Join Dr. Martha Burns as she reviews the newest research and provides research on how the Fast ForWord intervention has been found to have a significant impact on academic achievement in children of poverty.

You Should Learn:

  • Several new studies have shown that students from families below the poverty line are at the greatest risk for academic failure.
  • Research reveals that low family income has a bigger impact on academics than ethnicity or English language proficiency


• Children raised in poverty are exposed to millions of fewer spoken words at home
• Income level negatively impacts cognitive functions
• There are links between family income and memory and attention
• Poverty is associated with chronic stress which can have a toxic effect on brain architecture
• Boys are more impacted than girls
• English language learners often have a triple jeopardy – language barrier to learning, history of poverty, learning disabilities
• Fast ForWord targets the skills that are impacted and can turn around some effects of poverty.



About the Presenter

Dr Martha Burns is an expert on how children learn and has written 3 books and over 100 articles. She is an associate professor on the Northwest university in the USA.


Title:  Effects of Poverty on School Success

Originally broadcast Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

There are several ways in which family income impacts children neurologically:

  1. Children raised in poverty are exposed to millions of fewer spoken words at home.

Human brain maturation is experience-dependent. One of the most important times for experience to mold the brain is from early childhood through the elementary school years. So, the less language a child is exposed to, the fewer opportunities the brain has to develop language skills.

In their groundbreaking research published in 1995, Betty Hart and Todd Risley demonstrated that by age 4, children born into low socio-economic families are exposed to 30 million fewer words than those born into high socio-economic families. This means that the brain of a child in poverty has had 30 million fewer opportunities to wire itself for language.

  1. Weaknesses in oral language can lead to significant reading gaps.

Linguistic impoverishment deprives a child of receiving the auditory neural stimulation required to establish distinct phoneme representations, build vocabulary, and develop age appropriate oral language skills. This gap widens as children progress through school. Longitudinal research has shown that even when children are equated in reading ability at age 5, by age 13, children who had low oral language development when they entered school are more than five years behind in reading compared to their peers with high oral language skills.

  1. A low income level can negatively impact cognitive functions.

Language function in the brain isn’t the only casualty of poverty. Many other cognitive skills are affected, too.

Kimberly Noble has been studying the effects of poverty on cognitive development and brain structure for over a decade. As early as 2005, with M. Frank Norman and Martha Farah, she published research on the relationship between socioeconomic status and specific cognitive functions. Her findings showed that children who come from homes of poverty have limitations in a range of cognitive skills, including long- and short-term (working) memory, visual and spatial skills, executive functions like self-control, and the ability to learn from reward.

  1. Family income is linked to memory and attention.

More recently, Noble and Elizabeth Sowell have found compelling links between family income and brain structure — especially affecting areas of the brain important for memory and attention, which are essential for learning. In a Nature Neuroscience article published March 30, 2015, they reported that among children from lower income families, small differences in income were associated with relatively large differences in brain surface area. In contrast, among children from higher-income families, similar income increments were associated with smaller differences in surface area. These relationships were most prominent in regions supporting language, reading, executive functions and spatial skills. This research implies that income relates most strongly to brain structure among the most disadvantaged children.

  1. Developmental differences in the brain have consequences for academic achievement.

Further, on July 20, 2015, a Reuters Health article reported on a new study suggesting that the effect of poverty on children’s brains may explain why poor students tend to score lower on standardized tests compared to wealthier students. Seth Pollak and his colleagues reported in JAMA Pediatrics that about 20% of the gap in test scores between poor children and middle-class children may be a result of maturational lags in the frontal and temporal lobes.

How educators can help reverse these effects

The new research begs the question, “Are children raised in poverty doomed to educational struggle, no matter how well we teach?” The answer, fortunately, is a resounding “No!”

Neuroscience has not only clarified the problems caused by poverty, but provides solutions as well. In a recently published report titled “Using Brain Science to Design Pathways Out of Poverty,” Beth Babcock argues that because those areas of the brain affected by the adverse experiences of poverty and trauma remain plastic well into adulthood, neuroscience research offers promise for methodologies that can improve brain development and function. In her report, Babcock advocates, in part, for the use of “computer games” designed to “improve memory, focus and attention, impulse control, organization, problem solving, and multi-tasking skills [that] are now widely available and beginning to create positive outcomes.”

