Problem Solving: At-Home Tips

You’re a parent. You know that, when it comes to your child, one of your major roles, if not the most important role, is “fixer” or “solver of problems.” Especially in the lower and middle grades, children and teens lean on mom and dad for anything and everything. This is, of course, one of the more comforting aspects of childhood—this notion that someone is always right behind you, or beside you, or perhaps even ahead of you paving the way. The key to problem solving for your child is to demonstrate the process of problem solving so that he can begin to anticipate and solve his own problems.

This transition is meant to be a smooth and steady process. Just as you wouldn’t put your child on a bike for the first time and push her off on her own, you wouldn’t abruptly throw 100 percent of the responsibility to solve a problem on your child either. This is where “problem solving training wheels” come into play. Relinquishing control one step at a time allows your child to get a taste of responsibility, self-advocacy, and independence.

So, how can you bring the training-wheel method into your home? Let’s take a look…

Hand over some (most) of the teacher communication. Of course, the amount of responsibility will depend on your child’s age and comfort level with the teacher. Typically, the start of middle school is a prime opportunity for parents to begin to relax on the micromanaging when it comes to teacher communication. Begin by having children handle email correspondence with the teacher when they encounter a problem or question about the classwork or homework. This not only shows children how to correspond or ask clear questions via email, but it reinforces the idea that this is THEIR education—not anyone else’s. Furthermore, teachers greatly appreciate a student’s inquiry because it demonstrates self-advocacy.

Model proactive practices. This not only teaches your child to plan ahead, but it also helps to prevent those last-minute fires that seem to ignite at the worst possible times. Take the almighty ink cartridge, for instance. Waiting until the morning off to print an assignment is just asking for trouble. Instead, help your child by encouraging him to finish assignments in advance so that empty ink cartridges or jammed printers are no longer a possibility. The same goes for projects, field trips, show and tell, etc.—prepare ahead of time to avoid the stress and struggle of unforeseen complications.

Try to avoid interfering with problems in progress (this is not going to be easy…) Again, it’s human nature for parents to want to shield their children from conflict—we’d rather absorb the pain or fix the problem on their behalf. This, however, is not always in the best interest of the child. By swooping in and alleviating the issues for them, children will not learn to manage on their own. Again, this is not to suggest that you leave your child to her own devices when major problems arise; use your judgment to assess how and when your interference is necessary. As difficult as it may be, a “hands-off” approach when dealing with small, day-to-day issues can greatly improve a child’s self-esteem, independence, sense of responsibility, and problem-solving skills.

Instructional Techniques for LD Students


Just like any other student, a student with a learning disability benefits greatly from structured, engaging, individualized instruction. And again, all students, no matter what type of learning obstacle may accompany them, have unique ways of accessing and retaining information. But what specific strategies can foster optimum learning opportunities in the classroom? Well, that depends on your students. Below are numerous strategies to best navigate your inclusion classroom and assist every student in the best way possible.

Present information, assignments, readings, etc. in different ways

Students with learning disabilities sometimes require multiple avenues or scaffolds in order to best access the material. This can mean that, while some students benefit from audible instruction—simply listening to directions—others may need to see instructions written out. A best practice, especially with the technology provided in most classrooms these days, is to provide clear and concise directions both orally and visually. This is achieved by printing individual handouts with directions, or leaving instructions on the Smartboard while students work on the task. Posting directions on the board or at students’ desks also reinforces the process of rereading for clarification. If students have the directions at their fingertips, memory or attention issues are circumvented.

Another beneficial way to present information to students with learning disabilities is to carefully and deliberately model the task or activity. For instance, written and spoken lab directions are helpful for many, but actually seeing the process of measuring, pouring, calculating, etc., may be necessary for students with processing disorders or issues pertaining to executive functioning. Writing assignments should also be modeled for students, as sentence structure, organization, and fluidity are not easily accomplished just by discussing. These, and other high-level thinking skills, require some step-by-step handholding for ALL students.

Furthermore, when creating or modeling different examples, it may be helpful for some students with learning disabilities to see a sample in front of them, not just up on the board. This way, as the teacher is modeling the task, students can follow along closely, taking notes and highlighting as they work.  

Allow students to access readings and class materials in different ways. Again, technology can be a major asset for inclusion classrooms. With the use of laptops, headphones, audio files, etc., students are able to read and write with assistance. Much like many accommodations require, students can listen to texts while following along. They are able to highlight or mark texts digitally using google classroom or other interactive technologies. Students can even complete and submit work without ever having to print or keep track of a tangible document. This can be particularly beneficial for a student with executive functioning issues, where organization can be a real struggle.

