Occasionally, I get inquiries from other learning specialists in the field that have difficult cases. Recently, a director of a tutoring academy asked me a question about a new student, and I thought I would share our correspondence for this week’s blog post. Names have been altered to preserve anonymity.
- First, you can place letters, numbers, and different colored shapes into the dry erase pockets and ask Alice to trace them while saying the name (and color – if applicable) 5 times. In the beginning, stick to one category and limit the instruction to 5 concepts. For example, focus on the first 5 letters of the alphabet. You can do both upper and lower case letters at the same time, or focus on one at a time.
- Second, blow up a balloon and write each of the 5 letters onto it with a permanent marker. Be sure to make the letters as large as possible.
- Third, toss the balloon to Alice and see if she can name the first letter she sees while tracing it on the balloon. Pass the balloon back and forth. You can do the activity too, so she can learn vicariously through demonstration. After she can do each of the letters successfully, teach her the letter sound. Toss the balloon up in the air. Say you see the letter “B” trace the letter and say the letter name 5 times. Then say “B makes the ‘b’ sound like balloon.” Do this for each letter and then let Alice give it a try.
- Fourth, when Alice is ready, make the game even more challenging – Each time she gets the balloon and sees a letter, she has to come up with a new word that starts with the same sound – “B makes the ‘b’ sound like banana…” “B makes the ‘b’ sound like ball….”
- Fifth, when the session is over, encourage Alice to take the balloon home and teach the games to her parents and siblings.
You can follow the same sequence for numbers and shapes.
Use the App Touch and Write. This is such a fun, multisensory, motivating approach that I’m sure she will enjoy!
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