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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Learning Specialist Courses: Creating a Successful Learning Specialist Practice in 60 Days

  • Do you want the FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE to make a difference?
  • Do you know what it takes to CONNECT with and EMPOWER students?
  • Do you want to be a part of a MULTISENSORY, TAILORED and PERSONALIZED method that you can deliver in your own private practice while having access to a support community of likeminded professionals?

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone!

Whether you would like to create a private practice from scratch, or you already have an established business, I would love to help you. You can now gain access to my secrets, expertise, methods, swipe notes and a support community of likeminded professionals as well as a growing selection of promotions from the best resources and companies. This and more is all available in my evergreen course Create a Successful Learning Specialist Course in 60 Days.



If you Answered Yes to Any of the Questions Above, Watch this Video to Learn More.
                            

How Can I Learn More about Dr. Warren's Teaching Style?
Come and read my testimonials, or if you would like to learn more about my teaching style, you can have 7-day access to my 3-part mini video series - Learning Specialist Secrets: a Free 3-Part Video Series! This will enable you to experience my own multisensory teaching approach and you can experience a sampling of my great content!  I will cover:
  • The 5 Key Benefits of a Learning Specialist Practice.
  • The 10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes.
  • The 7 Most Common Questions and Answers About Establishing a Practice.
About Dr. Erica Warren:
Aspiring to empower "out of the box" learners, I created a degree program that united coursework and research in School Psychology, Special Education, Psychology, and Adult Education. With a full assistantship at the UGA Learning Disability Center in assessment, I pursued a doctorate that focused on life-long issues in learning, the impact of learning difficulties across the lifespan, and comprehensive diagnostic evaluations. In addition, I earned a full assistantship with the National Science Foundation while working towards a Masters degree in Educational Psychology. I often refer to my bachelor’s degree in fine arts as my secret weapon as it brings joy, color and creativity into my sessions.
Now you can take advantage of my extensive training along with 18 years experience directing my own business, Learning to Learn. I have the tools and strategies for success and I would love to share them with you.



Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY. To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dyslexia Screeners: What's the Best Option?



Finding the best dyslexia screener can be a vital step for schools as well as parents, but sifting through the many options can be time consuming and challenging. I began the rigorous process of evaluating 13 different options and found the experience both interesting and surprising. While some instruments offer Likert scale questionnaires, others assess a student's cognitive or achievement abilities. The two screeners (which will remain nameless) that I thought would likely be the best, were disappointingly inadequate. A table below illustrates a summary of my findings, and I will let you come to your own conclusions.

The Table (below) Compares the 13 Resources by a Number of Factors:
  • Age: The age range of eligible participants.
  • Cost: The cost of the assessment/screener.
  • Administration Time: The time it takes to take the test.
  • Test Type: The format of the test.  
    • Questionnaires: About half of the instruments were Likert scales that obtain participant's preferences or degree of agreement with a statement or set of statements. These instruments result in a total score that reflects a likelihood of an individual having dyslexia.
    • Assessments: A handful of instruments are administered by a trained teacher or professional and given directly to the student or individual.
  • Who Takes Test?  Who takes the questionnaire or assessment? - the student/individual with dyslexia, the parent or a teacher.
  • Research: Whether there is reported research.  Some questionnaires and assessments offer documented clinical research on their sites.
  • What Does it Measure? What cognitive, achievement or other areas are measured by the instrument.  Not all the instruments reviewed are measuring the same variables.  Some look at risk factors, while others are look and key cognitive processing areas or specific areas of achievement.
  • No Required Training: Although some instruments require no training at all, others require instruction or specific qualifications to even purchase the materials.
  • Score Provided: Some instruments provide a specific score that is placed on a continuum and has a documented meaning.  Others just provide qualitative summaries.
  • Fun & Engaging: Whether the instrument is enjoyable for the test taker.
  • Monitors Progress: Whether the instrument monitors progress over time.  
  • Normed: Whether the instrument compares scores against the performance of a statistically selected group of test takers who already took the test.
What are the Features of a Great Dyslexia Screener for School-age Children?
After reviewing the 13 dyslexia screeners below, there were a few key features, I believe, are important to consider.  A screener should be:

  1. accessible to both parents and teachers.
  2. administered directly to the student - if they are old enough.
  3. fun and engaging so that a child can maintain attention.
  4. administered with ease.
  5. created by a reputable company.
  6. based on clinical research.
  7. offering a report of the findings.
  8. presenting a way to monitor progress.

