Getting the kids to sleep on Christmas Eve

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Setting Smart Goals.

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Having goals plays a large part in how happy (and unhappy ) we are.
When we are successful in achieving or moving towards our goals we are happier.

On the other hand we may feel blocked or stuck and unmotivated to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.
Goals need to be structured much like any project I.e. if you want to paint a room you will have a structure around it , choose the color get the paint, brushes etc prepare the room and so on.

Think about the terms.
1.What is my goal
2.What are the rules for achieving that goal.
3.What skills do I need to achieve my goal?
When a goal is structured in this way it is engaged in differently.
Allow yourself success by setting small achievable goals.A goal can be set on a daily basis.

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Get up ten minutes earlier
  • Make real tea in a tea pot with real tea leafs the ritual is very calming.

Small goals give instant feedback, they lift our mood and have a lasting effect on our lives.
Fiona Phelan 085 1445494

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THIRTY WAYS TO HELP CHILDREN WITH WRITING

1 Teach them how to mind map and brainstorm ideas for a story. Model it for them. You do the spider’s legs and write their ideas for them. This releases the strain of putting words on paper. Each leg becomes a sentence – later a paragraph. They choose the order.

2 Let them dictate a story or the answers to homework and you write them down. The children can then copy them. This is NOT cheating. They are the child’s ideas.

3 When they have dictated their thoughts to you. Read it back to them but get them to follow your finger as you run it under the words. Do this once or twice. Then get them to read it WITH YOU. Only when you are sure they will succeed should you get them to read it alone.

4 Play consequences. Each person…

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Christmas Cocoa Kit

Great idea, this would make a great gift.

Who doesn’t like chocolate!

 

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TheRoomMom

I donated to the teacher gift fund, so my children’s classroom teachers will be getting a group gift card from the class for the holidays, but I always like to send in a little something extra and personal.

This year’s Christmas teacher sirsee is a Cocoa Kit. I am not sure why I like “kits” so much (in the past year we have given Ice Cream Sundae Kits and Teacher Emergency Kits), but this kit is something the teachers can use at school or share with family at home. I should be able to create an assembly line in my kitchen and pack them up pretty quickly. I am going to make extra to take with us as hostess gifts to holiday parties or to give as gifts to friends and co-workers. What are other festive sirsees to give this holiday season?

The Cocoa Mix: Click here for the 

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Why Dyslexic Children Struggle to Read

Very interesting worth the read!

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Clonlara School

Written by David Morgan, a Clonlara School guest blogger affiliated with Easyread.com (***Clonlara School does not endorse or recommend any product/service in connection with this author***)

It is estimated that up to 10% of the general population struggles with dyslexia. Some studies call that a conservative estimate, with many more people struggling to read and spell.

What’s going on in the brain that causes this difficulty?

First we have to understand what we mean by dyslexia. Dyslexia is a term that defines a type of brain. The dyslexic brain has a combination of strengths and weaknesses, just like a conventional brain. This specific brain type often gives the dyslexic great visual-spatial abilities, but also tends to lead towards reading and spelling difficulty.

The neurology of the reading process can reveal areas of weakness for dyslexics. By understanding the neurological processes at work, it is easier to find a solution to…

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Hearing Your Child Read

For an ‘untrained’ parent, hearing your child read can be a very frustrating experience.

Reading with your child at home can easily become very stressful if it is not handled correctly. It can cause great frustration if you feel that your child is not learning to read as fast as you expect, or if you have discovered that your child is dyslexic. This article will set out some guidelines which have proved extremely helpful to many parents.

The first point is to realize that reading a book together must be for pleasure, and is not the time to be stopping over difficult words and trying to work out what they say from the sounds of the letters.

