Saturday, June 30, 2012

Helpful Videos & Other Resources for Dyslexia

It is more than obvious that our blog and website visitors are eagerly looking for resources to help with the challenges of dyslexia. Articles on the topic are the ones most readily sought on our sites for struggling readers of all ages.

This past spring, the words of one St. Louis clinical psychologist were all too accurate: “The schools are burying their heads in the sand, when it comes to dyslexia.” She was referring to the fact that when many teachers and most schools learn of a child’s dyslexia diagnosis, they very often believe that this condition is one that does not require their providing classroom accommodations for that child.

Although what can be written in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) varies from state to state, many times, dyslexia is not even addressed. However, sometimes, if this reading challenge called dyslexia is approached or presented as a reading disability or a processing disorder, THEN the schools may be more willing to work with parents.

In the meantime, we've once again put together here a collection of additional dyslexia resources for parents AND the teachers who wish to genuinely help their struggling learners with dyslexia. If just one teacher takes a look at what is offered here, it could translate into at least one step forward for one child. Let’s hope that more teachers and their schools become both interested AND motivated to DO something about and for these children--- very soon.

Genius Within---Innovative online training for adults that will transform your dyslexia and bring out your inner genius. FREE informative videos & an online Dyslexia Profile Test are included here.

Dyslexia: Types of Dyslexia-Video by expert Dr. Diane Sawyer who provides basic information about dyslexia, including the 4 different types of the condition

Teaching Children with Dyslexia-What Accommodations Should My Child Have at School? A GOOD list of classroom accommodations specifically for dyslexia

‘I AM DYSLEXIC’: A Short Documentary-Video with various individuals (of different ages) who have dyslexia

decoding dyslexia (short)-Several segments from a 3-D animation of a TVNZ documentary entitled “Decoding Dyslexia

Spelling Technique for Dyslexic-Video (parent) presentation of special technique based on the phonics of “i-g-h” to help those with dyslexia to spell with success

The Tutor Crowd
- Blog and article containing the 10 Top Dyslexia Blogs for 2012

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

GREAT Apps for Better Reading Comprehension

During the summer, it can be a good idea for readers of any age to brush up on reading skills. Comprehension is one of the most important of all reading skills.

This past week, we searched the internet to locate some of the best apps for improving a child’s reading comprehension, and we discovered some great ones to help make this summer VERY productive by building better reading comprehension skills.

All of the apps listed in this article have been developed in association with the Virginia Department of Education. In addition, these apps address the specific skills below here within the area of reading comprehension:

• Fact and Opinion
• Sequencing
• Antonyms & Synonyms
• Homophones

Finally, all are FREE---and like you, we love FREE! We hope you will find these apps will assist you in helping your children or students significantly improve their reading comprehension skills. Happy reading, everyone!

Aesop’s Quest: Based on Aesop's Fables, this is a learning game where the student must remember elements of a story to complete a level. At the end of each story segment or level, the student is rewarded with puzzle pieces. After solving the puzzle, the story is complete and the child can continue to the next story.

Opposite Oceans (Antonyms): Luna and Leo must master the magic of words by correctly identify the antonym that is the opposite of the given keyword. Children earn pearls when they drag the correct bubble word to the enchanted clam.

Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion: This app is part story, part game, and part online safety lesson. When Garfield's friend receives an "F" on his report about goats for using opinions instead of facts, Professor Garfield steps in to explain the differences between a fact and an opinion (particularly with regard to the Internet), how to read with a questioning mind, and how a fact can be verified.

Same Meaning Magic (Synonyms): Students help Luna and Leo, young magicians at magic school, toss word stones into the wishing well to earn gold coins and jewels by choosing the best synonym.

Same Sound Spellbound (Homophones): An adventure designed to help the player understand homophones (words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings, such as "bee" and "be"). Luna and Leo, young magicians at Magic School, must use their spell book to bring animal statues to life. In the game, students must correctly identify the homophone which best completes the puzzle sentence, in a given time. If the word is correct, the animal statue comes to life. If it's incorrect, the statue crumbles.

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Great Activities & Apps for Family Road Trips, Camping, & Other Summer Fun

Are you and the family planning your annual camping vacation or road trip? Have you promised your spouse that you won’t just pop another movie disk into the van’s DVD player to keep the kids from whining while you’re driving? Or will the children miss the sites along the way because they’ll be hypnotized by the latest video games?

