Working memory training helps special education students

SUCCESS STORY

Working memory training helps students in special education improve their focus and grades

Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, Baytown, Texas

Looking to increase the achievement levels of students in its special education program, Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District implemented Cogmed, a working memory training program, in sixteen elementary schools and five junior schools. Over six hundred students participated in the program, attending a series of thirty training sessions, each lasting 35 minutes. During the sessions, students completed tasks that required them to identify differing shapes and remember their locations, execute oral instructions by clicking on or dragging objects in a specific order, and solve simple arithmetic problems in a minute.

After the implementation, administrators, teachers, and parents observed an improvement in students’ focus, ability to follow instructions, and achievement levels. The district was so pleased with the results of the program that it is expanding the training to all its schools as well as offering the training as an option to students in general education classes as part of its response to intervention model.

Watch this video to learn more about how Cogmed is helping students improve their working memory.

Transcript

Tom Kelchner, Director of Special Education, Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District:
We brought in the Cogmed program specifically to address working memory deficits with our special education and, in fact, regular education students who need some level of intervention. So we were looking for innovative practices, programs, and services in order to support our students to improve their achievement levels, particularly on state assessments. Looking at means for doing something different than the normal resource inclusion practices. Cogmed, we felt, significantly fit that need.

Over this first year of implementation in Goose Creek CISD at 16 elementary schools and 5 junior schools, we exposed about 670 students to the treatment.

Voiceover:
Participating students attended thirty Cogmed training sessions, each lasting 35 minutes. During the sessions, students completed tasks like identifying different shapes and remembering their locations and executing oral instructions by clicking on or dragging objects in a specific order.

Anne Garrett, Special Education Teacher, Dr. Johnny T. Clark, Jr. Elementary School:
Most of my students are great kids. They just have a lot of trouble focusing, a lot of trouble staying on task when doing class work. Usually they can stay on task about two to three minutes, and then I have to start redirecting them to stay focused.

Cogmed, by the end of the thirty days of training, had helped a lot, if not most, of my students to stay focused better in class. And for them, being able to stay focused and being able to sit in their chairs and follow along with the teacher or what they were reading on their own or doing math work helped them to bring up their grades.

Brandi Gonzalez, parent of A.J., a 6th grader who participated in Cogmed training:
Cogmed helped A.J. It was enjoyable for him. While he was doing Cogmed, his grades were doing better. He was turning his work in. He went from very, very low Fs, 40s and 50s, to I think like 67, 68 by the end of the year.

Tom Kelchner, Director of Special Education, Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District:
We have both anecdotal and quantifiable data to indicate improvements by individual students who have been in the treatment. We’re very pleased with the program, very pleased with Cogmed, and not only will be extending the opportunities to additional campuses over the next year, but also to non-special-education students as one intervention option in our response to intervention model.

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Solutions to help address attention problems
Cogmed

Cogmed Working Memory Training is a computer-based solution for attention problems caused by poor working memory. Cogmed combines cognitive neuroscience with innovative computer game design and close professional support to deliver substantial and lasting benefits to customers.
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