If your child cannot read a word within a second or two then use the Golden Rule: just tell them the word and move on with the story. This goes against most parents’ instincts, but is the only way for the two of you to get on with the book and enjoy the story. When you read the book again the following evening, you will find that your child remembers more of the ‘difficult’ words you had to supply, and will improve each evening. The important thing is that your child is learning to be confident that you will always tell them a word which they do not know, and can trust that reading with you will be a pleasurable experience.

Unfortunately, the alternative scenario is all too well-known to us all: your child sees a difficult word, tenses up and makes a frantic effort to work it out. Meanwhile, you also tense up, feeling that your child will never learn to read!

Because of the history of the English spelling system, which has grown from lots of different sources, many words are impossible to work out from the sounds of their letters.

‘Cat’ is straightforward, as are ‘log’, ‘hit’, and ‘get’. But what about words like ‘though’? The spelling has no resemblance to the actual word that we say, and no-one can possibly know what the word says unless they are told. No-one can work out how to read words like ‘said’, ‘early’, ‘was’, ‘phone’ and thousands more from the sounds of their letters. Unfortunately we have inherited a highly irregular spelling system which we are stuck with!

However, with the growing confidence that you will always tell them a word they do not know, children do learn to read. You will notice them using other clues, like the pictures on the page, or guesses from the meaning of the sentence, and it is good to encourage them to use these clues. Provided that they have the opportunity to go over the same book on different evenings, they will gradually come to learn the new words in it, and to enjoy the story – which is what reading is all about!

Another simple method to make things easier is to share the reading with your child: read one sentence each (while still coming in straight away with any difficult words for your child). This will teach your child to look out for the next period/full stop, and will help them get an idea of what a sentence is.

Repetition of the same phrases also helps tremendously in the early stages, when your child knows that the same sentence will be repeated at each stage of the story.

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Is the homework getting lost at home?

Helping Children with Problems Turn In Their Homework

Here are some strategies to help a child who does his or her homework, but doesn’t turn it in:
Walk through the process with the child
Walk through the process with the child. For example:
There are many different ways that someone can get off-track in the process of getting homework from home to the teacher. Talk through the process with the student.
Is the homework getting lost at home? Is the homework getting lost in the bottom of the backpack or the bottom of the locker? Is it in the proper notebook, but forgotten in the process of settling into the classroom?
Once you have identified the sticking point, consider what needs to be added to the routine to get past it.
For those who lose track of homework at home, consider instituting the following routine (from Enabling Disorganized Students to Succeed, by Suzanne Stevens): “Homework is not done until your homework is in its proper folder or notebook, the folders and notebooks are packed into your backpack, and your backpack is on its launching pad.”
Try different ways of organizing homework to find the one that best suits your child. Some students do best with a separate homework folder so that everything that needs to be turned in is organized into one place. Others do better when they organize the homework by subject.
If the teachers have set up a system that does not work for your child, talk with them about allowing alternatives. This can also be done as part of a formal individualized plan, like a 504 plan.
Develop templates of repetitive procedures
Develop templates of repetitive procedures. For example:
Teachers can create a checklist of things to be done upon entering or leaving the classroom.
Parents can create written checklists or photo charts for completing chores, preparing to catch the bus in the morning, gathering necessary stuff for sports practice, etc.
Provide accommodations
Provide accommodations. For example:
Involve your child’s teacher(s) in building in reminders until the desired pattern of behavior (e.g., turning in homework as soon as the student walks into the classroom) becomes a habit.
Teachers understandably balk at the idea of taking on responsibility for your child’s job of turning in his work. However, repeated performance of a behavior is what makes it a habit; once the behavior is automatic, then the burden is lifted from the executive system.
If you help the teacher to see this as a step in the process of building independent skills, with the prospect of fading out the teacher’s prompting, it may encourage the teacher to get on board.
Teach the use of tricks and technology that help compensate for organizational weaknesses
Teach the use of tricks and technology that help compensate for organizational weaknesses. For example:
If the agenda book is the primary organizing tool for tracking assignments, it could also serve as a way to remind the student to turn in assignments.
For example, after completing an assignment, the student could be taught to enter a note into the next day’s assignments block for that subject. Then, at the end of class, when the student enters that night’s homework assignment, he will see the reminder to turn in what is due that day.
Several versions of watches are available that can be set to vibrate and show a reminder phrase at the programmed time.
“Turn in homework” can be a programmed reminder set to go off at the beginning or end of the class period. Cell phones often have an alarm function, as well, that can be set for reminder alarms.
If this trick works for your child, talk to your child’s teachers about allowing cell phones in the classroom for this explicit function only.
When the student prints out an assignment at home, prompt the child to also email it to the teacher and the child’s own web-based email account. Then, if the hard copy is misplaced, the child can print it out during class (with the teacher’s permission) or during free time.
Try this!
Few problems are as frustrating for parents and kids as not receiving credit for homework that was actually completed on time but never turned in!
One tried and true behavioral strategy to remedy this is to link an already established habit to one that your child needs help acquiring.
To illustrate, Ivan is a seventh grader who forgets almost everything – except his peanut butter and jelly sandwich! – when he leaves home in the morning to catch the school bus. With daily reminders from his parents, he puts his homework folder on top of his lunch in the refrigerator before going to bed each school night. Then, putting the folder in his backpack, along with his PB&J, is a “no-brainer.” Ivan not only gets credit for his completed work but also learns how to creatively generate ways to manage his weaknesses.
Reprinted with permission from pp. 170-172 of Late, Lost, and Unprepared by Joyce Cooper-Kahn, Ph.D. & Laurie Dietzel, Ph.D. Published by Woodbine House, 6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817. 800-843-7323 http://www.woodbinehouse.com.

