Tuesday, May 29, 2012

News on Education (and Vegetables) Tweets of the Day (5/29/2012)

Many of today's tweets are very serious. The first one concerns diagnosing autism.

1. 'Families Don't Seek Help for Autism from Pediatricians'


Yes, you are!

 As an educator, I would like to remind that when a student enters school, she has an IEP team, with the medical professional giving input to a group of other professionals: educational psychologists, special education teachers, general education teachers, counselors, and, of course, family members. 

 2. 'How Should Students With Learning Disabilities Be Identified?'


IEP team meeting.

RTI should be only one part of a scientific, strictly administered system of identification for special education needs by educational professionals trained for that specific purpose.

3. 'School Using Shock Therapy Under Fire Yet Again'


This is unbelievable. I cannot accept this method can be legal anywhere in the world.

Cause and effect toys: fun!

4. 'What Works to Prepare Young Children With Disabilities for School?'


The methods described involve giving kids choices and asking them to communicate those choices; making an interesting experience of life for them. This will aid the student's brain development, and increase functionality. Plus, it's fun for everyone to interact.

5. 'Bill Would Pay to Train Teachers of Students With Autism'


This is a great push for general education to have more expertise with all their students. The students on my caseload included two autistic students who mainstreamed all day. Special Academic Instructors collaborated in two of their classes each. More input for general educators in science, social studies, physical education, and electives would be very effective.

6. 'The New Jim Crow'


One of the cutest things I've ever seen.

Sadly, this is a valid article, at least for many families I have serviced. I have taught in areas near State and Federal Prisons, and the families frequently live nearby to visit relatives. Is there racism in the system? Let's self-examine privately, and as educators treat kids in poverty and other adverse circumstances as the worthy students they are. Staff at schools develop their own culture; multiculturalism should be very alive and well. Do we educators need special training to address the stressors of students in poverty and other family difficulties? Yes, we do.

Here is a great idea.


I like the little graphics.

Having a down day? We all do. I once heard a sermon that stated we could use the anagram HALT to see how we were doing when we felt discouraged. H--am I hungry? A--am I angry? L--am I lonely? T--am I tired? Kind of hitting the lower level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, huh?


If we, the educated and employed professionals, have down days when we feel like failures--how must the kids feel? Let's be sure to encourage the kids to view themselves positively. Behavior mod says that we should give eight positive comments to two negatives or correction to keep ballast in a child's mind and soul. Our self-talk should be the same.  

The First Lady's new book.
8. 'The First Lady Cultivates 'American Grown' Gardening'


You go, Michelle! And 'let's move' while we garden.
Mmm, the sweet smell of sage-maybe for Thanksgiving stuffing.




Our school has a garden, and our science teacher (who was voted Teacher of the Year by his colleagues) also held an activity afterschool to show how to grow tomatoes. He gave one plant to each student who attended. How cool to have something real, growing, and tasty. 

A few years back, my Special Day Class for the Severely Handicapped at a middle school had a nice little garden; good exercise, fresh air, and fun cause-and-effect. Well worth the work.

What middle school gardening fun! And there's teacher's bike he rides to school.

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