HS #260 Change the Evidence with Dianne Craft
Links and Resources:
Dianne Craft has a master’s degree in special education. She has over 25 years’
experience teaching bright children who have to work too hard to learn. She has developed the successful “Three-Pronged Approach” to reducing and eliminating learning disabilities: Brain Integration Therapy, Right Brain Teaching Strategies, and Targeted Nutritional Interventions Parents across the country have seen their children overcome learning struggles using these tools. She has designed the Craft Right Brain Readers and a right brain reading program for children with dyslexia and other reading problems. As a nutritionist, Dianne specializes in natural treatments for kids with sensory
processing dysfunction and focus/attention issues. She is president of the consulting firm Child Diagnostics, Inc. in Denver and is considered the leader in Alternative Teaching Strategies by several teaching universities.
Teaching the Right Brain Child Video & Study Guide
Mark 4:22 “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.”
2 Timothy 2:7 “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”
HS EP 260
Hello, and welcome back to another installment of the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Wendy Speake, and I am one of the many hosts we have here on the podcast. Each week you'll hear from one of us, inviting one of our friends to join for a conversation about this busy, blessed season as we educate our children at home.
Now, the title of the show is Homeschool Solutions. While we don't have the answer to every question, we know that all the solutions to every stress and every struggle can be found in the Person and presence of Jesus Christ and His living and active and applicable Word. We are so glad that you're here for today's conversation.
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And now, on to today's show.
Hello, and welcome to the Homeschool Solutions Show. I'm Dianne Craft, a former homeschooling mom, special education teacher, and founder of Child Diagnostics in Denver, a clinic where we make learning easier for kids and teens.
Today, our topic is going to be change the evidence. Helping your child or team feel smart. What do we mean by change the evidence? Well, as a mom and as a teacher, and many of the coaches we have in our churches are wonderful about praising our kids and pointing out the things they do well. And they feel good. Like when we would say to them, oh, you're a good speller. The child would say, I can't spell at all. How come I can't spell. I'm so dumb.
No, you can spell just fine. And yet they look at their brother's paper and he doesn't have anything circled because he didn't have any spelling words that were wrong. The evidence is what the child will believe eventually. When they're younger, the praises help so much. And we always do and love to be validated, but what we really want to do is change the evidence. And we're gonna look at how we can do that today. How to help your kids feel smart by changing the evidence.
Melissa was a young gal who came here for a consultation in Denver several years ago. And Melissa had, in her heart, she had always told her mother that she wanted to be a missionary doctor. But Melissa had a severe reading problem. Spelling problem. She was so behind in everything, even though she was such a hard worker, none of the good interventions that were being done for her were working. So, as we worked with her here and showed her just a couple of things to even how to use her photographic memory, and how to remember words and she just, in this four hours of just showing her that, her mother told me later on when they were driving home, Melissa said, Mom, I can be that medical missionary. I am smart.
What had we done in four hours that her mother hadn't done before? Her mother, of course, was incredibly encouraging to her. This little girl learned how to spell words forwards, backwards. Learned sight words. Learned how to do many, many things. Could read passages she couldn't before. The color transparency. Whatever were all the interventions we did that were immediate and game-changers. And so, that's...those are the reasons why we just want to explore this more.
Jeremy was a student that I was teaching in my pull out spelling group, and he had...even if you show him how to spell words, you see all sorts of different colors and jazzes and stories, and I held up a card with the word is on it. And I had the I be all shaking and nervous and the S was a snake. And his little tongue was coming out. We always use emotions as memory hooks, and that works so well. And Jeremy was looking at that, and the other kids were, of course, getting it, and he said, Mrs. Craft, do you have an easier word? And I said, well, Jeremy, that would be "uh", but you know what? What's a word, a long word, that you don't think you could ever spell? And he said, Lamborghini.
