Dr. Warren’s blogger articles on remediation.

Cognitive Exercises Solve Reading and Math Difficulties

Many young learners struggle with basic reading and math
because the cognitive skills required to do these tasks are weak.  Therefore, these children need to
strengthen these processing areas before they attempt to learn how to decode
words and execute basic computations. 
What are the
Core Areas of Cognition Required for Basic Reading and Math?

1.   Sequential
processing and memory
: The ability to scan, make sense of, and remember
information in a sequence or series.
2.   Auditory
processing and memory
: The ability to listen, make sense of, and
remember information that is heard.
3.   Visual
processing and memory
: The ability to scan, make sense of, and remember
visual information and symbols.
4.   Attention
to detail
: The ability to thoroughly and accurately perceive and
consider all the details and then determine the most important piece or pieces
of information.
5.   Speed of
processing
: The ability to perform
simple repetitive cognitive tasks quickly and fluently.
6.   Spatial skills: The ability to
mentally manipulate 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional figures.
7.   Tracking: The ability
to scan text from left to right.
 
Basic Exercises can Help to Remediate Weak Cognitive Areas

Each of the cognitive areas listed above can be strengthened.  However, what is most important is the
activities need to be focused and engaging enough to enchant young
learners.  From my work with
children over the past 15 years, I have recently created two publications that offer fun
activities and games that your primary students will be sure to love.  These activities can also be used with older students as a form of cognitive remediation.

Following
Directions Primary:

My newest publication, Following Directions Primary, offers
a comprehensive, 49 page, digital download that includes process of elimination and coloring activities.  It develops abilities with the use of cute animals and aliens as well as letters, numbers, shapes and arrows. As students
develop listening skills, they also enhance linguistic abilities and core
cognitive skills.  If you are interested in learning more about this publication
you can come to my product page.  You can even download free samples.
Reversing
Reversals Primary:

This past summer, I created Reversing Reversals Primary.  This two focuses on strengthening the
cognitive foundation needed for reading and math.  It also works on the cognitive areas that impact
students with dyslexia such as perception.  This publication, which is available as a digital download, offers 72 pages of activities and a game and teaches all of the cognitive skills with the use of colorful animal images.  If you are interested in learning more
about this publication you can come to my product page. You can even download a free samples.
By helping young learners to develop their core, cognitive
foundation before commencing with reading and math instruction, you can assure
that these students will have the abilities necessary to succeed. Furthermore, you can avoid learning difficulties and allow your young learners to progress with confidence.

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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Early Detection of Dyslexia

Early intervention is key as it can remediate and work around upcoming academic difficulties.  This is a very important approach for students with dyslexia.  Recent reports suggest that dyslexia impacts 5-10 percent of the population.  Now wouldn’t it be wonderful if this condition could be detected before children learned to read? Weaknesses could be strengthened and appropriate teaching methodologies could be selected, making the process of reading successful the first time.  This could save the educational system a fortune and these young learners could sail through elementary school with an intact self-esteem.

MIT News Reported, on August 14th, 2013 that research suggests that brain scans may help to diagnose dyslexia.  Differences in the size of the arcuate fasciculus, the brain structure that unites two language processing areas, is now detectable.  To learn more about this and their continued efforts, CLICK HERE

I hope you you found this helpful!  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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Quick Individualized Solutions for Struggling and Dyslexic Readers

There is no single reading program or method that will address all the needs of struggling readers, because each learner has his or her own unique strengths
and weaknesses.  In fact, there are
many cognitive processing weaknesses that can effect young learners and if you
want quick and optimal results, it’s important to pursue a comprehensive
evaluation.  A good assessment will
help uncover the areas of difficulty.  Then educational professionals, such
as an experienced reading specialist or educational therapist can focus on
strengthening those specific areas of cognition. 
What Are Some of The
Cognitive Processing Areas That Impact Reading?
There are many cognitive processing areas that can impact
reading.  Here are the most common:
Tracking: is the
ability of the eyes to follow the
movement of an object in motion or follow words across the page from left
to right.
Visual Synthesis
– is the ability to pull the pieces together to create a visual whole.
Visual Closure – is
the ability to identify or
recognize a symbol or object when the entire object is not visible.
Visual Discrimination  is the ability to discriminate
between visible likeness and differences in size, shape, pattern, form,
position, and color. 
Visual Reasoning – is the ability to understand and analyze visual
information. 
Visual Memory  is the ability to recall what has been seen.
Visual Sequencing   is the ability to recall the sequence
of symbols, letters or numbers that have been seen.
Attention to Visual
Details
  is the ability to attend to and recognize all the information and
fine points presented in an image.
Auditory
Discrimination 
 is the ability
to detect differences in sounds.
Auditory Memory – is the ability to remember the details
of what is heard.
Auditory Sequencing  is the ability to remember the
order of information in which it was heard.
Auditory Closure  is the ability to “fill in the gaps” and
decipher a word or message when a part is distorted or missing.
Sound Symbol
Association –
is the ability to connect a sound with a symbol or letter.
Word Retrieval  is
the ability to rapidly and precisely
express ideas into specific words.
Receptive Language  is
the ability to accurately understand language that is seen or heard.
Mental Flexibility – is
the ability to shift our thoughts
in order to respond effectively to any given situation.
Comprehensive Reading
Programs Work, But Are They The Best Solution?
No one would suggest a whole body workout, if you just had a weak
bicep.  Although a whole body
workout would help in many ways, it will be a long process and your bicep may
never receive the intensive work it needs to catch up with the rest of your
body.  Likewise, a reading program is always beneficial, but it will probably take time and it may
never strengthen the specific cognitive areas that need the most
attention. 
How Can Specific Cognitive Areas Be Strengthened? 
To strengthen specific areas of cognition, it is important
to do repeated activities that exercise those areas of the brain.  For example, if you need to improve a
student’s tracking abilities, he or she would need to do a lot of activities
that would require their eyes to follow from left to right and follow objects
in motion.  Likewise, to
improve visual discrimination, a student would need to complete a lot of
activities that would require the processing of similar images.  They would need to learn to practice and uncover likenesses
and differences. 
What Are Some
Specific Tools Professionals, Teachers and Parents Can Use?
To help make this process easier, I have designed a series of specific cognitive activities and games in a series of publications called
Reversing Reversals.  The first
publication in the Series, Reversing Reversal Primary, offers cognitive training materials for young
learners that are struggling with letters and numbers, as well as those that
are showing signs of dyslexia or other learning disabilities.  This
product includes fun activities and games that use animals which will truly please and
entice students.  Young learners will not even realize that they are working on the foundational skills that are
necessary to learn basic math and reading.  The next product is Reversing Reversals.  This integrates letters and numbers
into the activities and games. 
Finally, Reversing Reversals 2 continues to offer more activities which work with letters, numbers and even symbols.   Free samplings of the
activities are available for all three of these publications.  To learn more and try
the free samples, go to dyslexiamaterials.com.  Another
comprehensive tool that addresses many of the cognitive processing areas is Audiblox: http://www.audiblox2000.com/  For
visual processing issues, I also like the MiniLuk system, and for Visual Discrimination and reasoning, I like Visual Discrimination by Jean Edwards.  See the links below:
                 

