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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

26 Best Homework and Learning Sites

As a learning specialist and educational therapist, it is imperative to keep up with the best online sites for homework and learning.  This blog offers a list of my favorite internet resources that can be used to assist all students - but particularly "out of the box learners" or those that have learning challenges. What's more, many of these sites offer multisensory options and tools that bring the fun factor into learning.

I have sorted the sites under a number of headings to help you sift through the online resources.
  • Instruction: reteaches academic content 
  • Assistive Technology: adaptive devices that make learning easier 
  • Test Preparation: sites that help students prepare for tests 
  • Tools for Learning: a tool that assists with learning 
  • Strategies: ideas that help learners encode information 
  • Resources: texts and videos that help with the learning process

Resource

Description  

(IN = Instruction, AT = Assistive Tech, TP = Test Prep, TL = Tools, ST = Strategies, RE= Resources)

AAA Math

IN, TP, LT, RE
This website features a comprehensive set of interactive arithmetic lessons for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.   

Bookshare

AT, LT
This nonprofit organization offers recorded books for students with documented disabilities.  With authorization, you can get this service at no cost if you are a US citizen and you are a student with a print-based learning disability.  There is a small fee for others with proof of disability.  All the books are read by a computerized voice.

Boozeman Science

IN, RE
This science teacher, Paul Anderson, offers wonderful multisensory videos in the areas of biology, chemistry, earth science, anatomy, physiology, statistics, physics and more.  His free videos that have also been translated into many languages.

Brain Pop

IN, RE
This website offers animated, curriculum-based content that supports educators and engages students. Their resources include movies, quizzes, experiments, timelines, activity pages, and much more covering hundreds of topics. All content is searchable by state standards.

Bright Storm

IN
This website is a cool website that offers video-based classes that are engaging and offer real world examples.  They have classes for the SATs, AP courses, and basic math, English, history and science.  

Examville

TP, RE
This website offers study guides, notes, online video classes and strategies for difficult high school and college courses.  You can use the materials yourself, share your own study guides and create study groups with your friends or other students.  

EZ Bib

TL
This website provides citations, note taking, and research tools that are easy-to-use.  Google docs also provides a free add-on to EZ Bib.

Fact Monster

TL, RE
This website offers a large selection of kid-friendly resources to help students with their homework. It also provides several other learning materials like an almanac, thesaurus, dictionary, games and more.

Google Calendar

TL
Google Calendar offers a free calendar that can be used on your computer, Ipad or even your cell phone.  You can color code your classes and even get it to send you reminders.

Google Docs

TL, AT
Google Docs is a free Web-based application in which documents, presentations, and spreadsheets can be created, edited and stored online.  Files can be accessed from any online computer, and documents can be shared with and worked on by others.  They now offer a number of Apps that provide services such as a thesaurus and bibliography maker.

Kahoot

TP
Kahoot is a free, game-based online system that allows teachers and students to create group discussions, tests or test preparation activities (assessments) and surveys.  Questions are displayed on one screen and students can answer them through a web browser, smartphone or tablet.  It’s really fun and students love it!  You can create an account on getkahoot.com and access play at www.kahoot.it/ Click here to watch a great tutorial:

Khan Academy

TP, RE, IN, TL, ST
This not-for-profit organization provides a free, high-quality education to students around the world. They offer a growing collection videos covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to physics, chemistry, history, SAT prep and more.  To top it off, they offer a practice/lesson component that allows students to test their knowledge, and if they get stuck, the site will offer a video tutorial!  They have built into this feature motivational tools such as avatars as well as feedback and progress summaries for parents and teachers.

Learning Ally

AT, LT
Learning Ally is another nonprofit organization that offers recorded books for students with learning disabilities. For a small membership price, students with documented disabilities can get access to a large selection of audiobooks.  All of the e-books are read by real people.

NASA Space Place  IN

Prezi

TL
Bring presentations to life with Prezi. Present your ideas on a large canvas, and show their relationship with scale and placement. You can try Prezi now for free on Prezi.com

Project Gutenberg

AT, TL
This website offers over 30,000 free, public domain, electronic books to read on a computer or portable device in a number of formats.  You can search by title and author and many of their titles are also available as audio editions.

Quizlet

TP, TL

Students can browse through and use millions of flashcards created by other students and teachers, or they can make their own.  There are numerous study options: review flashcards electronically or in print form, play games that are created from the information entered, generate a multiple choice, true and false, or fill-in test, or type the answers to your questions.  They also offer visuals and a new feature that reads the information aloud.  Students can save their flashcards, share them, and even merge them for midterms or finals.

Rewordify

AT, TL
This is a free site that was created by a public school English Teacher. Rewordify.com simplifies difficult English. Enter hard sentences (or whole chapters) into the yellow box at the top of the page. You can also enter a website URL. Click Rewordify text and you'll instantly see an easier version, for fast comprehension.

Scrible

AT, TL
This site, supported by the National Science Foundation, allows students to highlight online text, annotate pages, create citations, and organize color-coded text when doing online research.  This online information can be saved in a student’s Scrible account where they can drag text into a text editor and send it to their favorite writing software.

Shakespeare Online

TP, RE
This website offers all of Shakespeare's work with simplified translations.  It also offers famous quotes.

Shmoop

TP, RE
This website features over 10,000 courses, test preparation resources, and learning guides that assist with learning.

Sheppard Software

TP, RE
This website offers some great interactive activities and games to help students learn maps, as well as math and language arts skills.

Smithsonian Ed. Students

IN, RE

This site helps kids learn about topics in history, science, and social studies, and it provides learning materials in multiple formats: games, articles, experiments, and a searchable resource library.