Well, I didn't know how to spell Lamborghini. I had to look it up. Lamborghini has an H in it. You might not have known that either. So, we put Lamborghini...we made H be the exhaust pipe, and it was just so fun. We put pictures on part of the letters we couldn't hear. And he was spelling it forwards and backwards. And so he went back into his classroom, which was just across the hall. He was in second...Mrs. Ellis's second-grade classroom. And Mrs. Ellis, being such a wise teacher, said, hey Jeremy, what did you learn today in Mrs. Craft's class? Now, he came up for special education class. A pull-out resource room class. And he said, I learned how to spell Lamborghini. And she said, no way. Because, of course, that's not close to a second-grade word. She said, show us. And he put it on the board. And he put it really big and it took up the whole board. And he said, and...he turned around...I can spell backwards too, if you need me to.
Well, all the kids said, I wanna be in that smart class. So, is this special ed? Sure. Special ed is ??? use the back door. Use another door to teach. If the front door isn't working, that back door is just as good and it works so well. I'm gonna show you how to do that. So, they were asking to be in a class where their evidence could be changed if it needed to be.
After I was finished homeschooling, I went back into the school system and I was many times teaching in a middle school. With Jeremy I was teaching in an elementary school. Michael was one of the students that I got and he was a sixth-grader. Now, Michael, like many of the sixth graders I got that year, was testing at the Woodcock-Johnson level of 2.2. Second grade. Second month. Now, he had had interventions for special ed since second grade, but he was still testing at 2.2 and he was spelling his words like, the word was, for him, was W-U-Z. Now, isn't that the way it should be spelled? No, but the reason he didn't know how to spell it is because he didn't learn how to take pictures of his words. He only learned through the methods that were being taught, and they were wonderful methods. It just didn't work for him.
So, I found that year, by the way, and many other years, I had so many sixth-graders who came in, were testing at the second grade. What I realized is they just could not remember all the phonics rules or clues to get past that to get into the third-grade multi-syllable reading. So, I said, what can I do to help him? How can I make a difference? Because everybody else was loving and caring and did everything else they knew. So, I went to the head of the group and I asked God to help me. So I said, help me to know how to help these kids find the smart part of themselves and change evidence that they believe they're smart, because it is showing.
So I used Mark 4:22. Well God, I said, You said there was nothing hidden that wouldn't be revealed. Now, this way to teach them, isn't hidden. It's revealed. But I need Your help to find it. Then I prayed 2 Timothy 2:7. He said, I'll give you insight and not...and understanding in everything you ask for. Well, I needed insight and understanding to help with how to have these wonderful, smart kids learn how to learn. So, they could do whatever they wanted to in life.
So, I asked that, and then I went on and I learned and I went to classes and went to workshops and learned different ways of doing things. So, what we did is, when we look at why these wonderful guys came to me with some...such low skills, even though they had such good ability, and had been helped by so many people. What do we normally do? What's the traditional way that we do interventions and remediation for these smart kids are behind? And does it change the evidence? Well, for spelling, as I would be sitting there in the IEP meetings and maybe you've been in some meetings, we would say, okay, how can this child...is getting poor grades in spelling. He just can't...everything that we've done. We've had him write the words five times each. That doesn't work. We've tried to have him sound it out. He can't hear the sounds because he has an auditory processing problem. What can we do so that he can get some success?
Well, we would write in the IEP, reduce the spelling list. If they had ten words, he only would be responsible for five. So, we thought we were moving out of compassion. Because, then he would get a good grade. But we were really, truly guaranteeing that he would be a poor speller all his life, because those extra five words that the other kids got, he never got. So, I said, okay, after learning from...as I say, all these wonderful teachers before me, and going up to the workshops, and getting more classes than were in my education, I found out different ways to teach spelling.
So, I would go into a classroom and I'd say, I would like, like for Jeremy, I want, not only his...the second-grade spelling word that he would be responsible for, all of them. I want the bonus words. Because if we could take a picture of a short word, we could take a picture of a long word. And then, I didn't really care about the bonus words. But, what I cared about is the fact that they knew them, they took them, and they had the evidence that they were in a bonus word group in school. Changed their entire feeling about themselves.
So, one of the traditional ways we did before was reducing the list. Let's not do that anymore. And then the other one is the write it more times. Write it five times each. Well, Jeremy, like most of my young men and girls who were in my classes, had a undiagnosed dysgraphia. Which means when they put the pencil in their hand, everything left their brain. It was like a lock between the head and their hand. In the other podcast, we talked about how to get rid of dysgraphia, but first, how to recognize it. So, for him, by the time he would write that spelling word the fifth time, he misspelled it complete, because he had to use all of his battery energy for the process of writing. He couldn't use his battery energy to learn the word. Recognizing that that was going on, we bypassed that. And, we began to show them a different way to do spelling.
