Learning through strengths

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Learning through strengths

Sometimes there subjects that your child really doesn't like. iI you're lucky there's a subject or two they do like. Frequently the alienating subject is math, that's why when I taught middle school, I chose to teach math. If math alienates, and another subject motivates, help your child see the positive in the negative. If they like anything, if they don't even like a subject, but if they like boats, if they like navigation, if they like dogs, if they like anything, embed that in the math. So let's say that they like social studies, then if a math word problem is about triangles and squares, they can instead look at countries, ah this one is more square, which country do you think is more like a triangle? And substitute if you have three Utahs, and four Californias, how many States do you have all together. So when you are breaking down problems, that are problematic in math, whether it's a word problem or a procedure, we want to break it down so they can see the achievable challenge, but use your examples from something they like. From characters in books they love. Change the words to, 'what would happen if Alice in Wonderland walked in a room and had to find out the area of that room.' When she grows really big, the room would look smaller. Let's figure that one out together.

View Judy Willis, MD, MEd's video on Learning through strengths...


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Judy Willis, MD, MEd


After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Judy Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for 15 years before returning to university to obtain her teaching credential and master's of education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then taught in elementary and middle school for 10 years.

Dr. Judy Willis is an authority on brain research and its applications regarding learning. With the unique background as a parent, neurologist, classroom teacher, and neuro-educator she writes extensively for parenting magazines and professional educational journals. Dr. Willis has written six books for parents and educators about applying brain research to parenting and teaching.

Dr. Willis is on the adjunct faculty of the Graduate School of Education, University of California and gives presentations to parents and educators nationally and internationally about how to help children learn joyfully and successfully. She is on the Board of Directors of the Hawn Foundation, dedicated to helping children improve academic performance and acquire vital social and emotional skills. In 2011, she was honored by Edutopia, as a “Big Thinker on Education”.

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