Dr. Warren’s blogger articles that offer freebies.

Free, Multisensory, Learning Center Activity: How Many?

Making activities both game-like and multisensory helps to
entice and engage young learners.  There
are simple facts that every student should commit to memory, and integrating
color, tactile manipulatives and puzzle-like instructions can take these mundane
tasks fabulously fun. 
Free, Multisensory, Learning
Center Activity: How Many?
I created this free activity to help my students learn some
important facts.  Each piece can be
printed and laminated, and then students can put the image together and fill in
the “blanks” using a dry erase marker with the correct information.  The free attachment offers all the materials for you to do
this yourself.   What’s more, this activity offers a
great project or learning center idea that can be used time and time
again. 
For a free copy of this activity, CLICK HERE.
I would love to hear your thoughts.

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, 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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Fun Clothespin Orton Gillingham Remediation Ideas and More

Incorporating the fun factor can help to
make any difficult lesson enjoyable. 
I found these cute, little, painted clothespins on Ebay, and I think it
will take my lessons to a whole new level.  I have color coded the vowels and consonants as well as the digraphs. There are so many ways I can use these clothespins to enhance my lessons!

It will enhance my lessons for a number
of reasons:

  • Using these cute, colorful, mini clothespins that measure only 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 an
    inch will surely engage my learners.
  • Opening and closing
    clothespins also helps to develop fine motor skills.
  • Color-coding the letters can help the children differentiate between vowels and
    consonants.
  • Color-coding the letters can also help students discriminate between the different types
    of syllables.  If you look at the image above, the first two words are closed syllables, the third word is an open syllable, and the final word is a silent-e syllable.
  • Placing
    digraphs on a single clothespin helps the kids to remember that the two letters
    only make one sound. 
What are some
other possibilities?

  • You can store them in color-coded, up-cycled pill containers. 
  • You
    can also bring in additional colored clothespins to represent diphthongs (vowel
    combinations) as well as digraphs.
  • You
    can use large clothespins too.  If
    you can’t find colored ones, the easiest thing to do would be to make your own.  I have a number of suggestions linked under the next heading.
  • You can also use clothespins with whole numbers and integers to help students understand the sequence of the number line and when adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.  
  • You can even use clothespins for grammar.  Students can sort nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs etc. onto the correct clothing hanger.  
Other clothespin ideas found
on Pinterest:
  • Other Clothespin Ideas:

        http://www.pinterest.com/pin/156500155774780549/ 

  • Dying
    Clothespins:

        http://www.pinterest.com/pin/283304632782361405/

  • Painting Clothespins:
I will be getting bigger clothespins too as
they are better at accommodating more than one letter.  This way I can also create activities
for prefixes, roots and suffixes.
If you have any comments or some other cool
ideas to do with clothespins, please share them below.

If you are looking for other ways to make your Orton-Gillinghman or phonics based program fun and enjoyable, you can review all my reading remediation materials at DyslexiaMaterials.com

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, 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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Free Vowel Combination Game

Using games to teach students the vowel combinations or vowel teams can be a wonderful way to entice your students and brings the fun factor into your lesson.  
Here is a free game, Voweleos, that I created that is similar to the game Dominoes.  

            For two to five players (for 3-5 players make two or more sets mixed together).
The vowel combinations can be:
  1. Copied onto 3” by 5” index cards that are cut in half horizontally 
  2. Written onto rectangular tiles 
  3. Printed on card stock and cut  
            Directions: Play on a surface with a lot of cleared space or play on the floor.  Shuffle the deck or tiles.  Decide which player begins and play proceeds in a clockwise rotation.  Each player or team should be dealt ten cards or tiles.  You can play open or closed handed.  Beginners should always play with their vowel combinations visible to everyone, so that the teacher or parent can assist them.  Place the rest of the deck/tiles face down and turn one card/tile over and display it in the middle of the playing field (the beginning card).  The first player must select one of their cards/tiles that makes the same sound as one side of the beginning card/tile and then place it aside the beginning card/tile.  Like dominoes, you can only play off the ends.  If a player cannot make a move, they must select from the card deck or remaining tiles until they can.  The winner is the first one to use all of his or her cards. 
Please note that you can color-code the cards/tiles to remind students the number of sounds that each vowel combination can make: red = 1 sound, blue = 2 sounds, green = 3 sounds.  For example, ai is red because it only makes one possible sound, whereas ea is green because it can make three possible sounds.  If you would like to play this game before you have introduced all of the vowel combinations, you can make two decks of the red cards/tiles and play with the vowel combinations that make a single sound. 
Here is a list of all the playing cards/tiles.
To learn about other reading games, consider purchasing one of my Reading Games publications. These digital downloads offer a large selection of reading card games and board games that are wonderful for any phonics or Orton Gillingham reading program.  Finally, look on the page for a blue button for a free sample of one of my board games too. If you like this game, please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. 