Indeed, well-designed neuroscience-based technology can build the underlying capacities that are reduced in children of poverty. For example, the Fast ForWord program, which was designed by neuroscientists at UCSF and Rutgers and tested for over a decade in many school districts with high poverty rates, has been repeatedly shown to increase academic performance in districts with high poverty levels. The beginning levels of the program target attention, memory, processing and sequencing skills — core cognitive skills essential for learning. Later levels then add specific technological instruction in reading comprehension, spelling, phonological awareness, and decoding, while also building in components to continue to build attention and memory skills.

The path out of poverty

Poverty is toxic to the developing human brain and thereby endangers academic success. Education offers students the key to a path out of poverty — but only when their brains are ready to receive it.

Children who haven’t acquired sufficient foundational perceptual, cognitive or linguistic skills require explicit “catch-up” interventions in these areas before traditional classroom instruction and reading instruction can be effective. Neuroscience now offers not only an explanation of the problem but solutions that can change the brains of all students to enable learning.


Webinar: Leading with the Brain in Mind: Focus on Cognitive Capacity


The webinar is a mix of research and practical information that you can use in the classroom.
You should learn:

(1) The one cognitive tool that when tested at age 5 has a greater impact on student achievement than even IQ.
(2) Learn where to invest your time and money for your staff and students to achieve their goals.
(3) Learn how to upgrade the human brain and see some daily miracles.

What is Cognitive Capacity?

  • This is the sum of your concurrent mental actions that learn, process, understand, judge, recall, evaluate, calculate, reason, solve problems, reflect and make decisions.
  • Greater cognitive capacity is correlated with enhanced student learning and achievement


WEBINAR – Key Topics –

1:28        What is Leadership?

5:20       What are Leadership Effects?

6.06       What is Cognitive Capacity?

10.12     Leadership Tools that Support Greater Cognitive Capacity

11.56     One BIG Thing is System Collaborative Driver

16.44     2nd BIG Thing is Clear paths

42:12     3rd BIG Thing is Support

45:30     Question and Answers


What is leadership?

  • Leadership has a higher vision. It fosters action as an energized, “no credit” effort that builds timeless capacity to manifest the vision.
  • Leadership Sees Farther than those with Only “Boots on the Ground”

What is the importance of Effect sizes in leadership? Leaders make a difference.

  • Leaders are explicit with teachers and students about what success looks like
  • Leaders get staff working together to know and evaluate their impact
  • Leaders who believe their major role is to evaluate their impact
  • They Foster environments that privileges high impact teaching and learning

What is Cognitive Capacity?

  • This is the sum of your concurrent mental actions that learn, process, understand, judge, recall, evaluate, calculate, reason, solve problems, reflect and make decisions.
  • Greater cognitive capacity is correlated with enhanced student learning and achievement.

Leadership Tools that Support Greater Cognitive Capacity

  • WHY (without it, we all slow or stop)
  • PATH (clarity is power)
  • SUPPORT (people, time & opportunity
  1. Begin with one thing. You want that which will bring everyone in your school together. All leaders, administrators, instructional coaches, teachers and tutors MUST articulate clear reasons for WHY the task should be performed…and do this often.
  2. Ensure that every student can see and believe in a clear path for each to succeed. All leaders, administrators, instructional coaches, teachers and tutors must design, construct and articulate a CLEAR PATH for how the student can succeed at school.
  3. All leaders, administrators, instructional coaches, teachers and tutors must provide the core SUPPORT to ensure the student succeeds (resources, time, people, opportunity, encouragement, etc.)

About the Speaker 

Dr Eric Jensen is a leader in brain based learning and author of several best selling books. Including “Poor students, Rich learning


Title: Leading with the Brain in Mind: Focus on Cognitive Capacity

Originally broadcast Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

5 Things Every Educator Should Know About Cognitive Capacity

1. Neuroplasticity (change) is an Intrinsic Property of the Brain

Is it true that ALL students can learn and get better? Isn’t that a massive, sweeping generalization?

Yes, it is a generalization, and yes, it is true. The human brain is genetically designed to respond to environmental input. That’s how you survive every day. And, that capacity is called neuroplasticity. The human brain is dynamic, not fixed. The brain is making new connections, adding new neurons, pruning away cells, changing its chemistry and even re-organizing itself every single day! That capacity is hard-wired. ALL students can learn.

