Cognitive Training for Struggling Learners

Cognitive skills are inborn or innate skills gathering information from the senses: hearing, seeing, touch, smell, and taste and processes this information for knowledge or learning. The primary sources of input or taking in information, for academic purposes, are seeing and hearing. Cognitive skills also determine speed and accuracy in the learning process. For instance, how fluently a child reads and comprehends information seen and heard, or how quick and accurately a child can solve a word math problem. If a child has one or more weak cognitive skills learning is difficult, and the struggle to learn continues. If a child is distracted and cannot give attention to the instruction or task at hand learning will be blocked.

Therefore, it is evident that even one cognitive deficit can stop or hinder learning of any kind. However, the good news is that cognitive skills can be enhanced and developed with systematic training. The process of cognitive development involves neurons or connections in the brain creating branches or offshoots, as cognitive skills begin to grow and develop through stimulation and training an individual’s brain develops in cognitive areas including:

*attention,

*concentration,

* visual and auditory processing,

*long and short-term memory,

*visualization,

*visual memory,

*simultaneous and sequential processing,

* divided attention or ability to perform more than one task at a time

In addition, higher order skills derive from cognitive skills and include:

*logic and reasoning,

*problem solving,

*organizing,

*planning

Cognitive skills training can help any student who:

*works and/or reads slowly,

*cannot remember or recall information,

*cannot follow two or more instructions in succession,

*makes careless mistakes,

*experiences difficulty with letter-sound relationship (phonics)

Some children who struggle to learn make poor grades, but other children struggle to make good grades and keep up with their peers. The question needs to be asked, “Why is learning easier for one child, but difficult for another, when all the other contributing factors are equal and every educational resource is available to them? Cognitive skills deficits is most often the answer. Cognitive functions include how well an individual can:

* attend to information and instruction

* comprehend;

* concentrate on a task;

* follow a series of steps, such as a word math problem; and

* focus and keep attention in the midst of distractions

For instance, Jason and Daniel are 9 years old and in the same fourth grade class. Both students have a good home and opportunities to succeed. Similar characteristics of both children include normal intelligence, good classroom instruction, parental and teacher support, and good health. However, the boys perform extremely different at school.

Jason, is a highly motivated student, but works extra hard to keep his grades up to par with the rest of his class. He sacrifices enjoyable activities and time with friends and family to work hard, just to achieve average grades. At first glance, we would not think of Jason as having a learning disability, but he does. Daniel, wants to succeed as much as Jason. However, Daniel is failing to keep up with his class, lacks motivation, and continues down the road of frustration and failure each day. Which child has the disability Jason or Daniel? Most of us would quickly label Daniel as the child as having the serious learning disability. However, Jason is working extra hard staying one step away from disaster.and Daniel has stopped trying to learn. Both have learning deficits. A child should not be in either of these situations. Learning should and can be an enjoyable experience.

Why It’s Important to Nourish a Child’s Education

Over 2.05 million students are now learning at home instead of in a classroom. The reasons why is a shocking 73% who say they are doing homeschool because they are dissatisfied with how public schools are being ran.

Most parents don’t think twice when August rolls around and it’s time for kids to go back to school. Many parents work during the day, and they have to pay for a babysitter during their work week. I’ve even seen it so bad that a single woman was completely broke after paying her bare minimum bills, the babysitter, and gas. That would definitely be the con in having your children attend public school. Another con would be that you have to worry about bullying. Watching the news every day you’ll see Elementary students shooting up schools and things like that are pretty scary. The biggest pro when it comes to having your child in a public school is the fact that a teacher, who spent many hours in school learning to teach children of that age spent the entire day with your little angels.

Well, what kind of profession will my child go into if they stay at home for school? Will it make them fat and lazy and then I’ll be stuck with a couch potatoes? Statistics say that 17.3% of the men go on to become an accountant or an engineer. 169% shockingly go on to become a professor, doctor, or a lawyer. Yet, according to the natural assessment of children’s education, only 13% of public school students are proficient in U.S. History. That’s odd, isn’t that where we live?