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, 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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Word Collages and Wriggle Writing Make Writing Fun and Engaging


Bringing creative ideas and images into the writing process
can make class work and home work assignments fun and memorable for
students.  I love teaching my
students how to create word collages in the shape of an image.  In addition, I find that my students
love wriggle writing, too, which allows them to write their stories and poems in
a nonlinear fashion.

The Process of
Creating a Word Collage:
By Erica Warren Copyright 2013

      1.    
Provide your students a theme, such as their favorite
animal, a friend, a self portrait, an event, a concept and so forth.  

      2.    
Share with them that they will be creating a
word collage using phrases, sentences and/or words that they can type, write or cut
out of magazines.
      3.    
Indicate that they can place their words,
phrases and sentences randomly, or they can organize them within a traced image
on a piece of poster board.  Then, show them some examples.
      4.    
As an added option, students can be encouraged to add small
objects and designs.  

* The image to the right was done about the concept of learning.



The Process of
Creating Wriggle Writing:
      1.    
Provide your students a topic, such as a description
of    

By Erica Warren Copyright 2013

themselves, their favorite animal, a friend, an event, and so
forth.  This can be written as prose or as a poem.

      2.    
Share with them that they will be taking a short
writing piece or poem and rewriting it on the outline of an image, on a
squiggle, inside a maze and so forth.
      3.    
Share that they can trace an image or design on
a piece of poster board and then write their story or poem on the outside of
the image.  Then, show them some examples.

 * The image to the right illustrates wriggle writing on a squiggle.

Two Websites Make Word
Collages and Wriggle Writing a Breeze
If time is an issue, you can let your students use one of
these internet sites to help them create their word collage or wriggle writing
projects. 
Tagxedo:
The online site, Tagxedo, makes wonderful word collages from
your own file, a website, a blog and more.  It allows you to pick a shape, the color combinations and it
will generate the image for you!  Your students can also get their creations placed on a T-shirts, mugs, bags and more. 
 * The image to the right one that I did about my dog Butter:
Festisite:
The online site, Festisite, allows you to paste your text
into a text box and it will create a PDF file of your written work into a
spiral, a heart, a wave pattern, or a maze. 
If you pull the PDF image into a word document you can then change the page background, and then take a screen shot to add color. 
 * The image to the right is one I did from a poem I wrote:
If you decide to use these fun methods, I would love to hear
your thoughts!
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, 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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Back to School: Planning, Time Management and Organization Instruction

Many teachers can not fathom how apparently simple tasks such as using an agenda or turning in an assignment can be very difficult for some of their students.  In fact, many students need comprehensive instruction
and scaffolding to learn to plan, manage time, and organize. 
Executive functioning, which encompasses these skills is the last part of
the brain to fully develop, and in actuality, does not reach maturation until students
reach their early 20’s. 
How Hard Can it Really Be to Plan, Manage Time and Organize?
I have to admit, when I first started working
with students that struggled with executive functioning, I was surprised how
challenging planning, time management and organization could be for some of my
young, bright learners.  What
seemed to be clear and obvious was obscure, taxing and problematic for
them. 
These Students are Often Misunderstood:
Instead
of compassion and strategies, students that have difficulties with executive
functioning are often intimidated, harassed and mishandled with discipline and
inconsistent methods that result in poor grades. Many of these students are continually told that they
are lazy, unmotivated and careless, and this often results in feelings of frustration,
anger and even helplessness.  Acquiring accommodations for students that struggle with executive functioning difficulties is rare, and now, with
technology at our fingertips, each teacher seems to have their own way of
communicating and collecting assignments. 
As a result, this population of learners seems to be under additional pressure due to the lack of cohesive structure across classes and their need for consistency. 
So What are the Signs that a Student has Executive Functioning
Deficits?
  
