Glasses for Your Student

Glasses for students are obviously very important for learning. Before we assess students for special education we check their hearing and vision. Sometimes it can be outside of a family’s budget to purchase glasses (especially with active students breaking their glasses). This post should provide you with some ideas to help obtain affordable glasses and why it is important.

Articles

Promoting Wearing of Glasses

Third of children who need glasses aren’t wearing them – and this may be impacting their academic, social and emotional learning

Encouraging your child to wear glasses

UCLA Study: Impact Analysis of Vision to Learn

Math GPA among all students before and after glasses graph
Reading GPA among all students before and after glasses graph

Resources

Vision To Learn started with a single van in Los Angeles in 2012 and now operates in more than 325 cities from Honolulu to Baltimore, becoming the largest school-based program of its kind in the nation.

New Eyes

New Eyes for the Needy purchases new prescription eyeglasses for low-income individuals in the U.S. through a voucher program. To be eligible for the program, applicants must:

  • Meet the U.S. Poverty guidelines.
  • Have had a recent eye exam. New Eyes does not pay for eye exams.
  • Have no other resources available to them to pay for glasses, including federal or state programs or assistance from local charitable organizations.

After applying for assistance and being provided with a voucher, clients will then be able to present a New Eyes eyeglass voucher to any one of a number of participating local eye doctors, retailers or optical dispensers. These locations will then proceed with fitting you with the proper prescription eyeglasses that will be free of charge. A New Eyes voucher typically covers only the cost of a basic pair of single or lined bifocal eyeglasses. The dispenser or doctor will then receive reimbursement directly from New Eyes.

For more information about New Eyes, call 1-973-376-4903 or visit the New Eyes website.

VISION USA

VISION USA is a service of the American Optometric Association and provides assistance to uninsured, low-income individuals and households.

You will need to apply for help. If after applying, you are found to be qualified for assistance you may be eligible to receive services from a local eye doctor.

Patients will be provided with information and partnered with one of the many volunteer doctors of optometry who are located around the nation and in your local community. They will provide you with a free, high quality, comprehensive eye exam at no charge to the individual. While currently a contact lens exam and / or  contacts are not available through the VISION USA programs, free eye wear may be provided at no cost to the client or for a small fee/donation in some states under certain conditions and situations. At least one person in the household must be employed to participate in the program.

To apply for a free eye exam or glasses, call VISION USA at 1-800-766-4466 or visit the VISION USA website.

Lions Club and OneSight

Lions Club international has gained worldwide recognition for their work to improve sight and prevent blindness. OneSight, A Luxottica Group Foundation, is a family of charitable vision care programs dedicated to improving the vision of people around the world through outreach, research and education.

Lions Club and OneSight work together to provide eyeglasses to those in need through:

  • Special Price Voucher – Lions clubs may purchase an unlimited number of eyeglass vouchers for pre-screened individuals. The special price is US$50 per pair in the United States and US$70 per pair in Canada. Eye exams are not included. The vouchers are available in a book of 10. To order a book or single voucher, call OneSight in Mason, Ohio at 1-888-935-4589.
  • OneDay – On OneDay [formerly known as Hometown Day], the second Tuesday of December, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical and Target Optical open their doors early to provide free optical exams and new eyewear to thousands in need.

Lions Club assistance varies across the country, so check with your local club to see what they offer. For example, in our local community, the Lions Club focuses on helping children who have been referred to them through the school. Visit the Lions Club website to find a club near you.

EyeBuy Direct and ZenniOptical

Several online eyeglass companies have started to crop up and fill the need for affordable eyeglasses. With no overhead or ‘middlemen,’ online eyeglass retailers have some of the lowest prices I’ve seen, with a complete set of progressive lens glasses coming in at $45 when you start with a $6 frame; they look good, too. Visit EyeBuy Direct or ZenniOptical website to learn more.

These are some of the resources that I have found to help adults who can’t afford to buy a pair of glasses. What other resources can you add to the list?

Accommodations

CLASSROOM ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH VISUAL ISSUES

Videos

Great Behavioral Resources from “Behavior is Communication” by Senaida Mehmedovic, Ed.S., NCSP

In looking at the source for my previous post on resources, I came across the name Senaida Mehmedovic Ed.S. NCSP. I then saw that she had this google site and was really impressed. They include Teacher and School Psychologist tools to help support student behavior. I thought these resources looked really worthwhile. 

