Saturday, April 12, 2014

Is this what your finding when it comes to education and care?

Competency Statement V

To ensure a well -run , purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs:

To ensure a well-run and purposeful program responsive to the child’s needs I have a daily calendar for each child where I make quick notes of the child’s progress or any concerns. I find daily observation and the documentation of it is an effective way to be able to pin point their individual needs. Identifying a need enables me to modify or focus on certain skills and curriculum. Differentiated instruction can only be obtained through daily observation and developmental testing. My observations are concrete meaning exactly what I see. I never speculate and

once a priority educational,developmental or social emotional priority is identified through observation and testing objectives are set in order to reach goals. Without a purpose one is merely a bystander in education. My method collects data in order to provide instruction for the individual need.

Competency Statement IV

To establish positive and productive relationships with families

The key to establishing positive and productive relationships with families can be summed up in one word “Communication”. Verbal reassurance, interest, understanding, and kindness are my main focus when it comes to family interactions. The family is the one most knowledgeable about their child and is ultimately the key for the child's success. I take full advantage of drop off and pick up times with the most important people in my students lives their parents/ and caregivers. This is the time I use to communicate the child's needs, jot down time of arrival, ask how they slept, when they ate last, and let the caregiver know what/how their child is doing in class. Many families have questions or concerns regarding childcare which I am happy to find resources for them and answer any questions they may have. I am good at taking constructive criticism and explaining why we adhere to certain rules and regulations. I am a huge fan of the home note. An immediate phone call goes out to parents when a child falls ill such as after the third diarrhea, any vomiting, or fever. Daily contact builds a mutual trust that can only be earned. Caregivers and I have a common bond and that is the benefit of the child.

Competency Statement III
To support social and emotional development and provide positive guidance

Every activity and minute by minute interaction support social emotional development and positive guidance. My teaching style is to always go in on a positive especially when error handling. A cool calm demeanor is my motto. There are three rules my students are constantly reminded of and every behavior fits into one of these three categories. You must be safe, respectful and responsible at all times. I encourage this by displaying the high five bee hive which shows under each statement the expected types of behaviors that are safe, respectful, and responsible. Children are rewarded for these behaviors using the token economy reward system. I also use a visual smiley frowny card as a non verbal cue to let them know if they are on track with positive behaviors. If flashed a frowny it opens up dialogue as to what the proper behavior should be and why. Pride in ones self for making good choices is effectively obtained using this system.

Competency Statement II

To advance physical and intellectual competence

To advance physical and intellectual competence I pay close attention to careful lesson planning that meets and exceeds PA keys standards. Curriculum that promotes learning about the body and taking care of it such as a brushing teeth at school routine are done daily. Nutrition and body awareness fundamentals are taught daily. Outside and/or indoor physical exercise are provided twice daily both morning and afternoon. Physical health is related closely with intellectual competence being when you feel your best you do your best. Monster stretches and angel bear yoga provide an awesome start to a great day of learning. The math and science standards are emphasized daily through the use of manipulative's and real world experiences. All key learning areas are addressed weekly to advance physical and intellectual competence.

Competency Statement I

To establish and maintain a safe healthy learning environment:

Awareness of department of welfare regulations and keystone stars standards guide my teaching practices when it comes to providing a safe healthy learning environment for children. A healthy environment is a clean one. Bleach solution bottles are filled, used on all surfaces, and emptied nightly. After the solution is sprayed on a surface I use a timer set at two minutes to insure the surface is properly sanitized before wiping. Hands are washed before and after eating which are dried using an automatic paper towel dispenser. Tables are sprayed before and after eating. Safe play rules are strictly enforced. Locks on cabinets and refrigerators are secured consistently. An outlet switch cover check is done daily in the morning. At mealtimes I never walk away from the table when children are eating. Renewing my CPR certification every two years is a top priority. Daily diligence is what it takes to maintain a safe healthy learning environment.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Power To The Parent (your chid's PLP)

I cant restate it enough intensive behavior therapy first to get the most out of any intervention then ask yourself one question consistently. What is my child's present level of performance or priority educational need? PLP is the most important piece of information you can have to obtain true measurable success for your child. Simply put, you must know where their at to understand where you need to go. I loved this step because it gave me a clear measure of what my child could do and what could be done about what she couldn't do, gratifying for every parent. The most important gift you will get from a clear PLP though is how his/her learning difference affects their progress in the general curriculum. Please pay close attention to the PLP as it is usually on the first page of an IEP and this is where you ask the question about how low or high your child's test scores are. For example if you have a test score way < level in comprehension obviously it is impacting your child's educational future everyday. A PLP statement should also be at the beginning of each domain (academic, behavioral, social, etc.).  A PLP is only as good as the concrete data used to create it. If you feel your child has more needs than are being addressed always have your own independent evaluations done. Every educational and non Ed therapy we have ever had begins with an evaluation. If your child is high functioning you can wait for the every three year evaluation. The school will usually only accept outside evaluations not more than a year old. If your child is struggling I would get some type of independent eval yearly, to be presented at the IEP meeting. Get to the root of the issue by watching test scores closely. One year our total focus was on comprehension, the year after it was oral comprehension, the following year it was math word problems. Always check the states standards for the grade level so you don't waste time on academics that are not meaningful for success.

