We consistently receive questions about testing profiles and learning issues which may have some general interest to both professionals and parents. We invite you to write in about any profiles or situations which are puzzling you. EDU-T will respond and we will probably have additional input from other specialists! We welcome you!

Use Verbal Logic Training:
Last week I had an inquiry – can you help me – question. The woman is interested in attending law-school but first has to take the LSAT – the preliminary examination to qualify for entrance. When she was confronted with the analytical questions she realized that she had no idea how to tackle the problems. She was very concerned that she would be a failure in law school. She initially called and asked if we could help her with algebraic word problems but after having her read an example I understood what she needed – Mind Benders!

I would like to challenge all of you who work with youth and adults to develop your personal abilities to do Mind Benders/ Verbal Logic Problems. There are some wonderful sources out there including the easier versions which are available through Critical Thinking Press (Seaside, CA) and are useful beginning in third grade. I personally like to use the Penny Press version, although Dell also has a series.

Why use verbal logic problems? For you personally – because you will continue to activate new brain cells, increase your logical reasoning, avoid Alzheimer’s dementia, and be an excellent detail reader. Your skills will save you time, increase your accuracy in decision making, and make you feel very smart!
For your students – all of the above, plus: 1) To increase reading comprehension skills and reading accuracy. 2) To improve test taking skills because of improved reading efficiency and effectiveness. 3) To increase confidence in approaching learning. 4) To increase logic/reasoning skills.

I use these with all of my clients. My private practice is age 16 and above with most of the clients in their 40-60’s. When we begin with doing these exercises they have a very difficult time. I step them through the exercises over and over, never allowing them to fail.
The first thing they learn is that they will reach a point where they are lost, confused, and frustrated. We talk about this as “hitting the wall” or developing a “tolerance for confusion” and work on strategies to use. What is happening at this point is that there is so much information whirling around in their inner language they experience mental fatigue. Developing a strategy is useful in many situations.
The formula I use is: take three deep breaths, drink a half cup of water, take a break from the task! [The breath brings new oxygen to our brains. As we become upset, we tend to constrict our muscles and tighten up, reducing the oxygen flow. The water will assist in conducting messages from one brain cell to another via our neurotransmitters. The break will help us think about something else and activate other areas of our brain. Often the break will be a few minutes of Infinity Walking – reference Dr. Deborah Sunbeck.]
For clients who are having problems with comprehension or passing a test, be it a college class or the Bar Exam, verbal logic problems are a very important part of the training for success. We will work on some strategies as we continue with our communication.