TOOLS
School Psychologist Behavior Tools

Teacher Tools

Visual and Miscellaneous Tools

More Google Drive School Psychologist Tools and Treasures

Here are two new treasure troves of School Psychologist tools. The first was found on a Facebook group for School Psychologists. The second link is from a prominent group called “Said No School Psychologist Ever”.

First Link

Click this Link- Treasure Trove

Second Link

From “Said No School Psychologist Ever” – Link Here

Eclectic Collection of Executive Functioning Resources

Supporting students with Executive Functioning deficits is a big part of the consultations that I do at my schools. Below is a Google Drive link with a wide variety of materials, readings, and tools to help out those students who need more support with Executive Skills.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1IF3RLR0Y7GGaBcKS_m5DrMEZDdiqqAqY?usp=sharing

Use the 5 Love Languages to Better Understand and Connect with your Kid(s)

We all want to connect with our children on a deeper level. Understanding the needs and wants of our kids is a short cut to connecting. The 5 Love Languages is a tool to elicit what best translates to love for that individual. Using the short activity questionnaire (below) you can easily do (in a half hour) with your kids to find out a little more about how they tic.

5 Love Languages
A) Words of affirmation – These are the ways you express your gratitude, and even your
needs to someone else in a positive manner, such as: “I appreciate your help running
skit lines when I was sick;” “I really appreciate you doing such a good job with your
small groups.”
• Verbal compliments – “Your enthusiasm in the mornings at orientation has
been excellent;” “Thank you for answering my questions about Mason. I’m really
excited about coming here in the Fall;” “I’m sure your small group members
really love you.”
• Encouraging words – “I know you’ll do great;” “You’ve got great potential;”
“Keep it up”
• Kind words – Said in a kind and gentle tone of voice: “I care about you;” “I hope
we can learn from this experience;” “You’re not a failure just because you failed;”
“I know you can”
• Humble words – Making requests, not demands: “I really liked it when you
were on time for PL training, do you think you can do it again;” “Do you think it
would be possible to swap duties farther in advance next time;” “I’d really like it
if we could talk about this and find a solution.”
B) Quality Time – Time spent with another person with your undivided attention focused
on them. This can happen in groups, but it is a little more difficult. Togetherness
(focused attention) and Quality Conversation (focused not on what you’re saying, but
what you’re hearing) are 2 types of Quality Time.
• Sitting around and talking (TV off) – Maintain eye contact; don’t listen and do
something else at the same time; listen for feelings; observe body language;
refuse to interrupt
• Taking a walk or going somewhere together
• Playing games
• Doing something you mutually enjoy
C) Receiving Gifts – A gift is any tangible item that reminds you that someone was
thinking of you when they gave it to you. These gifts don’t have to cost any money or
take a lot of time to create. They just have to show thoughtfulness and remind them that
you care.
• A handmade or store-bought card
• Candy
• Flowers
• Snack or a meal
D) Acts of Service – This is a way of expressing love or care for someone by serving them,
doing something for them, or helping them to accomplish a task without expecting
anything in return. Sometimes, actions can speak much louder than words.
• Bringing someone coffee
• Cleaning up a mess
• Putting up someone else’s posters
• Volunteering when someone is asking for help or input

Book

The link below is to Gary Chapman’s Book on the 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages of Children: (PDF) Secret of how to Love Children. (Book 317pages)

Parent Quiz

LOVE LANGUAGES MYSTERY GAME-This is the activity to discover your child’s love language.

Source

Maple Syrup Urination Disease (MSUD)

 

MSUD Diagram

Recently, I had a student diagnosed with MSUD. It was the first time I had heard of the disease. This post will review all that I learned about MSUD.

Defined

Maple syrup urine disease is an inherited disorder in which the body is unable to process certain protein building blocks (amino acids) properly. The condition gets its name from the distinctive sweet odor of affected infants’ urine. It is also characterized by poor feeding, vomiting, lack of energy (lethargy), abnormal movements, and delayed development. If untreated, maple syrup urine disease can lead to seizures, coma, and death.

Maple syrup urine disease is often classified by its pattern of signs and symptoms. The most common and severe form of the disease is the classic type, which becomes apparent soon after birth. Variant forms of the disorder become apparent later in infancy or childhood and are typically milder, but they still lead to delayed development and other health problems if not treated. Source

MSUD means that the person’s body is unable to break down protein in the usual way. This condition is a rare, non-contagious condition, which, left untreated, can result in irreversible brain damage. Fortunately, the condition can be treated by a special diet, medications and careful management during illness.

