Thursday, February 19, 2015
Accommodating Learning Differences: Multisensory Teaching Materials by Dr. Erica Warren
Dr. Warren earned her Doctorate in Education (University of Georgia), which focused on life-long issues in learning, the impact of learning difficulties across the lifespan, and comprehensive diagnostic evaluations. In addition, Dr. Warren acquired a Master's degree in Educational Psychology, which covered life-span development, learning, and cognition and a bachelor's degree in fine arts.
Earlier this month, Dr. Warren was kind enough to answer a few questions we posed about her passion and the unique work she does to help ALL kinds of learners:
1) What experience(s) motivated you to establish Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials?
I had such a difficult time finding multisensory, fun and engaging materials, so I began to design my own. Then, when I saw how much my students benefited from my materials, I started the process of creating activities, documents, PowerPoints, audio discs, and Prezis that I could share with others.
In 2008, my first publication was Multisensory Multiplication and Division to Melodies. This project was a blast, and many of my students assisted by helping with the design of the CD cover and singing the songs in a professional recording studio. It was wonderful seeing these once dis-empowered learners who had struggled with the process now teaching and motivating others.
Since then, I have created board games, card games, cognitive games and exercises, and instructional presentations on topics such as following directions, multisensory instruction, mastering place value in math, teaching visualization, Orton-Gillingham remediation and executive functioning to name a few. I now have over 80 products that are available in my online stores Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. I also offer them on Teachers Pay Teachers.
My ultimate goal is to set a high standard and to reform education. We are living in a time of that I call Edu-chaos. Learning is a drag and both teachers and students have become passive participants of a broken system. I hope to bring the joy and awe back into education; what I like to call AwEducation.
3) What kind of feedback have you received about your Good Sensory Learning Materials?
I hear amazing testimonials from all over the globe.
If you really want to know what people think, you can go to my store at Teacher Pay Teachers. As I don’t own the site, the testimonials are unbiased.
4) Which materials are or appear to be the most in-demand?
My two most popular products are Reversing Reversals (remedial tools for struggling readers) and Planning, Time Management and Organization for Success.
5) Do you have plans to create additional materials? If so, for which topics (content) do you see the most requests or demand?
Really, the students that I work with one-on-one are my inspiration. If they have trouble mastering an academic topic, I usually create materials for them before their next session. Many of these become the foundation of a new publication. However, sometimes the projects are much bigger and can take 1-2 years to produce. For example, I wrote a digital book called Mindful Visualization for Education and I’m presently co-authoring, with Michael Bates from the Dyslexia Reading Well, a teaching guide for working with students with dyslexia. Finally, I’m thinking of collaborating with some amazing professionals to create teacher training workshops.
6) Who are the persons or groups seeking your advice and your materials? In other words, who is your audience?
My audience is students, teachers, parents, homeschoolers, learning specialists, and educational therapists. I have products, free materials and advice for all of these populations.
7) To date, have there been any specific individuals, groups or other organizations that inspired you and helped you realize your goals for Good Sensory Learning?
Again, my students are my greatest inspiration. In addition, there were key teachers along the way that helped to pave my path and fuel my fire.
8) You write and manage a blog entitled Learning Specialist Materials. Who are your readers? What important topics do you address in this blog?
Because I tackle a variety of topics, my audience is also students, teachers, parents, homeschoolers, learning specialists, and educational therapists. I have written a blog every week for a number of years now, and it has become a diary of my thoughts, ideas, and creations. I offer instructional strategies, reviews on technology and games, free materials, interviews, product reviews, and thoughts on how we can improve education.
Links and Resources Provided by Dr. Erica Warren
Good Sensory Learning
Educational workbooks, other materials and advice for all kinds of learners are available here directly from Dr. Warren.
This is the "daughter" site of Dr. Warren's Good Sensory Learning (Please see previous link above here.) Materials for reading, writing, math, memory & organizational skills are available via this website (some FREE).
Teachers Pay Teachers
An alternate website where Dr. Warren's unique educational materials are available for online purchase (some FREE).
Blog: Learning Specialist Materials
Dr. Warren offers free advice, materials, links and more here on her community blog.
For information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
Images courtesy of: Dr. Erica Warren