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The Learning Success Blog

How You Can Spot Weak Cognitive Skills in Your Classroom

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 22, 2017 at 3:31 PM

Peter Barnes

What’s happening in your students’ brains when they can’t follow your classroom instructions? What if a student doesn’t want to answer your question? And why do some students struggle to tell a story?

These are all signs that a student may have a weakness in one or more key cognitive skills. Skills essential for learning.

As well as language skills, we all need four key thinking skills for effective learning. They are: memory, attention, processing, and sequencing.

Here are some behaviours you might notice if your students have a weakness in these skills:

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Following Instructions, Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience, Early Learners

How Poverty & Disadvantage Impacts Learning for 730,000 Children

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 18, 2016 at 4:43 PM

Peter Barnes

More than 730,000 children in Australia are living below the poverty line.

These disadvantaged children are at risk of having their learning compromised.

The Poverty in Australia 2016 Report, released last week, found the number of children living in poverty is increasing.

The report was written by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) in collaboration with the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

Find out how poverty and disadvantage can disrupt learning – see this infographic (courtesy of We Are Teachers and Scientific Learning Corporation).

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Topics: Latest Research, Learning Difficulties, Learning, For Principals

How Fast ForWord Helped Heal and Restore a Life: Ester’s Story

Posted by Colin Klupiec on June 26, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Colin Klupiec

This is a story that defies the odds. It involves years of illness, crushing diagnoses by doctors, and miraculous recovery. It demonstrates how the brain really can change itself.

And it also involves Fast ForWord, a neuroscience based program used for both remedial learning, and learning enhancement. In a special episode of the Learning Capacity Podcast, I spoke to a mother about her daughter’s journey through illness to recovery. 

Given the nature of the details involved, I refer to my guest only as Esther, which is her real name, and her children. 

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Fast ForWord, Podcasts

How to Create Successful Readers: 5 Articles from Scientific Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 29, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Peter Barnes

What do teachers need to do to make sure students become successful readers?

Scientific Learning Corporation, the developer of the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs, has published five easy to read articles about the components of reading success.

In this blog, I have summarised the articles. You can read them in full by clicking on the links.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Reading, Fast ForWord, Literacy

Improving Reading with Fast ForWord: USA School, Bridges Academy

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 21, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Peter Barnes

Veteran educator, Jacqueline Egli, Executive Director of Bridges Academy, a well known not for profit, private school in USA was interviewed recently on the Fox News channel.

She spoke about how Bridges Academy is using neuroscience-based technology to improve reading for students in the school.

“For many of my students in my early days as an educator it might take me three, four, five years to make 6 months of solid improvement, ”she said.

Now her students with reading or learning difficulties use the Fast ForWord program

Egli says Fast ForWord can improve a child’s reading level by multiple grades in 6 - 8 weeks of training, and MRI scans before & after training show an increase in brain activity in kids with dyslexia.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Reading, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, For Principals

Amelie & Fast ForWord: 2 Years Gain in Reading & Maths Despite ADHD

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 4, 2016 at 4:57 PM

Colin Klupiec

This is the story of Amelie, who as a young primary aged girl was often described as a ‘busy child’.

When Amelie’s parents, Jane and Craig were given the diagnosis for Amelie of ADHD, there were mixed feelings of relief, but also devastation as they knew there was a problem that needed to be addressed.

Amelie was assessed at well below the relevant standards, being two years behind in writing and maths when she started grade 3.

After researching extensively, Jane and Craig eventually turned to Fast ForWord. They faced some big challenges along the way, but in the end they and Amelie persevered with some amazing results.

In this episode of The Learning Capacity Podcast, I spoke to Jane where she shared Amelie’s story.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

“Phenomenal” improvements for son after Fast ForWord, says Father

Posted by Colin Klupiec on February 28, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Colin Klupiec


Dr Con Kafataris, father of six, describes the changes he saw in his son George, aged nine, as phenomenal” after George completed the Fast ForWord program.

It was a little bit of a journey to find Fast ForWord for George but after trying a few avenues, including speech pathology, Dr Kafataris came across the program through a book titled, “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Dr Norman Doidge.

“The science seemed plausible”, said Dr Kafataris, so he decided to give it a go.

What were these “phenomenal” improvements? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Or read more below for the complete podcast transcript.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Reading, Autism, Fast ForWord, Learning, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

A New Zealand School Found Fast ForWord & Helped Struggling Students

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 8, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Peter Barnes

Sasha Scott, reading recovery teacher at Welbourn Primary School in New Zealand, was troubled.

She and the school’s associate principal, Jenny, were puzzled why, year after year, there was always a group of students that never seemed to make the progress they should.

Sasha told The Learning Capacity Podcast, “The teachers have all done the very best that they can with what they know. But year on year, those same children pop up again. What could we do differently for these kids, because obviously what we were doing wasn't meeting their needs?”

Searching for a solution for students who were struggling

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts, For Principals

Fast ForWord Helped George Overcome His Learning Difficulties

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 5, 2016 at 3:51 PM

Peter Barnes

“The results have been quite phenomenal. It's just been amazing to watch”

That's how Dr Con Kafataris described the changes he saw in his nine-year-old son George after the Fast ForWord program.

Dr Kafataris was speaking with The Learning Capacity Podcast about George’s language and learning difficulties, the improvements following George’s participation in the program, and why he decided that his six year old daughter, Eleni, should also do the neuroscience based exercises.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

George’s parents had known since he was about three years old that his language was delayed.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Reading, Fast ForWord, Podcasts

Struggling Readers Need Programs Based on Science - Melbourne Age & Fast ForWord

Posted by David Stanley on September 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

David Stanley

A recent article in the Melbourne Age newspaper titled “Children with learning difficulties need programs based on science, not anecdote and neurobabble”makes some valid points but misses key information about how the neuroscience-based program Fast ForWord helps with Dyslexia.

The author focused on children with reading difficulties, including dyslexia.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Reading, Literacy

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Find out what’s happening on these and other topics related to neuroscience and learning, read comments on the latest research, and join the discussions.