Dr. Warren’s blogger articles on strategies.

Fun Halloween Activity that Strengthens Language Skills

Weaknesses in language processing can be difficult to remediate, and finding fun activities that can help strengthen this cognitive processing area is a further challenge.  I designed my Following Directions – The Fun and Easy Way series to offer activities that help students develop listening skills, attention to detail, vocabulary, mental flexibility, spatial skills, and more.  They were initially created for my own private practice, and now they are available to the public.  Each page is filled with colorful images and students get to draw, complete mazes and work through process of elimination exercises that are fun and engaging.  For added enjoyment, I am now creating holiday exercises that can be used throughout the school year.  My latest download offers three Halloween handouts.  Come view all of the activities by clicking on the image and even download a free sampling.

All the best, Dr. Erica  Warren

Help for Struggling Readers: Creating Your Own Color Overlays

You can create
your own overlays by using whole sheets or cutting strips of transparent,
colored report covers, dividers or overhead projector film. 

Step one: Buy a
variety of colorful transparent sheets. 
You can use –
  • color,
    transparency film
  • color, transparent
    report covers (plastic)
  • color, transparent
    dividers (plastic)
All of these options can be found at office supply stores.
Step two:  Everyone is different.  Let your students try out the different
colors and see which one they like the best.
Step three:  For some students, keep whole sheets so
that students have the option of changing the background color of the entire
page of text.  Other students might
like a thin strip of color, as it can help with tracking from one line to the
next.  I make them a variety of
lengths and widths, and often let students decide for themselves.  Note: The strips also make wonderful
book marks. 
Step four
(optional):  Place a plain sticker
on the end of
the overlay strip or the bottom of a whole sheet so that 
can write their name on it. 
Students can also pick out a sticker of an image too.  Just make sure to keep all stickers on
one end of the color overlay strip or the bottom of the overlay page.
Step five (optional): For those students that get overwhelmed by to many words on a page,
you can place duct tape around the edge of the overlay to block out competing
lines of text. 
At the end of the
activity, even if a few of your students don’t find color overlays helpful,
they will still have a useful book mark.  

For more great reading remediation ideas, check out my reading games!  You can even get a free sample game!!


Monster Multiplication: A New Multisensory and Mindful Approach to Long Multiplication – Free Promotional Copy

Just yesterday I uploaded my new product Monster Multiplication: A New Multisensory and Mindful Approach to Long Multiplication.  If you would like to be entered in a contest to receive a free copy, please follow this blog or “like my facebook page” http://www.facebook.com/goodsensorylearning and follow one of my Pinterest boards http://pinterest.com/drericawarren/ Then send me an email with your email address to let me know (I will not use your email for any purpose other then sending the lucky winners their free promotional copy) – erica@goodsensorylearning.com.  You will then be entered to win!  I will be drawing two winners and sending the promotional copies on Halloween. 

To learn more about the product CLICK HERE
Wishing you all the best, 

Activities or Games that Remediate Word Finding Difficulties

Many students struggle with word finding difficulties.  This is when a student has the
knowledge, but they are not able to express it.   They may not, for example, be able to access the name
of a good friend or even an everyday object.  This can be very frustrating and when put under pressure
this difficulty tends to worsen. 
Therefore, a student may know the content for a test, but they may not
be able to access it without a word bank. 
So what can we do to help strengthen this cognitive processing area in a
way that won’t be too frustrating?
Here are 4 games that can be purchased on Amazon.com that
will help in the process.  I have had great success with all four of them!  If you know of some others, please let me know.
1) Hey, What’s the Big Idea: 

2) Word Shuffle:

3) Spot it:

 4) Scattergories:

The Ten Visualization Skills Needed to Improve Reading, Writing and Learning

Visualization is an important skill to master as it can lead to improved attention and a better memory. In fact, mental images can be used as a secret weapon to tackle the encoding of new material. It can be used when reading. Accessing your mind’s eye can make the scenery, characters and plot of a book come alive in your imagination. Also, it can be used for writing. Picturing a story before you write it can improve descriptive writing and it will also make the writing process a lot more fun. Finally, visualization can assist when listening to new information. Taking the time to make mental images when listening to a lecture can help you to sustain attention and can make the material far more memorable. So how can you improve your ability to visualize?