So, what can parents do to keep the peace AND keep their families safe on America’s roadways this summer? In addition, what if the solutions also provided some learning experiences for the kids? That would be a great vacation, right?

We’ve assembled some ideas that might just fill the bill for today’s families. We think you’ll find some to be traditional while others might be new and different. We hope you’ll find at least a few options to help make this year’s summer vacation one where everyone in the family will feel like he/she actually had a vacation---especially Mom and Dad!

A. Games with a Purpose

Magnetic Travel Chess---No other game promotes and teaches good critical thinking and problem solving skills like the game of chess. Here is a magnetic version under $10 that can keep both kids and adults busy thinking for hours.

Travel Games---Avoid boredom & restlessness when you play these travel games on the road!

B. FREE Printable Learning Activities

36 Fun, Free Printable Travel Games to Entertain the Kids on Your Next Road Trip

Memory Games---These printable games can test kids' memories.

Mazes---Kids can go on an a-maze-ing journey with this collection of printable mazes.

Matching Games---These FREE printable activity sheets can really get kids thinking!

Printable Travel Activities for Kids

C. Travel Learning Apps for Your Tech Devices

Best Travel Apps for Kids
(by Heidi Leder---June 01, 2012, Techlicious)

Apps to Keep Children Happy
(by Michelle Higgins, published December 21, 2011)

10 Best Family Travel Apps
(Available on the Apple iTunes store via by Shiran Lugashi)

Best Travel Apps for Kids
(by Jen Leo---May 24, 2012, Conde Nast Traveler)

Happy traveling---and learning---to all our families on the road this summer!

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

More Resources for Sensory Readers & Learners

This past week, our team of consultants at Brennan Innovators attended The St. Louis Autism Conference (June 5 & 6, organized and sponsored by Touchpoint Autism Services). As we talked with the parents and service providers who asked about our reading tools, we were reminded again and again that sensory resources are key in helping to first soothe and then teach important concepts to children and adults on the spectrum. In addition, the more senses that are incorporated into the teaching process, the greater the learning success and retention will be for the learner.

Last December, we published a blog article here entitled Help for Struggling Readers with Sensory Needs. Since then, there have been a large number of visitors to that particular post. This past week, many conference attendees requested sensory resources and tools to aid them in their methods of instruction and care. We referred them to our December post. However, we thought that in our blog this week, we would continue the discussion and provide additional sensory resources for the attendees and for our readers here.

The list to follow below here will provide just of few of the current online resources for sensory readers and learners. Please take advantage of them and feel free to let us know of others you have discovered. We’ll add them to our list!

Here are the sensory resources we have to offer this week:

FREE Sensory Resources (from Child 1st Publications)--Presents a powerful, multi-sensory approach to teaching reading - specifically for right brained learners including visual and kinesthetic learners and those with special needs.

Dyslexia and Multi-Sensory Reading Techniques--Students with dyslexia often learn best when taught using a multi-sensory approach.

10 Apps for Learners Who Struggle with Reading and/or Writing--(from Paul Hamilton)

Sensory Integration Resources--Numerous articles are listed here to help your child with sensory integration issues, including an interview with Carol Kranowitz, author of The Out of Sync Child.

More Sensory Information and Resources--General information and links of all types related to sensory integration are provided for parents (and teachers) on this website.

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

BEST Critical Thinking Apps = GREAT “Brain” Workouts

With summer here, it’s a great time to sharpen those critical thinking and problem solving skills. This week, we are bringing you collections of apps that will help to do just that. These apps can be used at home now during the summer break or in the classroom once the fall semester begins.

These apps focus on increasing critical thinking and brain-building skills that can enhance classroom center time, individual instruction time or even serve to teach kids problem solving skills once they've finished their other work. In addition, when you improve brain "connectivity" and function, you improve all other cognitive skills---even one's reading ability and academic SUCCESS!

We hope you will find this list of apps to be most helpful for giving your brain a “tune-up” in the days ahead. At the same time, you will probably find them entertaining as well! Enjoy!

A collection of critical thinking apps---all in one place!

Think-O-Meter App---The Think-O-Meter app here will test your critical thinking skills.

A FREE critical thinking app: Idea Sketch app

Discovery Learning: Games Designed to Let You Fail---A collection of apps (some FREE, some for low cost)

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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