So, and that...then another thing we wrote in the IEP, practice at home. So, at home, around the coffee table...apparently these words are easier to learn. In other words, we had really no idea other than do slower, louder, multiple repetitions. Seeing, in front of us, a child who wanted to learn, and seeing parents who were so helpful. What was the problem? And so, with spelling, these are the traditional things that the kids have had before. We tried these unusual ways to learn.
In reading, how do we usually teach reading? People go to intensive reading classes. They do tiles. They do manipulations. They do games. They repeat lessons. They memorize rules to songs. All of those are helpful, and if they would have been working for my kids, my population, we wouldn't be in my resource room classroom at sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. So, they were very good interventions for children who didn't have the needs that my children did, even though all of them were very bright, smart kids. That these are the things that just didn't work.
So, the first thing I did was look at what didn't work and say, okay, there's nothing to be gained by giving them one more year of the same thing. So I put all those workbooks, all those worksheets up on the shelf. For writing, what's the traditional way we learn to...we would give intervention for? Number one in our IEP meetings, we said, okay for this ??? I found that, so many of my classroom was what we call two X's, twice exceptionals. They had an exceptionally high IQ. In the school system, if they're above 120, it's considered in the gifted class. And...but they would list their other exception...why were they twice-exceptional? They were spelling words like W-U-Z. They wouldn't write their name. They wouldn't write any papers at all. They did all their math problems in their head. Because if they put the offending utensil in their hand, which is the pencil or pen, they got blocked. They couldn't think and write at the same time. So, that was a dysgraphia had gone undiagnosed until middle school years.
So, what we wanted...work-arounds, we did, was to script. So we would say, okay, the parent can script. Or they take a test, someone can script. In other words, it's what you've been doing with these bright kids who can write. They can orally give you a story that sounds like it could be published, but you ask them to write anything, and it's just one sentence. So, they said, okay to get around that, we'll script. Well, you can go to college with modifications. Just have somebody scribe for them. Well, that's not an evidence of being a good writer. So, we wanted to change the evidence. Or, we say, put them on the keyboard. And of course, everybody needs to learn the keyboard. And we're so glad that they can. But, they had so much hesitation too, that's head and hand. There's a two by four between their head and their hand we have to get rid of.
And then, what's the other thing that we write in our IEPs. Put 'em on Dragon Speak or some kind of a word to print software. Nice. We love it. We're so glad they're there. But again, remember, we wanna change the evidence. With math, what are...what's the traditional intervention we do? They use manipulatives. We love manipulatives. We teach so nicely, but sometimes these guys can't get past the manipulatives. So...and we...another intervention we give them, practice worksheets to do at home. Let's get those facts down. Let's do them. Let's write them a hundred more times, or say them, or have a game. And the last...well, you know, place they go to is the calculator. Which is not a bad place to be at all. But, again, we haven't changed the evidence. They still realize, when they need a calculator to do the very basic math processes, they don't feel that they are smart. And then they don't tend to pursue the things that God has intended for them to pursue.
So, we're gonna look at plan A. We're gonna...plan A is what we were talking about when traditional teaching strategies. This...they remain many years behind. I'm gonna look at plan B. What I call the back door. The front door is regular curriculum, staying and memorizing and writing and all the things that work that we're so grateful for. But, we have our wonderful crew, which I love, is my group of kids for whom that isn't working. Then we get together and we say, what a wonderful brain God made for us because that back door is just as strong as a front door. In fact, it's stronger because we know that when we put in it the visual memory, our right brain, which has...is such...so many megabytes. The more megabytes in the left brain. It actually stays in there longer and better with the memory hooks that we're gonna use.
