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Thursday, March 29, 2012

10 Easy Steps to Accommodate Students with Executive Functioning Weaknesses

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1.     Provide a consistent and structured environment:
a.     At home: Create a structured routine and try to schedule activities that are always on the same days and at the same times.  You can even schedule unstructured, free times.
b.     In school: All teachers should communicate and post homework assignments in the same way and at an expected time daily.  Home work should also be collected in a reliable, routine manner.  Finally, the classroom need to be managed in a consistent way with clear and concise expectations.
2.     Provide reminders:  Use smart phones, ipods, watches with alarms, and PDAs to provide auditory and visual reminders of important dates, activities, and things that need to be done.
3.     Use a large month or two month at a glance calendar to schedule events and post it in a high traffic location.  Review the calendar weekly and verbally highlight each event.  If new activities are added during the week, be sure to communicate these verbally and write them on the calendar in a different color so that they stand out.
4.     Weekly, schedule and organization time:
a.     At home: schedule an hour each week where all family members “get organized.”  Make it a fun time by playing music, having tasty snacks, and helping each other.
b.     At school:  schedule a time once a week where students have an allocated time to get their desks, backpacks, and lockers organized.  Try to make this fun by having contests and prizes for “the most organized,” “the tidiest backpack,”  “the best long-term planner,” “the neatest agenda”…  This too can be a time where teacher’s can play music or students can listen to their ipods.
5.     Praise and reward organization, planning and time management skills that are self initiated.
6.     Exhibit the behaviors you wish to see.  This means that you have to be organized, plan and manage your time too.  Set an example for your kids and students.  If you need help, hire an organization specialist for the family or classroom.
7.     Organize the environment so that there is a place for everything.  You can even label drawers, closets, and shelves if necessary.
8.     Stay calm and supportive when your child or student struggles with planning, time management and organization.  Make a time when the two of you can sit down and devise a plan of action.
9.     Avoid name calling.  Lazy, unmotivated, careless and other negative labels will not help the situation.  In fact, it can create an environment where the child/student feels helpless and it can also damage their self-esteem.
10. When your child or student is “mentally spent,” provide breaks, do an errand together, play a short game, or take a walk.

      If you would like to learn more about accommodating and empowering students with Executive Functioning Weaknesses, look at my recent publication, Planning, Time Management and Organization for Success.  The document comes on CD with many printable handouts that will assist students in the areas of reading, test taking, memory, planning, writing and more.  http://goodsensorylearning.com/Planning,_Time_Management_Organization.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, March 28, 2012

Three Easy Activities that Can Strengthen Tracking Abilities for Improved Reading

         Some students struggle with tracking words on a page.  They may lose their place or have trouble scanning from one line to the next.  Here are three strategies that you can do at home to strengthening this skill. 
1.    Find a magazine article, book, or letter, and have the student circle or highlight every time they see the word “the.”  You can pick any word, letter or phrase.  Also, the student does not have to be able to comprehend the text that you select.  Tell them to always read from left to right.  Double check their work for accuracy.  This will help to improve tracking ability and strengthen eye muscles.  

2.    Find a magazine article and have the student circle or highlight the letters of the alphabet as they scan the text from left to right.   Again, they do not have to be able to read the text that you select.  Double check their work for accuracy.

3.    For a greater challenge, pre-read the text and pull some words out of the text that then create a new sentence that the student must locate.  These must be words the student can recognize, and the student must find the words in the text in the same sequence presented.  

For more great strategies and fun activities, check out the Reversing Reversals Series



For a Free Samples, CLICK HERE:

Cheers, Erica

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why Should We Learn About Angles?


Learning about angles has never been easier and so much fun. This new PowerPoint first shows students the importance of angles in life. Then it informs students about acute, right and obtuse angles using both visual and auditory memory strategies. Next, students practice their new knowledge by labeling the many angles we can make with our bodies.  Furthermore, complementary and supplementary angles are reviewed using more fun comic-book like memory strategies. The PowerPoint ends with an interactive classroom activity! It's an enjoyable, multi-sensory and memorable lesson that your students will love.
 http://goodsensorylearning.com/math-powerpoints.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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Friday, March 23, 2012

What is Brain Training or Brain Fitness and is it Helpful?


