Dr. Warren’s blogger articles on parent advice.

Alphabet Cookies – Practical and Delicious

Now you can take your favorite cookie recipe and cut the dough into the alphabet!  You can use it for learning the letters, spelling names, and even making words and sentences.  If you don’t want to use them for cookies, you could use it to cut up a pan of jello!  Finally, if you want to make it into something that is not edible, you could use the cutters to make the letters out of clay or play-dough   See below for a link where you can buy them!

Have fun!

Amazon.com Widgets

Inference Activities Ideas, Freebie and Workbook Link

Inferences are often tricky to teach and challenging for
students to learn.  They are
abstract notions or concepts that are implied through language or images.  Therefore, concrete ways of learning
have to be placed aside and students have to learn to uncover hidden
messages.  Personally, I like to
use advertisements for my lessons.
Here are a number of strategies that can help you to teach
this skill:
    1)  
Magazine advertisements often have hidden
messages to help entice buyers. 
Look at magazine ads and discuss the inferences.  Consider the colors, backgrounds,
expressions, layouts and more.
    2)  
Likewise, billboards offer inferences.   Look at all the details in the
image and discuss what the billboards are trying to sell and what in the images
makes you want to buy that product. 
    3)  
Similarly, television commercials can offer some
wonderful opportunities for students to practice their inference skills.  Again, ask yourself what they are
wanting you to buy and what strategies they use to tempt possible customers.
If you would like to purchase a product that has already
compiled images for you as well as other inference activities and a game, you
can come learn more about my product, Making Inferences: The Fun and Easy
Way.  You can even download a
freebie sampling of the activities!  http://goodsensorylearning.com/making-inferences.html
Cheers,

Mindful Education and Teaching Emotional Intelligence Begins with the Learning Environment


 A big part of mindful education and teaching emotional intelligence
begins with the learning environment. 
Setting up a space where students can find peace and unwind is key.  In my private practice, this spot is my
“zen table” and the surrounding cushions, bean bags and tactile toys.  Here students can dip their fingers
into one side that is filled with lentils and colorful rocks and let the stress
of the day dribble from the tips of their fingers, or they can venture to the
other creative side that is filled with mung beans and magnets.  I got this beautiful table on Overstock
a number of years ago.  They call
it a TV table, but it makes the perfect centerpiece for a relaxation station.  If you want to make your own “zen space” you can also use big tupperware bins, an old chest, or even a wooden box.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!!

Cheers,

Careless, Lazy and Unmotivated are Three Labels that Should be Banned from Education

Kids never strive to be careless, lazy or
unmotivated and referring to a student in this way never helps a
situation.  In fact, many kids that hear these labels again and again can
develop a sense of learned helplessness. 
I’ll never forget a student of mine coming into
one of our sessions in a terrible frame exclaimed, “I’m careless and
unmotivated!”  He slid a graded assignment across the table in front of
me.  Red marks cut across his work and in bold, scarring letters and
exclamation points the teacher had told Jake that he had made many careless
errors. 
Even though Jake’s grade was an 88, it took me almost
an hour to convince him that he was not careless and unmotivated. Jake had
learning disabilities as well as ADHD and I knew the errors that he had made
had nothing to do with care or effort.  The poor guy was so detached and
dejected, he hadn’t even evaluated the mishaps, and when he finally looked at
them, he could see that they were all unintentional.
 At the end of our session, I pointed out to
Jake that his teacher had misspelled careless.  She had spelled it
“carless.”  I exclaimed, “How careless of her,” and winked at Jake. 
 I then pointed out that this wasn’t really a careless mistake, it was
simply an oops.  “School is a place where we should be comfortable making
an oops and then learning from it,” I proclaimed. 
I took the paper out into the waiting room and
showed it to his mother.  I then asked her to do me a favor and make an
appointment with the teacher.  “Hand the assignment back to the teacher”,
I recommended, “and point out how careless it was for her to have misspelled
this word.  Then pause for a short while and say, ‘That’s how you made my
son feel.’”
So please take care to erase these negative
labels from your lexicon so your students can feel safe to make mistakes and
then learn from them.
If you have any thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear your thoughts!!
All the best, Dr. Erica Warren, Learning Specialist and Educational Therapist  www.goodsensorylearning.com and www.learningtolearn.biz