My Personal Preference:

If you are looking for a simple questionnaire that discloses a suspected likelihood of dyslexia and provides a simple report of strengths and weaknesses, the Davis Dyslexia Screener is a decent option. But if you want a comprehensive assessment that is easy to administer, is backed by research, does not require training, is fun and engaging for the students, and investigates a student's abilities in the key cognitive areas that are impacted by dyslexia, Dyslexia Quest is by far the best option.

What do you think of dyslexia screeners? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Order of Operations Mobile Teaches the Concept

Order of Operations is a difficult concept for young learners, and many teachers use strategies to help students learn the sequence of mathematical steps.  The acronyms, such as "PEMDAS" or "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally," are common memory strategies that teachers use to help students remember the order of operations. However, this mnemonic suggests a specific sequence which can cause confusion. Mistakes may result if the student is unaware that multiplication and division as well as addition and subtraction is of equal ranking order. When one has operations of the same rank, the problem must be solved from left to right. For instance, 10 5 + 2 is not 10 - 7, but is actually 5 + 2, because one solves the problem from left to right. This can be a complicated concept for kids to understand when working with a linear strategy. This is why the My Pet PEMDAS mobile is a fun, memorable and multisensory activity that solves this problem once and for all.
© My Pet PEMDAS Solves the Problem: Students can now visualize their pet PEMDAS as a mobile with arms and legs that twist and turn. On one side of the mobile, the left hand displays the letter M and the right hand displays the letter D. On the other side of the mobile, students can place the letter D in the left hand and the letter M in the right. The same can be done for the feet with A for addition and S for subtraction. You can also have students display both letters such as M/D on the hands and A/S on the feet.  I have received many emails from teachers that claim their students grasped the concept quickly and that their classrooms to be filled with a colorful mobiles that their student’s created.  

Tell Me More About This Publication:
This 27-page digital download makes order of operation lesson plans multisensory, easy and enjoyable. First, from cut-outs, students create their own pet PEMDAS mobile. With more than 100 different combinations, each student can make their own unique mobile. Students have the option of selecting images in color or black and white. With the later option, participants can color their mobiles to make their Pet PEMDAS one of a kind. When students are done, their mobiles can be hung around the classroom or the house so that the lesson continues to serve as a reminder when needed. After students have finished their pet PEMDAS, they can practice their new knowledge with the included brain teasing activities.  The publication is only $6.99.  To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How to Use Dictation on Mac and Benefits for Dyslexia


Apple has been offering free accessibility tools with their personal computing devices for some time, but with each new operating system upgrade comes improvements and changes. This blog focuses on the dictation tool, as it is real game changer for students with dyslexia and other types of learning disabilities.

What is Dictation?
Dictation is a tool that allows users to speak computer commands and also dictate text when creating documents, texts or emails. The computer “listens” to your words and follows your directives. Because the computer “hears” every utterance, it is important to speak clearly and mindfully so that your commands are not filled with ums and other unneeded articulations.

How Can One Access Dictation?
To begin the default is selecting the fn key twice (bottom left hand corner on most Mac keyboards), or you can enable the dictation keyword phrase and say “Computer, start dictating.” Here is how you can enable the keyword phrase.

