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The Learning Success Blog

Principal's New 7 Way Reading Program: Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 30, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Peter Barnes

I just read an inspiring article by Carole Meyer, a school Principal in Washington State, USA about how her school transformed its reading program. 

The problem at Salk Middle School in Spokane, Washington was that 328 of the 736 students were not proficient readers, based on the state’s reading assessment. This was almost half the students.

So in mid 2013 Meyer decided to find a way to get every student reading at or above grade level.

She succeeded.

The students in the new reading program:

  • Achieved more than a year of reading growth in only one semester
  • Lifted their pass rate so they were passing more than 90% of their classes
  • Shifted their mindsets toward becoming better readers
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Topics: Reading, Confidence & Resilience, Fast ForWord, Reading Assistant

How Fast ForWord Improved Student Outcomes in Canada School District

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Colin Klupiec

Mike McKay is a retired superintendent of the Surrey County schools district in British Columbia, Canada.

He was a public educator for 35 years. The area he supervised has over 160 languages spoken. 

You can imagine it would be difficult to measure the potential problems with language and reading development in such a large and diverse region. 

But back in 2008 he attended a conference hosted by Scientific Learning Corporation, where he saw the research behind the Fast ForWord programs. 

When he came back, he asked his board to trust him, and give him $300,000 to get started. It was bold pitch. Mike tells the story of how things have panned out in this Learning Capacity podcast episode:

 

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Topics: Reading, Confidence & Resilience, School, Fast ForWord, Learning, Literacy, Podcasts, For Principals

Lessons About Learning from Coal Seam Gas Activist, “The Frackman”

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 11, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Colin Klupiec


You might be wondering what coal seam gas has to do with learning.

But for ordinary Australian, and now film maker Dayne Pratzky, the “Frackman”, it’s become a major issue.

Australia is currently experiencing a “gas rush”, and when the Queensland Gas Company arrived at Dayne Pratzky’s home to inform him that drilling for coal seam gas was about to commence on his property, a battle started that would see Dayne become a global activist fighting against a multi-billion dollar industry.

Dayne learnt much about the coal seam gas industry, but also about himself, and what people can do to help themselves in the face of seemingly insurmountable tasks.

This is a message for all Australians, with particular focus on our next generations. Listen to this Learning Capacity podcast episode to hear Dayne tell his story:

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning, Podcasts

A Student Called “Australia” – Gabbie Stroud’s Hope for Education

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 11, 2016 at 5:55 PM

Colin Klupiec

Gabbie Stroud loved her job as a primary school teacher.

Eventually, what she calls the changing nature of teaching led to burn out, and her decision to leave the profession.

In an essay she wrote for the Griffith Review, she talks of her frustrations, but also of a future for education filled with hope and guided by a few dangerous ideas. 

While Gabbie is not in the classroom now, her passion for education remains strong, and she calls for things like profound commitment to teachers, trust, and renewed thinking on things like creativity, imagination and ingenuity.

And she does this for the sake of a student she calls Australia. In her essay she asks, “Who would teach her? How would she learn?" In an episode on the Learning Capacity Podcast, I continue this discussion with Gabbie as we search for the answers to some big questions.

Listen to the discussion:

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, School, Learning, Podcasts, NAPLAN

Students’ Achievement: Encouragement, Maths Tables & Learning Capacity

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 20, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Peter Barnes

“The single biggest thing that a parent can give their child is the encouragement to do better, and not give them limiting beliefs about their ability or what they could achieve”.

This is an opinion expressed by David Stanley, former math teacher and now Director of Learning Ecosystems Growth at Learn Fast Australia, in a wide ranging two part interview on the Learning Capacity Podcast.

 In the first part David discussed rote learning of maths tables, how this can improve a student’s learning capacity, the role of parents in helping students set goals, and the educational power of celebrating success.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning Capacity, Maths, Podcasts

Memorising Maths Tables: old rote learning, or valuable neuroscience?

Posted by David Stanley on July 20, 2015 at 5:22 PM

David Stanley

Recently, educator Colin Klupiec recorded our conversation where he teased out my understanding of how memorising maths tables can help students build learning capacity and the importance of the role played by parents. It is recorded in two parts on the Learning Capacity Podcast with the key points summarised below.

We discussed some findings from the neuroscientists around brain plasticity - the cognitive neuroscience and how it relates to what some people may think is a bit old-fashioned – rote learning, or learning by repetition.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning Capacity, Maths, Podcasts

What's the Latest in Neuroscience, Working Memory, Attention & Autism?

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 19, 2015 at 2:38 PM

Peter Barnes

At a recent neuroscience conference in the USA, I heard Dr Martha Burns give a wide-ranging talk summarising the latest neuroscience research about learning and learning disorders. She related the latest research findings to how the Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant programs improve language skills, reading and learning capacity for many children.

Dr Burns is a neuroscientist, author of over 100 journal articles and multiple books, and a leading expert on how children learn.  Her talk covered topics including autism, attention & listening skills, working memory, self-regulation & cognitive control, dyslexia, intelligent tutoring systems, the neuroscience of learning, goal setting, and what's next for neuroscience. 

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Topics: Attention, Latest Research, Dyslexia, Memory, Autism, Confidence & Resilience, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity

Fast ForWord Drives Attention, Self Regulation & Self Control

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 18, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Peter Barnes

"The latest area that neuroscience is exploring is this whole area of self-regulation, cognitive control", said Dr Martha Burns in a recent presentation about these issues and how the Fast ForWord programs help.

Dr Martha Burns is a neuroscientist, author of over 100 journal articles and multiple books, and a leading expert on how children learn. 

Here is a summary of her talk:

"Can a student sit still? Can they listen to the teacher? Can they get through an assignment without getting up and doing 100 other things?

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Fast ForWord

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