2. Your Brain Follows Internal Rules for What and How to Learn

The brain does not get smarter through ALL types of input. Our brain gets exposed to millions of bits of sensory data every day. The sounds, images, touch and smell add up to a LOT of data.

Since there likely is some sort of limitation on storage, our brain cannot, biologically, afford to store everything. You would run out of space on your brain’s “hard drive.” So, to solve that problem, your brain has an internal “set of rules” that guide what is important, worth learning and saving.

3. The School Brain Needs Deliberate Practice.

The other kind learning that consistently boosts test scores (and is priceless later in life) is called mastery learning. To be a strong learner in school, you need to know more than the alphabet; you must know how to MASTER the alphabet by learning to make words, sentences, persuasive arguments and stories. You learn the definitions, learn to read and even to debate a new topic.

The skill is called deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is purposeful and focused with a clear goal.

Let’s say your goal is to improve your student’s reading scores. That’s a poor goal unless you become more specific.

4.  Most Teachers Don’t Do Deliberate Practice

In short, the practice of building content into their teaching and using a deliberate practice “protocol” is unlikely.

How many teachers on your staff consistently use deliberate practice? In short, if your staff is not using what works precisely for complex, in-depth learning, the only choice you have (aside from giving up on your students) is to automate the process.

5.  For Many, the Best Choice is Technology

But what if you wanted a program that was research-based, relevant and had a high probability of succeeding with your students in reading?

One reading program that I have shared with my live audiences and in my books for over 15 years is FastForward®

Evidence of Effectiveness – Deep Diving into MySciLEARN Reports

Deep Diving into MyScilearn Reports
Is about deep data and how we are applying Smart Technology to our products for you to understand your students’ progress better.
It is a practical session directed at educators who use Fast ForWord programs and a good overview for those of you who want to see the power of data analysis in teaching.

You should learn:

(1) The Key Indicators to monitor for student success.

(2) The identification of each student’s individual needs.

(3) How to save valuable time by automating the preparation and communication of reports!

What if you could reach every struggling reader at your school with exactly the skills they need at just the right time? What if these students started to improve quickly, were self-motivated, and worked more independently?
Learn how the new version of the evidence-based Fast ForWord reading intervention program will bring a dramatic difference to your students this year, and provide you with one option to meet the needs of multiple student subgroups.


Title: Training Webinar – Deep Diving into MySciLEARN Reports!

Originally broadcast Date:  Thursday, September 27, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

Speaker Bio

Tom Chapin

Professional Development Manager

Scientific Learning

Fast ForWord language and reading intervention allows educators, parents, and clinical providers to easily track a learner’s progress. MySciLEARN reports and Reading Progress Indicator assessments ensure every learner receives the appropriate guidance and support necessary to become a better reader and better student.


MySciLEARN Reports


MySciLEARN reports are online data analysis and reporting tools tha

[spacer t track individual learner, classroom, school, and district level performance.

  • Automatically analyzes individual and group learning progress, including diagnostic and prescriptive information, displayed in graphs and tables
  • Offers timely and specific intervention guidance, providing recommendations to maximize the impact of classroom reading instruction and the effectiveness of the Fast ForWord reading intervention program
  • Provides future forecasting with insights into the potential effects Fast ForWord can have on a school district’s performance in as little as 1 year.

“At the Begining of the Year I Didn’t Like Reading…”

“At the beginning of the year I didn’t like reading because I couldn’t really understand anything. I felt like I was being very stupid and not being able to do stuff like I shouldn’t belong in middle school,

We talk about goals and they’re like well I am never gonna do anything. I am too dumb, I am too stupid, I can’t read, I can’t do these things.

My heart broke. Yes, you can this is the possibility for your future. We did a lot of research into different programs and we came across a program called Fast ForWord, it was an online interactive program, it was all brain based using neuroscience.

If I were to describe Fast ForWord: –

Step 1: targets the underlying memory, attention or processing challenges a student may have

Step 2: Provides intensive practice on reading skills

Step 3: The computer listens and provides feedback as students read aloud

The fantastic thing about this program is that every piece of data is live, you are in it, I am in it. I can tell you that every time you click this is the result and we can make those comparisons and tangibly see the effort you put in made this difference.