Brain Training or Brain Fitness is the act of strengthening deficits in learning or weak areas of cognition.  This is typically done using simple activities that concentrate on areas of difficulty.  Just like a personal trainer or physical therapist can focus exercises on a particular part of the body, many learning specialists, educational therapists and learning coaches can help individuals of all ages to improve memory, visual processing, auditory processing, attention, stamina and more. 

When instruction focuses on the area of difficulty, it’s important for the activities to be engaging and fun.  They need to start at a very simplistic level and increase in difficulty as the participants experience success.  Repeated training clears the hurtles that trip the thought processes and helps the mind run smoothly and efficiently. 

Clearly, the brain is not limited and defined.  It continues to grow, if exercised, throughout our lifetime.  Early intervention can sometimes cure or remediate learning disabilities and even diseases of the elderly such as Alzheimer’s and dementia can be avoided.  The bottom line is that it is never too late.

I am a learning specialist and educational therapist.  However,  I tell many of my clientele that I’m a personal trainer for the brain.  I help people of all ages to improve overall cognition, develop compensatory learning strategies and master optimal study skills.  I also write educational and brain training materials for learning specialists, educational therapists, teachers and coaches.
 
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, March 22, 2012

Homework Help Websites

I wanted to share a link to homework resources that I provide for my clientele. I think you will find them very helpful.  Feel free to share this page and also check back as I am continually updating the site. 
 
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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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Free Internet Games That are Great for the Brain!

I have spent years searching for and uploading great, free internet game links.  I have them all listed and described on my private practice website for my clients, and I wanted to share them with you too.  Check it out!  I have 97 links and I have them all under headings such as Math, Reading, Typing... to make it easy for you to find what you are looking for!  http://learningtolearn.biz/Free_Educational_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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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Top Three, Free Technology Picks for Homework Help and Test Preparation

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There is a vast sea of website and software tools washing up all around us, and staying on top of these resources can feel like an overwhelming tsunami.   I’m a learning specialist and educational therapist, and a big part of my work is to ride this colossal techno-wave so I can help my students surf the homework swells with confidence and grace.  

Here are my three favorite websites that can assist with home work help and test preparation:

1: The Khan Academy:
This is a not-for-profit organization that provides a free, high quality education to students around the world. They offer a growing collection of thousands of videos covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to physics, chemistry, history, SAT prep and more.  To top it off, they now have a practice/lesson component that is terrific.  This allows students to test their new knowledge, and if they get stuck, the website will walk them through the process and will even offer them the needed video tutorial!  They have built into this feature motivational tools such as avatars as well as feedback and progress summaries for parents and teachers.

2: Quizlet:
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.  Students can review their flashcards electronically or in print form.  In addition, they can play games that are generated from the information entered.  Finally, students can make a multiple choice, true and false, or fill-in test with the click of the mouse.  There are even visuals and a new feature that reads the information aloud.  Students can save their flashcards, share them with others, and even merge them for midterms or finals.



3. Wolfram Alpha: 
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.  Check it out and you will be amazed.  It’s fabulous for calculating difficult math problems, and is a great way to check homework.


To learn more about my own publications and educational resources, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com

 
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, March 8, 2012

Let's Empower the Creative Thinkers


A Wonderful Lesson for Teaching Students about Angles

    



 Learning about the angles has never been easier. First, this PowerPoint illustrates to students the great importance of the many angles in our world. Next, it teaches students about acute, obtuse and right angles using both visual and auditory memory strategies in a comic book like manner. Then, students get to practice these new concepts by uncovering the angles we can make with our bodies. Furthermore, complementary and supplementary angles are reviewed using additional fun and memorable strategies. The PowerPoint finishes with a classroom activity!  It's a memorable and enjoyable lesson students will want to see over and over again.http://goodsensorylearning.com/math-powerpoints.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, March 5, 2012

Measurement Memory Stratgies

Here is a sample slide of my new items, measurement memory strategies.  It is a Power Point presentation that has been receiving a lot of positive reviews. http://bit.ly/yt0Uuz

 
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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