Great resource- The ASIEM Low Protein Handbook for MSUD

 

 

Books

MSUD related books published by both casual and professional authors.

 
MSUD Food List Booklet
Recipes your whole family will enjoy
MSUD & Me
Glossary of Terms pertaining to Maple Syrup Urine Disease

Talking to students about the Insurrection at the US Capitol (Teacher and Administrator Resources)

In considering the events on January 6th 2021 we must help our students process this to better understand what occurred.

Read

RESPONDING TO THE INSURRECTION AT THE US CAPITOL

RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS ON THE DAYS AFTER THE ATTACK ON THE U.S. CAPITOL.

Teaching in a Time of Crisis

Talking to Kids About the Attack on the Capitol NEA

NASP Statement on the Assault on the U.S. Capitol NASP

NASP Guidance for Ensuring Student Well-Being in the Context of the 2020 Election NASP

Teaching Resources to Help Students Make Sense of the Rampage at the Capitol New York Times

Dozens of lesson plan ideas, activities and Times materials for exploring the causes and consequences of this assault on democracy in the United States.

Resource Guide

Resources for School Communities in Times of Crisis – Great resources on a Google Doc


Navigation
Self Care Resources for EveryoneTeachers: Curricular Resources & Lesson PlansTeachers: Navigating Conversations, Addressing Difficult Topics, and Coping with Trauma
Leaders: Leadership, Teams, & CultureLeaders: Providing SupportStudents: Activities to Process EmotionsFor Families & Communities
Above is the Navigation of the various areas of the Resource Guide.

Streaming Event

PBS NewsHour Extra@NewsHourExtra·Teachers & school staff: TONIGHT at 7pm ET (4pm PT) w/ @YohuruWilliams@kennethcdavis@saribethrose RSVP: http://bit.ly/zoom1-7 Talk w/ other educators on how to process the #insurrection w/ students & support one another. #sschat#apgov#hsgovchat#USCapitol#CapitolRiots

Consider this when talking with students-

@misskatiesings

Abbreviated version — full vid & discussion prompts on IG @misskatiesings 🧡 // #fyp #preschool #parentsoftiktok #teachersof2020 #kids

♬ original sound – Miss Katie Sings

Organize your talk using these themes below-

Sigal Ben-Porath, an expert in civic education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and fellow at the Center for Ethics at Harvard, says teachers should not ignore yesterday’s historic events.  

But they have to be prepared for the conversation. Ben-Porath suggests starting with these areas of focus:  

  • The facts about the democratic process: according to grade and knowledge levels, discussing the roles of voters, electors, the courts, state legislative bodies, and Congress. The older the kids are, the more detailed the conversation can be, and more opportunities for independent research should be offered. 
  • The events that happened yesterday. Look at diverse and reliable news sources, and apply critical digital literacy skills to social media posts that come from unverified sources. Focus on local news and on public media (such as NPR) to support a habit of consuming reliable news.
  • Discuss the reality of living in historic moments. This can be compared to the lives of people in other crucial moments for democracy. Students can talk about where they were, what they did, what others who were nearby might have felt, etc. 

Teachers holding class online because of the pandemic will also have to think about how the platform might have to change the conversation. The country is clearly polarized. In an online setting, parents can potentially hear the discussion. Students might feel uncomfortable engaging if they know their parents, or many of their classmates’ parents, would hear them disagreeing with the parents’ beliefs.

The goal: finding ways to develop together true knowledge about the events. What happened, and why it matters, are the key questions. 

The process has to include the students, so that they create this knowledge together. The only way to overcome our current polarization is by learning to share the facts, to have a shared understanding of reality. The source of a lot of this chaos is the rift in the facts we have (who won the election, what body has what constitutional role, etc). If students can learn to rely on each other, on their teachers, and on reliable sources, to understand events around them, we can start building the path back to democracy. 

Source

NASP developed election resources to assist adults helping youth navigate feelings of uncertainty and strong emotions, understand hate-based violence, and cope with cope with threatening actions or speech.

Parents: http://bit.ly/39ntkKL

Educators: http://bit.ly/35gN2pU

Class Activities

Breaking down with Incident with 3 prompts to reflect the students HEAD, HEART, and CONSCIENCE.

Holding a Community Circle for your class could help the discussion process.  

Community Circle Guidelines– Gives the concept of Community Circles and procedures.