There are ten visualization skills that need to be addressed.

When making visualizations in your mind’s eye, try to develop each of the ten areas by asking yourself questions like: What are all the colors? How big are all the objects? Are their any important shapes? How many objects are there all together? What is the mood? From what perspective am I viewing my visualization? What is the background? What direction are the objects facing? Is there any movement in my visualizations? Are their other senses I could use to enhance my visualizations – such as sound, taste and touch?

These are a lot of skills to develop, but with the right exercises your visualization skills can improve dramatically. Do you teach the visualization skills in your class?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


For a free copy of the Ten Visualization Skills as well as Power Points lessons  CLICK HERE

Teaching Higher Order Language Skills: Abstract and Critical Thinking as Well as Multiple Meanings

learners, as well as those who struggle with higher order language processing,
often experience difficulties when shifting to more abstract ways of
learning.  Difficulties may arise
when multiple meanings are used in conversation or when reading.  Consequently, “reading between the
lines” or searching for a deeper meaning can be a challenge.  Additionally, concrete or rigid ways of
thinking can create miscommunication. 
It’s easy to misunderstand someone’s intended meaning when they are
being sarcastic or they are using unfamiliar vocabulary.  I’m sure you have had one of those
ah-ha moments in life where you thought, “Oh, that’s what she meant!”  Finally,  difficulties interpreting jokes, puns, or inferences can lead
to one feeling confused or embarrassed. 
I am sure we all know of a time when someone told a joke and although we
laughed along with everyone else, we did not really “get it.” 

Although learning
this important skill is a process for many students, it does not have to be awkward
or difficult.  In fact, practicing abstract
thinking can be fun.   That is
the goal of my new workbook Abstract Thinking and Multiple Meanings: Developing Higher Order Language and Mental Flexibility Through Critical Thinking and Visualization.  It was
written to engage learners and help them to conceptualize and practice higher
order language skills.  
If you would like to download a free sampling of the workbook, CLICK HERE
If you are interested in purchasing the 58 page workbook, CLICK HERE

Mindful, Fun, Multisensory Materials for Learning the Vowel Combinations or Vowel Teams

One of the most difficult reading concepts to learn in the English language is the vowel combinations or vowel teams.  Well, not anymore.  I have made the process fun, memorable and multisensory with my workbook entitled Vowel Combinations Made Easy.  It was created for my own students and I have found it to be extremely successful.  Students learn their vowel combinations by finding them hidden in images, coloring, doing mazes and playing card games.  What’s more, I am now offering a free sampling of my workbook, so you can have the opportunity to see some of the activities.  

If you are interested in getting the free sample pages and activities CLICK HERE
If you are interested in the full digital version CLICK HERE
If you would like to purchase a hard copy of the workbook CLICK HERE


Teaching Inference Skills Can Be Fun


Teaching students about how to
make inferences can be challenging.  Unlike most of the concrete learning
that they encounter, this is an abstract notion.  However, most students
love the idea of finding or uncovering a hidden message.  So, explaining that,
like a detective, they can solve the secret code, students will find this both
appealing and exciting. Here are four activities that you can do to help even
the youngest of learners find joy in searching for inferences. 

  1.    Look through magazine images and see if you can
    uncover any hidden messages.
  2.    When traveling look at billboards and see if you
    can point out any inferences.
  3.    Look at the images on book covers and see what
    kind of hidden messages they might include that tell you a little bit about the
  4.    When watching TV pay attention to the
    advertisements.  What kinds of
    secret messages are implied?

If you would prefer to use a 60 page
workbook, with images, activities and games, you can always purchase Making
Inferences, The Fun and Easy Way to Understand and Practice Implied Meaning
.  I also offer a free downloadable sample
Dr. Erica Warren is a Learning Specialist and
Educational Therapist that shares her unique multi-sensory and fun activities through
her many publications.  Products are
available as downloads and print at her websites to view all her products at www.goodsensorylearning.com & www.dyslexiamaterials.com