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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 t

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.
teach listening

It's all in the Presentation:

Here are three magical steps:
  1. Motivating lesson titles can hook your learners and feed eager and enthusiastic attitudes. 
  2. Upbeat and animated presentations can grab your students' attention and get them engrossed in the content. 
  3. 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 skills.
    1) Story Balloon Ride: Have the students stand or sit in a circle. Choose a student to begin and give the student a balloon.  Ask the student to start a story.  They only have to create the first sentence.  When they are finished, ask them to pass the balloon to the student on their left, who comes up with the next sentence. Continue around the room a few times.  (*Rule - You can only speak while you have the balloon in your hands).

    teach kids to listen2) Memory MasterThis fun, card game and cognitive remedial tool strengthens listening skills and executive functioning skills: working memory, management of distractions, attention to detail, stamina, response inhibition, as well as sustaining attention and mental shifting. For remedial purposes, Memory Master helps players learn to encode and recall a series of directives. Players pick a card and then hear the directives from the administrator. The player then "says it" (repeats back the directives), "sees it" (visualizes and adds sensory details to the directives) and then "shows it" (acts out the directives). After a distraction, players see what they can remember.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

    3) Mirror You, Mirror Me: Have the students stand or sit in a circle. Choose a student to start and give the student a ball.  Ask the student to share something that they are grateful for. For example, "I'm grateful for this beautiful day."  When they are finished, they can toss the ball to another student in the circle.  They repeat back what they heard ("Sue is grateful for this beautiful day") and then they share their own gratitude ("I'm grateful for hot buttered rolls."). Continue until all students have repeated the prior student's gratitude as well as their own.  As an added bonus, the teacher can ask challenge questions such as, "Does anyone remember who was grateful for this beautiful day?"

    4) Sort it Out: Have the students sit in a circle. Verbally share with your students a single main idea like fruit, transportation, states... Then begin to call out words. Whenever you say a detail that fits under that main idea, the students stand up. If it doesn’t fit the category, they should remain seated. Once standing, they should remain standing until they hear another detail that fits under the main idea.  At this time they should sit down.

    Following Directions
    5) Following Directions The Fun and Easy WayThis is a series of fun, printable, and engaging activities that strengthen language processing skills.  Students either listen to or read directions that guide them to color, follow mazes, or complete process or elimination grids.  This student favorite exercises the ability to follow written/oral directions, understand test questions and interpret multiple-choice items.  It helps students master the subtleties of linguistic cues and also helps to develop spatial, sequential, memory, attentional and executive functioning skills. CLICK HERE or on the image to learn more.

    I'm always here to help.  Reach out any time.

    Cheers, Erica
    Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.
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