So, plan B is alternative learning strategies. In our classroom and our pull-out classes, we got a two-year growth in reading. Three-year growth in spelling. Every year. And many times more, because these guys had a good vocabulary. We just had to show them how to make things work and how to problem solve long words versus memorizing the rules. They are really good at that. So, plan B is to change the evidence. So, when we look at, how can we change the evidence in different subjects? Oh, it's so fun to do. One of the things we can do for reading, let's change the evidence. These guys come in and they're still guessing at words. They can't sound words out. They certainly can't spell. And the first thing they have to do is take spelling and reading and they are two absolutely separate topics. So, we don't use phonics for spelling. For spelling, we're gonna save the phonics for reading, and instead, we're gonna use our photographic memory for these struggling spellers. We're gonna jazz up our letters in the word that they aren't remembering easily. We have found that you can either remember auditorily, by saying it over and over, for our kids who are strong auditory learners. But for our kids who had auditory processing glitches, which was my population, the rules of the first vowel does the talking, second vowel does the walking, doesn't work for them, because they forget walking, talking, which one...who does what? Or, C followed by E, I, and Y always gets the S out. C followed by what? Because see, that's...for them, auditory memory.
We have to find a way to get through the back door. That would be the front door. We got rooms for your child. The back door, which many of us also love, is, by putting memory hooks on 'em. Memory hooks are color, picture, weird, emotion. For our kids, it's basically, my boys love bodily fluids. If you put bodily fluids on a letter...blood...brown stuff...air, that doesn't smell good. Oh, they have so much fun with it. That glues it into the right brain. When I learned, it totally transformed my way of teaching these guys.
I remember one school, I had some...what would be...turned out to be gang members. They didn't wear the scarves on the head, that kind of thing, but they were pretty tough. And they were in eighth grade. And they'd been in special ed all these years and learned almost nothing. They had no hope that I was gonna do anything different. But they didn't know that I was really backed with prayer, so that was guaranteed to work. So, what I did was, I would put words on the board, or they would, first of all, sit in the chairs with their arms folded. And if I didn't get them successful right away, they wouldn't have done anything for me. So, we did our spelling words forwards and backwards. We did our phonics, where each one took a turn and we went down the row and we read long words with the decoding unit in colors. So, I would put, like, A-U right on the picture of a saw. I almost had to embed it. And so, like, Eric Rodrigues was that eighth-grader, he said, Mrs. Craft, I use to always guess at those long words with A-U in it. Now, every time I see A-U, in my mind, I see a picture of a saw.
So, now he had all these words with A-U in it that suddenly were opened to him. Every day, we practiced long words with the decoding unit, the piece, O-Y, A-U, O-W...all our different pieces, or from use, as we call them, in color. With a picture. Right on there. We always keep it in front of them. And they got so confident reading long words that by the end of the year...and it's so amazing it happened every year. By the end of the year, the kids were bringing long words to me in a crumpled piece of paper in their pocket and say, Mrs. Craft, put this on the board. We can sound this out. And then, we would take it and we'd do our, what we call our really odd way of sounding out. In other words, we problem solved a word. We can start at the end of the word, or the middle of the word. Or find a little word in a big word. Until, pretty soon, we figured it out. And they do so well. And they...what have I done? Changed the evidence. Because now, they no longer are stumped by words and don't have a clue. It's cause they can't remember the sound. No. Those pictures are right there.
So, for reading, that's what we do for reading. We teach phonics with the embedding. The brain likes to chunk. And it likes to have the sound and the letter on the same piece. And that's what we wanted to do too. So, as I would chunk these, and put the sound right on the picture, their brain could hold onto it, so there were no rules, no writing, no memorization, no games. They loved the games. But it just didn't help them read.
Many times, all the time we get this...we work with thousands of parents since then, because it's been over the years, they went from...they go from being a non-reader to reading two syllables in just maybe in a few weeks or few months. So, we pull them ahead, and their evidence changes and they get enthusiastic. For sight words, we do that with no pain. We embed the word and the meaning together, so that they get it right away. They look at the word in their minds eye, they see the picture. Like for "have", it looks it should be have, isn't it? We put a ice cream cone on the A, and so, every time they see the word have, when they're reading, they see the ice cream cone, they remember it's have, happens in half a second. They go on with reading. Word retrieval's easy. They can actually spell it too. Because of the fact that it's a picture.