Modifications for assessments and assignments are also greatly beneficial. For example, conveying the theme of a novel in paragraph form could be extremely intimidating for many students, especially those with a learning disability involving written language. Since a best practice for teaching is to utilize student choice, why not allow students to represent a theme or other difficult concepts by a different method? Some may thrive by creating a collage or other visual representation, while others may compose a poem or comic strip to convey the theme.

A key to exceptional instruction is to provide students with engaging, individualized means of learning. This not only benefits students with learning disabilities—all students flourish when teachers utilize best practices.  

ADHD for Parents: Looks Can be Deceiving


The Center for Disease Control reports that over 10 percent of children and teens suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Even more shocking, many cases go unreported or are misdiagnosed, providing families with improper information and treatment options. With such a prevalence of attention difficulties among America’s youth, it is no wonder that the disorder can easily be misunderstood or misjudged.

For parents, this unknown or variable aspect of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be frustrating. Since every child is unique, children who suffer from ADHD may exhibit drastically different symptoms from one another. What many parents do not know is that ADHD does not have just one cause, or cure, or treatment. Other prevalent myths about ADHD are listed below, as we seek to understand what this disorder is—and what it is not.

  • Myth #1: ADHD mostly affects children at school. This is simply not the case. Children are often diagnosed once they hit school age, typically around age 6-7. While ADHD is most obvious in school because of the attention needs and self-control that is necessary to complete classroom activities, the disorder is not solely confined within the walls of the school. Any activity or conversation, whether academically-related or not, will be difficult for a child with attention issues. This impulsivity, inattentiveness, or lack of focus can happen anywhere—the car, the house, while having a conversation, or even when playing a game or watching a movie.
  • Myth #2: ADHD reflects a lack of care or eagerness on behalf of the child. Again, this is false. In fact, children with ADHD, when made self-aware of their inattentiveness, work even harder to compensate for the lack of focus. Imagine trying to watch a television show while listening to music using headphones. This is similar to how students feel in a classroom when multiple conversations are occurring at once. The multi-sensory distractions become so overwhelming that tuning out is the only reasonable option.
  • Myth #3: Children will outgrow the attention disorder. Unfortunately, this is not the case either. While children and teens, with appropriate behavioral and/or medical interventions, may better manage their symptoms as time passes, the disorder is never truly absolved
  • Myth #4: ADHD is considered a major roadblock when it comes to success in academia and in the work force. NOT TRUE. While the condition is titled a “deficiency,” ADHD has its own unique set of advantages, as well. If children and young adults learn to channel the disorder properly, the hyperactivity can be transformed into hyper-focus. That said, a person with ADHD may be able to focus on a difficult task for hours on end—determined to finish or solve the problem. ADHD also forces children to be self-sufficient and self-aware. Often times, after managing the disorder in school for a while, children learn to self-check and gauge their own level of attentiveness. They also find it easier to pick themselves up after setbacks or missteps. Similarly, people with ADHD are often forced to think or learn a little differently—their success is determined by the ability to streamline information, block out insignificant details, and question their comprehension of the task. Therefore, a person with ADHD will often hone these practices and exhibit ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness. ADHD should not be seen as a wholly detrimental learning disorder— in fact, people can use the symptoms to their advantage with practice and patience.

ADHD MONTH: Looks can be deceiving


Since the classroom environment lends itself to tasks involving focus, attentiveness, attention to detail, cooperative learning, and time management skills, educators are sometimes the first to notice the growing prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the symptoms that accompany the disorder. More and more children are exhibiting attention issues in and out of the classroom—the CDC reports that over 10 percent of children and teens have ADHD. With this significant percentage of cases comes just as many ways for the disorder to manifest itself—and every child is different.

As educators, we pretty much get a daily bird’s eye view of how each student learns, or struggles to learn. Even so, we occasionally (and inadvertently) forget that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can reveal itself in drastically different ways. On a personal note, just last week, I held a student after class to discuss his constant roaming around the classroom. After asking him to be seated several times during instruction, my patience had admittedly dwindled.

He very calmly and candidly explained that, especially during the long block periods, he finds it difficult to focus while seated at his desk for too long. While this particular student did not show up to my class with documentation of an attention disorder, his need to move, at first misunderstood, is no less legitimate.

