In today's episode, Dr. Lisa Dieker provides practical strategies and tips on how to "Flip the Script" for the upcoming school year.
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Lisa Dieker 00:01
Welcome to Practical Access this is Lisa Dieker and I'm missing my sidekick today Rebecca Hines but I'm going to talk to you for just a few minutes about starting that school year with a mindset that the last podcast I did I talked a little bit about growing up and, and identity and understanding my differences, but this was more about flipping the script. And for my parents on the podcast and for our teachers, I want to just use this concept for just a moment of how do we flip the script as we start the fall not to talk about, labels, IEP,s, ELers, all of that, but to flip the script to not only talk about strengths but to do fun things to kick off the year about helping kids find their strengths. So I'm a lover of something called Thrively I also, it's a T H R I V E L Y site where you can make a summary of kids strengths I also like the CITE that's C I T E, the Cite Learning Style Inventory. And I know the research on learning styles is not strong and it says, you know there's, there's really not a lot of evidence to show that that makes an impact, but we do know universal design for learning and choice do. And so, as you start the fall instead of talking about what kids can't do I want you to, I know what their disabilities are, but I want to make a little matrix so super simple idea here and we'll maybe even tried to put a link to one of these matrix's for you out on the website that just lists the kids names kind of taking the multiple intelligence idea and checking what kids strengths are. Let them remind you what they like to do so now when I'm teaching and a kids falling asleep and they're bored I look at my choice menu and say that's my movement kid, that's my naturalist kid, maybe I need to bring in something about birds and wildlife, maybe I need to talk a little more about dirt, that's my musical kid maybe I need to offer some rap songs or think about some way to bring in the concept of classical music and art I want my kid who's an artist. I think we know what kids' strengths are usually the third to fifth week of school. I challenge you to do that the first week, and so one of the things that I've been reading is a lot of things about how to use different genres in your classroom. And there's a lot of articles out there, but I'd really encourage you to be thinking deeply about how do I change my practice. And I love Dewey's philosophy and the only behavior you can change is yours and not the child's so "look not for fault in the child, but in the teaching of the child." So, what are those things, so do you know those, can kids help you self identify them, really young kids just asked them to put their smiley face on their two favorite things they like to do the most but now put that up on the wall, put that on a matrix, carry that around on a clipboard and say to yourself huh what did I do today to address the students strengths and did I help them identify their strengths, we can't always do just our favorite things but boy it sure is more fun when you get to do things the way you like. For my families and parents, people who might be homeschooling same approach there but here's the thing. When you find your child melting try to think about oh, my kid really likes to move could we jump the spelling words, could we jump the number line, could we add movement? So keep thinking about what your child does well, but now let's take it to the next level and use some kind of a strength matrix to say, this is what my child does really, really well, let me put that up somewhere to remind me if I've got a class of 20 kids, 30 kids let me remember what it is they do well, how do I address that and how do I celebrate those strengths. And then my last one, just my little tip to start off in the fall do remember whether you're a parent or a teacher the simplest rule in the world is 10 positives to one negative so again if you find you can't get positives maybe it's because you're not using a strength-based approach. I know it's old school and I've mentioned before, but 10 pennies in your pocket move them over to the other pocket when you've said 10 positive things to a kid, then you get that one negative so choose wisely. For my parents, remember that if all day long you tell your kid but they can't do, or they aren't doing well it really makes it hard as they grow up to find that self-esteem and that executive functioning to make and choose things that they do, do well. So I hope this was some helpful tips, I look forward to Becky returning and we'll do a little kickoff to season six in our next podcast thanks for listening, if you have questions for us, please send them to our Facebook page or you can tweet us @accesspractical.