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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reading Assessment for Orton Gillingham and Phonics Based Reading Programs



I just wanted to announce my newest publication: GoodSensory Learning Reading Assessment.  It was created for teachers, reading specialists, learning specialists and parents who need a simple but comprehensive reading evaluation instrument that can direct instruction so specific reading needs can be targeted.   It works seamlessly with any phonics or Orton-Gillingham based reading program.   Moreover, the evaluation can also be utilized post remedial intervention to define cognitive growth as well as areas that require continued attention and support. Twenty three, quick subtests are administered to a single student, and the test can be administered in one or more sitting(s). 

If you are interested in seeing more, feel free to click on the following link, where you can a few pages.  If you like it, you can purchase the item too.
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  
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Help for Struggling Readers


Many students struggle with the cognitive skills needed to be good readers. With weak abilities in the areas of visualization, tracking, visual processing, auditory processing and/or memory, the practice of reading can soon become, frustrating, tiresome and laborious. When kids pair negative associations and feelings with books, they may avoid picking up a book altogether. For the same reason that you would not build a sky scraper on a weak foundation, for these kids, it is important to strengthen the individual areas of cognition first. Many of these skills can be developed through game like activities that kids enjoy. Here are a few ideas that you might like to try:

1) When reading to your children have fun sharing your visualizations with one another by imagining what the settings and characters look like. You can even encourage your children to come up with their own illustrations for stories.

2) Pull out a newspaper and encourage your child to find a specific word, such as the word the, on the page. Encourage them to follow the words from left to right so that they are strengthening their tracking skills. They can use their finger, a thin strip of paper or even a highlighter to keep their place.

3) Play games such as the memory game - where students flip cards to find pairs, or get a free app like the old game Simon which strengthens visual and auditory memory.

If you are interested in ready made materials, come on over to Good Sensory Learning
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  
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Alphabet Cookies - Practical and Delicious

Now you can take your favorite cookie recipe and cut the dough into the alphabet! You can use it for learning the letters, spelling names, and even making words and sentences. If you don't want to use them for cookies, you could use it to cut up a pan of jello! Finally, if you want to make it into something that is not edible, you could use the cutters to make the letters out of clay or play-dough See below for a link where you can buy them!

Have fun!
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  
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

5 Strategies that Make Learning the Alphabet a lot of Fun


Learning the letters can be a lot of fun! Here are 5 Strategies that your children will be sure to love.  

1) Fill a tray with a light coating of sand, ground coffee, flour, or rice.  Make sure that the tray is a contrasting color so that when the kids make the letters, they can see the surface of the tray underneath.
2) Form the individual letters out of food that starts with that letter.  For example, make the letter B out of sliced bananas, carve the letter O in the rind of an orange, or make the letter M out of mustard.
3) Have the children find the letters in the environment.  For example, they might see that two intersecting branches make the letter T, a portion of a ladder makes the letter H, or an Allen wrench or hex key makes the letter L.
4) Boil spaghetti and cool it.  While it is still pliable let the children form the different letters.  Then let the letters dry and paint them. 
5) Take pictures of the letters that the children made in the prior activities.  Print them out and let them spell simple words with the letters or even make their own name.


If you try these activities, I'd 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.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Inference Activities Ideas, Freebie and Workbook Link


Inferences are often tricky to teach and challenging for students to learn.  They are abstract notions or concepts that are implied through language or images.  Therefore, concrete ways of learning have to be placed aside and students have to learn to uncover hidden messages.  Personally, I like to use advertisements for my lessons.

Here are a number of strategies that can help you to teach this skill:
    1)   Magazine advertisements often have hidden messages to help entice buyers.  Look at magazine ads and discuss the inferences.  Consider the colors, backgrounds, expressions, layouts and more.
    2)   Likewise, billboards offer inferences.   Look at all the details in the image and discuss what the billboards are trying to sell and what in the images makes you want to buy that product. 
    3)   Similarly, television commercials can offer some wonderful opportunities for students to practice their inference skills.  Again, ask yourself what they are wanting you to buy and what strategies they use to tempt possible customers.

