A note goes onto the board.

Eyes scan the words.

Brain absorbs the information.

Neurons (cells in the brain) connect and analyze the information.

The information makes sense.

The words are copied onto the paper or into the computer.

The rate at which all of this happens is a students SPEED.

By understanding two speeds and the speeds of their own brains, students can become aware of their strengths and challenges with the pace of learning. 

SPEED involves two areas.

  1. Visual Motor Speed

  2. Processing Speed

Visual Motor Speed is the rate which a student can see and physically respond. A student with fast visual motor speed can be fast at typing, copying assignments from the board, or effectively handling procedures in a science lab.

Processing Speed is the rate at which a student takes in and analyzes information. To analyze can mean to compare, classify, contrast, distinguish, infer, separate, explain, discriminate, divide, order, break down. A student with fast processing speed may struggle with an imbalance of processing along with reasoning, memory or reasoning and can feel unsuccessful as a learner due to this imbalance. A student with slow processing speed take longer to read, finish assignments, or respond to questions. Sometimes students with slow processing speed can struggle to keep up with their classmates and to finish in an appropriate amount of time.

To support students with slow Visual Motor Speed, students can:

  • Receive notes ahead of time and simply add content to them as the content is being presented

  • Use voice to text software on Google Docs

  • Highlight steps using colors that stand out on the page

  • Routinize routes to commonly frequented places

  • Drive the same types of cars

  • Focus on sports that require routine such as running or swimming

To support students with fast Processing Speed, students can:

  • Work to improve their skills through drilling practice

  • Boost reasoning skills through mind maps and active reading

  • Improve executive functioning skills through routine coaching

To support students with slow Processing Speed, students can:

  • Preview material ahead of time

  • Have shortened homework and classwork assignments

  • Use outlines to work through complex tasks

  • Use extra time for testing

  • Rely on their stronger cognitive functions to learn information (possibly memory or reasoning)

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