What Stanfield is Reading and Watching: Special Education News March 2016

Apps for Students With Special Needs: Reading Readiness

Reading readiness refers to the point at which your child or student has reached after completing all the mental building blocks that prepares his/her brain for reading. This means that reading readiness isn’t always reached easily—it takes effort, practice, and exposure to both language and print.

We’re seeing that technology is making huge strides in facilitating reading readiness for special education students. Storytelling, playing games with words, familiarity with letters are all important components that lead to literacy. For students with special needs, technology provides these components to students who struggle with learning and struggle with reading. “Personalization, pacing, and embedded assessment tools are just a part of the success,” says Jayne Clare of Edutopia.

Clare also notes, “In order for children to read, write, and spell, they must be developmentally ready. Some are ready at age four or five, while others may not be ready until years later.”

What are your reading readiness experiences with students with special needs?

Click here to check out the top 7 Reading Readiness Apps for Special Needs Students on Edutopia!

Photo via: via flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Tuesday Share: Love and Autism

“Simply put, love takes many shapes and forms. Yet it is always valid.” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Today’s share is “Love and Autism” from Special Books by Special Kids. SBSK’s creator Christopher Ulmer makes some truly wonderful videos that are very near and dear to our hearts.

Love and AutismNatalie and Nate are both diagnosed with autism. They’ve dated for two years and affectionately refer to each other as Spiderman and Spidergirl. These two lovebirds enjoy singing together and dream of one day getting married.Join me in celebrating Spiderman and Spidergirl’s love.

Posted by Special Books by Special Kids on Monday, March 28, 2016


Motivational Monday

Hermain Cain says “Success is not happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” What do you think? How do you define a successful life? Doing what makes you happy may not be seen as commercially “successful,” but it will certainly help you enjoy life more throughly. Have a great week!


Wednesday Words

Today’s our first installment of ‪#‎WednesdayWords‬ where we share thought-provoking poems: Hands, do what you’re bid: Bring the balloon of the mind That bellies and drags in the wind Into its narrow shed.

That was “The Balloon of the Mind” by W. B. Yeats The poem pulls an effective metaphor of the mind’s expression, and a method of focus.


What Actually Motivates Teens to Do Well in School?

Teens are certainly a vulnerable age group due to their complex emotional and physical changes, and it’s often difficult to get them to do, well, anything. However, new research shows that motivating teens through social emotional learning can improve their level of academic interest.

“But puberty creates a whole new set of elastic neural systems that, when interacting with the already stabilized systems, offers unique windows of opportunity for engagement and experiencing the world around them in multiple ways,” says MindShift’s Emmeline Zhao.

“Adolescence is a perfect storm of opportunities to align these changes in positive ways,” says Ronald Dahl, Community Health and Human Development Professor at UC Berkeley. “Learning, exploration, acquiring skills and habits, intrinsic motivations, attitudes, setting goals and priorities: There’s compelling need for transdisciplinary research to understand unique opportunities for social and emotional learning. But few people do it in fear of these challenges.”
“One way to think about puberty is to think of it as a learning spurt for heartfelt goals.It’s a particularly opportune time to fall in love with learning itself.”
“[Adolescents] are learning about the complex social world they must navigate, including the hierarchies, social rules for gaining acceptance and status, and the mystifying discovery of a sexual self,” Dahl said. “This is a flexible period for goal engagement, and the main part of what’s underneath what we think about setting goals in conscious ways – the bottom-up-based pull to feel motivated toward things.”
“With the feelings that pull you to persevere, maybe [adolescence is] a particularly opportune time to fall in love with learning itself, to love that feeling of exploring,” Dahl said. “There’s a new window to create that ‘Yes!’ feeling.”

Read the rest on KQED’s MindShift: Why Identity and Emotion are Central to Motivating the Teen Brain

Photo via 


Motivational Monday!

Today Chester shares some great advice from a very successful businessman. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone fails. The way you handle each failure speaks volumes. Start your week off right! Do not be afraid to fail.


Language and Disability: How Special Education Terms are Evolving

“It wasn’t that long ago,” says Kristin Gilger, “we were just saying ‘autistic.’ ” But, as medical science and public awareness have advanced, “the language has to evolve too to keep up with that.” Gilger is an associate dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, where the National Center on Disabilities and Journalism has put together a style guide to organize preferred terms and speech.

The style guide aims to clarify terms that are accepted and preferred by individuals with disabilities. When writing about individuals with disabilities, it’s easy to strive to put someone in a category to clarify your writing. But it’s more important to avoid stereotypes or giving offense.

“There is widespread disagreement in the disability community. We’re trying to find the mainstream,” Gilger explained. “We don’t want to be too far behind, or so far ahead that we’re using language people don’t understand.”

Read the rest at NPR’s How the Language of Special Education is Evolving


Motivational Monday!

Today’s motivational Monday quote can be read in a number of ways. If you’re a writer, get out there and write that book you’ve been waiting to see on the shelf! If you see a need for a change, have the strength to create it. Have a great week.


Just for Laughs

Just take this advice and the copier will totally work for you… maybe…


Praise Looks Different for Girls

KQed’s Katrina Schwartz at MindShift reports that praising students may need to be tailored by gender. Research by Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford who has been researching this type of messaging for many years, reveals that praise for intelligence or ability may have the opposite reaction. Check it out:

“My research shows that praise for intelligence or ability backfires,” said Dweck, who co-authored a seminal research paper on the effects of praise on motivation and performance. “What we’ve shown is that when you praise someone, say, ‘You’re smart at this,’ the next time they struggle, they think they’re not. It’s really about praising the process they engage in, not how smart they are or how good they are at it, but taking on difficulty, trying many different strategies, sticking to it and achieving over time.”

But what some might not know is that this paradox is strongest for girls.

Dweck’s research, which focuses on what makes people seek challenging tasks, persist through difficulty and do well over time, has shown that many girls believe their abilities are fixed, that individuals are born with gifts and can’t change. Her research finds that when girls think this way, they often give up, rather than persisting through difficulties. They don’t think they possess the ability to improve, and nowhere is the phenomenon stronger than in math.

“Of all the subjects on earth, people think math is the most fixed,” Dweck said. “It’s a gift, you either have it or you don’t. And that it’s most indicative of your intelligence.” This attitude presents an especially sticky problem to educators working to boost girls’ interest and passion for science, technology, engineering and math – STEM subjects. For many boys, believing math is a fixed ability doesn’t hamper achievement — they just assume they have it, Dweck said. But girls don’t seem to possess that same confidence, and in their efforts to achieve perfection, Dweck’s research shows they shy away from subjects where they might fail.

Read the rest on KQed MindShift!

Photo via KQED.


Motivational Monday!

Check it out—our first Motivational Monday in March. The beginning of a new month is an opportunity to begin something great. Spring is in the air! Have a good week. Stay tuned for more special education news this month.

The Stanfield Way

The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.

Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.

Stanfield Special Education Curriculum

VideoModeling® Programs

VideoModeling® is a ground-breaking teaching concept originated by the James Stanfield Company that’s used in thousands of public and private schools across America and Canada for special education needs.

Read More
Journaling, mediation, and intentional talk aren’t just for adults. 5 ways we can facilitate healthy management of mental health in our children.

James Stanfield Co.

My students were glued to the screen. Love Stanfield’s humor. This is the way to teach social skills.

Susan Simon, Principal

Using Humor to Teach Social Skills

Humor = Retention

We believe you learn best when you laugh. By making the classroom experience more comfortable and enjoyable, humor can make teaching and learning more effective, especially for the K12 segment. At Stanfield, we use humor as an integral part of our curricula.

If you as a speaker don’t help your audience to remember your lessons, then you’re wasting everyone’s time. Humor… can help accomplish that needed retention…

Gean Perret, Screenwriter
Learn more
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