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Showing posts from February, 2015

Word Finding Strategies for Dyslexics with Word Retrieval Deficits

We all suffer, from time to time, with that feeling that a name or phrase we are trying to recall is on the tip of our tongue, but somehow we just can't access the needed information in the moment.  For many students this happens during stressful moments such as test taking, but for others, such as most students with dyslexia, this is a pervasive problem that requires intervention.
What Exactly is a Wording Finding Problem? Word finding problems, also known as word retrieval difficulties, dysnomia, anomia or semantic dyslexia, result in difficulties recalling names of objects, places, and people, with no impairment of comprehension or the capacity to repeat the words.  This difficulty can stem from the cognitive processes of encoding, retrieving or a combination of encoding and retrieving.
What Are the Symptoms of Word Finding Problems?
A student with word finding difficulties may display the following challenges:  Word Substitutions - Using another word that has a similar meaning suc…

Mindfulness and Resilience for Teachers and Students: An Interview with Renee Jain

I am truly honored and very excited to share an interview that I conducted with Renee Jain.  Renee is an award-winning technology entrepreneur, speaker and certified life coach that specializes in cultivating mindful resilience skills for children and adults.  Renee has transformed research-based concepts into fun and multisensory learning modules and workbooks that are ideal for teachers and students.  My questions focused on her site, GoStrengths!, that offers metacognitive techniques through digital animation and activities.  However, I soon learned, as will you, that she has a number of fabulous products and resources.
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Erica: Hi Renee.  Thank you for making the time to speak with us.  If you had to put it into a single sentence, what is the heart of Go Strengths?
Renee: The idea that happiness is a skill that can be fine-tuned with practice.
Erica: Why did you create the Go Strengths website and products?
Renee: There are simple research-based tools that can change…

The Reading Focus Card: An Interview with Designer Joan Brennan

This week's blog features an interview with Joan Brennan, a teacher and inventor who designs reading tools for struggling readers.  We will focus our discussion on her ingenious Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759) and her Reading Focus Cards desktop application (Patent 8,360,779). _____________________________
Erica: Hi Joan.  Can you tell us about your mission to help struggling readers?
Joan:My mission and that of my company, Brennan Innovators, LLC, is to create and provide inexpensive yet helpful low-tech AND digital tools to challenged readers of all ages.  In addition, as certified educators, we also present parent and educator workshops, consultation services and other professional development opportunities in the Greater St. Louis Area. We work diligently to bridge the gap between no services for challenged readers and expensive therapies, methods and other resources that are not accessible to many because of the cost or the location of such resources. 
We are particularl…

Show Don't Tell 2: A New Descriptive, Suspense Writing Game

Have you ever read a book that you couldn't put down, because the author's words allowed you to visualize the scenes as if you had a movie going on in your head? These authors are masters of descriptive writing and have learned to paint pictures in their audiences' minds eye through the use of descriptive and figurative language.

How Can Descriptive Writing Be Taught to Students?
Many teachers instruct their students to "show" their readers the scenes through rich descriptions, instead of just telling the audience what happens. In fact, a common critique that students might hear is, "Show me; don't tell me!"

Bringing Games Into the Learning Process:
If you follow me or have purchased any of my products, you probably already know that bringing enjoyment and games into lessons is one of my primary goals.

Due to the popularity of Show Don't Tell Descriptive Writing Game, which many teachers play in classrooms and homeschoolers use to bring joy into …