If you come home from work early and usually take a nap before going to get the kids off of the bus you can kiss that nap good-bye. If you work at home, like me, and you take the kids up to the bus stop and then come back home and take a nap, you can kiss those naps good-bye. One of my favorite pros about homeschooling is the fact there are no more early morning rushing around. Do you remember these,

“Come on guys, you’re going to be late. Get up!”

“Your breakfast is getting cold.”

What do you mean you can’t find half of your books? Where did you last have them?”

“You have a test today, and you went out this weekend to have fun, but didn’t stud?”

“You’re grounded”

“You’re grounded”

“Why didn’t you put your clothes that you wanted washed in the washer this weekend until waiting until Monday morning?”

Now, they can go into a quiet room in their pajamas and do their school work.

Have you ever had a student come home and tell you that their teacher is out to get them? That they are giving them bad grades for no reason? Well, guess what with you being the Learning Coach, you want your child to do the best that they’ve done, so you’re not going to let that happen.

Honestly, in my opinion, homeschool and virtual schools are the newest things that are going to take over. Pretty soon, there won’t be many public schools left, except for those parents who’s children are too young to stay home. You get to learn as well.

I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I feel like I’m becoming dumber. When I began helping my 3rd and 5th grader, I was amazed at how much I forgot. This makes me feel better, and when the kids talk to me about what they learned in school that day, instead of pretending like I understand, I can actually talk with them, and we have learning family time.

The last thing I wanted to mention is about projects. How many times have your child brought home a piece of cardboard and said, I have to do a project. “Well, what kind?” You ask them. They look at you with that blank look on their face like you should know this, and say… “I don’t know”. Well, if you read ahead a day or two in their lesson books, you’ll know what they are going to be doing, so there’s going to be no confusion what-so ever. Home schooling, and virtual school is definitely the way to go.

I recently found some really amazing facts that you’d never guess if you didn’t see the proof in front of you. Did you know that homeschoolers are affected by external factors.

New Teacher Tips – How to Use Correct Classroom Color Choices

In fashion, some colors are always in style. Other colors come and go. The color of a classroom can greatly affect students and how well they absorb material or, to put it in a nutshell – their learning. Past and ongoing research corroborates the fact that certain lighter colors are more preferable than particular darker colors.

Sinofsky and Knirck (1981) found that color affect student attitudes, behaviors and learning. Among their previous research, they include reasons for using brighter colors which can affect a student’s attention span and the student’s and teacher’s sense of time.

Use Light Green Colors as opposed to Bolder Ones

In nature, green reappears in spring, after a dull and colorless winter. But during the dormant winter months in the classroom, a light shade of warm teal green is reenergizing and acts as a gentle reminder of spring to come, making the middle semester (the coldest one) more bearable, interesting and creates a calm learning atmosphere. It can also filter negativity, put the students and teachers at ease and into a positive state of mind.

Another Effective Light Color – Blue

Blue is the color of water and the sea and it represents life. For this reason, lighter shades of blue help calm students especially those with ADHD and ADD. It can also reduce the number of behavior outbursts and discipline problems facilitating perhaps with classroom management on a creative level.

In the Western culture, blue symbolizes loyalty and authority while it also symbolizes strength and power in the Eastern culture. These are qualities which students want to feel the teachers have on a global level.

Other classroom research findings:

  1. Bross and Jackson (1981) declared that colors liked by students influenced their muscular tension and motor control (Poyser, 1983)
  2. Colors can also affect memory and the brain’s capacity to retain more information.
  3. Wohlfarth (1986) and Sydoriak (1987) associated warm colors with slight elevations in blood pressure in children while cooler colors caused slight drops in blood pressure (Hathaway, 1988).

Over to You – Making Correct Classroom Color Choices

Take inventory of your students at the beginning of the year. It would make sense to gather as much information as you can about your students, making notes on the behaviorial limitations, special learning needs and other learning styles. in light of this, see if you can paint the classroom a lighter shade of green and blue. Compare the differences in the students learning. How have they changed?

Works Cited

Hathaway, W.E. (1988). Educational facilities: Neutral with respect to learning and human performance. CEFPI Journal, 26(4), 8-12.

Poyser, L.R. (1983). An examination of the classroom physical environment. South Bend: Indiana University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. ED251954).

