Dr. Warren’s blogger articles that offer freebies.

Good Sensory Learning Offers Affiliate Marketing Commission Opportunity

Dear friends, fans and loyal customers of Good Sensory Learning: 
I’m happy to announce that I now have a new affiliate program that is available to you.  You can earn commissions simply by referring friends or customers to my website.  Each time one of these referrals makes a purchase you will earn a commission.  To start, all affiliates make 15%, but those who send a lot of traffic can be rewarded with greater commissions – up to 30%.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an affiliate CLICK HERE.
In addition, you will notice that I have redesigned my site for an easy navigation and shopping experience.  Please come by Good Sensory Learning and let me know how I can make it even better! 

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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to: www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Letter Cube Fun: Freebie Language Arts Game

I love to use foam blocks for all sorts of language arts fun.  Most recently, I created a game that my students adore.  Here are the steps so you can create it too.

1) You can purchase colorful foam cubes on Amazon for a very reasonable price.  I included a link at the bottom of the post.

2) Select 12 cubes.  I line the cubes up in a row and write all the vowels in capital letters (including “y”) on each cube two times making sure not to place the same vowel on a single cube more than once.  Then I add the consonants as suggested below.

3) I assign the point value on the bottom right hand corner.  This will also help the players to orient the letters.  For example the letter P will look like the letter d when it is upside-down but as long as the number indicating the point value is in the bottom right hand corner, players can recognize that they need to rotate the letter to the proper orientation.  Also, using capital letters helps with letter confusion.

4) Other items needed to play:  a timer and a set of 12 colored cubes with the letters and point values for each player.
5) To Play:

  • Each player rolls their set of 12 colored cubes onto their playing area (they can not change the orientation of the cubes but must use the letters rolled.  
  • Set and begin timer for 2-5 minutes.  You can decide the amount of time you like.
  • Words must crisscross like a scrabble game, and players must try to use as many cubes as they can.  
  • When the timer goes off, the play ends and players add up their points.
  • Bonuses as granted as follows:
    • 4 points for a 6 letter word
    • 5 points for a 7 letter word
    • 6 points for a 8 letter word
    • 5 points for using all 12 cubes

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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com www.learningtolearn.biz  

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The American Dyslexia Association Offers Free Worksheets for Children With Dyslexia

This week, I would like to feature a guest blog by the American Dyslexia Association (ADA), a wonderful resource for teachers, parents and individuals with dyslexia.  
What is ADA and What Resources Do They Offer?
ADA is a not for profit organization that provides help for individuals with dyslexia and dyscalculia by offering free online printable worksheets to help children improve their reading, writing, spelling and calculating difficulties.  The worksheets, that are based on the Attention Function Symptom (AFS) Method, help children improve academic challenges.  This scientifically proven method has been helping children with dyslexia worldwide for over 20 years.
Tell Me More About the AFS Method:
Livia Pailer-Duller, Executive Director of American Dyslexia Association, emphasizes that children with dyslexia see (perceive) things differently than non-dyslexic children because of genetically inherited difference in brain functions. This causes children with dyslexia to have difficulty recognizing and processing letters, numbers and symbols.  Based on this scientific fact, the AFS-Method goes beyond working on the symptoms of dyslexia (mistakes in reading, writing or arithmetic) by focusing on the development of the children’s attention and sensory perceptions as well.
  
How Does the AFS Method Work?
The AFS worksheets help children with dyslexia by training the different sensory perceptions in the areas of visual word recognition, memorizing the sequence of words and acoustic perception, or the sound of singular or groups of letters.  The worksheets also address spatial perception, the ability to perceive size, or distance between objects. The ADA offers over 1500 free worksheets designated to train each of these specific areas.  
  • “The AFS-Method is unique firstly because it focuses on all areas that cause the dyslexic child to make mistakes in reading, writing and doing arithmetic and secondly because it is designed to be used in a home setting. However, teachers can certainly implement this training as well,” Pailer-Duller said.

How Do I Use This Program? 
Before beginning the training and selecting a worksheet category, it is important to determine the problematic areas for each individual with dyslexia. The ADA also offers directions on how to detect challenges in the different sensory perceptions.  
  • “To achieve success, continuous training of the deficit area is important.  It is recommended working with the child 10-20 minutes a day up to five times a week,” Pailer-Duller said. 

Within a few months there should be noticeable improvement characterized by the lack of mistakes in the writing and reading of words or basic arithmetic.  For more information on these free learning aids and helping children with dyslexia visit: http://www.American-Dyslexia-Association.com

Holiday Activities that Strengthen Following Directions Skills and Freebie Offering

Do some of your students struggle with subtle linguistic cues, tricky wording and following both oral and written directions?  Difficulties in these areas can make it challenging to complete all aspects of an assignment, interpret multistep directions and comprehend multiple choice tests.  This is a common problem for students with dyslexia and other language based learning disabilities, however most students benefit from the development of this skill.  So what can we do to help foster these skills while bringing in the fun factor?

