Friday 31 August 2018

Learning Difference Workshop - The University of Auckland - Part 1

Workshop about
-       Dyslexia
-       Dysbraxia
-       Dyscultia
-       Dysgraphia
-       ADD
-       Audio processing disorder

Don’t focus on WHY they can’t do it, just focus on WHAT they can do.

Learning DIFFERENCES, not learning DIFFICULTIES. Because they CAN learn, just in a different way.

Communication for Learning Success – by Kate de Groot from 'Growing Minds'.
-       - parents can be a wonderful resource to help teachers.
-       - It’s about changing what we do as practitioners, rather than waiting for the child to change. Their brain is wired differently.

What are the needs of the …
-       Teacher?
-       Parent?
-       Child?
What is the shared need?
How does our communication meet the shared need?

Below the line – he, they, them – usually stuff happened in the past
Above the line – I, we – future focused.
We should be aiming (as teachers and educators) for 'Above the Line' thinking, acting and communicating.

Students with learning differences are often misunderstood - for example a student with auditory processing challenges not responding when the teacher asks them to do something, so you growl them and pull them to where you wanted them to go.
He’s not being bad, but you dragging him by the arm makes him feel as if he is bad.

NO SURPRISES POLICY. Communication between parents and teachers should be often and free, small things can be communicated at before/after school pick ups, big things should be a meeting, phone call or email.

Student voice: “Help me see myself as a contributor not a problem.”

At the end of the day – ARE THEY HAPPY AND FULFILLED?

Building positives relationships about proactive things (e.g. sending parents a photo of child being happy at school, successful work completed, video of child in class etc) then builds trust for when Reactive conversations need to happen.

What do we talk about? What do we avoid talking about? (and why?)

Frame negative things in a positive way
I’ve noticed
I’ve tried
I wonder what is next
Or saying to parents – what are you noticing? What are you trying? What do you think is the next step?

Kids with learning differences need concrete beginnings to lessons (paper, pictures, materials). They are in a comfort zone.
When they are expected to do do complex thinking with only auditory instructions… how can we expect them to succeed?


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