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How to Learn The 44 Phonemes And Have Fun

Phonemes are the smallest units of language based sounds that can be paired with graphemes or symbols that represent those sounds. These sound/symbol associations are the foundations to writing and reading text, and teaching them to young learners can help boost learning potential.
Why are There 44 Phonemes When the Alphabet has only 26 Letters? There are 44 unique phoneme sounds in the English language for two reasons.  On the one hand,  some letters make more than one sound, while on the other hand, certain letter combinations, such as the vowel teams, make their own unique sounds.  
So even though we have 44 sounds that make up our language, we have 250+ graphemes that can make those sounds.  This is one of the reasons that spelling can be difficult to master.  For example, er, ir, and ur, all make the same sound, so learners have to recall what the word looks like. Purple, pirple, or perple are all pronounced the same way, but only one offers the correct spelling.
What is the best…

What Fun Writing Games Motivate and Inspire Students?

Writing can be a wonderful and creative activity for students, however, if learners hate the process it can be difficult to teach them this needed skill.  So what can be done to motivate struggling writers? Why Do Kids Hate Writing?
There are a number of reasons a student may hate to write.
Hand writing is difficult, labored and even painful.  Many of these learners are much more intelligent than their handwriting would indicate, so many will do whatever they can to avoid writing.Multitasking with the many skills needed to write is overwhelming and taxing.  Students can not truly multitask until all the skills needed to write are learned to automaticity.  Therefore, it's often helpful to strengthen any weak skills in handing writing, key boarding, grammar, spelling, sentence formation, as well as the organization and visualization of ideas. Associating writing with poor grades or discouraging comments can create a sense of learned helplessness.Writing Games Can Help Discouraged Lea…

Does My Student Have Dyslexia? Breakthrough Free Screener

When considering the estimates that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia and that there are successful teaching methods available for this population, one might wonder why our education system does not have standard practices to identify and help these students. In addition, with the new research suggesting that students with dyslexia also exhibit cognitive based strengths compared to those without dyslexia, perhaps one might consider it to be a learning difference and not a disability. Sadly, without a diagnosis in hand, our current education paradigm dooms these struggling learners to maintain the same ill-instruction. With a Whole Classroom of Students, How Can I Help? Have you ever come across a bright and creative student that is struggling in class? Reading is labored, decoding is difficult, spelling is poor, writing is challenging and their grades just don't reflect their abilities? Did you ever wonder whether he or she may have dyslexia? With a large classroom of students, it can …

How to Convert Images and PDFs to Text Documents For Free

Have you ever wondered if you can turn an image or a PDF into an editable document? What was once a costly and buggy turnaround, is now free and quick with Google Drive. This can be an invaluable trick that can save students time, resources, and most of all, energy! Let me show you the steps.
What are the Steps?
1) On your computer, go to drive.google.com or select the icons shown in the image below.
2) Drag the desired file into your Google Drive as illustrated below. You can convert JPEG, PNG, GIF, or PDF (multipage documents) files.3) Select File  Open with Google Docs as shown below.


4) A sheet icon appears while the file is converting (see below). Google is now changing your PDF or image file to text with OCR.
5) A Google document will soon open. The image will be on the top and the new editable text will be below it.

What are the Ways Students Can Use This Helpful Feature?
Take a clear picture of a teacher's notes or another student's notes, pull then into a Google do…

How to Easily Teach and Accommodate Struggling Readers

How can we accommodate the needs of struggling readers, so they can quickly master this critical skill?   Pedagogy, an educational method that assumes the learner to be a "blank slate" and dependent on the teacher for guidance, evaluation, and the acquisition of knowledge, is a common approach when assisting struggling readers. However, it is often forgotten that these students do have a wealth of prior knowledge that can be utilized. In addition, many of them have specific learning deficits that have left their learning capacity riddled with booby traps that ambushes the encoding of information and sabotages confidence. So how can be reach these capable learners?  Luckily, there are three steps that dismantle these snares and fortify each student's academic infrastructure? What are the Steps?

First, we need to address any cognitive deficits and strengthen core skills.  Comprehensive psycho-educational testing is a great option that reveals areas of weakness that need to …

Why New Multisensory Meditations Promise Student Success

Over the last 20 plus years as a learning specialist and educational therapist, changing demands have inspired new directions in my continuing education and practice at large. During this period of time, I have witnessed increasing academic expectations, competitive classrooms, and both real and virtual bullying. In addition, with handheld devices at their fingertips and growing class sizes, competing diversions are constantly challenging learners at all times of the day and in all locations. For many, this can offer a distraction from the present lesson or assignment. It can also create a state of overwhelm that triggers the amygdala into a “fight, flight, or freeze response.” Unfortunately, both of these situations can actualize a state of mind that makes learning next to impossible. As a result, more and more teachers, professionals, and parents are seeking solutions. Why do Learners Need Both Cognitive and Emotional Skills?
Research in neuroscience reveals that the prefrontal cort…