Dr. Warren’s blogger articles on strategies.

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:


  • 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

Free Money Game Idea

games into academic lessons ignites the fun factor, makes instruction
multisensory and grabs the attention of even the most discouraged learners.   I, too, enjoy the creative process
and love pulling out my craft and scrapbook materials, so the new game of the
week brings excitement and wonder into the classroom.  This week, I created the Fun House
Money Game
to help students develop their skills identifying and adding
pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. 
Items needed:
  1) small box
  2) craft or scrapbook paper
  3) glue
  4) scissors
  5) long table or a melamine shelf
  6) marbles or shuffle board
pieces (I purchased the shuffle
board pieces on Amazon and included the link below.)
  7) play money or real change in a small basket or plastic bin
  1) Remove the bottom of the box with
  2) Cover the box with colorful craft
  3) Cut four doorways/holes in the side
as illustrated.
  4) Label the doorways: pennies,
nickels, dimes and quarters.  You
can also use this same game for fractions, or other numerical denominations.
How to play:
the colorful box at the end of a table or melamine shelf.  Then, give each player twelve marbles
or shuffle board pieces.  Next, decide
who goes first, and take turns trying to get the marbles/shuffle board pieces
into the doorways of the box.  When
a marble enters the box, have that player select the correct change from the
change basket. Once one of the players has rolled all their marbles into the
box the game is over and all the players add up their change.   The winner is the player with the
highest total.  

I hope you enjoy this idea!  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 

Learning Center Ideas: Free, Fun Phonics Activities

It’s wonderful when giggles of joy and excitement ring
through the classroom as young students eagerly learn the skills needed to be
proficient readers.   Learning
centers or reading centers are often the place where this can happen, but the
trick to tickling your students attention often lies in multisensory,
interactive activities or games. 

Here is a fun phonemic awareness activity I designed that
you can make with old recycled pill or vitamin containers and other common
household goods.  It’s a wonderful
learning center idea that will help students blend phonics sounds into words.

Collect and clean old vitamin or pill
containers. I like to use the clear, colorful ones.
Decide upon the playing pieces.  I use a 1 inch hole puncher with thick
cardstock, large lima beans, or wooden craft discs. 
Place consonants, blends, digraphs, word endings
or more onto both sides of the playing pieces.  I like to color code the pieces to match the color of the
container so that clean up is quick and easy.
Label the containers as illustrated or as you
     How to play (2-4
The object of the game is for players to select “a pill”
from each container and try to make a word by blending the sounds.  If a player can make one word or more,
they write down the biggest word on a score sheet and collect one point for
every letter used in their word. 
After each round, the playing pieces are returned to the appropriate
container.  Players shake the
bottles and then select new pieces.  After ten rounds, the winner is the player with the highest

If you like this game, you will love my newest Reading Games 2 publication.  Come check it out! There, you can also download a full, freebie sample board game! http://goodsensorylearning.com/reading-games.html

Cheers, Erica

Motivating Strategies for Reluctant Readers

I just wrote a blog that offers strategies that motivate reluctant readers.  Come check it out on my new community blog (Westchester Professionals for Community Empowerment) that offers free advice from the top professionals in Westchester, New York.  CLICK HERE

Cheers, Erica

Help for Struggling Readers

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

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

5 Strategies that Make Learning the Alphabet a lot of Fun

Learning the letters can be a lot of fun! Here are 5 Strategies that your children will be sure to love.  

1) Fill a tray with a light coating of sand, ground
coffee, flour, or rice.  Make sure
that the tray is a contrasting color so that when the kids make the letters,
they can see the surface of the tray underneath.
2) Form the individual letters out of food that
starts with that letter.  For
example, make the letter B out of sliced bananas, carve the letter O in the
rind of an orange, or make the letter M out of mustard.
3) Have the children find the letters in the
environment.  For example, they
might see that two intersecting branches make the letter T, a portion of a
ladder makes the letter H, or an Allen wrench or hex key makes the letter L.
4) Boil spaghetti and cool it.  While it is still pliable let the
children form the different letters. 
Then let the letters dry and paint them. 
5) Take pictures of the letters that the children
made in the prior activities. 
Print them out and let them spell simple words with the letters or even make
their own name.

If you try these activities, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  

Alphabetizing Exercises Help to Develop Memory and Organizational Skills

Alphabetizing is an important skill to master.  It helps develop organizational skills, executive functioning abilities and it even improves memory.  Furthermore, if we sequence materials that we are encoding into our brains, it makes it easier to access at a later date.  In addition, when we apply these principles to everyday life, it can help us to access our personal materials quicker and more efficiently.  Moreover, it is a skill that is needed in many employment positions.  The problem is that most alphabetizing activities are dull and boring.  Alphabet Roundup is my newest product, and it makes the process both fun and memorable.  Four different decks from beginners to advanced can be sorted and also played in a card game.  Amusing images and names will keep all the players chuckling.

Come Check it out!!


Learning Style Inventories Can Help with the College Process

Here is an interesting article about how uncovering ones learning style can help with the college process.  It was printed in the New York Times –  Monday November 19th 2012. 

One great inventory to consider for this purpose is my Eclectic Learning Profile.  Come check it out:   http://goodsensorylearning.com/eclectic-learning-profile.html

Real Numbers Instruction: Having Real Fun with Real Numbers

Some students struggle with math vocabulary and this is
particularly common when students learn about real numbers.  Language processing and vocabulary
comprehension is key to this mathematical concept and making this process fun can
be difficult.  I have just finished
a series of game-like activities that make the process both fun and
challenging.  Following Directions:
Real Numbers Digital Download is a collection of 5 engaging activities
that helps to develop language skills, math vocabulary, tricky wording,
attention to detail and more. The Following Directions Series are one of my
most popular products and now I have created one just for real numbers and
other math vocabulary.