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Showing posts from 2017

Teaching Inferences - 7 Fun Ways to Master Implied Meaning

Inferences or an implied hidden meaning is an abstract higher-order language skill that is challenging to teach and tricky for students to master. For many concrete learners, taking the leap into hidden meanings is both confusing and frustrating. Most students first come across inferences when reading books, but I like to prepare and teach my students how to make sense of implied meaning through images, metaphors, product names, games, and more.  7 Fun Strategies that Teach Students How to Uncover Inferences:
Review magazine advertisements and search for hidden images and messages that lure buyers to purchase products. Look at the pictures, words, colors, backgrounds, expressions, layouts, and more. Encourage your students to find their own magazine advertisements. Ask them to cut out their five favorites and answer the following questions. 1) What are all the hidden messages in each advertisement that helps to sell the product? 2) Can you think of any other hidden message that they co…

Managing Stress and Anxiety in the Classroom Improves Grades

Over the last 20 years as a learning specialist and educational therapist, I have witnessed increasing numbers of students in all age groups struggling with stress and anxiety. What was once a rare referral has become a common complaint that undermines confidence, riddles the mind, and sabotages study skills.
What is the Culprit Thats Causing Concern and Consternation? There are a number of factors that have led to the rise in classroom angst.  Stress is Passed from Teachers to Students: It’s not uncommon for me to hear from my students that, if they don’t do well on their test, their teachers may get in trouble. With teachers being held responsible for classroom grades on standardized tests, many are passing on their own worries to their learners. Standardized Assessments are more Prevalent for Students of All Ages: Due to government and state officials seeking accountability for other countries/states boasting better student outcomes, state tests have been the primary way of measu…

Processing Speed - 7 Powerful Strategies for Student Success

Dear Friends: This is my second post on processing speed. Last week, I addressed the definition, causes, assessment options, and revealed 5 ways that a slow processing speed can impact learning. This week, I will discuss 7 power strategies for student success as well as reasonable accommodations in the classroom.
A Quick Review:
Processing Speed: The speed at which one makes sense of incoming information from the senses and then generates a response.Tests such as the WISC intelligence test and the Woodcock-Johnson IV Test of Cognitive Ability and Test of Oral Language offer subtests that assess some types of processing speed.A slow processing speed can be caused by any of the following: difficulties receiving and perceiving information through the senses, problems making sense of that information in the brain, and/or challenges producing a response or action.A slow processing speed can impact the understanding of oral and written concepts, note taking skills, homework completion, tes…

Slow Processing Speed - 5 Ways it Impacts Learning

Dear Friends: The next two weeks I will be writing about processing speed. This week I will focus on how processing speed can be evaluated, the causes of a slow processing speed, and the 5 ways that a slow processing speed can impact learning. Next week, I will be sharing 7 powerful strategies for student success as well as reasonable accommodations in the classroom.
Have you ever noticed that it takes some students longer to make sense of questions, generate an answer, copy from the board, complete a project, or get everyday tasks done? While some learners can quickly absorb information and complete tasks, others require a greater amount of time. Processing speed, or the speed at which an individual makes sense of incoming information from the senses and then generates a response, is a cognitive task that impacts learning.
How Can a Student Be Tested for Processing Speed Deficits?
There are a number of psycho-educational subtests that measure processing speed such as Coding, Symbo…

Factoring and Multiples - Fun and Memorable Lessons and Activities

Creating magical activities for struggling math students is one of my favorite things to do. Teaching fun memory strategies, hooking techniques, color coded steps, drawing strategies, and color implementation can be the secret weapon to igniting joy in the learning process.
Over the years, I have found that many of my students have trouble with factoring and multiples. As a result, I have created a new publication to make the learning process both enjoyable and memorable for both the teachers and the students. Now, teachers have all the tools that they need to teach these concepts in a multisensory and effective way. Students can learn the concept once and continue to remember the process over time.