When I came into this classroom I was at a 2.5 and then when I went to reading camp I was like a 6 point and I was able to go from this really low level to this really high level.

After I took this class for a session, I felt like I could keep up with everybody else. Like I could be who I wanted to be like they can be who they wanted to be.

I try really hard to make a difference for my students I would make as big as a difference for these students if I didn’t have the Fast ForWord program there to help them.”


K-12: Learning Difficulties/Special Education, ELL/EAL/ESL







The Fast ForWord science

The Fast ForWord suite of programs provides a language and literacy intervention that uses the principles of neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to rewire and improve—to target the root cause of slow academic progress in struggling students and English language learners. The software was developed by neuroscientists to quickly improve reading skills while concurrently developing memory, attention, processing and sequencing—the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively.

The Fast ForWord Language and Literacy series programs within this suite include a patented speech processing technology that enhances the speech sounds at early exercise levels, progressing to natural speech sounds at higher exercise levels. This technology includes two separate but equally important speech modification stages: duration extensions (slowing down the speech) and selective intensity increases (enhancing the intensity of the rapid transitional elements in the speech). Together, these technologies provide the auditory nervous system with an enhanced speech signal that allows the student to more effectively differentiate the rapid transitions in spoken language.

Why Do We Slow Down Speech

Duration extensions (slowing down the speech)

In this stage, the software employs a patented processing algorithm to slow the rate of the entire speech signal while still maintaining the speech signal’s natural quality. For example, a word (such as bat) that may typically last 1.0 seconds in natural speech could last as long as 1.5 seconds after this processing is applied. By lengthening the duration of the speech, the fast speech elements (such as stop consonants) are further apart from the steady speech elements (such as vowels), which provides the auditory nervous system with more time to respond to the fast speech sounds.


Selective intensity increases (amplifying sounds in the speech)

In this stage, our patented software process identifies the fast transitional elements within the speech (such as the /b/ sound in the word bat) and then selectively amplifies those elements. By applying these selective intensity increases, the more rapid transitional phonemes in the speech are emphasized, allowing the auditory nervous system to respond more vigorously to the fast speech sounds.

Fast ForWord implementation

About scheduling a program

Each Fast ForWord product uses a specific protocol, or schedule, that determines which exercises are worked on in that product, how often those exercises are worked on, and the length of time spent working in each exercise on a given day. The Scientific Learning protocols have been proven to help maximize the benefits of the Fast ForWord products. By default, each of the Fast ForWord products presents two to three exercises each day, for a total of 30 minutes each day, five days a week. For those who require more flexibility, the software provides alternate protocols to meet different student requirements. See Fast ForWord program protocols for more details on protocols and how to change them. For tips on choosing the protocol that best fits your needs, see Fast ForWord implementation guidelines in MySciLEARN Toolbox.

Tip: Encourage your students to complete the Fast ForWord protocol each day. A consistent daily routine that allows for intense repetition will maximize the benefits of the exercises.

About completing a program

Fast ForWord product completion works differently based on the Fast ForWord product series.

  • Foundations II and Language/Literacy series. As the student masters an exercise, that exercise is closed and removed from the protocol. However, as more exercises are closed by the student, a closed exercise may reopen at the highest levels so that the student can continue working on the most important skills in the product. As the student continues to master exercises, the protocol adjusts the time spent in each exercise so that the student always works on the open exercises for the total number of minutes in the protocol. When the student masters the last of the remaining exercises, all of the exercises are closed and the product is considered complete.
  • Foundations I and Reading series. As the student masters an exercise, that exercise is closed and will not be visited again. The program adjusts the schedule so that the student is only working on open (incomplete) exercises. When the student masters the last open exercise, the product is complete.



Discover the latest research on the processing weaknesses and early indicators in dyslexia.
Most importantly, find out how to use this information to help learners with dyslexia reach their highest potential.

This webinar is a mix of research and practical information that you can use in the classroom. You will Learn:

– The latest research on the processing weaknesses contributing to dyslexia.
– The identification of early indicators of dyslexia.
– How to use this information to help students with dyslexia reach their highest potential.


