01 09 10

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Technology Shortcuts Every Teacher Should Know

With busy schedules, keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time and frustration.  Committing a few of your favorites to memory is worth the effort, and I have also created an image that you can print so that these tricks can be posted beside your computer - when needed. 

Shortcuts often require you to hold down one or more modifier keys while pressing another key. For example, to use the print shortcut, Command-P (print), hold down Command and press P, and then release both keys. Here is a list of the modifier keys:



  • Command ⌘
  • Shift ⇧
  • Option/alt ⌥
  • Control ⌃
  • Caps Lock ⇪
  • Function fn



Here are my favorite shortcuts:  
  • Command  Option  ESC – Force Quit
  • Command  Q – Quit active application
  • Command  W – Close active window
  • Command  H – Hides active window
  • Command  M – Minimizes active window (This is a favorite as I can maximize when needed)
  • Command  N – Opens new doc or Internet page
  • Command  P – Print active screen or doc
  • Command  S – Saves active doc or tab
  • Command  Z – Undo previous command (If you delete something by accident this can be a lifesaver)
  • Command  Y – Redo previous command 
  • Command  A – Selects whole document or contents of screen
  • Command  I – Italicizes text in docs
  • Command  U – Underlines text in docs
  • Command  B – Bolds text in docs
  • Command  L – Left justifies text
  • Command  R – Right justifies text
  • Command  E – Centers text 
  • Option  Delete – Deletes word left of cursor 
  • Command  1 – Single line spacing bt. sentences
  • Command  2 – Double line spacing bt. sentences
  • Command  5 – 1.5 line spacing bt. sentences
  • Command  F – Opens find window to locate words or quote in document or website (This is fabulous when searching for a quote or word in a PDF, Doc or web page)
  • Command  E – Uses the selection for a Find (Great to use with Command F)
  • Command  D –  Bookmark website 
  • Command  Tab –  Toggles between open websites
  • Command  T – Opens new tab in web browser
  • Command  + –  Zoom In (Plus sign is above the = sign)
  • Command  - –  Zoom out (Minus sign is next to the number 0)
  • Command  + Shift  + 3 – Capture the screen to a file
  • Command  +  Key + 4 – Capture a selection to a file (Great for copying an image from the computer)
  • Command  X – Cuts selection and stores in Clipboard
  • Command  C – Copies selection or text to Clipboard (Great for copying text from the internet, so it can then be pasted into a document with Command V)
  • Command  V – Pastes contents of Clipboard in location of the cursor
  • Double Click a Word - Highlight a word
  • Triple Click a Word - Highlight a sentence 
  • Click on a file Space Bar - Quick look at the file without opening it. 
  • Control Eject - Opens a dialog box so you can sleep, shut down, or restart your computer 
Shortcuts on Other Devices I Can't Live Without:
  1. When working on your iPhone a double space at the end of a sentence will provide a period, a space, and will capitalize your next word.
  2. When taking a selfie, your volume button can also be used to take the picture.
  3. Ask Siri to open your apps, so that you don't have to search for them on your device.
  4. On Google, when you type Define before a word, Google will provide a definition of the word.
  5. On Google, if you type in your flight number, you will get the gate, airline, and time.
  6. On your phone's camera, half press the shutter button to focus.  Once you have done that, if you push down, it will avoid any lag.
  7. Any side button on your phone will stop it from ringing.
  8. With popup menus - to fill in the state, type the first letter multiple times to scroll through the options.



To get a free, crisp copy of this shortcut list, click on the image to download a free PDF
I hope you find these tricks helpful! 
 
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  
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dietary Changes Can Cure Learning Disabilities and ADHD Symptoms


Did you know that comfort foods such as ice cream, chips, cereal, and cookies can impact children's health, behaviors and ability to learn? As a child, I learned that I was allergic to preservatives, and once I got off of processed foods, I felt tremendous cognitive gains.  There is a multitude of reported, dietary remedies for students with learning disabilities and ADHD, however, what works for one individual often does not work for another.  The reason for this is that each individual has their own background, genetic makeup, and sensitivities.  As a result, finding a natural remedy can be a bit of a process, but I believe that it is best to address the cause then to treat the symptoms with medications.

Do Allergens/Intolerances Impact the Brain?
Everyone's body reacts differently to food allergens and intolerances.  Some common indicators are hives, sneezing, coughing, a swollen tongue or lips, and a stomach ache.  However, because allergens travel in the bloodstream, they also affect the brain. Allergies to food can upset hormone levels and alter key brain chemicals.  In addition, allergies can cause fatigue, a slower thought process, irritability, hyperactivity, impaired concentration and in extreme cases aggressive behavior, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and schizophrenia. Dr. Joseph Egger from the Pediatric Univeristy in Munich and his team studied the effect of food on 76 hyperactive children to find out if diet contributes to behavioral disorders. Results showed that 79% of the participants had adverse reactions to artificial food color and preservatives.  In addition, 48 different foods produced symptoms in the children.  For example, 64% reacted to milk, 59% to chocolate, 49% to wheat and 16% to sugar.  What's more, once the participants eliminated the triggers, behavioral problems diminished, and they reported additional benefits such as fewer headaches, fits, stomach aches, rashes, achy limbs, and ulcers of the mouth.

