three ways to improve learning readiness through play

Can your unique learner improve his or her learning skills?

Yes! In fact, it is easier, and more fun, than you think. You can improve your child’s learning readiness in ways that feel like play.

Let’s start with a better understanding of learning readiness. It isn’t about how fast they can finish a timed math quiz, nor how neatly they print. Learning readiness occurs after foundational developmental abilities are in place.

Students who are ready to learn know how to take in and make sense of the information around them. They know how to recognize patterns. They can consider different explanations before selecting the most likely. This type of problem solving must occur when performing arithmetic, reading, and writing. However, these skills develop outside the classroom first.

You can’t accomplish this with more math worksheets or printing practice. How can you help your unique learner improve their learning readiness? The answer may surprise you.

Learning readiness only occurs when the developmental building blocks fall into place. If your unique learner has some developmental gaps, don’t despair. These gaps can be filled in with activities that feel like play.

Here are three ways to use play to improve your unique learner’s learning readiness.

Try One More Time

The first area to focus on is improving your child’s ability to practice “try one more time” strategies.

Start by stretching your child’s attention span by having them “hang in there” a little longer. Play with that toy a little longer, work on solving that difficult puzzle just a moment longer, read a little longer, and encourage them to “stick with” that chore you assigned them, just a little longer.

Make this goal of yours, designed to help your child, a secret. Without talking about it, start role modeling this behavior yourself and when you’re playing together.

If you’re playing a game with toy cars, stretch out the game a little longer by adding a new and creative dimension. Perhaps enjoy having the cars drive to a pretend parking lot at the pretend zoo.

If your child is reading a story, have him or her look at the pictures just a little longer. Ask your child to describe all the things that are red in the picture or all the things that make a sound.

Invent a new way of playing with the backyard bowling set and teach your child to stretch their imagination.

Teaching your child to stretch their imagination to “play longer” will help improve attention span for academic activities.

Look for opportunities for your child to “think a little more” or “try one more time”. Encourage and support their effort. Help your child to enjoy feeling their mind successfully wrap around a problem.

Teaching your child to “hang in there”, problem solve and execute one more attempt can all help keep the mind engaged in a productive manner. That may be trying one more time to find the lost sock or problem-solve how to get that bicycle wheel back onto the bike frame. It could be figuring out the best solution to the riddle of the day or finishing their chore independently.

We want children to enjoy using their minds and develop “try one more time… ” strategies. They will need them at school as well as for the rest of their lives.

Improve Spatial Awareness

Being ready to read, write, and perform arithmetic requires good spatial awareness. If spatial awareness isn’t innate and automatic for the child, academics will be challenging.

This means that children must understand three dimensional space. They have to be able to navigate their physical body in, over, under, through, around, and to explore all physical spatial relationships.

Navigating space seems simple to us because with just a quick glance, we can easily see how to navigate to the restroom in a busy and unfamiliar restaurant. The visual sense of space develops after experiencing it physically. We may not remember learning this skill, but learn it we surely did.

Our children need to learn this skill too. They must learn the words to describe physical space and be able to separate themselves from that space.

The ability to separate themselves then allows them to learn to observe the objects, people, places, and things that are in the space around them. This in turn develops into the ability to visually judge space without having to physically move around the room.

Developing spatial awareness can be accomplished very well through games. Here are some examples of games that children love to play that also develop spatial awareness:

• Simon Says

• Hide and Seek

• Red Light, Green Light

• Chutes and Ladders (board game)

• Obstacle courses

• Treasure hunts

Your child will never know that you are really working on developing their learning readiness.

The unique learner who has difficulty sequencing, reasoning, and independently problem solving literally needs physical movement (often more beneficial than added homework) in order to facilitate effective thinking.

Balance and Movement

The ability to physically experience the world around us relies on the sensory system that perceives movement in relationship to the space around us. This sensory system is the vestibular system. The vestibular system provides our brain with a strong urge to maintain balance.

Our need for balance notifies the muscle and joint system. This system has its own set of receptors, called proprioceptors. The proprioceptive system allows the body to smoothly respond to different shifts in the center of gravity.

Most physical activities require the integration of the vestibular system with the proprioceptive system.

When these systems work together properly, a student is ready to learn.

In many unique learners, these systems aren’t working properly. This is a big reason for their academic struggle. It affects the ability to sit in a learning ready position. It impacts the student’s ability to look and listen. It distracts their focus at a subconscious level as their brain pays attention to information from the vestibular system that indicates the student might fall off the chair. These are just three out of hundreds of ways these systems affect learning readiness.

