Special Exam Conditions for Students With Dyslexia

I recently read the story of a South Australian Year 12 student with dyslexia – a student who had his request for extra time in exams denied by the South Australian Certificate of Education review panel.

I was immediately struck by how common this story is and how easily the boy in this story could have been many of the students that I have come to know.

Despite the prevalence of dyslexia (recent figures estimate that one in twenty individuals are dyslexic), there are still a lot of misconceptions about this disorder and what individuals with dyslexia can and cannot do.

Many people believe that those with dyslexia are completely illiterate and there are even those (educators included) who don’t believe that dyslexia exists at all!

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How to Facilitate Group Work in the Classroom

From early primary school to university, there are many pros and cons of asking students to work in groups. Before you consider asking the students in your class to work together, it’s important to have a careful think as to what your objectives are and whether the children might learn better through a different format.

Below are some ideas to help you better facilitate group work in the classroom and ensure you (and the students!) are getting the most out of the activity…

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Practising maths skills during school holidays

School holidays are all about relaxing, enjoying a well-earned break and having a good time with family and friends.

But, believe it or not, school holidays can also be a great opportunity to practice maths skills with your child. Now I’m not talking about boring drill and practice maths exercises, which will just get your child AND yourself frustrated! I’m talking about making maths fun! 🙂

Here are some great ideas from a school teacher who is also a mathematician – lots of practical and fun activities you and your child will enjoy.

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The Benefits of Outdoor Education for Teenagers: A First-Hand Account

A few years back, I agreed to take on the challenge of acting as leader on an outdoor education trip with a group of Year Nine students. Twelve teenage girls, a trained outdoor education leader, and me. Although I had no formal outdoor education training, I’d always been a fan of camping and was under the perception (misapprehension?) that I was pretty tough. My role was to be the “pastoral care” leader or to play the “big sister” role to this group of teenagers, while the other leader was able to provide them with the practical skills that they would need to survive in the great outdoors.The trip was not your average five day camp. It was 30 days of hiking, biking and kayaking. No showers, no ipods, no phones. Braving the elements and carrying everything on our backs with regular food drops every few days. No contact with home, save for one “letter drop” when the campers would receive correspondence from family and friends at the halfway point of the trip.

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The Curse of Academic Entitlement (And How to Avoid it!)

I came across this article the other day about a concept known as “academic entitlement” and it really struck a chord.

So what does “academic entitlement” mean?

Academic entitlement refers to the tendency of some children to expect good marks and positive feedback for their school work, regardless of the quality of their work or the amount of effort they put in.

Common Responses to Grades

I recall that when I went to school and university (back in the day) there were several common responses that students made when receiving their graded work back (some of these might also sound familiar to you!).

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Education: How Can we Move Forward?

Take a look at this thought provoking talk by educationalist Sir Ken Robinson for the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

He suggests that our education system is based upon the factory production line from the industrial revolution. He argues that this is outdated for the modern child and does not necessarily prepare them for the ever-changing economic climate. Robinson puts forward the idea of waking kids up in the classroom!

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