Dr. Warren’s blogger articles on teaching advice.

Dyslexic Advantage Webinar on Multisensory Teaching for Students with Dyslexia

Dear Friends:

I wanted to share a link to a free webinar on Multisensory Teaching. The hosts, Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide, the authors of The Dyslexic Advantage and The Mislabeled Child, are international experts on dyslexia and learning differences and they interviewed me as a guest speaker. This online event took place this August and you can view a youtube version of the webinar at the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVXwqyxTbPs

Cheers, Erica

Back to School Tools and Methods for Kinesthetic Learners

Some students can sit quietly at their desks while others
seem to struggle to stay in their seats. 
This later group of learners may annoy the teacher or their peers
by tapping their pencil, jogging their leg, fidgeting, leaning back in their
chairs and asking for repeated bathroom and water breaks.  Many of these students are kinesthetic
learners and having to sit still and listen to a lesson is an uncomfortable
battle that feels like trying to tie your shoes while in a straight jacket. 
What are Some Products that
can Help Kinesthetic Learners at their Desks?    

  1. Inflatable discs and wedges can offer your
    kinesthetic learners some movement while staying seated.  These products can be placed on any
    seat and they allow students to move their hips and develop core muscles (see below for product link).
  2. Safeco, a furniture company, just came out with
    the Zenergy Ball Chair for older students and the Runtz for younger
    students.  Both of these products
    offer four stable legs with an upholstery covered exercise ball.  Unlike swivel chairs, that allow
    students to spin away from their work, this product allows students to have
    short bouncing breaks while attending to their work.  Again, this product develops core support as students
    must balance on their chair.  Likewise, Abilitations Integrations offers an inflatable Six-Leg Ball chair that offers a little bit more mobility (see below for product links).  
  3. Visual Ed Tech now offers an adjustable desk
    that allows students the option of standing at their desk or sitting on a high
    stool.  In addition, under the desk
    is an attached swinging foot rest which allow students to expend excess energy
    while working at their desk.  If you would like to see a video on this technology click here   

What are Some Teaching Methodologies that can Help Kinesthetic Learners?
  1. Have pairs of students or a student and a
    teacher toss a ball or balloon back and forth while practicing new material.
  2. Break instruction into short lessons and offer kinesthetic, brain breaks.  If you
    are searching for some energizing brain break ideas, consider purchasing David
    Sladkey’s Energizing Brain Breaks (see below for product link).
  3. Integrate movement into lessons.  For example, when teaching the adding
    and subtracting of integers, place numbers on a stair case and explain that when
    adding you go up the stairs and when subtracting you go down the stairs.  Give the students problems and allow
    them to solve them by traveling up and down the stairs.
  4. Create a place in the back of the classroom
    where kinesthetic learners can exercise their need to move. 

I hope you found these ideas helpful.  If you have any of your own ideas that
you would like to share, please post them below this blog.
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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Can ChromaGen Glasses Really Cure Dyslexia?

                                               Image offered at Chromogen Website 
If ChromaGen
glasses can cure dyslexia, this implies that the root cause of this condition
lies in the visual domain. 
However, recent research, by Guinevere Eden, Ph.D. at
George Washington University Medical Center suggests that visual processing
weaknesses are not the cause of dyslexia. 
Nonethless, some individuals with dyslexia also report visual distortions when
reading, and for those who suffer from the illusion that words appear to move
on the page and also experience headaches, fatigue, and nausea when reading,
these glasses may warrant a second look. 
What is the History of
ChromaGen Glasses
The
ChromaGen website reports that what began as an optical corrective solution for
color blindness, soon became a tool for some individuals with dyslexia when
they reported a reduction in certain symptoms.  As a result, ChromaGen now offers a series of 16 lenses that
are designed to help children or adults who have visual reading disorders
associated with dyslexia.
How Do the Glasses Work:
According
to ChromaGen, for some individuals, the eyes do not work together properly.  The visual information that travels
along the brain’s neurological pathway is imbalanced.  The creators of ChromaGen glasses claim that colored lenses
change the wavelength of light going into the eyes so that the speed of the
information is altered.  By placing
different colored filters over the eyes, the glasses can balance the
information traveling to the brain. 
Dr. Harris, who developed the ChromaGen lenses, also purports that 90%
of individuals with dyslexia, that report visual distortions, benefit from their
product.
What are the Pros
1.   ChromaGen glasses are
noninvasive and could offer a quick fix for some visual processing symptoms.
2.   ChromaGen glasses are approved
by the FDA.
3.   ChromaGen glasses offer a 90
day, no questions asked, money back guarantee.
4.   There are no reported side
effects.
Cons
1.   ChromaGen glasses are expensive
at $150.00 for a screening and $750-$1200 for a pair of glasses.
2.   ChromaGen glasses are not covered
by insurance.
3.   ChromaGen glasses only
address one specific symptom that effects only some individuals with dyslexia.
4.   Although the ChromaGen
website offers plenty of written and video-based testimonials about the
benefits of their product for individuals with dyslexia, they still need to
back their claims with rigorous, quantitative research. 
If
you are still curious about ChromaGen glasses, they offer a questionnaire on
their website that can help you determine whether you or your loved one is a
candidate for this technology. 
Here is a link to the survey:
You
can also view some videos about the Chromagen lenses at the following link: http://www.ireadbetternow.com/show_all_videos
In
conclusion, these glasses may help some individuals with dyslexia to correct a
specific visual processing issue, but it’s definitely not a cure for all the
symptoms associated with this condition. 
Although, there are many testimonials for this technology, one must
consider the placebo effect.  But,
if you really want to know for yourself, and money is not an issue, why not
give it a try.  If you have any
experience with these glasses, I would love to hear your feedback.
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 and www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Teaching Metacognitive Skills: A Fun, Free Illustration and Download