As demonstrated above, students with ADHD symptoms can be mistaken as disruptive, disinterested, disorganized, etc. It is important to be mindful of the catalysts to those behaviors—i.e., what do these behaviors truly mean?


When a student’s focus drifts during class or at home, assignments can be left by the wayside, going uncompleted or altogether neglected. Educators need to distinguish the difference between carelessness or disinterest and a student’s tendency to be distracted and drift. An incomplete project or homework assignment does not necessarily signify a lack of attempt. Anything from noise in the classroom to a transition during instruction can deter a student’s focus, making it difficult for him or her to complete the assigned work in the provided block of time. Again, this is not due to laziness or lack of interest.

Group work can also add a layer of difficulty to assignment completion. Students with ADHD can benefit from the conversation and movement that group work provides. However, these components can be just as equally distracting if the group’s conversation shifts off task. The group work can become overwhelming to the point that the student will drift and separate from the group. Again, this is not indicative of the student’s unwillingness to participate.


As in the case of my “wandering student” above, children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often find it beneficial to move about the room. This constant need to move is not only distracting to other students, but may also be seen as an avoidance technique. While this may be true in some cases, most often the student is moving because it helps him to focus or expend any excess energy. Frequent breaks, rotation stations, or standing and working from a clipboard are all methods to help alleviate the need to roam. These small bouts of movement also allow the student to focus.

If a student appears to be reading, doodling, or is otherwise “off task,” it may not be an indication that she is intentionally ignoring instruction or avoiding work. These seemingly defiant behaviors are actually a method of channeling a student’s focus—a self-soothing method, if you will. For some students, especially those with ADHD, putting their hands to work is a way of keeping themselves centered and attentive. A stress ball is also helpful for students whose attention is benefited from multitasking.  

As educators, we need to focus our attention not only on what we are teaching, but also to whom we are teaching. By paying careful attention to the learning needs and styles of our students, we can not only help our easily distracted students to learn more effectively, but also improve the overall learning environment for our entire class.  


Writing a Paragraph: Middle School


Writing is arguably one of the most beneficial skills taught in the academic realm. Since strong writing abilities are valuable in every content area and career down the road, mastery of this skill is essential. As with most undertakings, practice is key to developing a student’s writing—the more a child writes, the better that child will progress as he advances through his education.

For middle school students who have simply scratched the surface of paragraph writing in elementary school, writing takes a rather large leap in the middle grades. The expectation is that students arrive to middle school with a basic grasp of appropriate conventions and sentence structure. However, the concept of writing a thesis statement and supporting that claim with evidence is likely unfamiliar. These terms can be intimidating; however, they are guaranteed to show up in every content, from math and science, to English and history.

Similarly to elementary writing, middle school students need to practice structuring a paragraph concisely and cohesively. While younger students focus on including and organizing each component of the paragraph, middle schoolers begin to synthesize the information and write purposefully. Middle school students should be prompted to pay close attention to the purpose of their paragraph or argument. This is where parents and educators can play an important role. Ask your middle schooler questions like, “Did your paragraph address the question or prompt?” “Did your paragraph have a clear thesis or claim?” “Did you provide evidence or support that clearly connects to and addresses your thesis?”  If these questions prove difficult for your young writer, consider a graphic organizer to help.

Elementary students are not the only writers that benefit from a graphic organizer. Like the cheeseburger method commonly used for K-5 grades, middle schoolers can benefit from an organizer that assists in ensuring that each supporting detail relates directly to the claim. For instance, a commonly used organizer would include the thesis statement, each key detail or piece of evidence in support of the thesis, and a brief analysis of how that support reinforces the claim or thesis.

Many see the graphic organizer as a prewriting strategy, one that must be done prior to constructing the paragraph. However, middle school students can also benefit from using the graphic organizer as a post-writing checklist. This is an opportunity for writers to work backwards and become cognizant editors of their own work. Too often, middle school writers complete a writing task without much revision or editing. Using the graphic organizer as a checklist avoids the issue of missing components in a paragraph. It also forces writers to reread their work, checking for grammatical errors and any issues involving clarity. A tip for parents would be to model the use of a graphic organizer and/or the process of proofreading. Teachers do this on a regular basis, allowing students to follow along as they “think aloud.” As you help your middle schooler with a written paragraph, go through the editing process together verbally. As you read your child’s work, ask questions such as, “Could this sentence be written more concisely?” “Do we have to use this word, or could we find a better replacement?” “Does this sentence make sense here?” “Does the paragraph seem to flow nicely?” These types of questions model the process for young writers—something that they will eventually begin to do on their own.