           Choose Apple menu > System Preferences
> click Accessibility

            > click Dictation


          > click “Enable the dictation keyword phrase”

A Few Key Pointers When Using Dictation:
- If you’re dictating text, pause a few seconds before saying the command (otherwise, it may be dictated as text).
- There is a comprehensive list of commands that are worth committing to memory or having handy on a printout when using this accessibility tool. To make it easy for you, I created a downloadable document with many of the common commands. I limited it to two pages, so that it could be printed on a single piece of paper (front and back).
- When dictation is enabled, you can also display a list of commands by simply saying, “ Show commands.” This will trigger a menu box of dictation commands that will appear on your screen (as seen in the image to the right). You can also conduct a specific search by saying, “How do I <action>?” For example, you can say “How do I select text?” to see commands related to highlighting text.
- When you’re done, say “Stop dictating” or press the dictation keyboard shortcut - (default is select fn key twice)

Voice to Text for Writing:
Dictation is a great way for users to capture the spoken word as text on the screen. One should note, however, that punctuation needs to be verbalized as well as other directives such as formatting, mathematical symbols, emoticons, currency and some symbols. Again, to make it easy for you, I created a downloadable document with many of the common commands.

Why is Dictation a Great Option for Individuals with Dyslexia?
Dictation is a great option for individuals with dyslexia, because they can focus on ideas and not be distracted by spelling or typing. There is a little bit of a learning curve, as one needs to get comfortable speaking clearly, verbalizing punctuation, pausing between ideas, and gaining proficiency with voice commands.  I find that most students can learn it quite quickly.

Using Commands to Operate the Computer:
Sierra also offers enhanced dictation. When this feature is enabled, you can use spoken commands to perform tasks on the Mac. For instance, you can say commands to open an application (e.g., “open mail”), search the internet (e.g., “search global warming”), and ask Siri a question (e.g., “start Siri”). Other advanced tasks can also be enabled such as switching apps, navigating in windows, or searching using Spotlight. To top it off, you can even create your own commands.

Adjoining Video Blog:
I also offer an adjoining video blog on this topic.  In addition, a quick demonstration, illustrates how easy it is to use this technology to quickly create text.
Again - If you would like my 2-page summary of the common Dictation Commands, CLICK HERE.

I hope you found this blog helpful. Please leave a comment and share it on social media.

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dyslexia: Rapid Automatic Naming and Multisensory Methods

I’m so pleased to announce my seventh Go Dyslexia video podcast: Rapid Automatic Naming and Multisensory Methods with Guest Dr. Michael Hart and Host Dr. Erica Warren.

This blog shares my most recent video podcast, featuring dyslexia expert and advocate, Dr. Michael Hart. Dr. Hart is a child psychologist and dyslexia expert who offers 25 years of experience in parent and teacher training, educational technology, learning differences, and diagnostic assessments. He is the founder/owner of www.doctormichaelhart.com and is currently providing online webinars and courses that focus on dyslexia.  

This is the seventh of many free video podcasts for Go Dyslexia!   
During the video podcast, Michael and I talk about rapid automatic naming (RAN) and its impact on dyslexia and more specifically reading.  In addition, we discuss the importance of using the Orton-Gillingham approach, multisensory methods and paying attention to the individual needs of learners.  

What is Rapid Automatic Naming?
Rapid Automatic Naming or Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) is the ability to quickly verbalize a series of familiar items including letters, numbers, colors or things.  This a cognitive skill that has a major impact for many struggling readers.

Important Links Mentioned in this Podcast:
Dr. Michael Hart’s website: www.doctormichaelhart.com
Hey What’s the Big Idea Game: https://goodsensorylearning.com/search?q=hey

URL to Video Podcast: https://youtu.be/PfwxcU2B3-U
Come Check out all my Video Podcasts: https://godyslexia.com/dyslexia-podcasts/
Come check out my Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/warrenerica1

Click the image below to watch our Video Podcast on YouTube:
I hope you found this post helpful.  Please share and like the video, and let me know what you think!!
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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