Steps to a great PLP

1)Create and combine all sources of data. Do not rely solely on the schools testing and information. Get your own outside professional eval. Types of evaluation are OT, speech, auditory, educational, samples of students work,.

2)Out of  all the data you will get a picture of your child's priority educational need.

3)Now that you know why your child needs special services and where the deficits are set attainable goals within each domain that can be reached within a reasonable amount of time.(NOTE) If scores are 25% and under treatment will need to be intensive meaning many hours a day, probably more than a public school can provide even if not mainstreamed most of the day.

4) Working on the goals outside of school will help you prove mastery. Ask the ESE teacher "What specifically is keeping my child from meeting this goal sooner?".

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Proud to be in PA

  Inner Imaging Instruction LLC

Gouldsboro PA
           Proven Academic Improvement for All

                               Educational Therapy for Learning Differences

Reading, Reading Comprehension, Basic math, Spelling, and Creative Writing. I get results using the Seeing stars®, Visualizing and Verbalizing® and On Cloud Nine programs®.

Instruction includes parent training, progress reports, Individualized lesson plans, reward system if needed and educational support dealing with school meetings.

Call Melissa for details at (570) 252-4165 or E-mail

Check out my blog

Resume and references available upon request

Bell,Nanci. Visualizing and Verbalizing® for language comprehension and thinking,Seeing Stars®, On Cloud Nine®. California:Gander Publishing, 1986,2007 All rights reserved

Friday, May 10, 2013

Blogview Q & A

Blogview Q & A
Hi: Melissa
My name is Carmen thank u for your blog very helpful. I am looking for a elementary school for my son he is going to kindergarten. I looked some private and nothing. In your opinion any good public school north broward Or any private? Once again thank you for your blog.

Hi Carmen,
I am happy to hear you find the blog helpful, it contains a lot of information I wish I had had from the beginning. In my opinion public school is the only way to go when entering kindergarten. There you have the opportunity to have an expert panel to identify weaknesses and receive free services. In private school anything they need speech/OT/special ed teacher will likely be at a high price dollar wise unless it is one strictly geared for special needs.That being said if you want excellent results you as the parent must be the driving force. Know your rights by taking the free ESE parenting classes that the county provides, read wrights law, and get independent evaluations to prove what services your child requires in order to receive a free appropriate education. Work on goals on your own and call an interim meeting when you can prove they are mastered, do not wait on the schools progress reports.. I always chose two goals to work on at home or with an outside therapist so that we were not waiting an entire year for the school to help her meet a goal. If an issue is under 50%tile the school alone will likely not be able to get your child up to speed in time to keep them on level. Time is not on your side and Its all about academics for the school and what is academically necessary ONLY! Know the sunshine state standards for each grade level(make sure you work daily to reach these standards) and research accommodations not modifications for your child. If your child needs modifications to what is being taught then he is not working on state standards and not on level. If after a few years you have done everything humanly possible to get your child on level and he is still not meeting goals than modifications to the curriculum become necessary. It is a full time job. I promise if you sacrifice and push them hard while they are young you will have a better outcome when he is older. You have to always believe in your child, I can, I will, I do attitude and look for the truth about your child and work to make the necessary changes needed in them. Sometimes the truth hurts, If you don't know you cant fix it. There are many methods of learning and therapies out there(go with your gut and don't believe in quick easy fixes). If their doing it at home they are doing it at school. We earned our way to the Mckay scholarship through hard work and if she had not been on level or her behavior had been still off we would have stayed in public school. Autism has contributed to the financial ruin of my family along with my husband loosing his job after 23 years, so success has come at a high price. If you have a diagnosis of Autism your child should be eligible for social security benefits to help pay for therapy. We are selling our home and moving to another state, where we will be back in public school for financial reasons, I will have to start over and learn the ESE rules for another state as they are all different but all go by the American with disabilities act.
Never give up persist, persist, persist and don't ever let an educator make you feel bad for advocating for your child.
Melissa B.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Effective Behavior Chart