We do oral reading without tears. We use color transparencies over the page. Sometimes that's enough to change the evidence that a child can't read well, because his eyes are jumping all over. We put a color transparency up, and it settles down. All of a sudden, the evidence, oh, this isn't one of them being dumb or slow. Or being lazy or sloppy and not using their finger enough. No. It was their eyes not working well together. We do an eye exercise, then, to reduce reversals in the moving of words. Then we do pre-teaching. We never have a child read a...from book cold. Our whole goal is to make them so smart to themselves, that they are the audience that we are trying to impress. So, it's like a piano recital.
So, when my boys, whether they were eighth-graders or whether they were second graders, I would...we would sit around a kiddie table, by a flip chart, and on the flip chart, I would put...or on the board...but I like to flip charts so I could use it more often. I would write all the words on my page, or the story, that I thought was gonna...were gonna trip them up. And then, that big...always magic marker color, and we would talk about the word. Sometimes we'd put a little picture on the letter so he could remember the word. Make them...it's all about the words. Then when they read, when they read and they get a word wrong, I don't correct them. Because they're working too hard and that would change the message that, no, you really didn't get. I keep it in my head, and the next day, before we read the next story, I put down that word and we play with it and say, oh, we need some fuzz on there. Well, maybe we need some blood. We need something to happen to remember these words. And they remember them.
Always keep it in front of their camera. Don't say don't...the most useless words in the English language? Don't you remember? Oh, if they could remember, they'd know this, right? They would know this. So, the important thing is, we never interrupt the oral reading. Well, sometimes mom's say, I have to use duct tape, and I found some in pink. Pink duct tape is our best friend because we are giving them a message. If you went to a recital you had your child in, piano practice and they had their yearly recital, and they were up at that piano, and the recital teacher came up and said, we're gonna give Jimmy a new piece to play today. We're...he's gonna...you're gonna all enjoy it. Well, he would just...you would lose your breath, wouldn't you? Oh my goodness. He's gonna stumble. He's not gonna look good in front of the audience. Good to remember that analogy because, in an oral reading with a struggling reader, our child is the audience. Our job is to make them look good so, if they get something wrong, it's not like we're not gonna teach it. Just not at that moment. So, we have articles on that on our website. I'm sure other people do too. Of how to do oral reading with a child who's struggling.
So, we found that we could change the evidence in reading. How did we change their evidence that they're really smart in spelling? Oh, this is the most fun of all. We would take the words and we would jazz up the letters and add color and story and emotion, and weird. Great memory hooks. That sometimes they called us healing teaching. Healing teaching is teaching the same content as you would at that age level, at their grade level, but putting memory hooks on it so you don't have to go back and catch it again.
So, we would take the...I loved to do this with my second graders. I loved to take a word that, of course, they would never get until the, probably, fifth or sixth grade, and one of which is, psychology. And so, we would put all sorts of jazz on there and the C-H-O, one of the guys would be going to a movie, and one of 'em had gas, and they gas coming out of the H and the C and they were holding their nose. And all those kinds of funny little things. And, they would spell psychology P-S-Y-C-H-O-L-O-G-Y. They could do it backwards, Y-G-O-L-O-H-C-Y-S-P. Forwards and backwards.
One time, I had a young man here who was at a consultation. And, I always loved to start with the spelling, because immediately, they know that I'm going to make them feel smart and look smart, instead of looking for their...the problems that they were having. And so, we did the psychology forwards and backwards, and this young man, who couldn't even...I think he was eight or nine...he couldn't even remember his name. How to spell his name. He could do that. So, later on, I said, well, psychology. Said, do you think your brother...he had a brother just a year older and he's just always lamenting, he knew everything. Do you think your brother could spell psychology like you can? And he said, yeah, he could. And I said, backwards? And he got this gleam in his eye. And he didn't look...and he said, no. Not backwards. Said, good. You go ahead and show him backwards, but not how you got it.