Community Circle Flow for “Breaking News” for 3rd-6th Grade Students 

Read Aloud by author/illustrator Sarah Lynn Reul https://youtu.be/V-U3lF5Ei_E 

Opening Quote“I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect with another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. And especially if it’s from the heart.” –Rachel Naomi Remen
Round 1Let’s do a check-in. Are you mad, sad, glad, and/or afraid today? What is that mostly about? 
Yesterday was a BREAKING NEWS day in the United States. When reflecting on what happened at the United States Capitol as Congress was working to verify the election…
Round 2 I am going to put on on some calm music for one minute, while you take that time to draw a picture of how you are feeling right: mad, sad, glad, afraid. We will take time for everyone to share their drawing. 
Round 3 It’s okay to disagree with others, but what would it look like, sound like, or feel like to have a peaceful disagreement? 
Round 4 Do you think that YOU need to be a better listener? Why or why not? 
Round 5  Is there anything else you want to add to the circle about yesterday’s events that we did not talk about? 
Close the CircleLet’s take a couple of minutes to close our circle with a mindful breathing activity. (Choose your classes favorite breathing strategy-Box breathing, Figure 8, Breath in-Breath-Out). 

Community Circle Flow for  January 7, 2021 for Middle School and High School

Opening QuoteRead the poem, “Let American Be American Again” by Langston Hughes https://poets.org/poem/let-america-be-america-again
Round 1As you listened to Mr. Hughes’ poem were you mad, sad, glad, or afraid? What is that mostly about? 
When reflecting on what happened at the United States Capitol as Congress was working to verify the election…
Round 2 What surprised you about yesterday? 
Round 3 What has changed or challenged your thinking? 
Round 4  How do we reject violence in our daily lives?
Round 5 What can you do to make a non-violent difference in Your Life, Your School, Your World?
Close the Circle Is there anything else you want to add to the circle about yesterday’s events that we did not talk about? 

Slide – Source

Upcoming (12-21-20) AFT Presentation on Supporting Students Experiencing Grief by Chelsea Prax

Grief Definition Flowchart

Grief might be the one topic that Schools and Teachers might be under prepared to deal with in 2021.

The AFT has many opportunities and resources available to its members. The AFT Share My Lesson website is a hub of many teaching resources such as lessons and webinars. One of the webinars available to members is about grief amongst our student population. The growing number of loss due to the pandemic places a greater burden on educational staff as we too are navigating loss within our own family circles. Earlier this year we met with Chelsea Prax from AFT to discuss offering this webinar series to our membership, but with the challenge of crisis teaching, we held off. The AFT will be offering the series in a few weeks. This article, Grief among students: tools for educators facing a wave of loss, speaks to the need to provide this webinar.

“As COVID-19 sweeps through communities across the nation, educators are on the frontlines witnessing unprecedented grief and loss among their students. Parents and other family members are getting sick and sometimes dying, household tension is rising with job loss and remote learning, routines are being disrupted and social networks shattered by the need to distance and isolate.”

If you are interested in attending this webinar is scheduled to happen on Monday, December 21 at 12 pm pacific time (3 pm eastern)

Webinar: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2873575/6BCF55E259C6F7F8515B43163CD5043E

Chelsea Prax was also recently on the Podcast The Widowed Parent called, “Exploring grief in schools in the era of COVID with Maria Collins and Chelsea Prax” One of our members shared this podcast link with us to share with members:0

Podcast Link: https://jennylisk.com/podcast/wpp091  

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:

Kai's Journey - A book series about grief, strength and love.


Kai’s Journey books – Kai’s Journey is a series about a little boy named Kai who, together with his mom, learns how to navigate a profound loss in their family. 

Scholastic Grieving Students logo

Coalition to Support Grieving Students –

Video- https://vimeo.com/394316350

[Infographic} 4 Grief Definitions

Sleep Hygiene for Children

Image description not available.

The Stresses of life especially in the time of the COVID-19 Pandemic difficulty with sleep is affecting our students more than ever. This post is aimed at a variety of tools and ideas to support your struggling sleeper.

Sleep Hygiene for Children
Preschoolers (ages 3-5 years) generally need between 10-13 hours of sleep per night, and
school-age children (ages 6-13 years) need between 9-11 hours of sleep per night.