Behavior can be a touchy subject, many parents like to avoid. Some have trouble taking constructive criticism or they think it reflects on them as a parent. The best choice I ever made for my child was seeking out a behaviorist and following her every direction. I can still hear her words today "If you don't get a handle on this now, you are both going to be in serious trouble in the future". It conjured up images of my child being 14 whining and throwing a tantrum in the middle of a classroom "Very Scary"! I learned through the process that behavior is not just the typical ones we think of like a tantrum, straight up non compliance to rules, or whining. Many behaviors affect learning and produce inattentiveness such as skin chewing, picking, and scratching or playing with paper or objects during school. This includes all socially unacceptable type behaviors such as stemming, head banging, space invading, or nose picking. My child lived on a changeable behavior chart between the ages of  3 and 8 and I still use one today mainly during the summer months for a different purpose such as chores and independent living skills. "G" is so used to them she likes the structure and reward that they offer. They make her feel comfortable and in control of her own life. At one point my child's room was down to a mattress on the floor. I can tell you that persistence pays off and it takes at least 21 days to start changing a behavior. I will and do use one today anytime a behavior is affecting her life and others in a negative way.

Tools- A large white board and Expo marker
Choose a symbol that relates to your child that will represent success or try again tomorrow such as a smiley or frowny face.
Observe your child at school and at home to determine what behaviors are hindering their meaningful progress both academically and socially. "Hint" This is where you tell the teacher or anyone whom works with your child, "I am not the type of mother whom gets offended by hearing anything negative about my child. I welcome any and all feedback. If I am not aware I cannot change it." My first question was always about specific behaviors. I know what she does well, what I really need to know is where she needed to improve and  a plan to make it happen.
Rate the behaviors. On a scale from one to ten how frequent and how damaging are they to the learning and social process.
Choose two or three of the child's highest level behaviors and write them on the chart. The behaviors must be clear and explained to the child exactly what they are and why we don't do them on a level the child can understand. More can be added as the child gets used to the new system. As the behavior fades you can remove it and add another. A picture can be added if reading and/or comprehension is an issue.
The child gets up and reads the chart daily(set up the expectation).
Do this frequently so that the expectation is always there.  When you see a behavior that is on the chart (if home) take the child over to the board have them read the behavior happening and say "do you want a frowny today?". Frowny means no rewards tonight. Give a warning. If you see it again take the child over to the board "I gave you a warning" put the frowny on the board(in front of the child) and tell them to try again tomorrow. The key is to make the board central. The board now rules your child's and your life. If you are out give the warning and if it persists tell the child when we get home you are getting a frowny.
The chart should have expectations(behaviors) on the left. The days of the week at the top and the rewards at the bottom right EX:
                                     Mon     Tuesday    Wed   Thurs    Fri    Sat
YES, No hair Pulling    :-)            :-)           :-)       :-)
YES, No Skin picking   :-)            :-(           :-(      :-)
YES, No getting upset                                           :-)
when mom asks you to
get ready in the morning. :-)                         :-)      :-)
 Use your words not your :-)                                   :-)
hands to speak
                                  All smiles for the day = Rewards
                                  One frowny= No rewards and try again
                           T.V.    video games  
Make the reward section larger than the rest and they may have all of them available to them for a full day of smile's.
Make reward time after all the days responsibilities are achieved with smile's. You the parent are the key to the success of the chart. The first week your child will be upset, by giving in you are only hurting them and in the long run making their lives more difficult."HINT"All rewards must be withheld until the end of the day. NO MORE IMMEDIATE REWARDS. If it is listed on the chart it can only be given at reward time when earned. The key to choosing the right rewards is  knowing what your child truly loves. It can be anything games, a favorite toy or stuffed animal, cookies etc. This sets them up for a rule most of us live by "Work first then play" First and then is a lesson usually learned in pre-school.Stay strong they will be testing you to see if you will cave and give in. Remember this a way of life change.
Give it 2 to three weeks if you still have non compliance start taking their things away one at a time and put them in a big bag. Tell them one day of all smile's and they can earn one thing out of the bag back.
All and I mean ALL rewards must be withheld thru-out the day.
Expectations must be clear! If they cant picture/understand the exact behavior you are speaking of it is not clear.
Visit the board frequently throughout the day.
When child becomes upset ask your child, Who's in control of you?
Answer obviously "you are" Tell them they are in control of their own behavior and we all must be and why. EX: It makes others uncomfortable when you_ or It keeps you from learning when you_
Let them know we all have behaviors to work on. EX: Mommy had to stop biting her nails etc..... Let them know how you did it!