WEBINAR – Key Topics –

01:20   Definition of Dyslexia
04:56   Early Predictors of Dyslexia
07:15   Multi-Deficit Approach
11:05   Brain Level Difference
30:50   Environmental Factors
34:25   What Parents Can Do
37:35   Can Neuroscience Inform Us?
50:27   Question and Answers


What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning Disorder characterized by

  • Difficulties with decoding
  • Speed and accuracy of reading single words
  • Poor spelling

What are the Early predictors of Dyslexia

  • Limited phonological awareness
  • Letter-sound knowledge and rapid automatized naming
  • Reading skills predicts long-term reading abilities

Multi-Deficit Approach

  • This is now considered the most accurate way to understand causation

Brain Level Difference

  • The left hemisphere which is important for language and reading is altered functionally and structurally for individuals with dyslexia

Environmental Factors include

  • Low home literacy, Stress, and other adverse experience
  • Effective schooling or interventions

How can neuroscience inform us?

  • Research has shown that improved behavioral performance is coupled with changes in both brain functions and brain anatomy.

About the Speaker 

Dr. Martha S. Burns, Adjunct Associate Professor, Northwestern University and Director of Neuroscience Education, Scientific Learning.


Title: 2018 Dyslexia Research and Remediation

Originally broadcast Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Duration: 1 hour


  • Learning to read is a complex process:
    • relying on development of perceptual and cognitive skills that emerge even before birth.
    • Early speech and language abilities are critical building blocks for developing phonological awareness, the ability to manipulate speech sounds within words.
    • Subsequently, when children start to recognize letters, they map phonemes to graphemes to acquire knowledge of letter sounds, setting the foundation for subsequent decoding and reading acquisition.

(YU, ZUK, GAAB, 2018)


  • In most studies, limited phonological awareness is one of the most reliable markers for dyslexia in school-age children.
    (Melby-Lervag, M., Lyster, S. A. H., & Hulme, C. (2012). Phonological skills and their role in learning to read: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 322 –352. https://doi.org/10.1037/ a0026744).



  • Other predictors of subsequent reading skills are letter-sound knowledge and rapid automatized naming, the ability to retrieve names for serially presented items quickly and accurately.
    (Norton, E. S., & Wolf, M. (2012). Rapid automatized naming (RAN) and reading fluency: Implications for understanding and treatment of reading disabilities. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 427–452. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100431).


  • Several large-scale longitudinal studies have demonstrated that these skills predict long-term reading abilities.
    (e.g., Torppa, Erskine, J., Eklund, K., & Lyytinen, H. (2010). Language development, literacy skills, and predictive connections to reading in Finnish children with and without familial  M., Lyytinen, P., risk for dyslexia. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43, 308 –321.


    • The sex difference in dyslexia is also real
    • The cognitive differences identified to account for a portion of the sex difference in dyslexia in this research were


  • processing speed (PS) and
  • inhibition (INH)


  • males showed better verbal reasoning
  • No difference in female vs. male verbal skills (interesting)  

Five Ways to Help Struggling Readers Build Reading Fluency

Building better writers without a pen

Reading fluency is the ability to read with sufficient ease, accuracy, and expression, providing a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.

Five best practices for building fluency among struggling readers.

Model fluent reading.

Students can hear what reading aloud should sound like and can gain a better understanding of natural prosody, which involves elements such as pausing at the end of a sentence and using rising intonation with a question mark.

Conduct student read-alouds. 

Digital guided reading tools can help. One example is the Fast ForWord program, which provides a guided reading tool that uses speech verification technology to give real-time corrective feedback to students as they read aloud, like a guided reading coach. This type of technology can be particularly helpful with hard-to-engage students who may be more willing to practice reading aloud with a digital tool that listens without bias or judgment.

Preview key vocabulary

Before reading the text, practice the words in isolation outside of the text. Teach the correct pronunciation and meaning of the words.

Host a Readers Theatre

This is where students perform a play for their peers, is a fun twist on reading aloud. This strategy works well with stories that can be broken down into parts or characters.

Compliment students when they read fluently. 

Reading fluently for some students is hard work, so it is important to offer encouragement and to recognize the effort they are putting forth.

Download the PDF Article Click  here  

Strong Evidence of Effectiveness for Dyslexia Intervention

Personalized Language and Reading Intervention for Learners with Dyslexia.

Approximately 1 in 1 0 students in the United States has dyslexia, a primarily auditory disorder with weaknesses appearing specifically in phonological processing. While most dyslexia interventions are designed to help learners compensate for these difficulties, Fast ForWord is different.