Common Dietary Culprits:
  1. Preservatives/Nitrates: Preservatives are now known to cause a number of problems such as neurological and reproductive problems, headaches, difficulty breathing, and anaphylactic shock. There are many names for these offenders.  Here are a few: sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, sulfites, nitrate benzoic acid, propyl gallate, BHA, BHT, and TBHQ2.  
  2. Artificial Colors and Flavors:  Hyperactivity, behavioral disorders, attentional problems as well as learning disabilities have been linked to artificial colors and food flavors.  To learn more, CLICK HERE.
  3. Excitotoxins: An excitotoxin is a chemical often found in soups, dressings, broths, canned vegetables processed meats and snack foods. It causes brain cells to become excited and fire uncontrollably leading to the death of the cell.  MSG and other excitotoxins such as aspartame (Nutrasweet) are used to enhance food flavor and trick the brain to eat more.  There are many other names for excitotoxins and some include sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, anything “hydrolyzed,” autolyzed yeast, and yeast extract.  Other common culprits are carrageenan, citric acid, soy protein, "seasons," and natural flavors.  
  4. Cane Sugar: Cane sugar and other sweeteners such as corn syrup, cane juice, dextrin, dextrose, maltodextrin, molasses, rice syrup, and sucrose can cause difficulties for some individuals. A study at the University of South Carolina found a correlation between increased sugar intake and destructive and restless behavior in hyperactive children.  In addition, a study at Yale University concluded that diets high in sugar may increase inattention in some kids with ADHD.
  5. Other food allergies and intolerances.  Some common sources of food allergies and intolerances are: wheat, milk, eggs, beef, corn, and chocolate.
What Can Be Done to Uncover Allergies or Intolerances? 
  1. Get Tested for Food Allergies and Intolerances: One simple solution is to go to your doctor and ask for a comprehensive allergy test.  These aren't 100% reliable, so I would also consider the other options listed below.
  2. Keep a Food Diary: A food diary or log can be a time consuming, but reliable method to finding the best solution.  A child's diet can be documented and symptoms or noteworthy behaviors can be recorded.  In addition, a child's pulse can be taken and recorded after each meal, as an increased pulse rate is an indicator of an allergy or intolerance.  Once a particular food is thought to be a possible allergen or intolerance, this food can be eliminated from the child's diet and the results can be recorded.  
  3. Consider follow a diet such as the Feingold diet.  
Final Thought:
Please keep in mind that other environmental factors from pollen to perfumes can also wreak havoc on the brain.  So be sure to be cautious when selecting bottled cleaners, glues, air fresheners, detergents, pesticides and other commonly known irritants.  Furthermore, some additions to one's diet can also help. Known beneficial supplements include omego-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and magnesium. Deficiencies in all of these have been shown to worsen attentional difficulties.  Finally, mindful meditation and exercise are two more powerful agents that help to combat the symptoms of learning disabilities and attentional problems.
 
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  
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Vocabulary Development: Why Reading is Not Enough


You often hear that children's vocabulary will improve if they read more. As a result, many teachers and parents place a lot of pressure on students to pick up a book.  However, poor vocabulary can make reading a chore and can turn students off to reading altogether!  Here is a better way to think about it:  A rich vocabulary improves reading.  Research now shows that direct instruction on vocabulary has a greater impact on reading comprehension than comprehension strategies and even phonics programs.

Why Reading is Inadequate for Building Vocabulary?
  1. Students often skip over or misread unknown words, so even if they glean the meaning in the larger context, it is often not associated with the word.
  2. Readers rarely, if ever, stop to look up a word when they don't understand the word in context. 
  3. Learners will most likely learn a new word when there is repetition.  Therefore, when a new word is mentioned only once in a text, the likelihood of them learning it is very small.
  4. Students that infer the meaning of a word through reading can have a vague or insufficient understanding of the word.  They may have a gist of the meaning, but that is not enough for standardized tests like the SATs. 
How Can You Help Students Develop Vocabulary?
  • Exhibit and nurture a fascination of words.  Continually share your favorite words with your students and talk about the etymology, roots, suffixes, etc.   Here are two great sites that can help you:  Online Etymology Dictionary and Learn that Word.
  • Ask your students to keep a word diary, or collection of words.  Students can select a new word from readings, discussions, books, newspapers, SAT lists etc.  Each morning they should record their word with a definition into a journal.  Ask them to teach it to three people, use it throughout the day in discourse and writing, and record a final thought about the word at the end of the day.  Monitor their word journals often so that students don't do a weeks worth of words in one sitting.
  • Suggest the use of audio books.  This reduces the cognitive load on students so that they can focus on the meaning of the text instead of the decoding process.  In addition, students will learn the proper pronunciation of words, and they will improve their sight word vocabulary.
  • Encourage and reward your students for asking you to define unfamiliar words.
  • Ask your students to select and share a favorite word of the week with the rest of the class.   This can be done through an online discussion group, as a presentation for the entire class or in small cooperative groups.  Have them explain their personal connection to the word.
  • Use a vocabulary building system such as Wordly Wise
  • Tell your students about Free Rice.  This is a free site that offers an online, game-like activity that helps students build vocabulary. The program gets harder with student success and for each correct answer, the site donates 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.
  • Use sites like Vocab Ahead that offers visual and auditory definitions of words or Visuwords that offers a visual thesaurus.  
  • Inform students about Vocabulary.com, a free site that offers a number of fun activities that students can play with their own vocabulary lists.
 
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  
Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...