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Archive for August, 2015

Integra Workshop Series – Fall 2015

The Child Development Institute’s Integra Program is proud to present the following spring workshops primarily designed for parents/ caregivers of children with LDs.

The Child Development Institute’s Integra Program is proud to present the following fall workshops primarily designed for parents/ caregivers of children with LDs.

Walk a Mile in my Shoes (Thursday September 17)
This experiential workshop is designed to give participants an understanding of the challenges of having LDs through engaging in a series of activities. Participants will gain knowledge about current thinking in the field of LDs and a practical understanding of how they may affect mental health and everyday life at home and at school.

Accessing School Supports (Thursday October 1)
This workshop will explore strategies for building a team of support within the school system. We will explore both formal and informal ways of communicating with the school and focus on understanding the process of getting help in the classroom or school system. Attention will also be paid to relationship development and team building.

All About Moods: Understanding Anxiety, Depression, and LDs (Thursday October 8)
In this introductory workshop, participants will gain an understanding of anxiety and depression, when to be concerned, approaches to treatment, and the connection between LDs and moods.

Bullying and LDs: Building Your Tool Box to Support Youth with LDs (Thursday November 5)
In partnership with COPA (Centre Ontarien de Prevention des Agressions), this workshop examines the specific factors that put children and youth with LDs at greater risk of being bullied and bullying others, and how adults can help support them. A large portion of the workshop will incorporate experiential exercises, role-plays, and practical tips from COPA’s “Tools Not Rules” workshop to support children and youth with challenges related to bullying.

Introduction to Executive Functioning (Thursday November 19)
This workshop provides participants with an understanding of the nature of executive functioning (higher order thinking skills including organization and problem-solving) and difficulties children with LDs/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may have in regulating themselves. Suggestions on how to support children and youth with executive functioning challenges will be introduced.

To register or see more details on the Integra Workshop Series, click here

Posted in: Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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Building Home-School Communication Strategies

Communicating with Children

Wednesday October 7th, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Presented by Dr. Anne Bailey and Barbara Csenge
Springboard Clinic Office: 301-1055 Yonge Street

This workshop-style evening offers an overview of home/school roles and responsibilities, allowing parents to gain an understanding of how they can be engaged and empowered in proactive and sustainable dialogue with their child’s school.

Dr. Anne Bailey and Barbara Csenge will be discussing the support systems that schools have in place to address the learning needs of their students and who the key players are at your child’s school. Parents can expect a portion of the evening to discuss IEPs and classroom accommodations, including how they can play a collaborative role to support their child. Parents will be encouraged to consider helpful family information to share with their child’s school and techniques that set the stage for sustained collaboration will be discussed. Parents will walk away with a customized action plan to build communication strategies with their child’s education team to set their child up for academic success.

To learn more about the event click here

About The Springboard Clinic:
Springboard Clinic is a one-of-a-kind resource in Toronto for managing mental health and learning differences. They often work beyond the clinic to help integrate and support their clients.

Posted in: Special Education Tutoring

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3 Hilarious Back To School Commercials

Back to school commercial

With the beautiful summer weather, it is hard to imagine there is only two weeks left until back to school.    Back to school means getting back in routine and planning for the school year ahead.

However, back to school can also be fun!

That is why we put together 3 of our favourite and funniest back to school commercials.   From Rubberband Man crashing summer fun to The Breakfast Club you’ll never realized how much fun you can have getting ready for the school season.

1) Rubberband Man Back To School – Office Max

Rubberband Man visits summer play locations (pool, beach, baseball diamond, cottage, amusement parks) to deliver his favourite school supplies.

2) It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Staples

Staples transforms the holiday shopping seasons for back to school.

3) Get That Look – JC Penney

JC Penney takes us back to the 80s with a spoof on the legendary movie The Breakfast Club

Which is your favourite?

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6 Board Games To Get Kids Excited About Math

Family Playing Board Game

While the back-to-school commercials are starting, the summer is not over yet!  They are a good reminder that while students will soon be sharpening their pencils, we can still sharpen their minds this August.  The key for summer learning is to make it fun.  Can math be fun? It sure can.

On the topic of educational fun, we decided to consult our friends at Toytown. Nestled in the heart of Toronto’s midtown Avenue and Lawrence area, this fun haven is Toronto’s oldest family-run, independent toy store. On this very topic, we reached out to the toy maven, Shari Bricks Zeiler to get her take on fun resources to get students enthusiastic about math.

Here are 6 recommendations from Shari on educational games your little learners will love in the month leading up to school.  These classic games can be enjoyed all year round and will help students develop math skills for life.  We guarantee your kids will want to do this homework!