Writing a Paragraph: Elementary-age


Writing is arguably one of the most beneficial skills taught in the academic realm. Since strong writing abilities are valuable in every content area and career down the road, mastery of this skill is essential. As with most undertakings, practice is key to developing a student’s writingthe more a child writes, the better that child will progress as he advances through his education.

For elementary-aged students, writing a cohesive, organized paragraph is a relatively new concept, one that can be taxing and frustrating in the beginning. Style, conventions, and technique will evolve with time, but structure and organization should be a writing objective from the start. When it comes to helping young writers compose a paragraph, structuring an organized paragraph is best explained simplycomplex writing will come later.

A helpful strategy to prompt organization is to use a visual tool or graphic representation of how a well-organized paragraph should look. Some educators use the cheeseburger method, in which writers structure their paragraphs like a cheeseburger: the top bun is the introduction, the burger patty is the main idea, the toppings provide added detail to the “meat” of the paragraph, and the bottom bun concludes the paragraph. The cheeseburger method allows young writers to see that every part of the cheeseburger or paragraph is essential. It is also a good way to practice peer editing, as students can examine other paragraphs to ensure that their classmates have included enough toppings (detail), a solid patty (main idea), and an obvious top and bottom bun (introduction and conclusion).

Once writers have mastered the concept of the cheeseburger structure, it is time to instruct them on each individual layer. For example, the top bun, or introduction, needs to be enticing enough to get the reader interestedthis is called a “hook” or “attention-grabber.” The meat or main idea of the paragraph needs to stand out. Explain to your writer that you would not want to eat a burger that has a flavorless patty; the burger, or main idea, is the star of the sandwich. Therefore, it often requires the most attention. The purpose of toppings is that they add to the deliciousness of the sandwichtoppings, or details, accompany the flavor of the burger and add crunch, sweetness, tang, or texture to the patty. Finally, students must include a conclusion, which draws the paragraph to an endthis is their bottom bun. Without the bottom bun, the burger seems incomplete or unfinished; the reader is left unsatisfied by the abrupt end to the sandwich and the missing concluding component.

Again, the cheeseburger method is aimed at young writers to help with practicing structure and organization. More developed writing techniques will expand over time with practice and further instruction. For now, parents can help elementary-age children by focusing on the basics when it comes to writing a paragraph. For even more of a visual, parents can search cheeseburger paragraph graphic organizers to print from the computer. These organizers help children visually plan and construct a paragraph, ensuring that each section is represented.  


Back to School


The end of summer and consequential start of the school year is often met with mixed emotions. Gone are the days of waking mid-morning (or even later for some of us); gone is the option to leisurely make our way through the day; and gone are the lazy evenings when the sunset vanishes as slowly as molasses. Say farewell to these luxuries and hello to alarm clocks, swift morning routines, and fully-packed evening schedules. The majority of children eagerly await the more laid back tone that summer provides—adults likely look back in fondness, as well. However, there is much to be said about the positive outlook and “fresh start” mentality that the infamous back-to-school time provides.


For school-aged children, back-to-school time is met with an array of different emotions. Depending on age, temperament, and other circumstances, each child reacts to the start of the school year differently. While some are eager and itching to go back, others are anxious and worried. It is important for parents and teachers to consider that back-to-school jitters can be overwhelming for some, and downright debilitating for others. Children and teens are transitioning abruptly from freedom, leisure, and relaxation to hyper-organized schedules, taxing school work, and the demanding social aspects of the school environment. This quick shift can create stress, sleeplessness, irritability, etc. Therefore, it is the role of the adult to support and motivate their children during the transition back into the school routine. All things considered, kids truly learn how to adapt and juggle this transitional time rather quickly, making it easier as the years progress.


Children are not the only ones put through the ringer at the start of the school year. Parents are tossed back into the demanding routine just as readily as their young learners. With all of the forms, records, supplies, etc., necessary to begin the school year, it is no wonder that parents can also feel the stress. It is important that educators be mindful of the demands put on adults during this time of year. Not only might these parents be dealing with stressed or anxious children, but the role of “organizer” or “manager” now emerges full-force. That said, teachers should aim to be understanding of the “hovering” or apprehensive parent by providing reassurance, support, and guidance, especially when it comes to parents who are just beginning the school process.


