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100+ Powerful Learning Specialist and Educational Therapy Materials

This week I wanted to tell you about my online store, Good Sensory Learning. I’m Dr. Erica Warren, and I established this site so I could share all the materials that I have created over the last 20+ years as a learning specialist and educational therapist. When I first began my private practice, Learning to Learn, I had great difficulty finding fun and multisensory materials for my students that were effective and engaging. So back in 2005, I made it my mission to design and distribute high-end, remedial products as well as memorable, motivating lessons that bring delight to learning. If you would like to try a free sampling of my activities, CLICK HERE.

How Are the Products Organized at Good Sensory Learning?
You can download my Free Printable Catalog or you can browse the site using the grey “search all products” bar in the top right of any page with keywords such as dyslexia, working memory, and executive functioning. What’s more, drop down menus in the red banner allow you to sho…
Recent posts

The Best, Free Following Directions Activities

Learning to follow both oral and written instructions is a vital skill that students need to learn at an early age.  However, grabbing their attention long enough to learn the complicated process can be challenging!
Why are Following Directions a Difficult Skill for Young Learners?
Following directions involves a combination of mental tasks. Therefore, for a student to be good at this, he or she needs to be proficient at the following skills, and he or she also needs to be able to do them simultaneously:
Attention is the ability to maintain focus on a selected stimulus, sustaining that focus and shifting it at will.Receptive language is the ability to understand language “input” - including both words and gestures.Memory is the ability to understand and remember information over time.Verbal reasoning is the ability to understand and reason with words.Executive Functioning is the ability to multitask, self-monitor, self-initiate, plan, prioritize and organize information.  It is the int…

5 Fun Games and Activities to Strengthen Listening Skills

I'm happy to continue a discussion on listening skills from my prior blog post, "What are the 7 Root Origins of Poor Listening Skills?"  This past blog reviewed the cognitive skills behind listening.  Now, I would love to share the games and activities that I use to improve listening skills in my own students.
It's all in the Presentation: Here are three magic steps:
Motivating lesson titles can hook your learners and feed eager and enthusiastic attitudes. Upbeat and animated presentations can grab your students' attention and get them engrossed in the content. Integrate fun and interactive games that reinforce the concepts so that the content sticks. Games and Activities that Strengthen Listening Skills: If you know anything about me, you know that I love games and fun, multisensory activities.  In fact, if I don't already have a game or fun activity to practice new concepts, then one is quickly created.  Here are some of my favorite ways to improve listening…

What are the Signs of Dysgraphia and Solutions for Success?

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects written language: spelling, capturing ideas on paper, visual-spatial skills, and fine motor skills such as handwriting. Different terms are used to describe these difficulties. In fact, the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) doesn’t use the term dysgraphia but uses the phrase “an impairment in written expression” which is under the category of “specific learning disorder.”
What are the Signs of Dysgraphia or Impairment in Written Expression? Handwriting isMessy or illegible Covered in cross-outs and erased textBurdened with improper spacing between letters and wordsHindered with oversized and crooked letters and wordsDisrupted with a combination of lower and uppercase letters as well as a mixture of print and scriptMisaligned when doing math problems Labored written language includesPencil grip is cramped and strainedWord repetitionWord and punctuation omissionsSentences are unfinishedAvoidant b…

What are the 7 Root Origins of Poor Listening Skills?

It is easy for parents and even teachers to lose their cool when children do not listen to repeated directions. So, if kids aren’t making sense of what they hear, how can the learning process even take place? To solve this problem, it is necessary to uncover the root causes of poor listening skills.  Then, one must find the individualized, cognitive-based culprits for each student. 
What are the Cognitive Skills Behind Listening? There are a number of core cognitive skills that support one's capacity to listen:
Attention - Attention is the ability to tune into information, sensations, and perceptions that are relevant in the moment.Working memory - Working memory is a cognitive function that enables students to recall and use relevant information to complete an activity. It also enables learners to hold multiple pieces of information in the mind and manipulate them. Often described as a mental workspace, working memory helps students stay focused, block distractions and stay abrea…