Many students plod through schooling as passive learners and
they rarely learn to take control of their own cognition.  In contrast, others learn to be active
participants in the learning process and develop metacognitive skills.  Metacognition is the awareness of one’s
own cognition or thought process and it involves higher order thinking that enables understanding, analysis and control.  For many concrete learners, as well as
those that struggle with attentional issues, this notion can be difficult to
grasp.  However, the process can be
taught through visual aids, demonstrations, discussions, group work, and graphic
organizers.  In fact, the more
multisensory the instruction, the greater the likelihood that all your students
will master this skill. 
A Scaffolding Illustration:
The Process:
After a lesson or reading, I
like to summarize important details, main ideas, and then I make connections by
sharing my own thought processes.  I
explain to the students that I will be thinking aloud so that they can
understand how I use my brain.  Then,
I describe the concept of metacognition and I define it for my students.  To make the metacognitive process
multisensory, I integrate visual metaphors, as I find that the images and
comparisons help students to recall the meaning and the steps of
execution.  Then, through guided
instruction, I like to have students share their own thought processes.  Finally, I ask them to use this method
independently, or in small groups, at the end of future lessons.
A Specific Example:
1.   I project the attached image for all the students to see.
2.   I begin in the middle of the image and define the knowledge nuggets
or the important details highlighted in the lesson.   I explain that these are gold nuggets because they are
the most valuable details and they are the ones that we need to remember.  Then, I think aloud and fill in the knowledge
nuggets.
3.   I suggest that all of those knowledge nuggets can be melted
down and what results is the main golden message or the main idea of the
lesson.  It defines what the lesson
is trying to teach.  I then provide
the main golden message and write it on the lines at the top of the graphic
organizer.
4.   Finally, I illustrate to the students how to make golden connections.   I call them golden connections
because attaching new information to prior knowledge is another very valuable
tool that helps memory. I might connect the lesson to a personal experience or
a prior class topic.  I often begin
these examples with, “This reminds me of…”
5.   When I’m finished, I pull away the image with my thought
processes and put the same blank illustration back up for everyone to see.  Then, I ask the students to share their
own thought processes.  I ask for
student volunteers to fill in the suggested knowledge nuggets, main golden
message, and golden connections.  With
incorrect responses, I always thank the participant for sharing his or her idea
and then I express that they are, “almost there or almost golden.”  Then, I guide them to the correct
answers with questions and hints. 
·     
Step 5 can also be
completed in small groups that later present their ideas, or you can also print
the graphic organizer for each student to fill out individually. 
If you would like a copy of this
graphic organizer, so you too can use it for teaching metacognition, go to the
following page where you can find a copy of this blog and a free link
button.  Here, you can also get a
free copy of my Passive vs. Active Learning Assessment. http://www.dyslexiamaterials.com/free-advice-strategies.html 
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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The Different Types of Dyslexia: Targeting Intervention