They often:
1.   lose materials.
2.   forget to turn in assignments.
3.   leave things to the last minute.
4.   miscalculate or underestimate the amount of
time it will take to complete a task.
5.   fail to record homework in an agenda or
planner.
6.   leave needed materials at school.
7.   leave needed materials at home.
8.   fail to prepare for tests.
9.   fail to plan and break down long-term
assignments into manageable tasks or goals.
10. neglect to
plan for midterms or finals.
11. forget
details.
12. lose focus
and miss important notes or directions.
13. lose mental
stamina and fail to complete a task.
14. misplace
important materials.
15. rush through
work.
So What can be Done to Assist these Students?
1.   Create a structured daily routine.
2.   Set priorities.
3.   Generate a homework plan. 
4.   Break large assignments into manageable chunks.
5.   Make to do checklists.
6.   Teach study skills.
7.   Illustrate note-taking skills.
8.   Demonstrate time management skills by breaking large
assignments into manageable         chunks with numerous deadlines.
9.   Teach test taking strategies.
10. Demonstrate memory
strategies.
11. Help student motivation by
offering incentives and positive reinforcement.  
12. Create and use graphic organizers for writing.
13. Teach metacognitive skills
by thinking through the process aloud. 
Where Can I Get Ready Made Materials?
To
learn all about these strategies and more, I have created a
116 page publication on CD or digital download that offers methods and materials that help to structure, guide, and support students in the areas of
time management, planning and organization
(executive functioning skills). 
This comprehensive document includes agendas, questionnaires,
checklists, as well as graphic organizers for writing and test preparation.  You will also find advice and materials
in the areas of reading, math, memory, motivation, setting priorities and
creating incentives programs. 
These materials were all created over a ten year period in my private
practice.  What’s more, the
materials are varied and accommodate learners of all ages from elementary to
college.  Finally, you can also get
a free sample assessment from the publication, as well as view a free video on executive functioning.  Click Here  

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, 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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Sight Word Bracelet Project and Game

Learning all the sight words in the English language can be
a challenging task for beginning readers and finding fun and engaging
activities to help them master these phonetically unconventional words can be a
chore.  One of my students recently
came to a session with a charming bracelet that she had created with the use of
letter beads, and it ignited an idea for a fun classroom or home project and
game. 
Sight Word Bracelet Project:
·
Go to the craft store or Amazon.com to purchase
letter beads and twine or cord.  Personally,
I like to use cord that stretches, so that children can easily slip their
creations on and off their wrists.  I included
some links at the bottom of the post. 
·
Make a list of challenging sight words.
·
Have your student(s) select a challenging sight
word and have them place the letter beads onto the cord in a sequence so that
they spell the word.  You can limit
each bracelet to one sight word, or you can do two or more by placing spacers
between the words. 
Sight Words Read and Write Race Game: 
(for
three or more players)
·
Ask each player to wear his or her new sight word
bracelet.  Make sure each student
can read the sight word on his or her own bracelet. 
·
Give each player a piece of paper and a clip
board.
·
Tell the players that they have to read the
sight word or sight words off of each student’s wrist.  But, so nobody else can hear, they must
whisper the answer so only the person wearing the sight word can hear them.  If they get it correct, then they get
to write it down on their piece of paper. 
If they don’t get it right, the person wearing that word or words
whispers the word back in their ear. 
They can come back to that person and whisper their sight word again,
but not right away.  They have to
go and read at least two other sight words before they can go back and reread
the one that they missed.  If there
are not any more words for them to read, they must wait one minute before going
back and giving it another try.  The first person to correctly read and write
down all the sight words on everyone’s wrist, including their own, is the
winner.  If you don’t want a “winner,” after all the players finish the activity, ask for volunteers to read all the sight words on their paper.
If you are only working with one student, you can let them
create a sight word necklace with a series of ten or more difficult sight words
that are separated with spacers. 
Encourage them to wear it and see if they can read and spell all the sight words for their friends and family members. 

I hope you enjoy this activity!  I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

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

Free Key Word Race Game:

Copyright, 2013 http://learningspecialistmaterials.blogspot.com/
Math word problems stump a
lot of students, as they have difficulty figuring out how to change a sentence
of words into a mathematical problem. 
For many, the stumbling block is recognizing and remembering the
different key words that signify mathematical operations such as addition,
subtraction, multiplication and division. 
I’m continually trying to craft fun activities that make the process fun
and memorable.  Most recently, I
created the Key Word Race Party Game, that I thought I would share. 

