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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.


Staff Chat

Brief, informative lessons to share with staff and students.

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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Focus Moves Research by Dr. Amy Spence

Debra Em

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


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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Sometimes it's the easy things...

S'cool Moves

In a new Mayo Clinic study, researchers examined the physical act of reading to see if practicing eye movements in school could lead to better reading fluency. I was pleased to find the following video because in my position as a site literacy coordinator for twelve years, I used the King-Devick Saccadic Eye Movement Test to evaluate if the physical skills of reading were contributing to my students challenges with reading. I found the test to be highly reliable in separating the students with physical challenges from the students who had other issues, such as phonemic awareness or comprehension.

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