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Showing posts from October, 2014

OSMO Develops Verbal Reasoning, Sequential, Spatial, and Critical Thinking Skills

Being a personal trainer for the brain, I am always looking for multisensory tools that can develop the different cognitive processing areas.  A few months back, a saw a video promotion for OSMO and I was hooked.  I preordered OSMO and recently received my materials.  I'm happy to say that it has exceeded my expectations!


What Exactly is OSMO?
OSMO is a wonderful tool that brings iPad activities into the real world.  This new technology utilizes the space in front of the iPad to take games off the screen.  The use of a base and a reflective camera, allows players to interact with three game-like apps.  Drawings and physical objects are captured by the device and transported back onto the screen.  The product also provides actual tangram shapes as well as letter tiles that can be used in the activities.  Once the apps are downloaded, there is no need for the internet to play the activities.

What Do I Get When I Purchase OSMO?
OSMO comes with three, neat and well-designed boxes that mag…

Problems Using Academic Assignments or Homework as a Punishment

In the heat of the moment, it is not uncommon for both teachers and parents to assign academic work as a consequence to inappropriate behaviors.  In addition, pleasurable breaks such as recess are often withheld when students are being unruly or they don't complete classwork.  A punishment might involve a writing assignment, extra math problems or additional homework.

Why is This a Problem?
The issue with this method is that children associate negative consequences and punishments with academics.  So, for example, if Patty was told to write an essay because she exhibited inappropriate behaviors, the next time she has to write for a school assignment, she will likely associate the negativity she was feeling to writing in general.  In another instance, if Nick had to stay in from recess because he didn't get his assignment done, he will learn to dread future assignments.

What are Some Better Ways to Handle Unruly Behaviors?
Ignore bad behaviors and reward positive behaviors.  Sur…

BeeLine Reader: Dyslexia and ADHD Technology Improves Word Tracking Abilities

When reading, do you ever find it difficult to track from one line to the next?  This can be tricky for anyone when reading small text, but for many struggling readers, it remains to be a pervasive problem.

A Better Solution
In the past, students have used a finger, highlighter or bookmark to keep place.  In addition, some Apps, such as Dream Reader, will even highlight a line of text or even individual words when text is read aloud.  But wouldn't it be nice to drop some of those tools and be able to visually scan text with ease? BeeLine Reader, offers a new, ingenious concept that can morph text on the internet and your electronic devices with the use of color.

I was recently contacted by Nick Lum, the founder of BeeLine Reader, and once I saw his

innovative concept, I asked if I could interview him for this blogpost:

1) What is the history of BeeLine Reader and why was it created?

The idea behind BeeLine Reader is to adapt reading—which has historically been done on printed paper…

Audiobooks for Students with Disabilities: Comparing BookShare and Learning Ally

Audiobooks are wonderful learning options that make reading accessible to students with a variety of learning preferences as well as disabilities.  For some time, they have been available at a cost on sites like Audible.com where books are read by actors or authors.  However, they are often a costly choice that many can not afford.   Luckily, free options on sites like Project Gutenberg and others are wonderful, but sadly they only offer audiobooks that are in the public domain.  What about individuals with visual impairments, physical disabilities and learning disabilities that impact reading? Are there any options for this population of learners?  

Audiobooks for Individuals with Disabilities that Impact Reading:
Both BookShare and Learning Ally are two online sites that offer audiobooks for individuals with print-based disabilities.  They conduct business under the exception to U.S. copyright law which permits the availability of copyrighted text to people with qualifying disabilitie…

Teaching Grammar: Games Reinforce the Parts of Speech

Many high school graduates report weak grammar skills, and they claim that they had little instruction in this area of academics. In fact, poor grammar deters many from communicating in writing, but when they do put pen to paper, mistakes can leave a negative impression. What's more, although many are cognizant of this gap of knowledge, most never find the time to master this skill. Even today, very few students experience comprehensive instruction in this area.  Clearly, this is a curriculum oversight that needs to be addressed.

Why Should Students Learn Grammar?
It offers a deep understanding and appreciation for our language.Excellent grammar on important documents such as a college entrance essays or job applications can reflect favorably on your candidacy. It gives individuals the tools to be mindful, confident writers.It teaches the logic behind written language.It will improve grades in virtually all subject areas.It will improve scores on college entrance exams.Grammar Can …