Although reading disorders were recognized back in the late 1800s, the term dyslexia didn’t become a recognized condition until the 1970’s-1980’s.  Since then, it has received an
enormous amount of research and professional based attention.  However, many educators and clinicians
are still mystified about how to best pinpoint the specific needs of each student
with dyslexia.  
The primary
underlying cause of this confusion is the fact that there are many cognitive
weaknesses or deficits that can trigger a diagnosis of dyslexia.  So much like a dart board, if service
providers continue to aim interventions at the wrong place, they may play a
frustrating game and they will certainly never hit the bull’s-eye.  As a result professionals have begun to
propose subtypes that categorize dyslexics based on common symptoms, so individuals with dyslexia can be understood and service providers can target
the needed areas of attention. 
What are the different types of
dyslexia?
The three most commonly defined subtypes of dyslexia are Dyseidetic Dyslexia
or Visual Dyslexia, Dysphonetic Dyslexia or Auditory Dyslexia and Dysphoneidetic or
Alexic Dyslexia. 
1) Dyseidetic
Dyslexia or Visual Dyslexia: 
is when a learner struggles with the
decoding and or spelling of words because he or she has great difficulty remembering
or revisualizing the word, particularly irregular sightwords (also known as
eidetic words).  These learners tend to have good auditory processing
skills as well as an understanding of phonics, but they struggle with visual processing, memory
synthesis and sequencing of words.  Word or letter reversals when reading, as well as writing and spelling difficulties are also common.
2) Dysphonetic
Dyslexia or Auditory Dyslexia: 
is when a learner struggles with the
decoding and or spelling of words because he or she has great difficulty
associating sounds with symbols (also known as phonemic awareness).  These learners tend to have good visual processing skills, but they
have deficits in auditory processing as well as linking a sound to a
visual cue.
3) Dysphoneidetic or Alexic Dyslexia: is when a
learner struggles with both visual and auditory processing deficits.  This subcategory is known as Mixed
Dyslexia or Dysphoneidetic Dyslexia 
What about the Other
Cognitive Struggles that Are Often Associated with Dyslexia?
Although the above designations are somewhat helpful, they do not
address all the areas that can be associated with dyslexia such as difficulties with handwriting, oral language, math, motor planning and
coordination, organization, orientation to time, focus and attention, spatial
perception, and eye movement control. As a result, Mattis French and Rapin proposed
a different breakdown based on a study they conducted of 113 children with
dyslexia. They proposed three very different classifications:
1) Syndrome I: Language Disorder 
These learners experience anomia, comprehension                deficits, and confusion with speech and sound discrimination.
2)  Syndrome II: Articulatory and Graphomotor Dyscoordination – These learners exhibit gross and
fine motor coordination deficits, as well as poor speech and graphomotor
coordination.
3) Syndrome III:
Visuospatial Perceptual Disorder 
– These learners have poor
visuospatial perception and difficulties encoding and retrieving visual stimuli.
But What About Those That Learn to Compensate for Their
Dyslexia?
Although dyslexia presents
significant challenges, many learn to compensate and become successful and
celebrated professionals.  Dr.
Fernette and Brock Eide coined yet another term, Stealth Dyslexia, to describe gifted dyslexics who learned to
compensate for reading difficulties with great analytical and problem-solving strengths.  However, these learners still experience significant difficulties with writing and spelling.  Because they are so smart, the difficulties these individuals experience are often characterized with inappropriate labels such as careless or lazy.  As a result,  many with stealth dyslexia can feel a sense of learned helplessness.

So, although these new ways of
breaking dyslexia down into subcategories is helpful, clearly they still need
to be refined.  I am dyslexic
myself and feel that none of the subcategories or designations captures my
profile.  Perhaps the solution lies
in allowing each individual diagnosis to list the specific areas of cognitive
deficits that impact learning so individual students can receive tailored interventions.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

If you are looking for multisensory and mindful materials for dyslexia remediation, come check us out at www.dyslexiamaterials.com 

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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Sharing a Powerful Analogy used by Sir Kenneth Robinson

Sir Kenneth Robinson continues to inspire educators around the globe with his ideas for educational reform.  He uses the following analogy in a recent Ted Talk entitled: How to Escape Educations Death Valley.