So, what did we give him? Evidence that that's how you change the evidence. Use the subjects. Go through the back door. Give them evidence, not, gee, you're good at spelling, and they see everything circled. No, you're good at spelling because I see that you know how to make pictures and, whoa, what a difference that makes. So we're gonna...how do we change the evidence in writing? Well, what we do it, we're gonna get rid of the dysgraphia first of all. That having to think about left and right. That having to think about that spacing and letters. We don't need that. So, we're gonna do a figure 8, a writing 8 exercise from our brain integration therapy. You can get it on my...our manual. Or, Brain Balance. Brain Highways. Little Giants. All those programs have it. We just do an easy at-home program.
So, we're gonna do that dysgraphia exercise. And I did this with all my kids. Whatever grade they were in. In fact, I do this exercise every day myself. It connects and reorganizes your brain. The eye and the hand are so important. God made it all work together. When we did this ten minute a day midline exercise, at the beginning of our language arts class, by the end of the year...it did take till the end of the year...we got better by Christmas. But we didn't get rid of...we didn't transfer that over to the automatic hemisphere right away. No more reversals. No more spacing. No more resistance to writing.
So, how else do we show them that they could be writers? A way that we can change the evidence for writing. This is a fabulous breakthrough that I was so thrilled when I felt God show me this method, I put several different methods together, and then a unique kind of different perspective on it. So, let's see if works for you. We get good reports from it. But we use what we call a right-brain method. So, my boys would come in, for example, I had Eric. Again, he was a seventh-grader. And a gifted talented teacher said you know what, I'm gonna have him go on to your language arts pull out room because Eric has never turned in anything other than his name on a piece of paper. Now, he was testing at 125 IQ. We knew that he knew how to write. He had great stories in his head.
So, this is what I did with my students. They weren't learning the outline method. Everything was confusing to them. So, after doing that all-important ten-minute midline exercise, to get rid of the dysgraphia, or the stress in the writing system, I put their curriculum on the shelf. For this, you don't need any curriculum. We did this all year. What I did was, I would come up with a subject. I said, let's talk about...let's just even say, I wanted them to know how to write from a blank piece of paper. A chair. And then we would...I would put up blobs. Five blobs. First blob was gonna be the first part of the word. Three other blobs...well, the first part is the...first blob is the title or topic. The three blobs under it is what we're gonna tell our audience about that topic. And the last blog is, basically, a conclusion.
Now, that could be from teaching third-grader three sentences that match the topic, and one sentence with a conclusion. I found I could make that template work all the way to my eighth graders who were writing five-paragraph papers. We did this every...once a week, we wrote a paper together, on the board. Because we needed to model the thinking. And then we would write it. And then we had to...came to the part they loved the most. We call it our zany corrections.
So, we would put it on the board and we would read it. Somebody would give me theirs. Some brave soul, at first. Then after that, they all volunteered to do it, but they didn't know what was going to happen at first. So, they took...I took their paper. We wrote on, basically, an overhead projector at that time. And we read it out loud. And I started giving points. I said, oh, look, read this...read me this first sentence. Oh, look it, he started with a capital letter. I'd give him a point, and read on. Oh, you said ???, oh, that's a nice adjective. I'm gonna give you a point for that. Oh, and the period, oh you get a point. And now you've started your next sentence with a capital letter. Let's say they didn't. In other words, there was no capital letter there. You say, oh, you get a point. You started with a capital letter. Oh, no capital letter? No problem. We'll go, okay, oh, hey, look, an adjective. Oh, look it, he gave a nice description. That's worth a point. All the way through, you give points capriciously. Not by rules. Not like, this equals that many points. Because, after a while, they would...when they realize that they're gonna get a point, let's say someone said, a giant. Oh, giant is even more powerful than big. That's a two-pointer. They say to themselves, two-pointer? Wonder how I could get a two-pointer?
So, every...and, then at the end, they add up all...I add up all the points and that's what they get. And sometimes they chew bubble gum. They'll do anything for bubble gum I discovered. But what they'll do is they'll even audit you. No, Mrs. Craft, you forgot a point. And these are fifteen-year-old basketball players. And so, they're not little guys. No, you forgot that. So, they would watch, and they would make sure that I got all the points. And I'd always sound invariably like a young girl who felt she was a monitor of the world, and she'd raise her hand and say, Mrs. Craft, don't you see? He misspelled love. And I looked and I said, nope, I didn't notice that. And then, you just move on. And they say, she doesn't notice spelling?