For certain behaviors an alternative may be given after the warning. Say things like what could you do instead of _? What would be a better choice? Replace the negative with a positive. It may be necessary to provide a visual story of the expected behavior. Some replacements I have used are gum chewing, stress balls, drawing, tugging on shirt, giving light touch to oneself, reading, and the use of a nail file. Find positive replacements. 

Have some non preferred activities prepared for during the day or earning time. Non preferred activities can be used for behavior replacement also. Non preferred rewards or the ones lower on the Favorite things to do or have list will replace the preferred ones that you no longer use all day long.

This chart is for home use only and it is key to have one enforcer/organizer of the chart with the rest of the family supporting his/or her decisions. This chart should be between the main caretaker and the child. Schools should have their own system in place and a school with a behaviorist on staff is always a plus. The purpose is that if you make the changes in behavior at home they will translate over to school and the rest of daily life.I always say "If they are doing it a home, you know they are doing it at school." 
Use common sense make sure your child doesn't have any untreated skin conditions that may be causing them to pick or that the behavioral symptom is not caused by never having any down time or enough sleep. This is not easy and behaviors that have gone on for years are hard to change. It is worth it, more important your child is worth it. Your family will thank you, the world will thank you and eventually your child will understand and thank you! A happy thriving child is the best reward a parent can have.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Present Level Of Performance

Present Level Of Performance Components
Curriculum & Instruction: How does the child learn? What can he/she do? Academics such as math,reading,writing,level of support needed....
Examples: Completes a 5 piece inset puzzle, counts to 100, can identify sets of objects up to 9, follows a visual schedule, calculates single digits to sums of 20, reads a chapter book on grade level, uses the computer for written work.
1) What the student is currently able to do/strengths:
Based on....
2) Effects of the disability on progress and involvement in the general curriculum:
Effects of the disability are....
3) Priority educational needs to be addressed in Education plan:
Priority educational needs are....
PLP-Priority Educational Need lead to Annual Goals which are mastered by having short term objectives. Priority educational needs are the basis for the measurable annual goals.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Inner Imaging Instruction LLC Academic therapy for learning differences

Introduction to the LindaMood-Bell Learning Process

by Melissa Boodaghian

Purpose: To inform parents of children with learning differences of an intervention that can improve reading, spelling, comprehension and math skills in children and adults.



I.              An article in the American educational research association journal states that “The Lindamood-Bell® programs were shown to be a major contributing factor for the districts success in improving the reading and comprehension abilities of their students.”

A.    An average of 5 title 1 schools saw a gain on the Colorado State Reading assessment using the Seeing Stars® and V/V programs®.(Sanoski,Willson,2006)

B.    Patricia Lindamood writes in the forward of the Visualizing and Verbalizing® manual “Educators have assumed a base of function which does not exist for many individuals until it is directly stimulated and developed” (Bell,1986,2007)

     C.   The Visualizing and Verbalizing® program saved my own child’s academic life.

     D.   I have worked in the past for the learning center Lindamood-bell® of Weston and was trained in all of the programs in 2008.

     E.   I still practice the method today mostly with children whom have been diagnosed learning disabled.



II.             Out of the five different programs offered by the company I have found the reading and spelling program “Seeing Stars®” to be the most in demand.

A.    It quickly generates symbol imagery through quick and easy tasks.

B.    Reading, spelling and rules are introduced only after consonants, complex vowels, and blends are solid.

C.    Air writing allows students to manipulate letters in their minds.


III.            Visualizing and verbalizing® is the second most requested program.

A.     Reading comprehension is the focus of this program.

B.    The program is designed to build concept imagery.

C.    Structure words are introduced to aid in imagery of first a single known noun, a full sentence, a few sentences, a paragraph, multiple paragraphs and to finally full page


IV.           The third most requested program is “On Cloud Nine®” math.

A.    The program is designed to create numeral imagery.

B.    It builds from a concrete number line to an imaged one.

C.    A solid foundation is created from addition through fractions.



V.            Studies show that using the LindaMood-Bell® programs can increase scores in reading and reading comprehension.

A.    This method of learning was recommended to me by my own child’s pediatrician.

B.    Title 1 status schools in Colorado saw an increase in reading scores using the method.

C.    One reason the program works so well is that it does not move forward until basic skills are mastered.

D.    Giving the method a try can make a positive impact on ones academic life.





Bell,Nanci. Visualizing and Verbalizing® for language comprehension and thinking. California:Gander Publishing, 1986,2007

Mark Sadoski and Victor L. Willson "Effects of a theoretically Based Large-Scale Reading Intervention in a Multicultural Urban School District." American Educational Research Journal vol. 43 no. 1 (2006):137-154