What’s My Method?
All of the following strategies are integrated into my publication Mathemagic Magical Math Instruction: Factoring and Multiples.Memory Strategies: Implementing memory strategies helps students encode the new material. Hooking Techniques: Presenting hooking techniques is id…

Finding the Best College for Students with Learning Disabilities

Finding the best college is tricky for any student, but for those with learning disabilities (LDs) it can be an even bigger feat. In fact, the perfect school is out there for practically anyone, but finding it, takes some time and persistence. There are a number of options for students with LDs from colleges that cater primarily to this population to larger universities that offer specialized programs. With the proper testing in hand, all schools are mandated to provide reasonable accommodations, but not all institutions make it an easy task.
What Are My Options?
Pre-colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities: These programs help to prepare students for the rigors of college and make sure they have the study skills, basic math, reading and writing capabilities needed to be a successful student. This might be a summer program or an additional year - commonly called a 13th year. For example, Thames at Mitchell College is a unique transition program on a college campus. Colleges …

Accommodating Students with Dyslexia - 12 Strategies for Success

Students with dyslexia or symptoms of dyslexia often struggle in school. It is not that they have limited abilities. On the contrary, many have IQs in the above average or genius range. As a result, instead of a dumbed down curriculum, these students need to be challenged and they need to receive accommodations, modifications and multisensory teaching techniques to unleash their learning potential.
What makes it difficult to accommodate students with dyslexia is that each student has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Yes, two students with dyslexia don’t have the same pattern of cognitive processing deficits. In fact, there are a number of profiles that can lead to this diagnosis. In addition, there are a number of specific cognitive skills that can cause symptoms of dyslexia. Consequently, a successful remediation often requires a tailored, individualized approach. To tap into the quickest results, I have learned that one has to look at the specific cognitive difficulties

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…

Powerful Orton-Gillingham Friendly Games that Bring Delight to Learning

About 20 years ago, when I first began offering students one-to-one Orton Gillingham based reading remediation, I was having to bribe my students to read long lists of words, word parts, and nonsense syllables. My enticements began with candy, moved to stickers, and finally morphed into a well-stocked prize box. This worked, but I found that I was getting my students hooked on external reinforcements, and that what I really wanted was for them to be internally motivated. I wanted to kindle a joy for learning.
How Could I Bring the Fun Factor into my Lessons?
I began to look around for game-like activities that could make the learning process fun. What I found were simple matching activities and bingo-like games, but nothing was addressing the specific syllable and syllabication rules. In addition, writing, inferences, following directions, main ideas/details, and other language based learning struggles, were pretty much all addressed through boring workbook pages. Clearly, I needed…

16 Ways to Make Lessons Memorable and So Much Fun

Making lessons both memorable and fun brings the magic into any classroom. Instead of looking to a room of passive, bored faces, you can transform your learners into active engaged participants. I work with students one-on-one, and this is what makes my practice a success. I often tell my students, if you don’t love coming to our sessions, I’m not doing my job.
16 Strategies that Can Transform Your Classroom or One-to-One Sessions:
Don't call home assignments, homework, but come up with a name that is more appealing and motivating such as home fun. Also, when introducing a new lesson or assignment, think like you are selling a product, and be sure to create fun and enticing names. For instance, I do not teach script or cursive, I teach roller-coaster letters! Furthermore, generate excitement for upcoming topics by showing your own enthusiasm.Bring the arts, music, and games into assignments. Many students enjoy fine arts, acting, music, and making as well as playing games, so try…

The Best Option - Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts

Deciding on a post, high school, educational plan can be a challenging task. With the changing landscape of training and career options, traditional values and approaches may not be the best solution anymore. This week I will be focusing my discussion on out of the box, creative learners that are interested in careers in the arts. What are the options? What can students do to prepare for the application process?
Formal Training Options:
There are a number of choices for high school students that are thinking about having a career in the arts. For formal training, one can consider a liberal arts university and major in art, enroll in a fine arts college, or attend ateliers (schools that train students in realism).
4-Year Liberal Arts College - Bachelors of Arts:  A liberal arts degree can provide you with a well-rounded education that gives you greater career options. Many students dismiss this option, because they don’t want to take the SAT or ACT college entrance tests. However, …