Puzzle Pies from Learning Resources (For ages 2+)

A great introduction to fractions for preschoolers.  Excellent for counting, number recognition, imaginative play, the concept of more/less. It is part of the Smart Snacks line from Learning Resources, the makers of Counting Cookies, a big hit with all kids.

Puzzle Pies


Canadian Currency Xchange from Learning Resources (For ages 3+)

This great set of play money comes with enough coins and bills to create lots of opportunities to hone all basic math skills.


Zingo Time Telling (For ages 5+)

Zingo concentrates on learning to read the hour and minute hands on an analog clock, and make the translation to digital time.  Kids begin to see the connection between the numbers on a digital clock, and the hands on an analog clock. Played on Bingo style cards, players slide the Zingo machine back and forth to reveal tiles that they then must match to their cards.

zingo time


Super Genius Multiplication (For ages 7+)

By the makers of the best-selling game Spot It, this multiplication matching card game focuses on single-unit multiplication equations and prepares your child for more complex equations.  The object is to find the pair between an equation and its product, or two equations, or two products. Excellent for visual perception, processing speed, and problem solving.

super genius

Even Steven’s Odd (For ages 7+)

A fast paced dice game that reinforces math skills like even/odd numbers, addition, subtraction, improves hand-eye coordination and matching skills.

even steven

Pay Day (For ages 8+)

A classic board game to learn about financial literacy and decision making. The players learn to buy businesses, take out loans and pay bills every month.

pay day

Posted in: Math Tutoring, Parent Education Resources

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5 Ways to Make Math Fun This Summer

Math Student

The summer break from is a wonderful time to have fun, play outdoors and take a break from school.   Unfortunately, students can fall into the ‘Summer Slide’ from not being active in learning and lose their Math knowledge from the prior school year.   Math doesn’t always have to be about worksheets and homework problems.    Summer can be a time to make learning fun for children.

Here are 5 great ideas to share:

1) Make Math an Outdoor Activity:  Why not enjoy the sun and learn as the same time.   There a ton of great games to play and learn outdoors for a variety of different age levels.    If your child loves colouring and art, don’t miss this list.

2) Use Real Life Examples:  Show your children how important addition, subtraction, multiplication and division is to every day life.   Next time you go grocery shopping, add up the items before the register.   If you are going to the bank, learn about financial literacy and count your savings or withdrawals.   Cooking or baking is a great time to learn about measurement.   Any driving trip can be a lesson in distance, time and counting.

3) Play Math Games: There are ton of great games to help prepare your son or daughter for the fall.  Below our some of our favourites:

  • Math Games / PBS Kids
  • What Coins Do I Have
  • Motion Math Games
  • Math Play – Online Games
  • Bounce Count
  • Number of the Week

To see our full list with descriptions, click here

4) Lego: Everyone loves playing with Lego, but there are great ways to use it for learning.  Lego teaches children fractions, arrays and mean, median and mode.   To see how Lego can be used with fractions, click on the video below:

5) Math Apps:  These are a great fun for children to learn in a fun and interactive way.  Below are some of our favourites for students of all ages:

  • Let’s Do Math
  • Math Drills
  • Motion Math Zoom
  • Elevated Math
  • Math Ref

To see our full list with descriptions and links, click here

Posted in: Math Tutoring

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Toronto Educational Summer Field Trips

Family Field Trips

The summer school vacation is a wonderful time for families to do exciting and meaningful activities.  While trips outside of Toronto to cottages or other vacation spots can be fun, there is also a ton to do in the city.   Here are some of our favourite educational activities for your summer family field trip:

Riverdale Farm: Located in Cabbagetown, this is a wonderful educational activity for families looking for a more local experience than visiting the Toronto Zoo.  Kids can tour the turn-of-the-20th-century farm and learn about chickens, sheep, goats and pigs.   Don’t forget to bring a picnic and enjoy the lovely grounds just outside of the park.

Ripley’s Aquarium:  This newly opened attraction in downtown Toronto is a hit for both kids and parents.  The aquarium is one of the largest in North America and has over 15,000 fish to see including: sting rays, tropical fish, eels, sharks and jellyfish.   See how these fish interact in their local habitats.   Also don’t miss some of the attraction highlights including a 97 metre tunnel that takes families through the Dangerous Lagoon, live shows and touch tanks to feel some of the different sea creatures.

Black Creek Pioneer Village: Learn about 19th century life in Ontario and recreate the community atmosphere at the time.  Tour 40 restored homes, farms, public buildings and workshops and interact with the different community members.

Casa Loma: Take an educational visit to a castle in the middle of the Toronto and learn about its interesting history.  Also, don’t forgot to visit all the towers, staircases, tunnels, gardens and exciting secret passageways.

Young People’s Theatre: The summer can’t be complete without seeing a play.  Designed for young audiences, YPT has award winning musicals, plays and classics from children’s literature that are designed to excite.


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