If you would like to purchase a product that has already compiled images for you as well as other inference activities and a game, you can come learn more about my product, Making Inferences: The Fun and Easy Way.  You can even download a freebie sampling of the activities!  http://goodsensorylearning.com/making-inferences.html
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  
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Alphabetizing Exercises Help to Develop Memory and Organizational Skills

Alphabetizing is an important skill to master. It helps develop organizational skills, executive functioning abilities and it even improves memory. Furthermore, if we sequence materials that we are encoding into our brains, it makes it easier to access at a later date. In addition, when we apply these principles to everyday life, it can help us to access our personal materials quicker and more efficiently. Moreover, it is a skill that is needed in many employment positions. The problem is that most alphabetizing activities are dull and boring. Alphabet Roundup is my newest product, and it makes the process both fun and memorable. Four different decks from beginners to advanced can be sorted and also played in a card game. Amusing images and names will keep all the players chuckling.

Come Check it out!!
http://goodsensorylearning.com/alphabetizing-games.html
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  
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Compound Word Game, Making Connections, Also Develops Critical Reasoning, Mental Flexibility and Sequencing Skills



Developing language processing skills, critical thinking, mental flexibility, verbal reasoning and sequential processing abilities, is foundational in any elementary education. What's more, these lessons need to make the learning process engaging and fun. I created Making Connections Compound Word Games to address these areas. Learning specialists, homeschoolers, teachers and parents can now help students develop these skills! Your students will love these brain teasers! They can be quite challenging, so this product will offer a lot of fun for students of all ages. I now even offer a free sampling on my product page, so come download it today!
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  
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Freebie Game for any Orton Gillingham or Phonics Based Reading Program

Come get a free copy!! Kids don't have to learn and practice new knowledge by plugging through long lists of words or completing worksheets. I am a firm believer that the repetition they need can be achieved through fun and engaging games! Puppy Party is one of my reading games that makes my students squeal with delight. Kids travel around the game board collecting puppies while learning the short vowel sounds. The winner is the player with the most puppies. It is great for small groups, learning centers, or individual remediation. It also works seamlessly with any phonics or Orton-Gillingham based reading program.

You can get a free copy of Puppy Party and learn about my other fun reading games by clicking 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.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning Style Inventories Can Help with the College Process

Here is an interesting article about how uncovering ones learning style can help with the college process. It was printed in the New York Times - Monday November 19th 2012.

http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/college-search-based-on-learning-style/comment-page-1/#comment-155872

One great inventory to consider for this purpose is my Eclectic Learning Profile. Come check it out: http://goodsensorylearning.com/eclectic-learning-profile.html
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  
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Real Numbers Instruction: Having Real Fun with Real Numbers


Some students struggle with math vocabulary and this is particularly common when students learn about real numbers.  Language processing and vocabulary comprehension is key to this mathematical concept and making this process fun can be difficult.  I have just finished a series of game-like activities that make the process both fun and challenging.  Following Directions: Real Numbers Digital Download is a collection of 5 engaging activities that helps to develop language skills, math vocabulary, tricky wording, attention to detail and more. The Following Directions Series are one of my most popular products and now I have created one just for real numbers and other math vocabulary.

http://goodsensorylearning.com/following-directions.html
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  
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fun, Following Directions Thanksgiving Activities

This colorful Thanksgiving digital download - PDF offers enjoyable and engaging printable activities that strengthens language processing skills such as listening, following written/oral directions, understanding homework/test questions and interpreting multiple choice items. Included in this publication are three activities that will also help your students practice linguistic cues and develop spatial, sequential, attentional and executive functioning skills. You can come get a free sampling or
purchase this as well as other great Following Directions activities by clicking on the image or the
following link.
http://goodsensorylearning.com/following-directions.html
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  

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Mindful Education and Teaching Emotional Intelligence Begins with the Learning Environment



 A big part of mindful education and teaching emotional intelligence begins with the learning environment.  Setting up a space where students can find peace and unwind is key.  In my private practice, this spot is my “zen table” and the surrounding cushions, bean bags and tactile toys.  Here students can dip their fingers into one side that is filled with lentils and colorful rocks and let the stress of the day dribble from the tips of their fingers, or they can venture to the other creative side that is filled with mung beans and magnets.  I got this beautiful table on Overstock a number of years ago.  They call it a TV table, but it makes the perfect centerpiece for a relaxation station.  If you want to make your own "zen space" you can also use big tupperware bins, an old chest, or even a wooden box.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!!
 
