Posts in category Blog

Kidsfit’s Action Based Learning at Ja...

by Jonathan Back, Director of Summer Programs We are excited to incorporate a movement based curriculum, Kidsfit’s Action Based Learning (ABL), into our morning Summer Academic Programs and our afternoon Letter Learning Lab.  ABL is a curriculum developed by Jean Blaydes Madigan and Cindy Hess, who readily acknowledge their debt to the research and contributions of many others. For example, according to Dr. Howard Gardner, the author of the Multiple Intelligence Theory, approximately 85% of students rely on kinesthetic experiences to enhance their learning and Dr. Germund Hesslow and his team at Lund University, internationally renown cerebellum researchers, concluded, “…a […]

Book Review: The Highly Sensitive Per...

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You Reviewed by Christine Koslosky This intriguing book was loaned to me by Janus teacher Debbie Staudt, who thought she recognized in it something previously unnoticed or overlooked in some of our students. Dr. Aron defines the trait of HSP partly by defining what it’s not: it’s not shyness. It’s not anxiety. It’s not fearfulness. It’s not high intelligence. It does, however, often co-exist with all the above. It is a personality type that is defined by the following: conscientiousness; carefulness and vigilance; intuition and creativity; ability to spot […]

Categorization & Visualization S...

by Giny Mackey, M.A., CCC-SLP Categorization is an essential skill that is used to organize information and vocabulary in our brains. Think of having a file cabinet or a computer hard drive in your brain in which every word or idea we learn or explore is filed and cross-filed. Then we know where to go to find the information when we need to retrieve it. This skill can be practiced by asking your child to name as many items as they can in a certain group or category: • “What kinds of toppings could we put on a pizza?” or • […]

Stairsteps to Progress – In All...

By Giny Mackey, M.A., CCC-SLP You’ve heard the phrase “one step at a time”?  Skill development in all areas follows this mantra.  Think about the earliest development of your child—motor skills.  He/she had to learn to sit up alone before crawling before standing and before walking.  She/he had to learn to drink before eating pureed food (baby food) before chewing and swallowing whole foods.  You get the idea. Learning independence or the ability to be in control of oneself and our actions also follows a continuum.  Here are some examples: You had to teach your child a routine for getting […]

Sequencing Activities

By Giny Mackey, M.A., CCC-SLP Understanding a sequence of activities, as well as organizing our thoughts and statements into a sequence, is a skill we need to develop so that we can be good story tellers. Without it our stories meander and jump around so that the listener has difficulty following and understanding them. If instructions or directions are organized sequentially, they are much easier to follow. Practice this skill when making something, such as cooking or building or repairing something, or doing household activities by talking about the steps used in the process. When finished, help your child to […]

Transition Portfolio: Preparing Your ...

By Ginger Goudie Much of what we have shared in these articles in about preparing the student to be independent in a post-secondary setting: managing time, making day to day choices, advocating for himself to receive accommodations, following through on the use of supports, etc. One final way of preparing the student to function effectively and independently is to assist him in preparing a “manual” for transition issues. This manual can be a “go-to” for study strategies, a reference for how to carry out certain tasks, a collection of work that can serve as a model to follow, and documentation […]

Making the Right College Choice: Prep...

By Ginger Goudie A quick search on the College Navigator website yielded a list of 412 colleges in Pennsylvania. Where to begin?? This government sponsored website provides information about almost every college in the United States, regardless of affiliation, cost, degrees offered, etc. It provides several questions about school characteristics that guide you to filter your search. The information provided includes courses of study, breakdown of students by gender, race, course of study, time it takes to complete degrees, cost, location, sports, staff/student ratio….. all information that can help a student and family decide if it is a school worth investigating […]

College Accommodations: Preparing You...

By Ginger Goudie One of the large projects of our Senior Transition class is to develop disclosure scripts for seeking accommodations in a variety of settings, including college and work. Each student in the class begins by developing a list of strengths, as well as a graphic organizer that includes areas of difficulty and specific strategies that they use in an academic setting to support themselves in difficult academic tasks. Then, research for reasonable accommodations is completed using the Job Accommodation Network. Finally, this information is used to develop a script for a discussion with Disability Services to request accommodations […]

Survival Skills: Preparing Your Stude...

By Ginger Goudie The college learning environment is vastly different from what most students experience in a high school setting. College texts are written at a higher level, requiring that the student use strategies to identify main idea and key information, think critically about the content, and then apply the information in class discussion or to support a written thesis. College classes meet less frequently, and require more preparation and study outside of class. (A common expectation for typical students is 2 hours of independent work for each hour of class. Many students with learning differences find that more independent […]

Book Review: Daring Greatly by Brené ...

Reviewed by Christine Koslosky Dr. Brené Brown has some pretty daring ideas. Her book takes its name from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, in which the President claimed that it was not the critic who counts, but rather “the man in the arena,” the person who is hands-on in the full battle of life, dirtied with dust and sweat and blood, actually taking risks and living each moment to the fullest.  This is the person who, even if he fails, at least does so while “daring greatly.” And Dr. Brown, through her many years of practice […]