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Be Exceptional!

Dr. Kara A. Loftin Writings

As educators of students with exceptionalities, The Craig School celebrates students’ strengths and competencies, acknowledges that students sometimes learn differently than their peers, and provides a thorough, well-rounded, robust educational program suited to their unique challenges and strengths. This blog is both a celebration of students with exceptionalities as well as a resource for parents, educators, and maybe even our students themselves, to learn a bit more about programs, services, and research specific to students in grades 2-12 with language-based learning disabilities. Be Exceptional!
Exceptional
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  • General (8)
  • Social Emotional Learning (7)
  • Published Articles (6)
  • Learning Disabilities (5)
  • Dyslexia (3)
Learners of all abilities empowered at The Craig School
What if rather than viewing learning disabilities as deficits, we viewed them as part of the natural variations of the human genome? Sometimes called the social model of disability or neurodiversity, this view holds that dyslexia or specific learning disability, for example, is merely but one component of identity and functioning, not its totality, and […]
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Helping all students master the challenges of reading
Reading does not come naturally, easily or incidentally for countless children. It is a tough hill to climb that takes patience, time and tenacity. Through decades of research, we understand that dyslexia can vary widely in students from a phonological deficit, orthographic deficit, a naming-speed deficit or a combination of one or more of these […]
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Bridging the Gap between Capability and Environment: Empowering Learners of All Abilities
Throughout the year, I have written about strengths-based education for students with exceptionalities, the importance of developing a strong sense of self-efficacy and creating safe, nurturing, positive spaces for learning. Each is related to the broader educational implications of our mindset around disability. Something I think about often is how schools would function if rather […]
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Providing the right environment to match students’ potential
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” (Alexander den Heijer). This one phrase perfectly sums up the educational philosophy of The Craig School. As educators, we believe that children are beautiful, whole and perfect beings, and they are messy, they are works in progress, they represent the […]
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Our Exceptional Teachers
“Teachers motivate minds, guide learning, share achievements, inspire a love of knowledge, and lead our youth to a brighter future.”    In this week of celebration and recognition of the extraordinary teachers at The Craig School, it is most fitting to honor them in the words of our students themselves. This letter, written to one […]
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Summer Programming at The Craig School
Today, I wanted to bring attention to our extended school year (ESY), Summer Academy, for students in grades 2-12, and Summer Enrichment programs. Last year, we successfully provided a meaningful extended school year experience for our students. For students with exceptionalities, having extra time to learn, engage, process, and cement learning is incredibly important to […]
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Student-Directed Learning: Teacher-Student Relationships and Autonomy-Supported Classrooms
Speaking with a language-arts teacher in our lower and middle school, I was reminded of the importance of responsive and student-focused teaching and learning. She spoke about tapping into students’ interests, watching for how students are connecting to their learning, and finding meaningful moments for cross-curricular teaching all while sharing the bigger picture of learning. […]
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The Benefits of Explicit Instruction: Rethinking the Student v. Teacher-Directed Learning Debate
Over the past decade or so, a divide has widened in educational circles over the impact of teacher-directed versus student-directed learning based on the idea that teacher-directed learning is passive, rather than active and engaged learning, and therefore, not as effective for student achievement and learning. However, viewing the two approaches as distinct and separate […]
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