Materials needed:  
     1)   
Colorful plastic
eggs
     2)   
2-5 buckets,
bowls, shoe boxes or other medium to large containers
     3)   
Spoons
Preparation:
     1)   
Place the
keywords you are reviewing onto colorful plastic eggs.  If you are playing with more than one
player or team, make multiple sets. 
Each set should be labeled with numbers on the bottom of the eggs to
designate team one, team two and so forth.   This will also help sort the eggs for the next play.
     2)   
Label medium to
large containers such as buckets or shoe boxes with two or more of the
following:  Addition, Subtraction,
Multiplication, Division, and Equals.
How to Play:
Break the class into teams
or pairs.  Place the labeled containers
on one side of the room and have the players on the other side of the room.  Provide each team with a set of labeled
plastic eggs and a spoon.  Instruct
the players that they need to take each plastic egg and place it on a
spoon.  Then, each player needs to
race over to the containers, without dropping the egg, and sort his or her egg
into the correct container that classifies the keyword written on the egg.  If the player drops the egg, he or she
must collect the egg and start the process over again.  Once the player gets the egg into the
correct container, he or she races back and tags a team member who then repeats
the process.  The teacher stands at
the site of the containers to assure that the eggs are placed in the correct location.  If not, the student must go back with
the egg and try again.  Once a team
has sorted all the eggs, they must raise their hands to win the game. 
Please note that you can play
this game with a single student. 
Have the student compete against himself or herself by trying to beat his
or her best score.  In addition, you
can also play this game outside. 
If you would like to learn
about some of my other popular games 
for sale.  Go to: http://goodsensorylearning.com. There, you can 
even download freebies on some of my product
pages.
I hope you enjoy these
games!!  I would love to hear you thoughts.
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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com  www.dyslexiamaterials.com and  www.learningtolearn.biz 

108 Online Games that Offer Cognitive or Educational Benefits

Over the years, I have scoured the internet for great, online games.  I am a learning specialist, and if I
can get my students involved in activities that benefit cognition and
learning, then they can expand their potential and also find joy in the
process.   I have each of the
games described and linked on the website for my private practice.  In addition, the games are categorized under
the following headings, so that it is easy to find the needed resources:  cognitive, general
education, writing and language, social studies, science, spelling, reading, digital
story telling, math, grammar, typing, social skills, and sequencing.
So, I wanted to share this link with other teachers and
families.  CLICK HERE  
I hope you find it useful.  I would love to hear your thoughts!  Also, if you have any other sites that
you like, let me know and I will be happy to place them on the page. 
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, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com  www.dyslexiamaterials.com and  www.learningtolearn.biz 

Using Beach Balls for Comprehension

I just love to use balls for teaching students.  It’s a great way to accommodate and engage your kinesthetic and tactile learners, and it always brings the fun factor into your lesson!  I often purchase beach balls at the dollar store and use permanent markers to write down different, reading, writing, grammar, and math concepts.  

Here are a few things that I use balls for:

  • parts of speech
  • multiplication
  • touch math
  • vowel combinations
  • types of sentences
  • letters
  • blending
  • writing prompts

But for those of you who would like to buy ready made options, I just came across these nifty products on Amazon.  I included the links below.  

If you use balls for other lessons, please share your ideas.

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

Sight Word Jewelry

As the saying goes, “Out of sight out of mind.”  Well, now tricky sight words can remain “in sight” and tailored to each individual student’s needs.

Kids love to make and wear their own jewelry.  So, here is a fun project that your students will be sure to enjoy that will also help them to master difficult sight words.    Links can be added or subtracted as they come across new, challenging words and master others.

Here is the process:

Materials:  

  • contact paper
  • permanent markers
  • paper clips
Step one: Cut the contact paper into small strips.
Step two: Write the difficult sight words onto the contact paper.
Step three: Peal of the backing and wrap the contact paper around one of the paper clips.
Step four: Link another paper clip onto the first and then wrap your next sight word onto the new link.
Step five: Continue the process until it is long enough for a bracelet or necklace. 
I hope you enjoy this project.
I would love to hear your thoughts!!
Cheers, Erica