Kick off June with some inspiration. The Understood team is always on the lookout for great stories about people who learn and think differently. Here are 11 articles, blog posts, and videos we loved that were posted in May.
3. A classroom remix of “Old Town Road.” What happens when you tweak a No. 1 song so the lyrics address math anxiety and help boost kids’ confidence before a test? A video of third-graders singing “School is my task/I can do this math” has been viewed more than 4.6 million times on Twitter.
4. Music to our ears. Here are some cool facts about Melissa Salguero:
- She won a Grammy for her work as a music educator in New York City.
- She started a morning music program that has helped reduce absenteeism at her public school in the Bronx.
- She struggled with dyslexia as a kid: “I learned then that to succeed is not to reach the goal, but to give the best of oneself.”
- She’s the only teacher in the U.S. to make the top 10 finalists for this year’s $1 million Global Teacher Award.
5. Third time’s a charm. Michaela LeCompte is a single mom with ADHD. The 29-year-old Native American dropped out of college twice and then enrolled again at Montana State University. “This time I did it different,” she told the Billings Gazette. For one thing, she used the college’s disability services.
This time around she was also inspired by her three kids. “Without my children, I wouldn’t be here,” LeCompte said. “I wouldn’t have the guts to let go of my pride and say, ‘I need help, what can you do to help me?’” She graduated in May with honors.
6. Sesame Street’s new character. Karli is in foster care. Sesame Street also unveiled new resources to help foster families support foster kids and help them feel safe. With Karli, the show is getting even more inclusive. In 2017, it introduced Julia, a character who has autism.
We are excited to announce a new @SesameCommunity initiative to support foster children, foster parents, & providers who serve foster families. With the help of Karli, a Muppet in foster care, these resources aim to reassure children & help them feel safe. https://t.co/Vtpl1rOh1g pic.twitter.com/jwrt3VovfG — Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) May 20, 2019
8. What do parents need? A mom blogger chews on this hard-to-answer question. (Her endearingly funny post involves Wookiees and walk-in liquor closets.) Jen Torbeck Merrill is an educator and homeschooler. She’s also the author of If This Is a Gift, Can I Give It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional.
9. No longer a reluctant reader. What helped a kid with dyslexia learn to love reading in high school? The answer involves a supportive teacher and a Facebook post by Humans of New York that has been liked more than 350,000 times. Scroll through some of the 9,000 comments—they’re pretty inspiring too.
10. Tough problem, simple solution. Having a cell phone nearby is distracting—even if it’s silenced or turned off. This Edutopia video shows that kids do better on math problems when their phones are in a separate room rather than in their pocket or backpack. Yet another way to help kids manage screen time!
11. Mom-and-son quiz. The final entry on the May roundup comes from Understood’s YouTube channel. A middle-schooler with ADHD and his mom have a loving relationship, but how well do they really know each other’s likes, dislikes, and learning styles? Watch this quiz to find out.
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About the author
Julie Rawe is the special projects editor at Understood.