To view the whole video, click on the link below.
http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley.html

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 

10 Easy Ways to Strengthen the Weaknesses Associated with Dyslexia

Dyslexia
is the new, hot topic in education around the globe, and it is
frequently featured in educational conferences, news articles, YouTube videos, and
even movies.  New estimates suggest
that as many as 1 in 10 children have this difficulty, making it the most common
type of learning disability.  Although dyslexia is common, many with this condition remain
undiagnosed.  Furthermore, many others who have received this diagnosis don’t
fully understand it and never receive the needed remediation.  So, how can
we help this underserved population? 
Here are some suggestions:
1. Because black text on a white
background can be visually uncomfortable for many with dyslexia,
provide them the option of using color overlays or nonprescription glasses with
color-tinted lenses.  You can make your own overlays by taking
transparent, colorful pocket folders or report covers and slicing them into
strips that can also be used as bookmarks.  You can get a selection
of tinted glasses that your students can use on sites like Amazon.com.  The most popular color seems to be yellow. 
2. Similarly, if changing the
color of the background is helpful for reading, it is likely that your learners
will also benefit from changing the background color when typing.  On a
Mac, using Word, this can be done by clicking on the Format drop down menu, and
then selecting background.  Here you can select another background
color.  Please note, this will not impact the background when printing
documents.  On a PC, this can be done by selecting the drop down menu, Page
Layout, then Page Color.
3. Play search games with letters and words that are challenging.  For example, if a
learner is having trouble discriminating between the letters “b” and “d,” give them
a magazine, newspaper or other print out and have them circle all the “bs.”  They don’t have to be able to read the text; they will just be
searching for the designated letter or word.  If you instruct a student to scan
one line at a time, you will also be strengthening his or her tracking skills.
4. Purchase a
book of jokes, or find some on the internet.  Go through each joke and
talk about what makes it funny.  Discuss double meanings, and make a list
of words that have multiple meanings.  Finally, encourage the learner to
make their own joke book.
5. If spelling
is a real problem, make a list of the student’s commonly misspelled words.  Use a
notebook and place one word on each page.  Have fun coming up with memory
strategies that will help the learner remember the correct spelling.  For
example, if a student is having difficulty with the word “together,” he or she may
notice that the word is made up of three simple words – to, get and her.  As
another example, one may notice that the word “what” has the word “hat” in
it.  The student might draw many hats in their notebook and then write down
the question, “What hat?”
6. Play fun, free internet games and videos that review basic phonics, such as Star Fall, BBCs Syllable Factory Game, Phonics Chant 2 and Magic E.
7. Make difficult letters, numbers and words with the learner out
of wet spaghetti, pebbles, raisins, pipe cleaners, a sand tray, shaving cream,
or clay.   You can also place challenging letters, numbers or words
on a ball or a balloon and play catch. 
Every time a participant catches the ball or balloon, he or she reads the first symbol or word seen.  Integrating a tactile and kinesthetic modality into lessons will make
them more enjoyable and memorable.
8. Use books on
tape or read aloud.  While listening, ask the learners to close their eyes so they can image the story in their head.  Many learners with
dyslexia never fully develop their capacity to envision or visualize a story,
because reading is so mentally overwhelming.  Helping these learners to
develop the ability to utilize their mind’s eye aids in reading
comprehension and memory.  Another option is to have the learner read
along, so they can begin to see and recognize whole words and phrases.  A great organization that offers books on tape
for struggling readers is Learning Ally. You can also purchase Franklin’s Anybook Anywhere so that books can be recorded at your convenience, yet played anytime – anywhere!
9. Have fun creating a
special reading area.  Make sure to come up with a fun name for this
place, such as “the book nook.”  Decorate it together.  You can
fill it with pillows, stuffed animals, blankets and other comforting
objects.  You can hang drapes around it, get a large bean bag, hide it
under a tall table, or build it around an indoor chair swing or hammock.  Have
books, highlighters, colored pencils and paper within reach.
10. Create a consistent
time every few days where the whole family  grabs a book and reads.  All
family members should congregate and read in a common room.  Make sure to
have munchies and other comforting objects at hand.  This is a time
to relax and enjoy the company of one another, so make this a cherished and
special time.

If you are interested in
purchasing some products that help students with dyslexia, consider downloading
a free sample of Dr. Warren’s Reversing ReversalsFollowing Directions, Making Inferences the Fun and Easy Way, or Reading Games.  These and more great publications are
available at www.dyslexiamaterials.com

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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Can Hemisphere Integration Exercises Help Students with Dyslexia?

