Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

November 11, 2020
Auditory Processing: What’s Sound Got to Do, Got to Do with Reading?

Although reading is thought of as a visual mode of communication, it relies heavily on auditory processing skills. Here's what sound has to do with reading and how you can make struggling learners into strong readers.

October 28, 2020
2020 Dyslexia Research Update

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Here is a quick overview of three articles published in 2020 that expand our understanding of dyslexia, the most common and often-misunderstood learning disability.

October 15, 2020
Why Lisa Wilson Is All In on Fast ForWord

Lisa Wilson ran the Fast ForWord program at a Louisiana school district for 14 years before reaching even more learners as a Scientific Learning employee. She shares why she’s all in on the software.

July 13, 2020
Five SEL Skills That Struggling Secondary Students Need (And How Elements I Builds Them)

Here are five social-emotional learning skills that are particularly important for adolescent learners, along with how Elements I develops these SEL skills and reading skills simultaneously.

September 18, 2019
4 Little-Known Facts about Poverty and the Brain (And What Educators Can Do about Them)

A little girl wearing too-small sandals and no coat on a freezing January morning. A boy sick from eating nothing but potato chips and Kool-Aid. An eight-year-old raising himself and sleeping at night with 3 younger siblings. These are children of vulnerable populations that Linda Ann H. McCall recalls teaching at a Title 1 school, or federally assisted low-income school, in urban America. In her 2018 article in National Youth-At-Risk Journal, McCall recounts what teachers across the country witness every day: the challenges that students from low-socioeconomic (SES) families bring with them to school. Dr. McCall reflects, “I was reminded over and over of Abraham Maslow’s classic Hierarchy of Needs when I asked myself ‘how could I expect a child to focus on the concepts of long division and sentence structure, for example, if he or she was being abused and/or feeling hungry, afraid, and/or unloved?’ (p. 41-42). What worked? What worked in Dr. McCall’s classroom, and what many other educators at Title 1 schools are increasingly implementing, is brain-based teaching and learning. Dr. McCall argues that brain-based learning is especially important for teaching children impacted by poverty. What do Title 1 educators need to know about the impact of poverty on the brain? More importantly, how should school leaders apply brain-based learning to teaching? Keep reading to learn 4 little-known facts about poverty and the brain. What is brain-based learning? All learning happens in the brain, so isn’t all learning “brain-based learning”? In a way, yes. But “brain-based learning” means the application of brain science to teaching—what happens when neuroscience meets education. As Great Schools Partnership defines brain-based learning, the practice builds on “scientific research about how the brain learns, including… how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature.” Brain-based learning is crucial for children from low-SES […]

August 15, 2019
"My Life Is Forever Changed"

A Note from a Fast ForWord Graduate We love when this happens. The other week, we received a lovely email from a Fast ForWord alum. A young woman named Rachel W. told us, "I know my life has been forever changed by this wonderful company." Read her full letter below! Thank you for sharing your story with us, Rachel. We are honored to be part of it. Best of luck completing your Master’s degree in social work, and we hope you stay in touch!   July 3, 2019 Hello Richard Cheng, My name is Rachel W. and I am writing to you today to thank Scientific Learning for existing. You have no idea how many lives have been changed by Scientific Learning. I know my life has been forever changed by this wonderful company. I say this with confidence because I know I would not be where I am today without it or without the support from my speech and language pathologist. A little bit about me and my background: At the age of 8 I was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). I was not socially or cognitively functioning at the appropriate age level. I could not understand what people around me were saying. I had a very difficult time following directions as well as staying engaged in school and in social settings. I was struggling to keep up with my peers academically, cognitively, and socially. After I was officially diagnosed, my parents took me to see a speech and language pathologist where my life was transformed. She bought/downloaded Fast ForWard and challenged me to never give up on the program (even when it got challenging and frustrating for me). The games and levels I completed developed new pathways in my brain which allowed me to eventually function at […]

July 11, 2019
Differentiation: Achieving Success in a Mixed-Ability Classroom

Aladdin and The Lion King are in theaters again, but don’t be fooled: things have changed a lot since the 90s. The last two decades have seen a significant change in the student population of America’s K-12 schools. Today’s classrooms are increasingly diverse in cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2000 and 2015, the percentage of students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools who were White decreased from 61 to 49 percent while the percentage of students of color increased substantially, making it the first time in American history that minority students became the new majority in the student population. The percentage of English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with learning disabilities in schools have risen significantly as well. Diversity is wonderful! But when one part of a system changes, the other parts have to change too. How can educators reach every student in the class when students have varying learning styles, levels of ability, and background knowledge? A growing body of research points to differentiation—a method of instructing—as one potential solution. A study by Dr. Lynn McQuarrie et. al demonstrated positive results for the full implementation of differentiated instruction in mixed-ability classrooms over a three-year period, with students that had learning disabilities benefitting the most from differentiated support. Furthermore, Carol Tieso’s study found that differentiated instruction significantly improved student performance in mathematics, especially for gifted students. So, what exactly is differentiation then? What differentiation means Differentiation expert Carol Ann Tomlinson describes differentiated instruction as “tailoring instruction to meet individual needs.” By including a variety of teaching techniques, educators instruct a diverse group of students with different abilities in the same classroom. The goal is to make sure that all students master key concepts while striking a balance between comfortability […]

October 25, 2018
A College Senior Mailed Us a Letter

Click the image to read the original letter we received recently from a young man named Caleb.  Thank you, Caleb, for sharing your story! May you be an inspiration to others.  From 2.2 GPA to 3.5 GPA My name is Caleb, and I have passed all the levels for Fast ForWord. I'm a college senior at BYU-Idaho. I want to share my story and express my gratitude. Your diligent efforts with your software program improved my life. In July of 2017, I completed the worst semester of my academic career. I earned a 2.2 GPA and it was, by far, the worst GPA I've ever had in my life. I was discouraged, confused, and frustrated with myself. I'm an accounting major and found that junior year accounting is difficult! Probably the most frustrating thing was that I put in the time to learn the material and earn the grade I desired. I was spending 10-12 hours on campus daily, but I did the worst I've ever done. This was probably the lowest point in my life. My brother's unexpected success story In July of 2016, my mother found an academic counselor for my little brother to see, who was 16 at the time. My brother is a very smart person, but struggled with school ever since Kindergarten, specifically with reading, writing, and spelling. He was diagnosed with visual and auditory processing (lrlen Syndrome) disorders and motor problems. Immediately, the academic counselor worked with him. He started doing the Fast ForWord exercises. In eight months' time, my brother went from a 3rd grade to a 6th grade reading level. Amazing progress! Today, my brother is doing even better. He just earned his first 4.0 for the quarter!  Not only did he improve academically, but he has more confidence in himself and his social skills have improved. My turn […]

Copyright © 2019 Scientific Learning Corporation. All rights reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram