Tag Archives: Teaching

Blend “Right and Wrong” with Self-Expression and Adventure

Imagine if you as a parent, grandparent or teacher, could enhance confidence and creativity in a child you love by altering one of your small behaviors. Good news! You can do this without stress, strain, or extra money. The key involves allowing the child to work freely in the area of creative expression instead of trying to control the child’s artistic attempts.

The ideas I share today come from courses, books, and most of all — personal experiences. Through the years, I feared that —

  1. When I gave a coloring book to a child, I sent a subtle negative message. The child determined that drawings in a coloring book far surpassed the child’s artistic ability.
  1. With a coloring book, the issue became about coloring within the lines. As a pre-writing activity this promised some benefits toward eye-hand coordination. In the area of creativity, a coloring book became a giant put-down. When I urged a child to accomplish a feat that did not fit the child’s developmental level, I promoted insecurity.

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How Can We Teach Personal Responsibility?

As a mother, a teacher, and now as a grandparent, I realize how much children want and need sensible limits. I also appreciate that the way adults set limits and redirect behaviors makes a big difference. I want my grandchildren to recognize that life works on a system of consequences. Even more important, I want the children to learn ways to manage their own behaviors. Consequences and solutions toward self-management go together.

The last time I wrote about behavior management, I suggested that consequences that make sense to children produce much better results than punishments such as spanking or yelling. Punishments produce resentment. Consequences should connect to behaviors in ways that seem reasonable to the child. A consequence provides a way for a child to learn and take responsibility. The child realizes, “When I do ____, ____ results.” Matching the consequence to the behavior makes the difference. However, solution thinking beats both punishment and consequences. Continue reading

Teaching Phonics

Previous posts about literacy focused on oral reading.  Today’s entry suggests ways to guide children to match the symbols of letters to their “short” sounds.  All ideas in this post come from Project Read.  After taking numerous workshops on various ways to teach phonics, I decided Project Read provided one of the most user-friendly methods to present this aspect of reading.   Continue reading

The Gift of Dyslexia

Amy Campbell, who serves as the school counselor at the Rawson Saunders School for Dyslexia, provides a powerful post about children with dyslexia. I am grateful to Amy for contributing this valuable message. Rawson Saunders School for Dyslexia provides a unique and powerful education for children with special needs.  

Student Empowerment and Dyslexia


Being the counselor at Rawson Saunders, the only full-curriculum school in Central Texas for dyslexic students, has gifted me the opportunity to get up close and personal with dyslexia. It’s impossible to put into words all of the many different dimensions, challenges, and gifts our dyslexic students display and experience, but these student quotes reflect some important ideas and represent perspectives that have been expressed by a large majority of our students. The students at Rawson Saunders have taught me some important things about dyslexia and empowerment. Continue reading

Definition of Dyslexia


The following definition of dyslexia is from the Texas Education Code (state law): “Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.” Broken down, dyslexia is a condition originating before or during birth that makes reading, writing, and spelling difficult to learn. Continue reading

Fluency and Emerging Readers

 The “What is This Word?” Question

When a child is reading orally, the emphasis should remain on fluency and comprehension. Save phonics, vocabulary, and spelling for separate times. The important question is, “What do I do in the middle of reading if a child doesn’t know a word or if the child asks for help?” Continue reading