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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
  • All
  • General (14)
  • Learning Disabilities (8)
  • Published Articles (8)
  • Social Emotional Learning (8)
  • Dyslexia (3)
The Importance of STEM Education for Students with Exceptionalities
“[Students with dyslexia]...think differently. They are intuitive and excel at problem solving, seeing the big picture, and simplifying. They feast on visualizing, abstract thinking, and thinking out of the box. They are…inspired visionaries” (Shaywitz, 2003).    These words from Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity and author […]
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Strategies to Support Working Memory 
At The Craig School, we speak often about our goal to foster independent learners. Part of this process requires a closer examination of our students’ needs and the compensatory strategies, interventions, or instructional strategies central to creating an environment conducive to their most optimal growth. This week, I turn our attention to working memory and […]
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Exploring School Experiences of Teenagers with ADHD for Improved Connection and Learning
Introduction & Rationale Background Teens with ADHD experience greater levels of academic impairment than students without ADHD.  Academic enablers, non-cognitive skills and behaviors, like study skills, engagement, motivation, and interpersonal skills are essential components to optimal academic attainment.  For students with ADHD, these skills tend to be underdeveloped.  This study explored the attitudes, thoughts, and […]
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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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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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Celebrate Differences
If you have emailed me, you may have noticed my email signature line quote that reads, “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 my educational philosophy. As an educator, I believe that children are beautiful, whole, and […]
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Assistive Technology
Learning Ally. Kahoot. Kami. IXL. Read & Write. Mindomo. You may have heard your child talking about, searching for, or even using one of these learning tools, some of which are instructional software (Kahoot, IXL, Mindomo) and others are known as Assistive Technology (Learning Ally, Kami, Read & Write). Assistive technology (AT) is any item, […]
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