Tips and Tools to Help Your Students -Learning Resources®
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Tips and Tools to Help Your Students in School
By Ellen Metrick, Director of Industry Relations & Partnerships, National Lekotek Center, emetrick@lekotek.org

It’s back to school time and many teachers are getting used to a whole new set of fresh faces. In the first few months, teachers are watching their new classes, listening to comments and input and learning the best ways to work with their new set of students.

Another reality is that there is often unevenness in the classroom and some students may face barriers to getting the most out of their learning experience. Sometimes kids (and teachers) just need a bit of assistance or a creative approach to address academic obstacles, which is a niche Learning Resources has been filling forever 25 years.

By now teachers know their students and can identify what they need, making this a great time to introduce some simple modification techniques to set students up for a great school year.

Here are six areas that can benefit from some educational tools built to play the role of "teacher’s little helper."

1. Focus & Attention
Some kids have a tough time keeping their mind on the work at hand.
MagnaBorders™ and MagnaBorders™ Circles & Stripes Magnetic Frame
Set (LER 3246)
are great tools to create focal points around important
information or topics while students are working on a whiteboard. Whether
the subject is language arts or geography, these products give kids a boost
by framing the key ideas so they know where to direct their attention.

2. Organization
For kids who have trouble organizing themselves and their papers for class, the Organization Station® Pocket Chart (LER 2255) may be just the trick they need to establish a good system to follow. A pocket designated for every student ensures they know where to turn in homework and where to get handouts to take home. It will become their first and last go-to place in class.

3. Sensory Stimulation
When teachers become aware that some kids are visually sensitive, a Light Filter (EI-1231) can work wonders by reducing the glare along with the flutters and flickers from
typical fluorescent lights. Choose between two calming, light-softening
colors whisper white and blue tint.

4. Transitioning
Teachers know all too well that some students have trouble transitioning to
the next activity or class. One secret to making transitions painless for kids
and teachers alike, is to give them signals that are clear, defined, and
colorful. That was the inspiration behind Time Tracker® (LER 6900) and
Magnetic Time Tracker® (LER 6968)
. The more students use these visual
cues, the more relaxed managing time and transitions becomes.

5. Verbal Reinforcement
Teachers cannot be everywhere and some children may need a dash of verbal reinforcement to remember instructions, repeat a fact, or refresh their memory. Talk Point™ (LER 4409) and Talk Block™ (LER 4412) are fun, creative tools to help kids stay on task on their own. Kids love to record and listen back to their own voices which is a good technique for remembering facts and formulas.

6. Interactive & Visual Instruction
Teachers know that if you add visuals and make lessons interactive in some way, learning often follows. That is the logic behind all the popular pocket charts. Whether teaching the alphabet or phonics, these time-proven teaching tools put an element of fun and action into the learning process.

Teachers realize that their task is twofold in children’s lives. One is to prepare students for future academics and the other is to prepare them for life. Providing a child with creative tools to cope with any hindrances to achievements on both fronts motivates many teachers. Learning Resources is privileged to provide props to support them in that role.

This article was written by Ellen Metrick, Director of Industry Relations & Partnerships for the National Lekotek Center. Lekotek, is a not-for-profit and leading authority on toys and play for children with disabilities. Lekotek is dedicated to providing children of all abilities access to the benefits of play experiences. Visit www.ableplay.org for a complete listing of toys for children with special needs. Follow us on Facebook!
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