Track 7 - Task 3 - What Am I Doing?

March 29th, 2007

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This is an extension of the Body Language exercise. For this task one must carefully study an outline cartoon figure to determine if it is doing one of several types of walking or running. For Level 1, one matches the cartoon movement (side view of the figure) to a written one or two word description of the action. For Level 2, the task is the same but the figure is presented face on rather than side view. For Level 3, you are presented with one face on view and three side views. You have to determine which side view character is doing the same thing as the face on view. Good attention to detail, including arms, hands and legs actions makes this task easier to complete.

Track 6 - Task 3 - Mind Your p’s and q’s

March 29th, 2007

This task is focused directly on training accurate and quick discrimination and use of p, q, d and b without confusing them. There are three different scenarios (three Levels) that require one to discriminate and/or use the letters p, q, d or b. The first is a simple matching exercise, the second requires reading and the third requires one to think of the proper word (given a particular picture) that starts with one of these letters. For those who have trouble with this, repetition seems to be the best strategy to obtain accuracy.

Track 5 - Task 3 - Nines All Around

March 29th, 2007

This is our version of the Soduko type puzzles. All of the puzzles are randomly generated so that every time the program is run, the puzzles are different. On Level 1, only nine numbers are missing. There are eighteen missing for Level 2 and twenty-seven missing for Level 3. As with all of the tasks in COM, we are trying to develop good methods of approaching a task, thinking about what you need to do to accomplish the task, making a plan and carrying out the plan in an organized, structured manner. We are not trying to teach people how to play the games, but rather we are using the games as a means to develop good thinking skills that can be used anywhere and in any situation.

I have observed, on many occasions, that when I ask a person to do Nines All Around, they will just immediately start in the upper left corner area without any analysis or study of the whole puzzle. Think about ways to simplify a difficult task and make it easier to do. Look for a row, column or red square group that only has one digit missing. Every time you place a digit, look at the row, column and red square that contains the digit you just put in to see if you created more easy answers. Usually there are more than one way to do something. Some ways are better than others. Most of the time there will be at least one way that is much better than the other ways. Spend a little time thinking about what would be the best way to accomplish what you are doing - in daily life and with your school work.

Track 4 - Task 3 - Angle Discrimination

March 29th, 2007

Task 3 - Angle Discrimination - You are shown all of the possible lines/angles at the bottom of the display. A single line is shown in the upper section. Your task is to decide which line at the bottom matches the angle of the line at the top. Keep in mind that if the angles are the same the two lines would have one of two possible relationships with each other. One, if the two lines are pointing straight up then, if you extended the length of them they would line up directly on top of each other. And two, for all other lines, the two lines will end up being parallel to each other. That means that if they were extended they would never cross, they would run side by side like railroad tracks.

On level three, one should use the process of elimination as an aid. You will be shown five drawings, each with two lines, that look like the hands on a clock. The center of the middle drawing is missing. The four drawings in the corners are all center pieces. One of them fits the drawing in the middle. By quick comparison of the drawings you can tell that some of the corner drawings could not be the answer, so you can eliminate them as possibilities. By doing this you narrow the choices and increase your chances of getting the answer correct. This is a very good technique to use in many different test situations.

Track 3 - Task 3 - Number Recall (Visual)

March 29th, 2007

Task 3 - Number Recall (Visual) - This is a sequenced-digit, recall task designed to teach the utilization of techniques to enhance storage and recall, expand working memory and improve one’s ability to manipulate information in working memory. The three levels address immediate recall of the information in the same format as presented (level 1), immediate recall in reverse order (level 2) and recall in same order as presented but after a brief delay (level 3). Techniques that can be employed (and should be discussed with the student) include:

1. talking aloud,
2. rehearsing the sequence (aloud) several times before responding,
3. chunking the digits and
4. being vigilant for patterns that might appear in the sequences.

Chunking refers to strategically grouping the digits. For example, for a four-digit number like 8462, one could study it and then recall it in the format eighty-four, sixty-two. For a five-digit number like 95728, one could chunk it in the format nine-fifty-seven, twenty-eight. This reduces the information from 5 discrete pieces to two pieces. The primary object here is not to just teach someone a better technique for recalling numbers but to expand their working memory skills in general and instill in the student that one should spend time thinking of a technique that might facilitate recall of whatever they are trying to memorize. So, when studying for a history test or learning scientific facts in science class, one should analyze the data to be learned, organize it into an easier format, rehearse it sufficiently (aloud) and repeat all of this on multiple occasions.

Track 2 - Task 3 - Flash Count I (Patterns)

March 29th, 2007

Task 3 - Flash Count I (Patterns) - The Flash Count tasks are designed to help one develop a conceptualization of numbers such that a person can quickly and easily recognize how many objects are in a group (up to five objects) without having to count them. Once this conceptualization has been mastered and become automatic, then one should be able to do some of the basic math skills more accurately, quickly and easily. We start out by having the objects grouped into patterns that become easily recognizable. By doing this the association of the number represented by the objects is much more easily learned. There is a variety of patterns for each number group to help with the process of generalizing the number/object perception skill to broader presentations. The skills acquired here will undergo further development in Track 3 - Task 4 - Flash Count II (Random) where the student is required to automatically perceive numbers of objects without the aid of the patterns.

Track 1 - Task 3 - Two Choice Visual Reaction

March 29th, 2007

Task 3 - Two Choice Visual Reaction - The decision for Task 3 calls for even more thought. It is going to take a little longer to make this choice. Therefore, the overall reaction time average should be about 50 milliseconds longer than on Task 1, where there was just a reaction response, and perhaps an additional 10 to 15 milliseconds longer than on Task 2, where there was just a simple choice decision to be made. Because of this, one should intentionally take a bit more time to make sure that you see the colors and think about your response before you make it.

