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Camas, WA 98607

An educational company providing resources for teachers, therapists, and other support staff focusing on collaboration and intervention strategies for preschool and school age students.

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Staff Chat

Brief, informative lessons to share with staff and students.

Hands-on Implementation Project (HIP) Lesson Three: Put the Core in Common Core State Standards

Debra Em

We all know about Common Core State Standards but what I mean by "core" is a wee bit different than what policymakers mean by "core." This lesson includes a demonstration video to use with children in classrooms or clinics, a brief Debinar explaining the theory behind core movement, Minute Moves Core Out The Door Routine, Minute Moves Core On The Floor Routine, and Family Letters to send home in English and Spanish.

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Hands-on Implementation Project (HIP) Lesson Two: Two Halves Make A Whole, The Figure 8

Debra Em

This Staff Chat includes a "Debinar" highlighting why using the Figure 8 is an important strategy for supporting student goals. How does this work? Deborah Sunbeck, Ph.D. provides the evidence base needed to validate using Figure 8s in our daily activities. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor discusses serial and parallel processing information in her Ted talk. I cover this briefly in this video.

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Hands-On Implementation Project (HIP) Lesson One: I Can Calm Myself

Debra Em

If you are new to S'cool Moves and would like more information, view our introductory videos, research, and more. This month, we are focusing on teaching students and staff the I Can Calm Myself poster moves.

In this post, we've included the link to the I Can Calm Myself* routine including "Why it Works" on the back side. For home collaboration, Family Letter #1 in English and Spanish are included to send home as you see fit.

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22 Training Tips To Inspire Your Staff To Implement S'cool Moves: An Interview With Jessica Gilson, DPT

Debra Em

After doing an Online Blended Course with therapists from New Beginnings School in New Jersey, the therapists wanted to share what they had learned with their entire staff. After the therapists completed their staff training, I received an email from Jessica saying how excited she was about the training and that the staff was on board to begin implementing S'cool Moves. Her excitement led me to ask if I could interview her and share how she managed to get an entire staff on board with only a TWO HOUR presentation!

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Collaboration and the Four Big Questions to Ask Yourself

Debra Em

As collaboration becomes the holy grail of excellence in education, the calls and emails I receive highlight the challenges of sorting through education mandates, various intervention frameworks, and a host of bureaucratic processes. Teachers and support staff, wanting to hitch their wagons to best practice collaboration protocol find it difficult to travel through the rocky terrain, prickly brush, and many obstacles that make the journey frustrating and tiring.

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What Have You Come To Teach Me?

Debra Em

In the words of Dr. Carla Hannaford, I repeat her wisdom. When we get children like this who find their way into our pond, we need to ask ourselves,  “What have you come to teach me?” You might discover a profound answer to your question rather than thinking that the frog has hopped into your pond merely to drive you crazy and be the nightmare that keeps you up at night. Thriving when there is a frog in your educational pond takes perseverance. I’d like to think S’cool Moves strategies are designed to assist with turning the frog in your pond into a prince in your classroom.

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Elastigirl: Therapist from New Jersey Finds Her Inner Superhero

Debra Em

This week I received a phone call from a parent who took the time from her busy day just to say thanks for how much S'cool Moves has helped her son. Now wait, don't start thinking I'm Elastigirl, stretching my arm out nice and long so I can pat myself on the back for a job well done. I'm stretching my arm from Washington to New Jersey to pat the occupational therapist on the back who took the brave step forward to integrate her practice with our Reading Moves materials.

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10 Reasons: Insights from Cincinnati Public Schools OT/PT Group

S'cool Moves

I just finished doing three separate training days with a fabulous group of therapists from Cincinnati Public Schools. We had engaging conversations. Many challenges with collaboration surfaced through our discussions. As the final assignment, I asked the therapists to write out their challenges and brainstorm possible solutions. ...I'm sharing their great work with you today.

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Finding a Quiet Place with S’cool Moves

Debra Em

Do you ever feel the need to slip away into some quiet place where you can take a walk in nature or decompress with an activity that helps you regroup? 

This week, I applaud a school in Oregon that is providing a quiet, yet effective space for children to diffuse and regroup when they are struggling to maintain their cool and focus control in the classroom.

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What does “The Worst Song Ever” have to do with collaboration?

Debra Em

I took my daughter and her friend to see Disney on Ice’s Frozen. By now, I think just about everyone knows the chorus line, “Let it go. Let it go . . . the cold never bothered me anyway!” Yes, the song, “Let it Go” was voted the worst song ever by parents because they got so tired of hearing it played over and over and over and over again by their children. Back at the MODA Center in Portland, as the big moment arrived and the long awaited “Let It Go” song was sung to the glee of every child there, my mind (which often goes in directions that no mind should go) started thinking about the theme of the song . . . letting go. When do we let go when it comes to collaborating with others?

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How to Get More F’s in School

Debra Em

Now THAT got your attention, didn’t it? In today’s blog post I’ll be sharing a strategy that is highly effective but also nets you more F’s in school. No, I don’t mean F’s as in the lowest obtainable score one can achieve. I mean F’s as in Fun, Fun, and more Fun. When I interviewed the teams of successful collaborators, the word “fun” was often mentioned, meaning collaboration wasn’t some drawn out, snoozefest where nothing got accomplished and no one agreed on anything. Collaboration was an inspired work of art causing the wheels of instruction to turn smoothly and creating an environment that made the teams want to come to school and hang out with each other. Through collaboration, they put the “F” back into their day . . . Fun! One of the strategies they described, I ended up calling “The One-for-All Strategy.”  In my mind, I could see the Disney Three Musketeers (Mickey, Donald, and Goofy) with their swords held high squealing, “All for Fun and Fun for All!

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Q&A: S'cool Moves and Speech Pathology

Debra Em

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:

I am very interested in using this program but want to get the best "bang for my buck." I am sure some of your resources are better suited for my needs than others. I am also looking for some help getting started with the program.

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Focus Moves Research by Dr. Amy Spence

Debra Em

Okay, yes, oxygen. Maybe a winning lottery ticket, or the missing sock? Something else?

TIME. IT’S ONE THING WE ALL NEED MORE OF ON A DAILY BASIS.

Or, how about the answer to this question: “How do I find the TIME to do S’cool Moves, and how much TIME will it take for me to know if there is change in my students’ behavior or academics?”

Enter Amy Spence, occupational therapist from Dayton, Ohio. Amy’s research study provides some insights to help us answer the TIME question.

Dr. Spence's research results provided evidence-based data showing that doing S’cool Moves activities for 15 minutes per day for 3-4 days a week leads to improvement in on-task classroom behavior in six weeks.

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Evidence-Based Movement in the Classroom

Debra Em

I’ve been connecting with the groups focusing on dyslexia and trying to understand why they have a problem with movement-based learning techniques for children diagnosed with dyslexia. One dyslexia “expert" has gone so far as to call Brain Gym and all movement-based learning programs snake oil.

The reason the dyslexia groups are so opposed to movement-based learning programs is because of the claims many of them make. It is really important that if we advocate for movement in the classroom, we are very clear what type of movement we are advising and not make claims about movement healing dyslexia and other learning challenges.

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