3-Step Cumulative Intervention Model

Step 1 : Prepare

Fast ForWord prepares the brain for reading by improving the underlying phonological processing skills that result in dyslexia.

Step 2: Practice

Fast ForWord provides more intensive practice than any other intervention program — 5x the amount of practice to be exact!

Step 3: Reinforce

Fast ForWord uses speech verification software to listen as students read texts aloud and provide corrective real-time guided reading reinforcement.

Research Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University;Rutgers University; Dartmouth College; Harvard Medical School

fMRl shows that physiological differences in children with dyslexia can be alleviated through remediation.

8 weeks of remediation that focused on improved rapid auditory processing and phonological and linguistic training (Fast ForWord) resulted in the children with dyslexia developing differentiated activation to rapid and slow transitions similar to that of children with typical development.

Free Brochure

See the Strong Evidence of Effectiveness for Dyslexia Intervention.

Click here to get Free Brochure 

Building Listening Skills to Improve Focus & Attention

Have you ever gotten frustrated or impatient with a child who doesn’t appear to be paying attention? When a child is restless or inattentive at home or in the classroom, it can be hard to maintain your own focus on how best to help them.

Understanding Attention Spans

First things first: What is a normal attention span for kids?  That depends what it is you’re expecting them to pay attention to.  There are a number of tests and diagnostic tools to help us understand attention spans, but they measure different things. To help you understand the types of attention, we’ll break them down for you:

  • Focused/Sustained Attention: Your brain’s ability to concentrate on one specific task for a continuous amount of time without getting distracted. An example of focused attention would be reading a book or watching a movie.

  • Selective Attention: Your brain’s ability to choose only one subject to focus on when presented with many stimuli or choices. This comes into play when you’re concentrating on a conversation with a friend in the middle of a baseball game or at a party.

  • Alternating Attention: Your brain’s ability to move back and forth between tasks that may have different cognitive demands. Think about when you’re working on your computer and have to answer the phone, or you’re taking notes during a meeting while listening to someone else talk​.

Attention Span by Age

The so-called attention span formulas range from their chronological age +1 to 2-5 minutes of attention per each year of their chronological age. While there isn’t a perfect science to these theories, here’s a useful attention span by age chart to help give you some basic guidelines.

Again, all children are different and their attention spans will develop at different rates. If they are struggling with ADHD or any other conditions that impact their focus and  attention, these guidelines may not pertain to your child.

If you’re concerned about your child’s attention span or lack of focus, it’s important you speak with a professional for diagnostic help and treatment recommendations. Only a trained specialist can help you understand your child’s attention span and any conditions that may be impacting it.

Building Listening Skills

Whether your child is currently following pace with our attention span by age chart, or you’re working with a specialist to understand why they aren’t, building your child’s listening skills is important work for families. At school, teachers and staff are working on your child’s active listening by doing things like pairing classmates up for partner conversations and daily skills practice. At home, there are a number of ways you can help your child develop better listening skills and attention.

  • Talk about “whole body listening.” For elementary school children, the concept of “whole body listening” is a valuable one. Teach your child to listen with their whole body. Use a Mr. Potato Head to demonstrate how to listen with every part of you. Eyes are looking at the speaker, both ears are ready to hear, mouth is closed and quiet, etc. The Biscotti Kid segment from Sesame Street  is another great resource for younger kids.

  • Be careful not to interrupt or rush your child when they are talking, or answer their sentences for them. Don’t assume you know where they are going with their thoughts. Let them process and communicate on their own.

  • Make it a game!  Play the Storytelling Game with kids, where everyone in the family takes turns adding one word or phrase to a story. Everyone has to be listening and paying attention so that when it’s their turn to add to the story, their contribution makes sense!  This is a great game for the car, or when you’re waiting at a restaurant!

  • Ask open-ended questions and demonstrate that you are listening to their answer. Ask questions about their responses and help them extend their thinking and improve their focus on a subject.

  • Read, read, read. Read to your children when they are young and ask questions about the story as you go. Read or make up a short story, then read or tell it again making some changes to the plot. Have your child clap their hands each time they hear a difference!

  • Make a meal together! Read your child a recipe and have them listen to and follow each step to make the dish correctly!