  1. Stick to the same bedtime and wake time every day, even on weekends. Children sleep
    better when they have the same bedtime and wake time every day. Staying up late
    during the weekend and then trying to catch up on sleep by sleeping in can throw off a
    child’s sleep schedule for several days.
  2. Beds are for sleeping. Try to use your bed only for sleeping. Lying on a bed and doing
    other activities (e.g., watching TV, using a tablet or computer) makes it hard for your brain
    to associate your bed with sleep.
  3. A comfy, cozy room. A child’s bedroom environment should be cool, quiet, and
    comfortable.
  4. Alarm clocks are for waking up. Children who tend to stare at the clock, waiting and
    hoping to fall asleep should have the clock turned away from them.
  5. Bedtime routine. A predictable series of events should lead up to bedtime. This can
    include brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, and reading a story from a book.
  6. Quiet, calm, and relaxing activities. Before bedtime is a great time to relax by listening to
    soft, calming music or reading a story. Avoid activities that are excessively stimulating right
    before bedtime. This includes screen time like watching television, using a tablet or computer, and playing video games, as well as physical exercise. Avoid these activities during
    a nighttime awakening as well. It is best to keep video games, televisions, or phones out of
    the bedroom and to limit their use at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  7. How to relax. If a child needs help relaxing, they can use techniques such as taking deep
    and slow breaths or thinking of positive images like being on a beach.
  8. Start the day off right with exercise. Exercising earlier in the day can help children feel
    more energetic and awake during the day, have an easier time focusing, and even help
    with falling asleep and staying asleep later on that evening.
  9. Avoid caff eine. Avoid consuming anything with caff eine (soda, chocolate, tea, coff ee)
    in the late afternoon and throughout the evening. It can still cause nighttime awakenings
    and shallow sleep even if it doesn’t prevent one from falling asleep.
  10. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed. If a child is tossing and turning in bed, have them get
    out of bed and do something that isn’t too stimulating, such as read a boring book (e.g.,
    textbook). They can return to bed once they are sleepy again. If they are still awake after
    20-30 minutes, they can repeat the process and get out of bed for another 20 minutes
    before returning. Doing this prevents the bed from being associated with sleeplessness.
  11. Put kids to sleep drowsy, but awake. The ideal time for a child to go to bed is when they
    are drowsy, but still awake. Allowing them to fall asleep in places other than their
    bed teaches them to associate sleep with other places than their bed.
  12. Cuddle up with a stuff ed animal or soft blanket. Giving a child a security object can be
    a good transition to help them feel safe when their parent(s) isn’t/aren’t there.
    Try to incorporate a doll, toy, or a blanket to comfort them when it’s time for bed.
  13. Bedtime checkups should be short and sweet. When checking up on a child, the main
    purpose is to let them know you are there and that they are all right. The briefer and less
    stimulating, the better.
  14. Maintain a sleep diary in order to track naps, bedtimes, wake times, and behaviors to
    fi nd patterns and work on particular problems when things are not going well.

Source

ARTICLES

HOW TO GET BEDTIMES BACK ON TRACK

THE GOOD-NIGHT GUIDE FOR CHILDREN

Encouraging your child to have good sleep habits

NASP Sleep Problems: Helping Handout for Home

NASP Bedtime Guidelines for Parents

KIDS BOOKS

List of Kids book about sleep by Common Sense Media

Lesson Plans

Bedtime Routines to Improve Sleep Habits (K-2)

Bedtime Routines to Improve Sleep Habits (3-5 grade)

Games

Sleep for Kids Games and Puzzles

Measurement

Child and Adolescent Sleep Checklist– Child and Adolescent Sleep Checklist (CASC) is designed to identify sleep habits and to make a screening of sleep problems among preschoolers, elementary school children, and high school students.This might be helpful for School Psychologists or school teams who want to really understand if a child is experiencing a sleep disturbance and to what degree.

CHILDREN’S SLEEP HABITS QUESTIONNAIRE(ABBREVIATED) Parent-reported screening survey designed to assess behaviorial and medically based sleep problems in school children, aged 4-10 years.

Fire Hits the Santa Cruz Community Hard. Natural Disaster Resources for Schools

Our Central Coast has been hit with major fires. Many families have been displaced and are in crisis. The California Association of School Psychologist has published a variety of resources to support our families.

Resources for Natural Disasters

CASP would like to extend our thoughts and support for the victims of the state’s most recent wildfires. Below are resources from the National Association of School Psychologists and a video of a presentation made at CASP’s Spring Institute held by Santa Rosa Schools Assistant Superintendent Stephen Mizera, Principal Ed Navarro, School Counselor Robin Wilkins, Restorative Specialist Briana Seely-Clark and School Psychologists Angela Bonner and Matthew Park. We hope this information may help as schools and communities come back together to rebuild.