I hope you found this helpful!  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.com  www.dyslexiamaterials.com and  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 

Main Ideas and Supporting Details Instruction, Activities and Games

Many students struggle with main ideas
and supporting details.  What’s
more, they often find the instruction and activities associated with these
abstract concepts to be boring.  I
have just finished a new, main idea and supporting details product that offers
engaging, multisensory, and mindful lessons, handouts, activities and
games.  A charming, cartoon-like
character, Main I-deer, will walk your students through the process in a fun
and memorable way.  To top it off,
I have included two card games (beginners and intermediate) that can be used
for group work, learning centers or individual remediation.  
Come check out a free image as well as
a preview document.
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 

Reading Assessment for Orton Gillingham and Phonics Based Reading Programs

I just wanted to announce my newest publication: Good
Sensory Learning Reading Assessment
.  It was created for teachers, reading
specialists, learning specialists and parents who need a simple but comprehensive reading evaluation instrument that can direct instruction
so specific reading needs can be targeted. 
 It works seamlessly with any phonics or Orton-Gillingham based reading program.   Moreover, the evaluation can
also be utilized post remedial intervention to define cognitive growth as well
as areas that require continued attention and support. Twenty three, quick subtests are administered to a single student, and the test can be administered in one or more sitting(s). 

If you are interested in seeing a free, full length preview.  Feel free to click on the following link, where you can download it for free, and if you like it, you can purchase the item too.
Cheers, 

 

Help for Struggling Readers

Many
students struggle with the cognitive skills needed to be good readers. 
With weak abilities in the areas of visualization, tracking, visual processing,
auditory processing and/or memory, the practice of reading can soon become,
frustrating, tiresome and laborious.  When kids pair negative associations
and feelings with books, they may avoid picking up a book
altogether.   For the same reason that you would not build a sky
scraper on a weak foundation, for these kids, it is important to strengthen the
individual areas of cognition first.   Many of these skills can be
developed through game like activities that kids enjoy.    Here
are a few ideas that you might like to try:
1)        When reading to your children have fun sharing your visualizations
with one another by imagining what the settings and characters look like. 
You can even encourage your children to come up with their own illustrations
for stories.   
2)        Pull out a newspaper and encourage your child to find a specific
word, such as the word the, on the page.  Encourage them to follow the words
from left to right so that they are strengthening their tracking skills.  They can use their finger, a thin
strip of paper or even a highlighter to keep their place.
3)        Play games such as the memory game – where students flip cards to
find pairs, or get a free app like the old game Simon which strengthens visual
and auditory memory.

In addition, I also offer four
publications that might be helpful.  I have two visualization training
PowerPoints, and I also have two workbooks titled Reversing Reversals and Reversing
Reversals 2
 that work on
these foundational skills.  Click on the images below to learn more and
download a free image of the 10 visualization skills as well as free samplings of both of my workbooks. 

Cheers, Erica

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,

Freebie Game for any Orton Gillingham or Phonics Based Reading Program

Come get a free copy!!  Kids don’t have to learn and practice new knowledge by plugging through long lists of words or completing worksheets.  I am a firm believer that the repetition they need can be achieved through fun and engaging games!  Puppy Party is one of my reading games that makes my students squeal with delight.  Kids travel around the game board collecting puppies while learning the short vowel  sounds.  The winner is the player with the most puppies. It is great for small groups, learning centers, or individual remediation.  It also works seamlessly with any phonics or Orton Gillingham based reading program.  

You can get a free copy of Puppy Party and learn about my other fun reading games by clicking here: http://goodsensorylearning.com/reading-games.html