Book Bytes: Helping Students Remember

I’m reading a new book by Milton J. Dehn, called Helping Students Remember.  He has other books that address short-term memory, long-term memory, and working memory in more detail.  This book is a workbook for individual use, with a lower level for grades 3-6, and an upper level for older students. It consists of detailed strategies and practice exercises to improve memory.  I’m planning to implement this with tutoring students who would benefit. It looks like something I’m going to be able to highly...

Dyslexia Quest: Are You Ready to Climb Yeti Mountain?

Dyslexia Quest is a collection of games that can help you discern your strengths and weaknesses, in areas that frequently cause difficulty for people with dyslexia.  The games focus on working memory, auditory memory, phonological awareness, processing speed, visual memory, and sequencing skills. There are short videos of several of the games on the Dyslexia Quest website. Once you’ve completed the quest, you can see an analysis of your results, and whether they show any of the typical signs of dyslexia. The results are categorized as very low, low, average,  high, or very high.  You also receive a score ranging from 0% to 100%. After you’ve played all the games and received your results, you can return to the quest to work on improving weak areas. Your original scores and your improvement will be on the results page.  A useful feature is the ability to email results to yourself or to other interested parties. In addition to seeing your scores, you can read a brief description of the skill.  For example, the app explains that a weakness in Working Memory can affect reading and spelling, as well as cause difficulties with attention to verbally presented material.   There are also tips to make use of any learning strengths that are detected. As the developer of the app says, however, you would need to be professionally tested to confirm a diagnosis of dyslexia. There is also a short quiz about skills such as remembering the sequence of phone numbers, losing your place when you read, spelling, and forgetting what you’ve just read. The quiz is also a feature of a free app called What Is...

Grasshopper Apps: How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways! 1. Simplicity 2. Consistency 3. Variety 4. Value 5. Quality 6. Creativity 7. Quantity Grasshopper Apps are deceptively simple.  Why do I say that? They appear very basic, but they weave learning so deftly into the game play that it’s very natural. The consistency of playing style from app to app keeps that learning curve low. Grasshopper’s wide variety of apps address reading, speaking, writing, math, coordination, problem solving, confidence, creativity, imagination, brain stimulation, and motor skills. What better value is there than FREE? Join their ‘Free the Apps’ email list and you can try the apps for free.  The catch? Grasshopper just asks for feedback so they can continue to improve their already outstanding field of apps.  If you don’t choose to do that, most of their apps retail for just $0.99! Grasshopper apps are high quality. Just because the price is low, it doesn’t mean they are putting out schlock! The images they use are colorful, striking, and fun. There is creativity galore in their apps–for you!  You can customize nearly everything in the apps to the needs of your child.  This includes using your own pictures, making up a story line using your voice and ideas, using highlights for words and pictures, and more. The sheer quantity of apps offered by Grasshopper is astounding.  They have dozens of apps that your child can use to “open up a world of possibilities.” Check out the website for Grasshopper Apps, and then get on over to the iTunes app store and find out how many ways YOU love...

Sosh–Fantastic app for Social Skills

Sosh was developed by two practicing psychologists, Dr. Mark Bowers and Dr. Kelly Bowers, to assist children and adults with social skills strategies they can have access to “in the moment.” Sosh addresses these key areas: Relate, Relax, Recognize, Reason, and Regulate. Now for the nitty-gritty: Click on one of the five areas on the home screen.  This will take you to a screen for that skill, with four or five more options on each screen. Relate: What Did That Mean?–Idioms can be particularly confusing for people with Autism or Asperger’s.  This option allows you to search for an expression you have heard or read, to get a definition of it. First Impressions–This section allows you to add people to your contacts, indicating how you know the person, what their interests are, things you’ve talked about, and even add their pictures. Common Ground–With this option, you can enter your interests, topics you hear others discussing, and even tap on the entries to access the web for more information. Out and About–It can be hard to get out and socialize. Get Out provides a template for working out your feelings about going out. With the Explore feature, you can find nearby locations, a map of the area, and categorize the places. Talking Strategies–Here you can find a list of strategies to use in conversations, with explanations for what they are.  They include eye contact, body language, vocal tone, speech rate, speech volume, physical space, turn taking, questions vs. comments, open questions, closed questions, paraphrasing, conversation starters, and places to add specific strategies for the user.  Options within this feature include...

Sosh: Social Skills on the Move

I just downloaded a review copy of this great-looking app for improving social skills.  I’ll be posting an in-depth review after I’ve had the opportunity to explore all its facets.  In the meantime, here’s a press release from the company to whet your appetite! NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Media Contact: Kelly Bowers, Ph.D. June, 2011  Email: drkelly@mysosh.com NEW MOBILE APP TO HELP CHILDREN AND TEENS WITH SOCIAL SKILLS Sosh™ is the new word in social skills development. It is also a new mobile app that helps children, teens, and young adults improve their social skills “in the moment.” Dr. Mark Bowers, a pediatric psychologist and app co-creator released the Sosh app this month – moving social skills training into the high tech, mobile app world. In addition to real-time, portable tips and tools for individuals looking to improve their social skills, the mobile app also provides activities and feedback to parents, teachers, and therapists for guidance and review. For individuals ages 9 to 22 years old, difficulty with social interactions is a leading cause of stress and one of the most common calls for help. With over 60 screens of exercises, strategies, and practical information regarding social skills, the Sosh app will assist the user every step of the way. Examples include tools to relieve stress, guidance for appropriate social behaviors, and self-monitoring capabilities. The app is available in the iTunes app store. This app is especially suited for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and ADHD diagnoses.  Visit http://www.mysosh.com for a full review of the app’s potential to improve social skills. About Mark Bowers, Ph.D., PLLC Dr. Mark...