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  
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fun Halloween Activity that Strengthens Language Skills

Weaknesses in language processing can be difficult to remediate, and finding fun activities that can help strengthen this cognitive processing area is a further challenge.  I designed my Following Directions - The Fun and Easy Way series to offer activities that help students develop listening skills, attention to detail, vocabulary, mental flexibility, spatial skills, and more.  They were initially created for my own private practice, and now they are available to the public.  Each page is filled with colorful images and students get to draw, complete mazes and work through process of elimination exercises that are fun and engaging.  For added enjoyment, I am now creating holiday exercises that can be used throughout the school year.  My latest download offers three Halloween handouts.  

 
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  
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Help for Struggling Readers: Creating Your Own Color Overlays





You can create your own overlays by using whole sheets or cutting strips of transparent, colored report covers, dividers or overhead projector film. 

Step one: Buy a variety of colorful transparent sheets.  You can use -
  • color, transparency film
  • color, transparent report covers (plastic)
  • color, transparent dividers (plastic)


All of these options can be found at office supply stores.

Step two:  Everyone is different.  Let your students try out the different colors and see which one they like the best.
 
Step three:  For some students, keep whole sheets so that students have the option of changing the background color of the entire page of text.  Other students might like a thin strip of color, as it can help with tracking from one line to the next.  I make them a variety of lengths and widths, and often let students decide for themselves.  Note: The strips also make wonderful book marks. 

Step four (optional):  Place a plain sticker on the end of
the overlay strip or the bottom of a whole sheet so that 
students can write their name on it.  Students can also pick out a sticker of an image too.  Just make sure to keep all stickers on one end of the color overlay strip or the bottom of the overlay page.

Step five (optional): For those students that get overwhelmed by to many words on a page, you can place duct tape around the edge of the overlay to block out competing lines of text. 

At the end of the activity, even if a few of your students don’t find color overlays helpful, they will still have a useful book mark.  

For more great reading remediation ideas, check out my reading games!  You can even get a free sample game!!

http://goodsensorylearning.com/reading-games.html 

Enjoy!
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  
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How Can Books on Tape Improve Reading Speed and Reading Comprehension?



Listening to books on tape or to someone reading aloud can improve reading comprehension because the brain does not have to work on decoding the words but can simply focus on the content.  But merely laying back and passively listening is not always the best approach, because it is easy for personal thoughts to interrupt the text content.  Therefore, for this mode of learning to be most effective, it is best for the listener to do one of two things:

 Scan the text: Scanning the text while listening will not only help maintain attention, but it will assist with sight word recognition.  Additionally, students that decode words one letter at a time while reading will begin to see whole words and phrases.  Before long, these skills will apply when the student reads independently, and whole words recognition and reading speed will improve.
 
Visualize the content:  Picturing the characters, the setting and the plot helps to sustain attention, improve comprehension and it also makes the text more memorable.  With practice, many students report that they are able to create a mental movie in their mind and that reading becomes far more enjoyable. 

There are a number of places online that offer books on tape.

1) Learning Ally:
http://www.learningally.org       

2) Audio Books for Free: 
http://www.audiobooksforfree.com/browse/Fiction   

3) LibriVox:
http://librivox.org/  

If you would like to help students develop their visualization abilities, I have a free image that reviews the 10 visualization skills.  I also offer two PowerPoint presentations that teach the 10 skills needed to visualize.  If interested go to:
http://goodsensorylearning.com/teaching-visualization.html
 
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  
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