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Showing posts from 2013

Literary Devices: Free Handout and Link to New Publication

Over the years, my students have come to sessions seeking help with literary devices. They have expressed confusion over the terms: literary devices, literary terms, literary elements and figurative language, and they also struggle with the many definitions.  What are Literary Devices, Literary Terms, Literary Elements and Figurative Language?
Literary Devices are creative writing strategies used by an author to convey his or her message(s). When used well, literary devices help readers to visualize, interpret and analyze literary texts. There are two kinds: literary techniques (which includes figurative language) and literary elements. Literary Techniques are words or phrases in texts of literature that writers use to achieve artistic or creative expression. Literary techniques also help readers to visualize, understand and appreciate literature. Literary Elements are components or pieces that make up a story or literary work. Figurative Language is the creative use of words an…

Multisensory Teaching Accommodates the 12 Ways of Learning

To be a true multisensory teacher, it is important to be aware of all 12 Ways of Learning. The Eclectic Teaching Approach merges the theories of cognitive styles, multiple intelligences, information processing, and multisensory learning to reveal 12 diverse and distinctive ways of processing and encoding information. Each of these learning modalities lie on a continuum and individuals have their own profiles that are based on cognitive strengths, preferences as well as exposure to each methodology. By learning about the Eclectic Teaching Approach, teachers, therapists, parents and even employers can be more mindful of their expectations as well as their lesson or training approach. Then, by evaluating preferences, instruction and assignments can be tailored for groups or individuals resulting in optimal learning.

What are the 12 Ways of Learning?
If you would like to view a FREE Prezi on the 12 Ways of Learning, Click here.

As you interested in an assessment that can tell you or your…

The Number Ladder: Turning Addition and Subtraction from Top to Bottom

I have never understood why the number-line extends horizontally from left to right. Young learners often confuse left from right and others have trouble remembering which way to travel when trying to solve simple addition and subtraction problems. However, when viewing a vertical number-line, it makes conceptual sense that going up would equate with adding, while traveling down would result in subtraction. Furthermore, when solving multi-digit problems, we teach students to line up numbers vertically. Therefore wouldn't it be best to commence instruction with the number-line extending up-and-down? Turning the Number-line Into a Ladder
To make the learning process even easier, I like to change the number line into a ladder that travels up into the sky. This way, when students are instructed to add, they climb up the ladder and when they subtract they descend down the ladder. What's more, when students eventually learn about integers, the number line can descend down "int…

More Games that Benefit the Brain: A Review

If you have been reading my blogs, you know I'm a big fan of bringing the fun factor into learning. In fact, did you know there are many games that can improve cognitive functioning? Kids love to play card and board games, and there are quite a few that exercise and strengthen the brain. Back in September I reviewed 18 games that can benefit cognition and I wanted to add a few more to the list: Game: Cognitive Benefits Where to Purchase Rat-A-Tat-Cat:
·Visual Processing ·Visual Memory ·Planning ·Attention ·Working Memory
http://amzn.to/2gbbiAB
Q-Bits – Extreme:
·Visual Processing ·Spatial Relations ·Speed of Processing ·Attention to Detail

Free Five Paragraph Essay Instruction

Many students struggle with writing and find the required steps both confusing and overwhelming. However, learning the "formula" behind an excellent essay can make the process of writing a relative breeze!  Engage Your Students in the Creative Process:
I often help my students to develop metacognitive skills by asking them to create their own graphic organizers or manuals that can guide them through the sequence of steps required to complete an activity. What's more, when they are apart of the creative process, I find that they are more engaged as well as apt to use and share the resources.

Prezi Makes Learning Fun and Memorable:
Many of our students are masters on computers, and they love to learn about new technologies that can make learning both memorable and fun. Prezi is an online site that allows anyone to create engaging and dynamic presentations! They have some wonderful templates, or you can just create your own. It's easy to learn and whenever I need he…

10 Ways to Release Worries in the Classroom

With stringent common core demands, burdensome homework, and competition for high test grades, many students spend a lot of time worrying about school performance. However, many of these children do not know how to manage stress, and it can lead to sleepless nights, panic attacks, temper tantrums, health concerns, a case of learned helplessness, and even clinical levels of anxiety and depression. So, what can we do to help children manage the academic load while keeping a level head? Help your Students Understand the Negative Side Effects of Worrying:
Worrying Interferes with Learning and Makes it Hard to Concentrate: If students are worrying, they are easily distracted and will likely miss important directions and academic content. Here is a great NY Times article on this: Click HereWorrying has a Negative Impact on Memory: Research suggests that stress and worries make it difficult for the brain to access memories. In fact, prolonged stress can cause an excessive amount of cortisol …

Free, Multisensory, Learning Center Activity: How Many?

Making activities both game-like and multisensory helps to entice and engage young learners. There are simple facts that every student should commit to memory, and integrating color, tactile manipulatives and puzzle-like instructions can take these mundane tasks fabulously fun.  Free, Multisensory, Learning Center Activity: How Many?

I created this free activity to help my students learn some important facts. Each piece can be printed and laminated, and then students can put the image together and fill in the “blanks” using a dry erase marker with the correct information. The free attachment offers all the materials for you to do this yourself. What’s more, this activity offers a great project or learning center idea that can be used time and time again.

For a free copy of this activity, CLICK HERE.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and D…

Fun Clothespin Orton Gillingham Remediation Ideas and More

Incorporating the fun factor can help to make any difficult lesson enjoyable. I found these cute, little, painted clothespins on Ebay, and I think it will take my lessons to a whole new level. I have color coded the vowels and consonants as well as the digraphs. There are so many ways I can use these clothespins to enhance my lessons!

It will enhance my lessons for a number of reasons:
Using these cute, colorful, mini clothespins that measure only 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 an inch will surely engage my learners. Opening and closing clothespins also helps to develop fine motor skills. Color-coding the letters can help the children differentiate between vowels and consonants. Color-coding the letters can also help students discriminate between the different types of syllables. If you look at the image above, the first two words are closed syllables, the third word is an open syllable, and the final word is a silent-e syllable. Placing digraphs on a single clothespin helps the kids to remembe…

Cognitive Exercises Solve Reading and Math Difficulties

Many young learners struggle with basic reading and math because the cognitive skills required to do these tasks are weak. Therefore, these children need to strengthen these processing areas before they attempt to learn how to decode words and execute basic computations. What are the Core Areas of Cognition Required for Basic Reading and Math?
Sequential processing and memory: The ability to scan, make sense of, and remember information in a sequence or series.Auditory processing and memory: The ability to listen, make sense of, and remember information that is heard.Visual processing and memory: The ability to scan, make sense of, and remember visual information and symbols.Attention to detail: The ability to thoroughly and accurately perceive and consider all the details and then determine the most important piece or pieces of information.Speed of processing: The ability to perform simple repetitive cognitive tasks quickly and fluently.Spatial skills: The ability to mentally manipul…

Reading Comprehension Strategies for Stories

Helping your students to develop excellent reading comprehension skills can help them to succeed in academics as well as life. But simply decoding words is not enough. Successful readers must remember content, understand inferences, maintain focus and make connections. It is a comprehensive process that requires mindful pre-reading activities, reading activities and post-reading activities. Pre-reading Strategies Reading a summary of the chapter helps students to conceptualize main ideas so that they can read deeper and prepare to visualize the content.Questioning prior knowledge about the topic can help students make connections and it can capture their interest.Skimming a prior chapter or reviewing personal notes can help to bring back the story line or main idea for the reader.Predicting what will happen in the story can help to engage learners imaginations and creativity.
Reading Strategies
Underlining important characters, settings and events can help the reader document important d…