Students would be elated to know that their teachers are just as anxious as they are about the start of the school year. Even seasoned veterans describe back-to-school dreams as part of August’s tell-tale signs that summer is coming to a close. Just as children and parents scurry about preparing supplies, books, and schedules, teachers are in the exact same boat. In fact, teachers begin the mad dash long before students have finished their summer vacations. As scary as it may be, especially for the younger children, teachers should remind students that this is a new year for EVERYONE—that we as educators are here to support, inspire, and motivate.  


Ready, Set, GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!! Note taking skills: Part 6 of 6


Note taking is arguably one of the more frustrating aspects of classroom instruction. For many, it requires stamina, both in attentiveness and fine motor abilities. As students get older, note taking becomes both more prevalent and more independent. When post-secondary education comes into play, note-taking skills can truly make or break a lecture, class, or semester. With such an emphasis on this skill, it is a wonder that more secondary schools don’t offer classes on note taking. Whatever the case may be, each learner must adopt his or her own preference when it comes to taking notes in class.

  • The first thing to consider is the different benefits of note taking. For instance, depending on the student and material, notes may be taken to help aid memory, comprehension, organization, or a combination of those skills.


  • When taking notes in order to memorize information, it is important that students spend the time and energy writing only what they do not already know from memory. They can apply your prior knowledge later when studying, but during the class or lecture, they should limit their notes to new information. This not only saves time, but also allows students to focus in on the new or unfamiliar information.


  • Abbreviations are another important aspect of note taking. Again, abbreviating notes can be very individualized. It is important that the note taker stick to a system or style of abbreviating, as to better ensure that the notes will make sense later on. Abbreviations can be done by shortening words, summarizing phrases, or even using symbols in place of text. But remember, an abbreviation is only helpful if it maintains the clarity of the notes.


  • Keep notes organized. This is essential for studying and retaining the information later on. Students may prepare note sections ahead of time so that they can focus primarily on the lecture and less on the set-up of the page. For instance, if their teacher is introducing vocabulary prior to a history lesson, they can set up a section strictly for definitions and then add content notes on a separate page.


  • Put a date on the notes. This way, if there is any confusion when looking back at the notes, students can speak with their teacher or peer about the specific lesson or lecture. Dates also help when taking notes because they allow students to see the progression of the concept, information, or task in a sequential manner.


  • Rewrite notes when necessary. There are a few benefits to this technique. Rewriting not only gives students an opportunity to clean up or organize the material a little better, but it also aids in memorization. Rewriting something, especially if students paraphrase or explain the notes in their own words, allows them to test their knowledge of the material. Simply writing something down doesn’t guarantee comprehension—rephrasing notes allows note takers to break down and articulate the information as they make sense of it.


  • Highlighting is also recommended when rewriting or editing notes. Research indicates a link between color and memory; it also helps to focus students’ attention on the more vital information when studying.


Join us for “Homework. Got an Easy Button?”, a free, highly interactive 60-minute session designed to provide parents with concrete ideas and practical tools to support their student’s study practice at home. For more information, click here:

Looking to empower your child to succeed? Learning Essentials’ Brain Camp teaches students practical step-by-step ways to study, organize, manage time, prepare for tests, and use executive functioning strategies— essential skills for today’s academic environment. Click here to learn more or enroll:


Ready, Set, GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!! Managing long term assignments: Part 5 of 6


As much as some students would like to deny this, the fact is that essays, projects, and long-term assignments are right around the corner. With the start of the school year comes many great things—the opportunity for students to show what they know is one of them, whether they want to admit it or not. One of the more difficult tasks during the school year can be the larger, multi-step assignments that transpire over several weeks. Here are some tried and true tips from an educator to assist with the task of managing long-term assignments.

Plan It Out

Often times, teachers will provide students with a suggested schedule, graphic organizer, or guide for completing the assignment in a manageable and timely fashion. These suggestions often come strongly recommended, whether they are officially deemed as graded checkpoints or not. Since teachers are the ones who have created the assignment to begin with, it is reasonable to expect that they have a solid understanding of how to appropriately plan for such a task. If the teacher has not provided an outline or any sort of mandatory checkpoints, it is strongly recommended that the student map out a personal schedule. This is beneficial in several different ways—it holds the student accountable for each aspect of the task; it allows the student to view the task holistically, while simultaneously grasping the requirements of each portion; and it supports time management and organization.

Ask Questions

If a student is confused about any aspect of the long-term assignment, it is imperative that he ask his teacher for clarification. Playing the guessing game or “winging it” is never recommended. Asking questions immediately sidesteps the issue of having to start over, which saves time and frustration. It also helps the teacher to see the assignment from the student’s perspective, allowing her to provide further instruction or clarification for the class. Asking questions from the start allows the student to fully grasp the objectives of the assignment, thus helping him meet the expectation.