With the holiday season around the corner, many students love to get into the spirit and providing festive activities can be entertaining and motivating.  My Thanksgiving and Christmas Following Directions Activities could be just what you are looking for! In fact, I offer a holiday bundle too that celebrates, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, St Patrick’s Day and Valentines Day.  Come download some free sample following directions activities.

If you would like to enter a contest to win a free copy of my Holiday Bundle, come on over to my facebook page between now and December 15.

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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Working Memory: Definition, Symptoms, Impact on Academics, Solutions, and Freebie

Do you have students that continually forget to bring a
pencil to class, misplace their homework, blurt out irrelevant comments, and struggle
following multi-step directions?  These
difficulties can all be traced to working memory mishaps. 
What is Working
Memory?

Working memory is a cognitive functioning that enables students
to remember and use relevant information to complete an activity.  It also enables learners to hold multiple
pieces of information in the mind and manipulate them.  It is often described as a mental workspace that
helps students stay focused, block distractions and stay abreast of their
surroundings.
How Does a Weak Working
Memory Impact Students? 

Working memory difficulties will impact the following: 
  • Reading comprehension
  • Mental math
  • Understanding social interactions
  • Completing homework
  • Planning and preparing for activities
  • Solving multi-step directions
  • Writing essays and reports
  • Following a conversation
  • Test preparation
  • Turning in homework
  • Following and participating in group discussions

What are Some Key
Symptoms of Working Memory Difficulties?
  • Trouble comprehending a story
  • Difficulties memorizing math facts
  • Problems making and keeping friends
  • Requires many prompts to complete homework
  • Forgets needed materials at home and at school
  • Fails to follow all the directions and work is often
    incomplete
  • Struggles with organizing ideas before writing and the
    finished product is often incomplete and messy
  • Makes irrelevant comments and changes the topic of
    discussion
  • Difficulties maintaining focus
  • Misplaces things like pencils, notebooks, and homework
  • Leaving studying for tests to the last minute

How Can Students
Improve Working Memory?
Providing fun and engaging activities that require attention, mental manipulation, and following directions such as Red Light, Green Light, memory games and treasure hunts can help.  However, ready made activities that develop working memory activities can save preparation time.  Come get some FREE SAMPLE ACTIVITIES.

I hope you found this post helpful.  If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment.


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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Mastering Tricky Wording: Free Follow Directions Summer Fun Activities

 Following Directions Activities

It’s easy to forget how challenging it can be for children to learn the complexities of the English language.  Following a parents’ directives, interpreting the needed steps to complete a homework assignment, understanding multiple choice test questions, and discerning a teacher’s instructions are just a few examples of how young learners need to be able to understand and navigate the subtleties of linguistic cues.  For many children, learning to follow directions is a complex task that requires instruction, and the mastery of this skill involves vocabulary development, mental flexibility, attention to details, listening skills, receptive language skills, and verbal reasoning.

What Happens When Kids Have Trouble Following Directions?
When kids have trouble following directions, they often encounter the annoyance and frustration of others.  In fact, a true misunderstanding can even result in ridicule and punishments that can leave the child confused and dejected.

How Can We Teach This Needed Skill in a Positive Way?
The two most important things to do is to be patient and to make the process fun and engaging.   Playing games like “Simon Says,” or creating a scavenger hunt can help to teach this needed skill, but finding the time to do this can be difficult.  However, if you would like to develop this skill through printable, game-like handouts or workbooks, I am offering free samples of my Following Directions: The Fun and Easy Way publications.  Just click here to learn more.

I hope you found this post, ideas and materials helpful.  If you have any thoughts or further ideas, please share them below this post.
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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com, www.learningtolearn.biz  

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10 Great, Free Typing Games


Over the summer months, kids can easily improve their keyboarding skills while having fun. There are numerous free typing games available on the internet, and this blogpost highlights a few of them.  The very first one listed, Dance Mat Typing, is by far my favorite of all the options.  In fact, it is better than many purchasable software programs and online lessons. The first two games offer lessons, while the last eight are games that allow students to practice their keyboarding skills.

This is a comprehensive typing game.  It is a free, beginners keyboarding game by BBC.
This site offers some simple, free typing lessons.
Kids can practice keyboarding skills by typing the words on the oncoming planes to make them disappear.
Type the letters to make the oncoming spaceships disappear while dodging their attack with the space bar. 
Kids can save a martian colony by typing strings of letters that will destroy the attacking flying saucers.
Kids type in the string of letters to destroy the oncoming meteors.
If kids type the string of letters, a frog will eat the oncoming words before hit the ground, if not, the frogs will disappear – one at at time.
Kids race down a road and type in the string of letters to drive past the cars.
If kids type the string of letters before they hit the ground they will disappear, if not, the ghouls will disappear.
This game helps kids learn the location of all the keys.  It involves shooting down bombs that have letters on them before they hit a city. 
If you know of any other great, free keyboarding games, please let us know by commenting below.