Sinofsky, E.R. & Knirck, F.G. (1981). Choose the right color for your learning style. Instructional Innovator, 26(3), 17-19.

Critical Chinking: Does The Education System Turn People Into Narcissists?

In the past, there were only a small percentage of people who went to university and only a few subjects were taught. Nowadays, it is often a case of who hasn’t been and numerous subjects are now taught at these institutions.

One way of looking at this would be to say that it is a good thing as more people now have the opportunity to take part in higher education. What have also played a part in this are the loans that are available.

The Ideal Preparation

So, when someone is able to spend a few years at university, it will give them the tools that they need to make it in life. While they are there, they are likely to find that they are all kinds of resources at their finger tips.

There will be lecturers who will know all kinds of things, an endless amount of books and they will have the chance to form connections with people that could last a lifetime. In addition to this, they will be able to learn something that will allow them to make a living once their time there comes to an end.

A Different Outcome

At the same time, this might not be the case if they end up with a degree that is not very marketable. Now, this may have been something that they found interesting, but it might not be of interest to a lot of people.

If one didn’t think about this right at the beginning, they could end up experiencing a fair amount of anger and frustration. They may even go into victim mode and end up blaming other people for a choice that they themselves made.

A Grey Area

Going to university is then by no means a guarantee that someone will be able to step into a job once they leave. If they chose to enrol in a degree that interested employers or could be used to start up a business, it would be different.

One would then have two things in mind when they enrolled; to do something that they would enjoy and to do something that would actually allow them to earn a living. It may have been more enjoyable for them to study something else, but it wouldn’t have served them in the long run.

Smooth Transition

If they did do something that would allow them to earn a living, their time at university could soon be followed by full time employment. It might take them a while to readjust to the ‘real world’ but it should happen soon enough.

It will probably take a little while longer if someone studied something that wasn’t very marketable. Still, they could always do a bit of travelling in the meantime or look into doing a short course on something else.

A Challenging Time

Then again, regardless of what someone studied while they were in higher education and what they end up doing now that that stage of their life has come to an end, it could be incredibly difficult for them to adapt. What this could basically show is that they were comfortable there and were rarely challenged.

For example, perhaps this was a university where people practically had to walk on eggshells to avoid offending others. It would then have been normal for one to only be exposed to things that didn’t offend them.

The Centre of the Universe

Through spending a number of years in an environment like this, along with that took place before they even got there, it would have meant that they were protected from reality. Indirectly, they would have been conditioned to believe that they could define what they are exposed to.

It is then not that they are just another human being on the planet and have to put up with things they don’t like; no, they are so important that they can decide what another person can or can’t do or say. This will then have been a time when their ego was strengthened, with them developing a false sense of importance in the process.

A New Purpose

Ergo, instead of being prepared for the real world during their time in higher education, the complete opposite will have taken place. It might then be more accurate to describe it as lower education as they would have regressed, not progressed.

This should have been somewhere they were exposed to different views, to be able to grow and develop. After all, a big part of education is to teach people how to think, not what to think.

Two Extremes

When they were studying, then, it would have been as though they were in one world and, now that they have left, it will be as though they are in another. One world would have treated them as though they were the centre of the universe, the other will treat them as though they are just another human being.

It is then not going to be a surprise for them to struggle in the real world; a world where their feelings are generally not going to be seen as being important. Along with this, they are also going to struggle if they want other people to use a special pronoun.

Conclusion

The education system is supposed to expand people’s minds and to prepare them for the real world, not to treat them like toddlers. Yet, as people’s feelings are often seen as more important than the truth, it shows how far so many of these institutions have fallen.

If someone can’t handle their emotions and they are not willing to be exposed to different views, the last place they should be is at university. In many ways, this is the equivalent of ice being put in an oven, it just doesn’t belong there.

One also has to wonder if there is a hidden agenda here, with the establishment wanting to get as many people as they can into these places to dumb society down. But, as it is being done in so-called higher education, this ends up going unnoticed.

The outcome is that so many people end up being completely indoctrinated by the system, only to see themselves as being informed or “woke”. These people are then not only going to be unaware of the fact that that their mind has been hijacked, they are also going to be knee-deep in debt – the perfect slaves.