How to Teach Executive Functioning to Struggling Students

Many teachers are miffed when apparently simple tasks such as using an agenda or turning in an assignment is difficult for their students. Many of my own students have shared that some teachers impose very strict rules and regulations about both recording assignments and due dates. In fact, I have witnessed policies that are so rigid, a zero is divvied out if an assignment is even a minute late. Unfortunately, harsh punishments do not provide the attention and instruction that these students need to develop this skill. Instead, penalties and labels such as careless, lazy and unmotivated simply place these frustrated learners in a state of learned helplessness.  In contrast, these students need structured routines, comprehensive instruction, and a scaffolding approach to planning, managing time, and organizing.
How Hard Can it Really Be to Plan, Manage Time and Organize?
I have to admit, when I first started working with students that struggled with executive functioning, I was perplex…

How to Address Spelling Needs and Nurture Student Success

This week I am thrilled to share a case study of a fabulous teacher named Kim, from Cape Town in South Africa. Kim teaches a 3rd-grade class at a special needs school. The children range from 10-12 years old and most are bussed in daily from very disadvantaged areas all over the peninsula. Kim reported, "I was so thrilled to have stumbled across your website when I was drowning in a sea of unrecognizable words and paragraphs which were proudly presented to me by 8 out of my16 pupils." Kim knew they were capable, "as most of them could do math with the greatest of ease. So what was this?" How Could Kim Meet the Diverse Needs of Her Students?
Kim signed up for my course: Spelling Instruction: Assessment and Focused Remedial Approach.  She shared, "After studying your course, I realized that my student's brains were wired differently as far as language processing." Kim learned that her struggling students had different cognitive based weaknesses that wer…

What are the 5 Important Steps to Navigating Dyslexia?

Navigating and then overcoming the challenges that many individuals with dyslexia experience is a process that requires both time and patience. What's more, a vital approach that tames the turbulence is revealing and addressing inherent weaknesses while embracing the many gifts that come with this diagnosis.

What are the Five Steps to Navigating Dyslexia?
Thorough Screening and Assessment: The first step is to complete a free dyslexia screener, and, if needed, pursue a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment.  This will help to uncover the specific areas of difficulty that need to be addressed and it will also define each student's "genius" qualities that can be fully realized and utilized.In-Depth Understanding: The second step is to have a comprehensive understanding of the unique strengths and weaknesses of each learner. By tapping into a student's strengths they can learn to develop compensatory learning strategies. With guidance and a scaffolding approach

Innovative Games Improve Reversals and Poor Body Scheme

This week I’m pleased to introduce you to guest blogger and author, Mary Moynihan. Mary is a registered and pediatric, board-certified occupational therapist with 38 years of experience in the field of pediatrics. She has worked in a variety of settings including developmental education centers, neonatal intensive care unit, early intervention and preschool settings, as well as public schools and clinics. Most recently, she published, Fun Kinesthetic Games to Improve Gross Motor and Perceptual Skills, one of our newest downloads that is available at Dyslexia Materials.
I’m sure that over the years you have known children who appear a little “lost in space.” These are the children that bump into every desk on their way to the front of the room, don’t realize they have fallen out of their chair till they land on the floor, and continually rub against the walls as they walk down the hallways. They may be able to stand on one foot when their eyes are open, but if you ask them to close th…

How to Edit Google Documents with Free Text to Voice

Text to speech has been used as an accommodation for the blind and struggling readers, but did you know that it is a valuable device for writers too? In fact, I often teach all of my students how to use this technology to help them edit their essays and papers.

What is Text to Speech?
Text to Speech is a form of assistive technology that uses speech synthesis to convert text to a spoken, computerized voice. In other words, the computer reads aloud the text on the screen.

How can Text to Speech Assist with Editing?
Many students struggle to edit their own work because they often read their words as they meant to write them. Furthermore, some errors remain difficult to see. For example, simple letter and word reversals such as "was" and "saw," are often overlooked when visually scan text or using a spell checker. In addition, many young learners get confused by words that look similar but are pronounced differently such as loose and lose. Text to Speech allows students…

How to Teach Writing: A Structured and Multisensory Approach

In my practice as a learning specialist and educational therapist, I have witnessed that students are receiving less and less writing instruction in school. In fact, it is an academic skill that is requested by most parents, homeschoolers, and young adults that come to see me in my practice.
What is my Experience Teaching Writing? Over the past 20 years, I have had enormous success teaching discouraged and struggling writers, and it has taken me much of that time to create all the materials and high tech solutions.  This multisensory and highly structured approach works with all students from the gifted to those with learning disabilities.  In addition, my methods work for students in elementary, middle school and high school.

How Can I Learn How to Be an Accomplished Writing Specialist?
Now, I'm happy to share my approach with you! Teaching Writing…