It is common knowledge that the brain has two hemispheres and that they are bridged by a bundle of nerves that travel across the corpus callosum.  However, because this overpass exists, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always used.  In fact, you will often hear of people claiming to be right or left brain dominant, and many people function quite well using predominantly “half a brain.”  But if we could learn to unite the power of both hemispheres and assimilate experiences for optimal learning, wouldn’t that be great? 
Image 2
Brain Gym by Dr. Paul E. Dennison and Smart Moves, by Dr. Carla Hannaford offers just these tools, as well as some scientific research to back these claims.  What they have uncovered, by uniting the fields of Applied Kinesiology, Educational Kinesiology, Developmental Optometry, Biology and Neuroscience, are movements or exercises that enhance communication across the hemispheres.   Many of these activities continually cross the midline (an imaginary line that descends down through the body from the corpus callosum) so that both hemispheres are activated, and they must communicate for proper execution (See image 2).  Other movements involve procedures that help to relax and refocus the mind and body by using acupressure or trigger points and other simple motions.  

The authors claim that the activities can help improve academics, focus, memory, mood, and even remediate learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia.  The bottom line is that many students remain physically inactive in classrooms for much of the day, and integrating simple movements between lessons, can provide the needed physical release. 
I would love to share some specific exercises, but they are protected under copyright laws. 
You can learn more by purchasing their books linked 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.com  www.dyslexiamaterials.com and  www.learningtolearn.biz 



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Student Mind Maps: Revealing the Remedial Needs of Struggling Writers

Having
an understanding of how each student processes information and conceptualizes
ideas is key in the remedial writing process.   Students can think in a sequence of images, a series
of words, webs of pictures, an outline of phrases, a collage of imagery, a
patchwork of terms, movie-like scenes and more.  By evaluating the ways your students conduct the process,
you can help them to tweak their method so that writing can become a fluid and
enjoyable process.  This can be
done through discussion, but what I find to be most helpful is having your
student(s) conduct a drawing of how their mind works – a mental mind map.

I
discovered the utility of this mindful approach when working with a student,
JT.  Time and time again, JT
struggled to get his ideas on paper, and beginning the process was always a
chore.  What’s more, first drafts
tended to be a hodgepodge of overlapping ideas.  We often referred to JT’s difficulties as road blocks, and
when I finally asked JT to draw what it was like in his mind to write, we
discovered a very different issue. 
JT didn’t suffer with writers block, he experienced more of a writer’s
bottleneck.   The
term bottleneck is a metaphor that is often used to describe the traffic
congestion created when construction takes a multilane road and limits travel to
a single lane.  Soon traffic gets
backed up and travel becomes slow and frustrating.  It comes literally from the slow rate of liquid outflow from
a bottle, as it is limited by the width of the exit – the  bottleneck.  JT’s challenge was not a result of a lack of words and ideas as we once
thought.  Instead, he was
overwhelmed with competing and overlapping ideas as represented in the image on
this page.  JT drew a complex web
of lines that was dotted with what he described as both good and bad
ideas.  Also, he remarked that
darker lines represent stronger ideas. 
Once I saw the image, it all made sense.  JT is highly intelligent, but he also has ADHD as well as
dyslexia.  Now it is clear how these
diagnoses impact his writing.  JT
is bombarded with a plethora of ideas and he has difficulty funneling and
organizing his thoughts into an ordered sequence of words.  When he writes, he too becomes frustrated
with the slow and labored process of writing in a linear fashion.  What’s more, his dyslexia, which
impacts his spelling, is an added hurdle and annoyance that distracts him
during the writing process.
So
now that I know JT’s challenge, what can I do to help him?
1) From the very beginning, I can help JT to define
the main ideas and topic sentences. 
2) I can also encourage him to use graphic
organizers or programs such as Inspiration to help JT to categorize his supporting
details and examples.
3) I can offer JT a computer with a spell check and
word prediction software.
4) When conducting research papers, I can help JT
define each main idea on a different colored index card.  Then, JT can organize each nugget of
information onto the best colored index card so that all the supporting details
and examples are categorized under the same color as the most appropriate main
idea.  Then, I can let him sequence
the supporting details and examples in an orderly fashion by arranging the
cards.  Finally, when JT is ready
to type his paper, he can alter the font color to match the colored index cards
so that he can be sure to get all the correct details and examples under the
best main idea.   Once the
paper is complete, JT can select the whole document and change the font color back
to black.
I
hope you will try having your students draw their own mental mind maps.  Allowing them to show the workings of
their inner mind will not only help others remediate areas of difficulty, but
it will help each individual have a better understanding of and power over his
or her own ways of processing.
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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11 End of the Year Activities Using Balls and Balloons

http://learningspecialistmaterials.blogspot.com/

Balls and balloons offer a
cheap and fun way to complete your school year.  What’s more integrating balls and balloons brings a tactile,
playful, and kinesthetic modality into the classroom.  Balls and balloons can be used to review the academic
content, as well as mindfulness activities and keepsakes.  Below is featured a variety of entertaining,
multisensory ideas.