  • Keep the conversation going. The back and forth of an engaged conversation is a great way to model active listening and polite conversation skills, while also gauging how your child’s focus and listening skills are shaping up. Ask your child about their day, what they are looking forward to, what activities they would like to put on the family calendar.

  • As your child gets older, talk about listening skills and focus. Discuss the difference between hearing and listening, verbal and nonverbal communication, etc. Ask them what they are struggling with, and what comes easy to them. Really listen and engage in these conversations to help them grow their skills.

  • Create an art project with your verbal instructions. Give short, simple directions and have your child draw what they are hearing!

  • Play Follow the Leader or Simon Says to work on both focus and listening comprehension!

  • Limit screen time. There are several studies and research on what screen time can really do to a child’s developing brain. While we believe in the power of technology to help children learn and overcome many language difficulties and learning disabilities, it’s more important than ever to monitor and moderate your child’s screen time. There’s a huge difference between reality television or video games and educational software or programming. Pay attention to the duration and quality of your child’s technology use.

  • Get moving. Use movement, hand gestures, dances, exercises, etc. to help your child remember what to do and improve focus!


The Importance of Listening Skills, Attention Spans, and Focus

Your child’s listening skills play an important role in almost every aspect of their life. Not to mention yours. Helping them develop the ability to interact and communicate effectively is a lifelong gift. Their listening skills will play a role in their relationships, behavior, and education throughout their lifetime. Like any skill, your child’s listening skills can be improved over time – and you can help!

For more information on how the Fast ForWord Home reading intervention program can help your child develop better attention, memory, sequencing and literacy skills, request a demo or contact our team of educational specialists!

Introducing The New Fast ForWord – Now with SmartLearning Technology

What if you could reach every struggling reader at your school with exactly the skills they need at just the right time? What if these students started to improve quickly, were self-motivated, and worked more independently?
Learn how the new version of the evidence-based Fast ForWord reading intervention program will bring a dramatic difference to your students this year, and provide you with one option to meet the needs of multiple student subgroups.

You should learn:

(1) What to expect from the New Fast ForWord,

(2) When to use your guided reading tool, Reading Assistant, to get reading fluency and comprehension results before winter break, and

(3) The tools available at your fingertips to make this year feel…dare we say it…Effortless!


Title: Introducing the New Fast ForWord – Now with SmartLearning Technology!

Originally broadcast Date:  Thursday, August 23, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

10 New Improved Features for The Fast ForWord Family. Teachers and Students are loving it!

What will the students love about the new and improved Fast ForWord technology?

  1. Point Counter

Mistakes and setbacks occur when students rush to complete the program. Staying focused will earn the student points and that is how a student makes progress. Students get responses in a row correct and they will actually see the points there and then, which motivates the student when they  see how many points in a row they get right.

  1. Replay/Play Back

Play Back on Fast ForWord means a student can be able to rewind/playback a word or sentence with the click of a button to hear it again.

  1. Autoplay

This allows a student with a click of a button to run through a series of trials. Autoplay and earning points work together to assist the student attain the correct trials. The autoplay feature allows the students to get through the trials much faster.

  1. Adaptivity

Students adapt faster with materials and tools that they can easily associate themselves with. The materials Fast Forword provides can easily be adopted by new students.

  1. Progress Indicators

Progress indicators inform users about the status of ongoing processes. Fast ForWord meter indicator has been improved with the new Feeder Meter, and the percentage complete of the student. This feature will motivate the students to aim for a higher percentage.

What will the Educators love from the new feature of Fast ForWord?

  1. Better Introductions

Fast ForWord Foundations 1 has a better method of training students to make a better and strong start while using the program.

  1. Automated Coaching

Students who need help while using the program can rest assured that Fast Forword Foundation I, have identified and introduced just in time automated coaching to correct and help common issues associated with the program.

  1. Language Structure

Ele-bot – The Fast ForWord Language v2 exercise program is now improved and is able to help with what to listen for and how to understand various grammatical forms.

  1. Vocabulary Pre-Teaching

Students ready to use Fast ForWord facilitates have an advantage. This is because Foundation I, has combined instructions and relevant vocabulary within the exercises, giving students the meanings of words before they encounter them.

In General, the Fast ForWord Family has benefited from:

  1. Smartlearning Technology.

Fast ForWord program has been greatly improved using Smartlearning technology. With artificial intelligence educators can deliver smarter, more focused interventions and faster results for students.