Study the Rubric

A long-term assignment should always be accompanied by a rubric or checklist of some sort. This item indicates how the task is going to be scored or assessed. Students should not only read through, but also look carefully at the rubric to ensure that they have every opportunity to succeed on the assignment. Again, asking questions for clarity is a wonderful way to gain a better understanding of what exactly is required of the student.

Speak to Your Teacher if Falling Behind

Students often forget that teachers were once young learners themselves—we are caring, accommodating, and understanding. We are also in tune with our students’ capabilities. If the task or assignment is truly overwhelming or unmanageable, students should be able to speak openly with the teacher about the difficulties. Of course, be proactive about this discussion. DO NOT wait until the due date to ask for an extension or clarification—this will likely not be met with an obliging response. Speak up as soon as you find yourself in the weeds. This way, your teacher knows that you are not procrastinating—you simply need some assistance.  

Join us for “Homework. Got an Easy Button?”, a free, highly interactive 60-minute session designed to provide parents with concrete ideas and practical tools to support their student’s study practice at home. For more information, click here:

Looking to empower your child to succeed? Learning Essentials’ Brain Camp teaches students practical step-by-step ways to study, organize, manage time, prepare for tests, and use executive functioning strategies— essential skills for today’s academic environment. Click here to learn more or enroll:


Ready, Set, GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!! Learning Styles and Techniques: Part 4 of 6


When it comes to learning strategies, styles, and techniques, learning cannot be explained as a “one size fits all” method. As much as we are told that there are kinesthetic, auditory, visual, and read/write learners, learning processes and preferences are truly more complex than these labels. While there are truths to the different categories of learners, we cannot assume that each young learner fits perfectly and fixedly into one specific category. In fact, depending on a learner’s strengths and weaknesses, he or she will employ different techniques from different categories to best suit the task.

Consider this personal example: a learner, like myself, with a propensity for reading and writing would likely excel in tasks involving creative writing techniques, close reading skills, vocabulary, etc. In the mathematical realm, however, this same learner may need to employ a different learning style. One may assume that a word problem would suit this type of read/write learner. However, for a learner such as myself, the wordiness of a math problem actually got in the way of comprehension. Instead, I would employ visual strategies, such as sketching, diagramming, or graphing to visually break down the word problem.

Depending on the task, a strong learner will know how and when to employ different strategies. This type of fluidity in learning styles takes practice. For instance, in the above example, a read/write learner like myself would likely read a confusing word problem many times before realizing that a visual illustration would actually be more beneficial.

Thus, the best way to help young learners is to provide them with numerous learning strategies and techniques. Then, let the learner decide which different strategies are helpful in certain circumstances. Below are just a few strategies organized by learning style.


  • Use diagrams, illustrations and graphic organizers to visually conceptualize a task. For instance, a visual learner may benefit from a prewriting outline before beginning a lengthy essay assignment.
  • Color code when taking notes to visually organize information on the page; this can also help with memory.
  • Highlight key words when reading or studying to help retain the information.
  • Rewrite notes or perform demonstrations of the task to better see and memorize the information after the initial lesson.


  • Restate the information in your own words to solidify comprehension and memorization.
  • Create mnemonic devices while studying.
  • Organize information into a song, rhythm, or rhyme to help with recall.
  • Reread information aloud.
  • Ask and answer questions aloud during lessons or lectures.


  • Pace or move about while studying notes to help with memorization.
  • Fold the corners of textbook pages to refer back to important information.
  • Stand while reading or reciting.
  • Take small, frequent breaks when working on large assignments.
  • Reenact the concept or task; this is especially helpful for science labs, physical or athletic skills, or theater-related tasks.
  • Sit on a yoga ball while reviewing material or studying for extended periods of time.
  • Use a line-reader or cover the text on the page when reading; this helps kinesthetic learners to focus on a text line by line, as opposed to getting overwhelmed by a wordy page.

Join us for “Homework. Got an Easy Button?”, a free, highly interactive 60-minute session designed to provide parents with concrete ideas and practical tools to support their student’s study practice at home. For more information, click here:

Looking to empower your child to succeed? Learning Essentials’ Brain Camp teaches students practical step-by-step ways to study, organize, manage time, prepare for tests, and use executive functioning strategies— essential skills for today’s academic environment. Click here to learn more or enroll: