Listing all posts with label focusing tools. Show all posts.
  1. BEST Book Gift Sets for Challenged Readers

    Books are priceless gifts that can open doors for children that they might not otherwise have opened to them. Stories teach important  lessons, provide "travel" to faraway lands and introduce children to characters that inspire and remain in their hearts for years to come. So, when it is time to think of a great gift for a child you love, think no further than a favorite book to help him remember your special thoughtfulness. Whether it is to commemorate a birthday, the Holiday Season or other important event, give a book, and chances are, you will hear about your gift often and for a long time to come.

    You may wonder, "But what about a child who struggles to read or has challenges that make reading more difficult for him?" Please don't stop thinking about books as worthy gifts if this is the case. In fact, giving a book to a child with a reading challenge like dyslexia or other LD such as ADHD, autism, etc., can actually provide you with an opportunity to present an audio-book or a traditional selection accompanied by helpful reading tools. So, don't hesitate to consider the gift of one of these options that will make a child of any age smile.

    Consider choosing a title with a main character that struggles with the very same reading challenge the child experiences. There are more children's books than ever before that demonstrate just how to manage and even overcome many reading and learning issues. Some attack dyslexia or ADHD head on while others infer an academic or other struggle. Whatever the case, when a child reads about a character who experiences the same issues and feelings he has, it can be the first step to helping to deal with that issue. Combine the title with helpful tools or reading aids, and you have an ideal gift option for a child who wants to read and learn with more success.

    During this Holiday Season, we have gathered together a very special grouping of favorite children's selections for a variety of age groups to help you with gift giving. With books like these that are paired with innovative reading tools, not only will you be encouraging a child to read, but you will also help provide support, enjoyment, inspiration and improved self-esteem for that child. Of course, being a genuine supporter of literacy and life-long learning will be a wonderful benefit, as well. And there is always the very good chance that the child will ask for another book to read just like the mouse with the cookie and the glass of milk. Happy "Reading" Holidays, everyone!

    Book & Tool Gift Sets for Challenged Readers/Learners

    - Clementine (ages 6-8) by Sara Pennypacker

    - My Name is Brain Brian (ages 8-12) by Jeanne Betancourt

    - My Mouth Is a Volcano! (ages 5-8) by Julia Cook

    - Tom's Special Talent - Dyslexia (ages 5-7) by Kate Gaynor

    - Fish in a Tree (ages 10+) by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

    - The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia (ages 5-7) by Diane Burton Robb

    The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 1) (ages 9+) R. Riordan

    - It's Called Dyslexia (Live and Series) (ages 6-9) by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

    For more information on customizable reading tools for ADHD and/or dyslexia, please visit: FocusandRead.com ---Tools for readers of all ages!

    Image courtesy of: Brennan Innovators, LLC and Amazon.com

  2. 15+ Helpful Strategies & Tools for Challenged Readers & Learners
     
    Reading and learning do not come easily for every child. Parents and teachers often look for specific strategies, tools and other resources to assist struggling readers and learners, especially the 6.4 million children with ADHD and the nearly 1 in 5 children with dyslexia in addition to other issues. Here are just a few ways you might consider when helping the challenged reader(s) or learner(s) in your life:

    1. Request or allow for course and book content to be available via audiotape, CD, or DVD.

    2. Use a portable, hand-held spell checker (such as the Franklin Spelling Ace) for unknown words.

    3. Use graph paper, a ruler or the Reading Focus Cards for more focus with math work (i.e., to help promote more accurate number placement in column addition, long division, equations, etc.)
     
    4. Use interactive computer reading programs or apps that support challenged readers or learners and require only a limited number of tasks at a time.

    5. Underline or highlight important key words in a set of directions BEFORE beginning an assignment.

    6. Fold a worksheet so that only a small amount of text, information, or problems is visible at one time. Using individualized tools can help with this as well.

    7. Allow for moving to optional work areas with less distraction.

    8. Allow for the experience of a variety of sensory learning techniques such as those derived from the use of a computer, tape recorder, projector, and/or manipulatives. The more senses you appeal to in the learning process, the more success and retention the student will experience.

    9. Use word processors or computers to complete written work, especially when writing is a struggle.

    10. Allow for kneeling or standing at a desk (if needed), as long as it does not cause problems or distractions for other children or students.

    11. Allow for access to a copy of prepared notes, especially after a teaching session or discussion.

    12. Arrange for a second set of textbooks at home so that materials are always at hand when needed.

    13. Use very low-volume music (instrumental) or environmental sounds (seashore or other nature sounds) while doing independent work.

    14. Allow for a child or student to work cooperatively at times with others as part of a "buddy" system of support.

    15. Use colored paper for all printed materials including worksheets, outlines, notes, etc. Experiment with pastels as well as bright shades. One particular color may produce the best results for an individual.

    16. Consider the use of colored overlays or the Reading Focus Cards for focus and reading challenges because the white background of a page of text can be visually “offensive” to some readers/learners. In addition to being used with physical books and worksheets, these types of reading tools are also very good for use with e-readers (i.e., Kindles, Nooks, etc.) as well as with e-tablets (i.e., iPads, etc.)
    Recommendation: A non-scratch film should be used to protect tech device screens with this application.

    17. Utilize the many online educational resources available like math.com or Khan Academy as well as other similar free websites for help with specific math and science challenges.

    18. Consider using the webste live ink for readers at all levels of ability to re-format text in order to deliver instant benefits like improved comprehension, retention, fluency and efficiency (speed & accuracy) as well as reduced eye strain and other advantages.

    19. For reading online and/or offline digital media, use the Reading Focus Cards desktop app with Macs and Windows PC's to provide more focus and fluency, better tracking, increased comprehension and improved retention for unfocused or overwhelmed readers.  
  3. 2 Literacy Apps That Work TOGETHER to Help ADHD & Dyslexic Readers Succeed!  

    With these 2 desktop apps in your tech toolbox, you'll be ready to support even more challenged readers!

    Children and adults who struggle to read, especially individuals with ADHD and dyslexia, have many more options available to them today than they did only a few years ago. Now, there are many assistive technologies possible that were not even dreamed about a decade ago. Today, both higher-level tech resources and low-tech tools can offer much help for unfocused or otherwise challenged readers.

    Some of these technologies can even be combined in order to better help the estimated 1 in 5 persons in the U.S. challenged with dyslexia or the 8 to 13% (depending on the state) of school-aged children in our country who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorders (ADHD). These individuals can find it particularly difficult to focus, track, concentrate, comprehend and retain information when reading, especially for extended periods or when many pages of digital text must be read at a time.

    One of the most popular and easily recognizable technologies to help these challenged readers is Amazon's Kindle, the well-known e-reader launched in late 2007 that has been most disruptive to the publishing world. The Kindle technology enables readers to eliminate glare with a unique screen, diminish the starkness of white page backgrounds behind dark, virtual text, manipulate font or text sizes and more to assist persons with various reading issues.

    Turn Your Computer into a Kindle with This App from Amazon!

    If this upfront cost is prohibitive, readers should seriously consider downloading the FREE Kindle app to your desktop or laptop, whether it is a Mac or Windows PC (the app is also available for other tech devices as well via the same web page).  It costs nothing to turn one's computer into a virtual Kindle and then immediately allows the individual to purchase e-books from Amazon.com for download directly to your computer. Kindle app download link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page/
     
    Add The Reading Focus Cards Desktop App to the Kindle App & Watch What Happens on Your Desktop!

    For challenged readers who often struggle with focus and attention, tracking, comprehension and retention, it would be hard to beat the combination of the Kindle app AND an innovative application called the Reading Focus Cards desktop app (Patent 8,360,779) for Macs and Windows PC's.  If you know a challenged student or other struggling reader with ADHD or dyslexia, this 2-app combination can enable that individual to experience more comfortably focused, sustained and successful reading of e-books or other digital media.

    When in use, the virtual Reading Focus Card actually floats on top AND stays on top of e-book pages or any underlying application to more easily read a web page, Word or PDF document, Excel spreadsheet, e-book or other digital media. 

    If readers become overwhelmed with too much text on a digital page of an e-book, the Reading Focus Cards app directs the eye to what needs to be read WHILE covering as much or as little of the surrounding text as selected by the reader. Nearly an entire digital e-book page can be covered to improve focus on the text line needing attention.

    Reading Focus Cards desktop app download links: 

    Mac version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read-and-focus/id920617853?mt=12 
    Windows XP, 7, 8 & 10 versions: https://gumroad.com/l/ReadingFocusCards
    Windows 10 version onlyhttps://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9WZDNCRDF33D

    The Reading Focus Cards desktop app will allow you to:

    Infinitely configure the virtual Reading Focus Card’s features to improve your focus & attention, decoding skills, reading rate, comprehension & retention!

    Easily move the virtual Reading Focus Card over an underlying e-book or other application on the screen with a touchpad, mouse, arrow keys or even with your fingers, where touch technology is applicable.

    – With this app's pop-up Toolbox, independently customize the color, level of transparency, height, width and orientation of both the virtual Reading Window and Reading Card, respectively, to provide more reading comfort to focus and block out distractions, keeping you focused on the text you need to read.

    Adjust the virtual Reading Focus Card to accommodate very large fonts or extensive paragraphs, if you choose!

    – Never worry about the virtual Reading Focus Card disappearing from the screen unexpectedly, even when using it with the Kindle app or other underlying programs! It floats on top AND stays on top of your computer screen, so you can scroll through e-book pages as well as read documents without interruption. You decide when to close the application.

    Special Note: Currently, mobile devices are unable to successfully support this unique, overlay-type Reading Focus Cards app that stays on top of and moves independently of the underlying media applications.

    Now, readers of any age and ability can improve their focus to read e-books as well as other digital media in greater comfort and with much more reading success. It is now possible with the combination of these 2 great apps, the Kindle app for Macs and Windows PC's AND the Reading Focus Cards desktop app.

    Happy Reading---now for everyone!
     
    Sources
    By the Numbers: 120+ Amazing Amazon Statistics (2016)
    by Craig Smith, of DMR
    http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/amazon-statistics/
     
    e-Book Statistics Update
    from Writing for Life
    http://www.livewritethrive.com/2012/06/18/ebook-statistics-update/
     
    Research-Based Literacy Tool – Helpful App for Struggling Readers
    by Jayne Clare, of Teachers With Apps
    http://www.teacherswithapps.com/research-based-literacy-tool-evolves-helpful-app-struggling-readers/
     
    Reading Focus Cards Desktop App---Patent 8,360,779 (for Macs & PC's)
    Macs: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read-and-focus/id920617853?mt=12 OR visit the Mac App Store and search for the Reading Focus Cards.
    Windows PC's: https://gumroad.com/l/ReadingFocusCards OR visit the Microsoft Windows Store and search for the Reading Focus Cards. (No URLs provided for apps in the Windows Store.)
     
    Kindle App for Macs, Windows PC's & Other Tech Devices
    from Amazon.com
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page/
     
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    Dickens, Charles.  Great Expectations. A Public Domain Book. N.p. N.d. e-Book.
    This is the e-book available via Amazon.com used for the screenshots in this article.
    https://www.amazon.com/Great-Expectations-Charles-Dickens-ebook/dp/B0776XC2HD/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1517164369&sr=8-4&keywords=FREE+Charles+Dickens+Great+Expectations+e-book

  4. The Reading Focus Cards: Helpful Focusing Tools for Books, Technology & More! 

    As we come to the end of the month of October, LD Awareness Month is also drawing to a close.  We all know, however, that the awareness raised for special needs and learning challenges this past month cannot remain static.  We need to continue to be advocates for those who are unable to advocate for themselves and help teach those who are able the strategies that can enable their voices and needs to be heard---and addressed effectively.

    At the same time, we want to ensure that the helpful resources, techniques and tools already available can be utilized in the most effective ways.  That is the reason for this article.  We want to demonstrate that the Reading Focus Cards you may already have can be used in variety of other ways as well.  Since diagrams and photos are important means of teaching visual learners, we have decided to present most of this information in that format.  We hope you will find a few more options here for using BOTH sizes of your Reading Focus Cards.

    Other Options for Using the Reading Focus Cards
    (Patent 7,565,759)


      Use with e-Readers (i.e., Kindles, Nooks, etc.)

    Use the SHORTER size of the Reading Focus Card (Model #001),
    moving it straight down the the screen of the device.  

    Special Note:  Please use a protective film for all tech device screens with this application.     

    Use with e-Tablets (i.e., iPads, Androids, etc.)

    Use the LONGER size of the Reading Focus Card (Model #002),
    moving it straight down the the screen of the device.  

    Special Note:  Please use a protective film for all tech device screens with this application.      

    Choose the BEST Option for YOUR Focus & Reading Success!


    For larger font sizes, one line of text can be read through the Reading Window.








    When font sizes are smaller, it can be possible to view more than one
    line of text in the Readng Window.





    If a reader prefers NO colored Reading Filter, the area of the
    Reading Focus Card that precedes the Reading Notch can be
    another option for reading text lines from left to right.

    This application is also quite helpful for breaking down words into phonemes or syllables.  Just uncover (from left to right) the letters, phonemes or syllables needed at a time.  This application can be especially helpful for readers with dyslexiaELL/ESL students or new, young readers in word-attack skill building activities.

    Another Option for More Focus & Reading Comfort

    For readers who prefer NO colored Reading Filter but desire text already read to be visible and text not yet read to be covered, simply turn the Reading Focus Card 180 degrees from its horizontal position to access a LONG, unframed section of text.

    Use the Reading Focus Cards with Math Applications, too!

    For long addition, multiplication and division, the SHORTER Reading Focus Card can help increase focus on the needed place holder column and improve accuracy with problem solving.

    Some readers may choose to use both sizes of the Reading Focus Card when working with math and science equations (tool size determined by equation length).

    The Reading Focus Cards Are IDEAL Tools for Tests & Exams

    For bubble-type test answer sheets (such as Scantron, etc. and where permitted), the Reading Focus Cards allow the reader to locate AND retain the appropriate line of bubbles for a specific test question.  Using the tools in this application can actually help increase the participant's focus, rate and test accuracy

    Special Note:  Many states in the U.S. currently allow the use of tools such as these on annual state achievement tests (usually for students with IEPs or 504 Plans only).  However, there may be conditions required for this permission.  Please check with DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) in your particular state.

    Craft & Household Uses for the Reading Focus Cards

    Special Note:
     For the following use options, simply turn the Reading Focus Card over or upside-down so that the gripping side of the tool faces the page of text.  This will keep the reading tool in place until the reader is ready to move it to other text.

    It's easy to lose one's place when working with a crochet, knitting and other craft or hobby patterns.  However, with the Reading Focus Cards, your favorite activities become so much easier AND more enjoyable, too!



    The Reading Focus Cards can also help in the kitchen.  When reading recipes, you won't add an ingredient more than once if you retain your place in the ingredient list with this tool (usually the SHORTER tool).
Home  ·  Research-based Tool  ·  Comprehension  ·  Testimonials  ·  Learning Strategies  ·  Contact Us  ·  About Us  ·  More Resources  ·  Shipping  ·  Privacy Policy
Copyright © Brennan Innovators, LLC
joan@focusandread.com