Of course, we're going to keep them...I gather that. I harvest those words. And the next week, we're going to have those words in our spelling test. I do not know why but on the paper. It got to be so we wrote and they would want to write more because...and I hear this from moms all the time. I can't believe that he wants to write more. Why? Because they love the challenge of seeing how many points they can get. And then, later on, you're going to refine their paragraph writing. You're gonna refine their words. You're gonna add things. But you always do it before they write the paper. At the end, it's just all positive points. Then you see what you need and you refine it. And we just call that the right brain writing method. By the end of the year, I was getting four-page papers from them.
And I'll never forget the year that I had three fifth graders come into my writing class. Normally I had a lot more than that, but that was a very small one. And they said, Mrs. Craft, this is Wednesday. Wednesday's supposed to be our writing day, but we have an assembly. Do we still get to write? That's how much they liked it. Some of them said, can I finish this at home? That was...we changed the evidence. In fact, we have many kids who are...now they've been doing this for so long, they've gone to college and they said they got a journalism degree. They had a little writer inside of them, but they had been driven out by having so little success in that.
So, that's how we change the evidence for writing. We use zany corrections. The strategy keeps them wanting to write. No red marks. Points are given for every good thing they write on the paper. Rewards are given, and they soon ask for this writing every day, and I have to say, no kidding. Because it is actually true, and we hear from so many parents. So we can just find articles like this that we have, and I'm sure other people have too.
The last one that we're gonna change their right evidence is in math. How many kids say, I hate math. I can't do math. I don't even remember my multiplication tables. I had a young girl tell me that yesterday. She was 21. Graduated. She said you know what? I still haven't memorized all my multiplication tables. I guess, you know, basically, the dirty little secret. And I said, you know, lots of people haven't. So, what we do is, instead of seeing the rhyming, the...all the skip counting...excellent ways. If that was working, that wouldn't be a problem for...so what we do is, we add pictures and weirdness and story on these. Not a rhyming kind of thing, like every four is a door and every five is a hive. No, but, each problem has a story attached to it that is so engaging that they'll never forget it.
So, we're gonna bypass their memorization...need for memorizing by multiplication facts, by putting the visual imprint of a problem and the answer together. That's what the brain likes. Put the problem with the answer. For example, when you have your multiplication cards that is... they're like, eight times seven, but it has a blink underneath and around when you turn the card around, and the back is the answer. Well, the brain doesn't do a virtual tour and look for the back. Remember, we're teaching to their camera. The camera picture taking, visual brain is the relaunch where memory is stored for these guys, and we would put it directly in there.
So instead, we always put the problem with the answer. If you put the answer in color, it's a better hold. If you put it with emotion, better hold then. Also, a tragedy, like a broken light, holds on. But kids love it, and without knowing it, the effort to pull it up and retrieve it from their memory is less than fifty percent of us taking them before. And they will feel smart, and that's changing the evidence.
Sometimes we get division, fractions, decimals. And even prealgebra and algebra, where they need to memorize the processes, and what do I do first in fractions? Or division of fractions. We invert the divisor and multiply. Well, what if we take that and we make it a magician who's taking those two fractions and making them glasses of water. And on the stage, he turns the second one upside down and says viola, no drips. All that little story on that, when they learn it then, later on when they see a division problem with fractions, they remember, oh, yeah, that's the magician one. It's upside down.
So, we're gonna memorize all sorts of our processes. Division using story, color, picture. Then the processes become a breeze to remember. And the test scores just soar. There's no need to change curriculum. In all of these things that we are talking about today, we don't change...we don't need to go out and buy a lot of curriculum. We just need to see if we could find and use the back door to change the evidence. We don't need to have them always thinking that they're not smart.
I'm Dianne Craft. I have enjoyed giving you some of these little tricks and tips that I've learned. It's just made my life very exciting and fun. Feel free to look on my website, DianneCraft.org, for more articles, and check out the wonderful solutions that the podcast people have put together for you, and it's momshomeschool.mom. We'll have a lot of good articles and podcasts for you, to show you how to help your child change the evidence.
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