health challenges the extra services and supports available to them can mean a possibility at demonstrating their remarkable resilience. By truly getting everyone healthy, it is possible for the whole family to lead richer, fuller lives.

mental health

These children tend to have:

  • Negative Feelings
  • Perform poorly in school
  • Have a harder time focusing
  • Lower self-worth
  • Later become involved in unhealthy lifestyle decisions.
  • However, when these children receive intervention services, they can learn skills to live a more advantageous life
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