Sweet Search

TL, RE
Sweet Search searches only the 35,000 websites that the Sweet Search staff of research experts, librarians and teachers have evaluated and approved when creating the content. They use sites such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, PBS and university websites.

TedEd

IN
Within the TED-Ed video library, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED's, and easily create a customized lesson around the video.

Wolfram Alpha

RE, TL
Instead of searching the internet for answers, this service has its own engine that computes answers in many subject areas.  The resources on this website are growing rapidly and it already has a massive collection of knowledge.  It’s useful for calculating difficult math problems and is a great way to check homework.
If you know of any other amazing sites, please let us know so we can add them to the list.

I also offer a monthly newsletter that features my current projects and publications, freebies, sales at Good Sensory Learning and my Amazon store, a summary of my most recent blogs and more, CLICK HERE. What's more, I will be creating an online support platform and course for learning specialists and educational therapists. If you want to be kept abreast of this project, be sure to sign up for my project newsletter that will be offering freebies and unique opportunities: http://eepurl.com/bZG5In
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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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Text to Voice - A Bookshare Demonstration and Discussion


This blog shares my most recent Vlog - or video blog for Go Dyslexia! CEO of BioTeam, Stan Gloss joins me in an online demonstration of Bookshare. 

Our discussion reviews:
  • The many benefits of Bookshare for struggling readers of all ages.
  • How to qualify for a membership.
  • How to sign up.
  • How to use Bookshare once your membership is active.
  • Our favorite app to use with Bookshare - Voice Dream Reader.
Here is a copy of our vlog.


Be sure to come on over to Go Dyslexia to see all the free podcasts and video blogs and subscribe to Dr. Warren's free YouTube channel.

Dr. Warren also offers a monthly newsletter that features her current projects and publications, freebies, sales at Good Sensory Learning and her Amazon store, a summary of her most recent blogs and 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, May 11, 2016

Homeschooling Dyslexic Children: Making the Leap with Marianne Sunderland

This blog shares my most recent video podcast, featuring dyslexia homeschooling expert Marianne Sunderland. This is the second of many free video podcasts for Go Dyslexia!

Marianne is an author, blogger and dyslexia advocate, but most importantly she is a homeschooling mother of eight children ages 5 to 24, including her two eldest Zac and Abby Sunderland, known for their world-record setting around the world sailing campaigns. Because 7 of Marianne's 8 children are dyslexic, Marianne is passionate about educating and encourage families, not only to understand dyslexia, but also to discover and nurture their children’s talents. Marianne’s website, Homeschooling with Dyslexia, offers weekly articles on homeschooling kids with ADHD and Dyslexia. In addition, she is active on Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and offers a popular facebook community.

You can download the audio podcast on my site or iTunes.

Resources mentioned in the video podcast:
Overcoming Dyslexia, By Sally Shaywitz
Dyslexia Training Institute
Homeschooling with Dyslexia
Homeschooling with Dyslexia 101 – Free e-book

Find Marianne on the web at:
Facebook I Twitter I Pinterest I Google +

**Click Below to SUBSCRIBE for More Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user= warrenerica1

Dr. Erica Warren – Your Podcast Host
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/warrenerica1
Dyslexia video podcast, video blogs, & resources: https://www.godyslexia.com

Come watch the video:
Let us 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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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Finding the Best Reading Program for Students with Dyslexia


If you are helping a struggling reader and you are looking for a reading program, it can be an overwhelming process to sift through the multitude of options that are currently available. Many approaches focus on the well researched Orton-Gillingham based instructional approach, however, each program offers their own materials and addresses a variety of different age groups.

What is the Orton-Gillingham Approach to Reading?
The Orton-Gillingham approach to reading was named after Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) and Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) who gathered and published a detailed instructional manual in the 1930s. They created a structured, multisensory, step by step approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling that incorporated the explicit and systematic teaching of phonemic awareness, syllabication, and word morphology.  There has been extensive research on this approach to reading and it is known to be an excellent option for students with dyslexia.  

So How Can I Find the Best Program?
I've attached the following table to help make the search for your ideal approach more manageable. I don't have experience with all the programs, but I am familiar with and have used components of the ones that are starred in my own practice.

Program
Grades
K-6
Grades
7-9
Grades 10-12
Grades Adults
Software Based?
ABeCeDarian





Academy of Reading







Alphabetic Phonics




Association Method




Barton


Fast Forward




Fast Track



High Point



Jolly Phonics





Language!


Lexercise


Lexia-Herman





* Lexia Reading


* Lindamood-Bell




Mind Play

* Nessy Reading


Open Court Reading





Orton-Gillingham Approach


Orton Gillingham Online Academy


Phonics First


Project Read




Rave-O





Read Naturally



Read Well






Reading Mastery




Really Great Reading


Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching


Slingerland




Sonday System


Sounds in Syllable


Spalding Method




SpellRead



SRA Early Intervention




Starting Over


Read, Write & Type Learning System




Spire





Take Flight




Trass





* Wilson Reading System


Created by Michael Bates and Dr. Erica Warren 

Do I Use a Reading Program in my Private Practice?
Personally, I don't use a reading program, however, I occasionally assign the Nessy Reading and Spelling online site to my students.  Although I was trained in a number of Orton-Gillingham based programs, I chose to study the comprehensive and extensive source: The Gillingham Manual.  Then I created my own supplemental games and multisensory activities to make the approach more engaging and enjoyable for students.

I hope you found this blog helpful and that the information will assist you in making the best decision for your particular situation.

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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