Getting prepared can improve speed and accuracy. Prepare yourself by saying aloud what the target color is going to be. Many people avoid talking aloud to themselves as they think other people will think there is something silly about doing it. Talking aloud, so you can actually “hear yourself think,” can be a crucial step to thinking better.

Track 7 - Task 2 - Body Language

September 5th, 2006

Task 2 - Body Language - This one can be difficult. You must study every little movement of the manikin, including head position, leg and feet movement and how it’s moving its arms and hands to pick up clues about what it is supposed to be feeling. If you do not know all of the emotion words then you should look them up in the dictionary or discuss them with your teacher or parents. Do not just keep guessing until you find out how to match the words to the movements. The object here is to learn about the emotions and how body position and movement show our emotions. If you figure out how to get the correct answers but never learn what the words mean then you really are not learning what the task is all about.

Track 6 - Task 2 - Phoneme Discrimination (Vowels)

September 5th, 2006

Task 2 - Phoneme Discrimination (Vowels) - This is not timed! Take your time and listen to the words and phonemes as many times as necessary to be sure of your answer. Say the words and the phonemes aloud to help you match them up. Listen very carefully and say them yourself. People usually say that the vowel phonemes are easier than the consonants. Most of the time, when I see someone make an error on this program it is because they were trying to go too fast or they clicked before listening to both of the answer choices. If you are doing all of this and you are still making errors, you should have your teacher or parents watch you do it and show you how to make the sounds yourself.

Track 5 - Task 2 - Pyramids

September 5th, 2006

Task 2 - Pyramids - You will need to experiment with this a little to see what happens when you move the disks in different patterns. Do not just keep moving them until you stumble on the correct order. Watch what happens and think about the pattern. Where does the first move need to be? Does the position of the gold post make any difference? Once you gather all of this information you will be able to deduce the answer.

Track 4 - Task 2 - Line Discrimination

September 5th, 2006

Task 2 - Line Discrimination - Be sure to look carefully at all of the lines before you start clicking and do not try to go too fast! You should always review all of your choices before you answer no matter what type of learning or test situation you are doing. It is one thing to make an error because you just do not know the answer but if you do know the answer (or could easily figure it out) and you make an error because you did not look at all the choices or you were trying to go too fast then you are not really showing what you are able to do. If you still have trouble with this one, after following this advice, then ask your teacher or parents to watch you do this task to make sure that you are seeing everything properly.

Track 3 - Task 2 - Trail Trace

September 5th, 2006

Task 2 - Trail Trace - The key to success here is having a plan and sticking to the plan. At first you know nothing about the Trail. Then you explore, by clicking, until you find a section of the Trail. When you find a section you have to commit it to memory because whenever you make a mistake you have to start over. When you start over you have to retrace what you have already learned before you can explore again. You should have an exploration plan, a pattern by which you test for each new segment. If you do not have a plan and you are just clicking by random guesswork it will be more difficult to remember what you have already tried. This is true for any learning situation you are in. You should always be organized and always have a plan when you are trying to learn new information.

Track 2 - Task 2 - Attributes and Groups

September 5th, 2006

Task 2 - Attributes and Groups - This task uses the objects and conceptual information from Task 1 where you learned that objects have color, shape, size and number attributes. For this task, however, you must use that information to put the objects into groups. All of the objects in a group must have something (i.e. color, shape, size or number of objects) that is the same. The catch is that all of the objects must be arranged in the grid so that they are placed in multiple (more than one) group at the same time. For Level 1, one set of groups will be contained in the rows and a second set of groups will be contained in the columns. For example, all the objects in the rows might be grouped by shape. Row 1 could be squares, Row 2 circles etc.. At the same time the columns could be grouped by color so that all the objects in Column 1 could be red while all the objects in Column 2 could be blue. For each time you do this, carefully study the objects before you start dragging them to the answer grid so you can decide how to arrange them first. For Level 2 and 3, the way you do the task is pretty much the same, there are just more objects, more groups and more concepts (color, shape etc) that you will have to take into account. In addition to Column groups and Row groups, Levels 2 and 3 also have Quadrant (Corner) groups.

Track 1 - Task 2 - Simple Choice Visual Reaction

August 17th, 2006

Task 2 - Simple Choice Visual Reaction - Things are a little more complicated here on Task 2. On Task 1 you clicked every time the center disk appeared. They were all yellow. Now some disks are yellow and some are blue. You are supposed to click on the yellow disks but do nothing when a blue disk appears, but, at the same time you have to try to click as fast as you did before on Task 1. This makes it hard not to accidentally click on the blue disk! This hint should help! First of all you must stay relaxed, do not let your finger or arm be tensed. Then, make sure that you actually do see the color of the disk before you begin to move your finger to click. It may help if you keep talking to yourself each time and say to yourself, “I am not going to click this time!”. By doing that you will be ready if it is blue. If it does happen to be yellow then go ahead and tell yourself to click.

What are psychosocial skills?

August 17th, 2006

Psychosocial skills allow us to interact with, perceive, influence and relate to others. Psychosocial skills include our ability to appropriately experience, display and perceive emotional states and relate these to the events and environments where they occur. Psychosocial skills must work together with our communication skills to enable us to interact appropriately with other individuals and function within a socially meaningful context. If a person has trouble recognizing when another person is happy, irritated, angry, sad etc. or has trouble experencing these feelings then their interaction with others is likely to be poor and sometimes inappropriate.