Free Preposition Instruction with Pierre the Proposition Mouse

Recently, one of my students expressed some confusion about
prepositions.  I reached into my cabinet looking
for manipulatives and pulled out a stress toy that included a rubber mouse and
his block of Swiss cheese.  I explained
that a preposition was anything that the mouse could do to the Swiss
cheese.  We decided to call the mouse
Pierre and had fun giving him his own “voice.” 
We placed him in various positions in relation to the cheese to explore
the many types of prepositions and had a good belly laugh.    
To share our fun, we decided to create the following YouTube
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYZLKp2_EqU&list=UUClFDLZtuJD99TBMGxb-ekw

I also offer a fun, multisensory publication called Preppy the Preposition
Penguin.  Students get to complete an art
activity where they create Preppy the penguin as well as Preppy’s igloo.  Then students can have fun exploring the
different things that Preppy can do to his igloo by using prepositions.  The download also includes lesson ideas, fun
worksheets and three interactive games.  To
learn more, CLICK HERE.


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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com, & www.learningtolearn.biz

7 Great Free Homework Help Sites

The internet offers a growing number of wonderful resources for students, and there are quite a few free websites that can help to make the learning process both fun and memorable.  Here is a list of my favorite resources:
Quizlet:  http://quizlet.com/  

Quizlet allows students to browse through and use millions of study materials created by other users, or they can also generate their own.  Once information is entered into a set, students can use this content in many ways.  Electronic flashcards can be viewed or printed or students can also learn the material through questioning activities.  In addition, a variety of games can be generated from the information entered.  Finally, students can create tests in a number of formats and take them online for an immediate score.  Testing options include multiple choice, true and false, and fill-ins.  There are even visuals and a feature that reads information aloud.  Students can save their content, share them with
others, and even merge them for midterms or finals.



Wolfram
Alpha:
  
http://www.wolframalpha.com



Instead of placing your questions into Google and other search engines, Wolfram Alpha offers its own engine that computes answers in
many subject areas.  The content and resources on this website are growing daily, and
it already has a huge collection of knowledge.  Go to Wolfram Alpha and ask a question.  You will be amazed.  It’s fabulous for calculating difficult math problems,
and is a great way to check homework.
BookShare:  https://www.bookshare.org/

Bookshare is supported by the Department of Education and offers audio books at no cost for school aged students with print-based disabilities.  Others can use it too for a nominal fee.


Shepard Software:   http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/

This website offers hundreds of educational, interactive
activities and games to help students learn math, geography, science and more. It’s great for all ages.
The Khan Academy   http://www.khanacademy.org/

This is a wonderful not-for-profit organization that provides a free, quality education to students around the globe. They offer an ever growing collection
of thousands of videos covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to chemistry, programming, history, SAT prep and more.  They also have a practice/lesson component that is terrific.  This allows students
to test their new knowledge, and if they get stuck, the website walks them
through the process and even offers the needed video tutorial! 
They have built into this site motivational tools such as avatars as well as
feedback and progress summaries for parents and teachers.

Prezi:   www.prezi.com

If you want to take your presentations to a whole new level, create a Prezi!  Like PowerPoint, you can generate a presentation, but a Prezi offers a different experience.  Present your ideas on a large canvas, and show relationships thought scale and placement. 


Google Docs:    docs.google.com/‎
Google Docs is Googles version of a word processing program.   You can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys and more.  In addition, they offer a growing selection of add-on apps that provide templates, bibliography assistance, table of contents help, a thesaurus and more. What makes this extra special is that documents are save in cyberspace so they can be accessed from any location.  In addition, you can invite others to view or even work on the same document. 

Google accounts are free and they can be accessed
from any computer.  Google also offers free email (gmail), an excellent personal calendar (google calendar), and a translator (google translate).  

To learn about some more great resources on the internet that I share with my students, click here.


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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com, & www.learningtolearn.biz

Over 120 of the Best, Free, Online, Educational Games

Many parents and teachers limit computer time as many young learners get addicted to mindless computer games that reinforce all the wrong behaviors such as impulsivity and guessing.  However, there is a huge selection of wonderful educational and cognitive games available to young learners that can both strengthen areas of weakness and also teach difficult concepts. Over the past decade, I have created descriptions and links to some of my favorite games for my students on my Learning to Learn website.  In addition, I have organized them under the following categories: Cognitive Games, General Education Games, Writing and Language Games, Social Studies Games, Science Games, Spelling Games, Reading Games, Digital Story Telling, Math Games, Grammar Games, Typing Games, Social Skills, and Sequencing.  In an effort to “spread the word,” I’m providing a link to my page so others can benefit from these beneficial games too.

To view all these games CLICK HERE

If you know of other free games that improve cognition or learning, please leave them in the comments below.  I will be sure to check them out and add them to this growing resource.

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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com, & www.learningtolearn.biz