Reviewing Key Topics from
the School Year
These games can be played
with an entire class in a large circle facing one another, or you can break the
students into small groups or pairs. 
1) Parts of Speech Game:  Place the parts
of speech on a balloon or ball.  Have
the students pass the balloon or ball to one another.  Instruct them to say aloud the first part of speech they
see.  Then ask them to provide a
word that is an example of that part of speech.  Players can not repeat a word that has already been used.  If they do, they are out of the game.
2) Figurative Language Game:  Place the figurative language terms on a balloon or ball.  Have the students pass the balloon or
ball to one another, and instruct them to say aloud the first figurative
language term they see.  Then ask
them to provide a phrase that is an example of that type of figurative
language.  Players can not repeat a
figurative language example that has already been used.  If they do, they are out of the game.
3) Types of Syllables Game:
www.learningspecialistmaterials.blogspot.com

Place the syllable types on
a balloon or ball.  Have the
students pass the balloon or ball to one another, and instruct them to say
aloud the first syllable type that they see.  Then ask them to provide a word that is an example of that
type of syllable.  Players can not
repeat a word that has already been used. 
If they do, they are out of the game.

4) Vowel Combinations or Vowel Teams Game:
Place the vowel combinations
on a balloon or ball.  Have the
students pass the balloon or ball to one another, and instruct them to say
aloud the first vowel combination that they see.  Then ask them to provide a word that uses that vowel
combination.  Players can not
repeat an example that has already been used.  If they do, they are out of the game.
5) Types of Sentences:
Place the types of sentences
on a balloon or ball.  Have the
students pass the balloon or ball to one another, and instruct them to say
aloud the first sentence type that they see.  Then ask them to provide a sentence that illustrates that
sentence type.  Players can not
repeat a sentence that has already been used.  If they do, they are out of the game.
6) Main Ideas and Details:
Place main ideas on a
balloon or ball.  Main ideas could
include transportation, colors, vacation spots and so forth.  Have the students pass the balloon or
ball to one another, and instruct them to say aloud the main idea that they
see.  Then ask them to provide a detail
that would be properly categorized under that main idea.  Players can not repeat a detail that has
already been used.  If they do,
they are out of the game.
Mindfulness Activities and Keepsakes
7) What I Learned:  Have the students sit in
a circle facing one another. 
Explain that the only person who can speak is the one holding the
ball.  Toss the ball to one of your
students and ask them to share the most important thing they learned over the
school year.  When they are
finished talking, have them toss the ball to another student.  Continue until all the students have an
opportunity to share their thoughts.
8) My Favorite Lessons:  
Have the students sit in a
circle facing one another.  Explain
that the only person who can speak is the one holding the ball.  Toss the ball to one of your students
and ask them to share their favorite lesson from the whole school year.  Ask them to also share why they like it
so much.  When they are finished
talking, have them toss the ball to another student.  Continue until all the students have an opportunity to share
their thoughts.
9) What I Like About Me and You:
Have the students sit in a
circle facing one another.  Explain
that the only person who can speak is the one holding the ball.  Toss the ball to one of your students
and ask them to share one thing that they like about themselves and one thing
that they like about the person who tossed them the ball.  When they are finished talking, have them
toss the ball to another student. 
Continue until all the students have an opportunity to share their
thoughts.
10) Memory Balls: Give each student a blank inflatable ball, such as a beach ball.  Provide permanent markers and let the
students go around and sign each other’s balls.  They can leave short messages too.  Be sure to say that all messages must be positive. 
11) Why I’m “Special” Balls:  Before
you begin this activity, ask your students to help you create a list of
positive adjectives that can describe people.  Place this list where all the students can see it.  Now, give each of your students a blank
beach ball or balloon.  Provide
permanent markers and have the students go around and write a positive
adjective that describes the person on the ball or balloon to whom it belongs.   Encourage the students to come up
with unique adjectives by looking at each ball and coming up with something
new. 
If you would like to learn about some
of my other popular games.  Go to: http://goodsensorylearning.com
There, you can even download freebies on some of my product pages.
I hope you enjoy these games!!  I
would love to hear you 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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