By: Joyce Cooper-Kahn and Laurie Dietzel (2008)

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Bean bag activities

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Bean bags are particularly well adapted for developing the ability to throw and catch objects. Small children and children with motor or visual difficulties can play successfully with a bean bag when it would be impossible for them to play with a ball. The child is able to catch the bean bag by just getting his hand in front of it whereas he has to coordinate his grasp to a much greater extent to catch a ball. If he misses the bean bag, it hits the ground and slides to a stop in a short distance. If he misses the ball, it bounces and rolls and the child has to chase it. Therefore the bean bag is much less frustrating.
1.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and catch it when it comes down.

2.​Throw the bean bag up and make it just touch the ceiling. Then throw it up and make it come as close to the ceiling as you can without touching the ceiling.

3.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your right foot when it comes down.

4.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your left foot when it comes down.

5.​Throw a bean bag up in the air. On the command “right”, “left”, or “both” catch the bean bag with the right hand, the left hand, or both hands.

6.​Throw the bean bag up in the air. When it reaches the top of its trajectory close your eyes. Try to catch the bean bag with your eyes closed. This activity requires the child to visualise the path that the bean bag will follow in its descent and predict where it will fall. This is an important part of his training.

7.​Hold two bean bags, one in each hand. Throw both bean bags in the air simultaneously and catch them when they come back down.

8.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air and catch them with the opposite hands. Catch the bean bag thrown with the right hand in the left hand, and catch the bean bag thrown with the left hand in the right hand.

9.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air and clap a rhythm pattern with hands (clap, clap, clap, pause, clap) before catching the bean bags.

10.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air, clap your hands, slap your legs, then catch the bean bags.

11.​Invent five new patters to clap, slap or stamp while throwing and catching the bean bags.

12.​Keep two bean bags in motion by throwing one up in the air, watching it reach the top of the trajectory, then throwing the other one up and so on.

13.​Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences, for example left –2, right –1. Continue the sequence at least 10 times.

14.​Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences that include left, right and both hands. Left –2, right –1, both -2. Repeat 10 times.

For a how to make bean bags video and downloads with more activities visit my website www.braingymdublin.net click on the red button called Free  christmas gift on the home page to take you to the video and down loads.

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