Movement, exercise, sports, martial arts, yoga, dancing, and juggling all offer excellent opportunities for the movement and balance systems to stimulate and help facilitate brain functioning.

You can support your unique learner’s growth by embedding movement as a part of the fuel necessary to grow the brain. A more typical student may seem to respond well to practice, practice, practice. A unique learner seems to respond better to practice, movement, practice, movement.

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looking for a safe and secure self storage facility

Self-storage facilities offer lots of convenience to all kinds of individuals, whether for short term storage needs or long term storage needs. Apart from being easily accessible, the issue of security is of utmost importance. The last thing you want is to find that your items got stolen or have suffered accidents and other kinds of damages that would have been avoidable. Whether you are looking to store perishable goods or not, it is important that you find a secure facility that will give you peace of mind that each one of your items will be intact when it is time to claim.

The security features the facility has play the biggest role in how safe and secured your items remain. Therefore, when looking for a storage facility, the features should be part of your selection criteria. Below are some of the features that will make a difference in terms of keeping your things secure.

Facility alarm system – A facility that has a reliable surveillance system will definitely offer you peace of mind, even when storing important items like your car. Security cameras complete with an alarm system ensure that all activities are recorded and monitored all around the facility. With such in place it is very hard for any illegal activity to go unnoticed and even when there is a threat the right action is taken before things go bad.

Unit alarm system – Apart from the overall security system around the facility, alarms for each unit within the facility offers that added security. Units that are individually alarmed are much better because you will also get alerted in case of anything for the right action to be taken in time. Most facilities offer units that are alarmed, but it is important to check just to be sure if it is something you consider important.

Strong fences – It may not mean much, but a high and strong fence can work very well in deterring unauthorized entries. Some facilities pay enough attention around the gate and forget that unwanted people can gain access from any other part of the fence. A self-storage complex with a strong fence that is hard to tamper offers more comfort for users.

Secured gate – It can be manned or it can be have a locking system that can only be unlocked by people who have access to the right code. A gate that is keypad equipped ensures that only those who have authorization get to access the facility, reducing the chances of intruders with ill motives. Live security guards at the gate also make very good alternatives and they can also be placed in different other parts of the facility to maintain security and order.

Fire prevention system – Besides your items being robbed, there is always the risk of fires. When looking for a facility, therefore you may want to ensure that it has prevention equipment like fire alarms, smoke detectors and even sprinkler systems that can put out the fire or at least reduce the risks.

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why is my boiler boiler pressure relief valve leaking

During a recent inspection water was dripping from the extension pipe on the side of the boiler onto the floor. This piping was connected to a leaking Pressure Relief or Safety Valve. This fairly common problem is actually a relatively good thing and keeps you and your family safe from potential failure of your boiler. Before the installation of these devices it was not uncommon to hear about boiler explosions injuring home occupants.

But why is it leaking now? To answer this question, it is important to understand how your heating system works. Your heating system distributes hot water throughout your house. As the water is heated and cooled by the boiler that water expands and increases in pressure. In order to limit the pressure of the heating system the hot water heating system includes various safety devices to ensure your home is safe.

The first and most important device on your boiler is the Pressure Relief or Safety Valve. The standard operating pressure of a home boiler system is 12 psi. If for any reason the pressure of the boiler increases beyond the safe operating pressure (the setpoint of the Pressure Relief Valve) the valve will open. This over pressurizing condition is likely caused by a failing expansion tank. When a boiler system does not allow for sufficient thermal expansion of the water in the system, the pressure of the system increases beyond the Pressure Relief Valve setpoint. Leaking of the Pressure Relief Valve due to this condition is normally cyclical as the boiler temperature heats and cools. There are two potential causes for this circumstance.

A typical cause is the cold pressure of the boiler water system is higher than the setpoint of the expansion tank which are typically designed with a 12psi setpoint. However, when the feed valve to the boiler system is higher than this setpoint the expansion tank bladder is compressed before the boiler begins operation. Once the boiler is turned on and the water is heated, subsequent thermal expansion cannot be accommodated by the already compressed bladder. Modification to the internal pressure of the expansion tank and/or reduction of the pressure reducing valve setpoint may be required.

A second potential cause is an actual leak or failure of the expansion tank bladder. In this scenario the expansion tank no longer provides for thermal expansion of the water in the system as the entire tank is filled with water.

Other causes of leaking Pressure Relief Valve can be due to the age and deterioration of the valve itself. In that case replacement of the valve is recommended. Work should always be performed by a qualified plumbing contractor.

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