Where did creativity go?

pediatric profiler pictureAs a child I spent a great deal of time considering the possibilities of the world. I asked “what if” and then followed up with trial and error to achieve what I was working for.

My children and I played “what if” frequently when they were small.  It helped them to think of the world as a place of adventures and creations waiting to be developed.

My grandchildren experience that with their mother, who has a degree in art.

But in my practice, I see too many children who don’t know how to ask “what if” except for fearfully.  They don’t know how to ask with curiosity and anticipation. In school they are presented with worksheet after worksheet.  They are losing recess time to complete these worksheets, sometimes because they can’t get them done fast enough and other times because they need to reach a certain goal of materials covered.

This article on creativity is a major red flag about how the current focus on teaching to the test is causing our children to lose their creativity.  Creativity is so important for innovation and problem solving.  Let’s begin a conversation with “what if” looking at ways to bring creativity back into the classroom and see what that does for test scores.  I am sure it will improve useful life scores when they go to get jobs and start careers.

Give them the skills and time and they can succeed

pediatric profiler pictureI have a colleague in the National Speakers Association who has C4-5 quadriplegia. He has an active speaking career, traveling around the country on his own.  He has had to learn many strategies in order to be independent.  It was not fast or easy.

He filmed himself doing the task of undressing (not to the explicit level so still rated G) to point out what allowing individuals the time and skills could allow them to achieve.

This is a message I would like all of you to consider as you work with your children or your students and feel that time has run out and you can no longer provide the time to get them to the mastery level of a task.  Many of these children can already complete the task but need more time to use their cognitive skills to figure it out.

Here is Chad’s YouTube video.  Let me know what you think.

 

Need a reason not to spank? I have 10!

pediatric profiler pictureI have just found an article that provides 10 reasons why spanking is not effective. The reasons are all well thought out and are backed by the latest research on child development, especially brain development. I would like to hear what you think about the article and also about my insights.

I have it on my curated site of Scoop It.

Why positive behavioral supports work better

pediatric profiler picture

It is refreshing to see that schools are now recognizing that zero tolerance and negative responses to all actions does not allow the student to develop a sense or mastery over their own behaviors.  Students need to know that they are meeting expectations, not to just assume that if they are not being criticized or punished they are doing what the teacher or principal wants.

As a society we need to remember that children and teens don’t have all the answers.  They need to hear often that they are making progress and developing mastery skills.  They are not choosing to do it wrong or to make things worse.  They need us to help them learn the steps to success.

Check out this article about how well positive behavioral supports work.

Classroom sizes and other issues in teaching children

pediatric profiler picturehttp://www.scoop.it/t/developmental-behavioral-challenges-in-children.

I just finished posting an article on Why Smaller is Better: Class Sizes on Scoop It.  I also brought up some other issues that we have to consider when looking at how to best help students.

I look forward to your take on this.

What do you know about gluten?

pediatric profiler pictureGluten Free!  That claim is showing up everywhere, some of which are extremely silly.  I recently saw one listed by a bowl of hard-boiled eggs at a conference breakfast.

Why are we so concerned about gluten?  It has been targeted as a culprit in many disorders, including autism.  But is it getting a bad rap?  Are we substituting one problem for another?

Now we know that people with celiac disease truly need gluten-free diets.  What about others?  Will it help the general population?

I found this article that looks at the myths surrounding gluten.  I hope you find it as useful as I have.

https://www.yahoo.com/health/5-myths-about-the-gluten-free-diet-trend-95211862078.html

Dyslexia and Me: Dyslexia, Self Esteem and Depression

pediatric profiler pictureThis is an important blog to read about Robin Williams.  I have to admit that I did not know that he had dyslexia although I  was well aware that Whoopi Goldberg had it.

It is so important for us to realize that dyslexia and other learning struggles do have an impact on children.  What they don’t need to hear is that they have to work harder and then they will get it.  What they need is for teachers and parents to realize that the “usual” way of teaching them might not be fitting, and to look at other methods which have evidence to back that they help.  The use of multisensory, structured, language-based reading approaches have been around since the 1930′s but most schools still don’t use them, even for the struggling readers. While the most severely impaired students with dyslexia may not make as much progress they still will make more than with the right brained approach of look/memorize, write and rewrite approach. They need to have the left side of their brains activated in order to develop the phonemic and phonologic neural pathways.

I hope that you approach children differently who are struggling with learning after you read this.

Dyslexia and Me: Dyslexia, Self Esteem and Depression.