Tag Archives: assistive technology

Don’t “Write Off Writing” Instruction : Creative Ideas for Teaching Composition to Your Struggling Learner

By Faith Berens, M.Ed HSLDA Special Needs Consultant “I am frustrated with trying to teach my child to write properly! His spelling is atrocious, and he does not use punctuation or capitalize consistently. Maybe he is just lazy? His writing is also short and poorly organized, and I don’t even want to talk about grammar! We do copy work and have tried so many workbooks on grammar, usage, and mechanics, but they are not helping. Should I just forget about writing instruction and focus on the other basics? Please help!” —Frustrated homeschooling parent Many parents, particularly those who do not enjoy writing or who feel it is not a personal area of strength, get overwhelmed when it comes to teaching their children to write, particularly when one of them is a struggling student. Parents sometimes mistake their child’s difficulties for … Read More

An Offer to Tutoring Centers

I have been working with learning centers throughout the United States and Canada and would like to update you on my Affiliate Program partnership with these Centers. Teaching students how to type is fast moving up to the top of the ‘Most Important Skill to Teach” list! I know most tutoring centers don’t offer this skill because of the time constraint with their student’s schedule. I have a solution for this!  Keyboard Classroom, developed by educators, is the only typing program that guarantees that a student who practices typing for 15 minutes a day will become a proficient typist within 6 months! My idea is to refer Keyboard Classroom to your clients to practice at home.  I have an Affiliate Program where your Center can earn a 40% commission on each sale! This is a win-win for all! Here is … Read More

A Simple Solution for a Struggling Student!

Yesterday I visited a friend whose child just started 4th grade. He was at the kitchen table doing his ‘homework’. The assignment was to write about his summer vacation. The first thing I noticed was the look on his face as he contorted it in frustration. I wondered where this struggle was coming from so I watched him…There it was! The dreaded “pencil syndrome!” He was gripping the pencil in an unusual way and had a hard time forming the letters. His eraser was getting a good workout! He was fumbling, stumbling and bumbling his way through the paper. Of course, the meltdown came half way through the paper and the mom started finishing it for him!!! Unfortunately, this is NOT an uncommon occurrence! There are many different motor skills that go into writing. Writing is an important skill to … Read More

The Keyboard Interface and Dyslexia

I always find it so interesting when a student describes an educational break through to me.  Once they describe their solution to their struggle I wonder why an educator or parent didn’t think of it first! Read how Yishay Garbasz went from “Handwriting” to “Fingertyping” and how it helped him facilitate his dyslexic writing process. “A few years ago, when I exchanged pen and paper with a monitor and a keyboard I went through a change that was more than the significant but obvious advance in technology. I changed something very basic in my dyslexia, or rather in my dyslexic existence. Of course the first noticeable difference was my handwriting.  It was clear and easy to read.  I now call this my “fingertyping”. For the first time in my life others, as well as me, could actually read what I … Read More

Out with the Old… In with the New!

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” John D. Rockefeller Doesn’t that say it all!  My new mission is to get schools to throw out their ‘old school mentality’ and embrace the new ways of doing things.  Students have a different mentality towards learning because of the way they were brought up with technology.  Their brains work faster, their learning style is quicker and they expect to multitask as they are learning. As Alan Cohen says: “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” … Read More

I found my Passion!

I have been a very happy educator for the past 23 years….There is nothing better than to see a student overcome an obstacle and see themselves as confident and successful. As Mickey Rooney says, “You always pass failure on the way to success.” My job is to be sure I give my students enough skills to use when fighting for success.  There will be plenty of roadblocks in their lives.  The secret is to be able to jump over the obstacles and keep yourself in a forward motion. As Sir Winston Churchill reminds us, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” So now I HAVE come upon a personal roadblock.  I have noticed that one skill is missing from their curriculum….learning how to touch-type.  Now you may think this is a … Read More

You Need to Type to Tell the Computer What You Want

There is nothing magical about Touch-Typing.  Here’s how it works. Instead of watching the keyboard as you type, you watch the screen, and you type without looking.  You simply learn the position of each key on the keyboard, and through practice your fingers develop muscle memory and NOW you will always know where the keys are …without looking! Once the process becomes automatic you only have to think of a word for it to appear on the screen. I find it a very enjoyable way to work, because it’s less tiring, and you don’t have to keep shifting your eyes from keyboard to screen. Here are some amazing benefits to typing: Because you’re watching the screen as you type, you can instantly spot any typing errors and correct them straightaway. Touch-typing helps free your mind from the mechanics of what you’re … Read More

What are Finger Guides, you ask?

Sometimes the best inventions are the most simple and straightforward.  Teaching a student how to type, teaching anyone how to type, can be only as effective as their motivation! Keyboard Classroom has developed a unique product called Finger Guides. These Guides attach to a standard computer keyboard with velcro pads and guide a student’s fingers to the correct keys, allowing them to learn touch-typing without incorrect, error-prone moves. Learners want to look at their fingers.  It’s only natural and in our case, it’s OK at first.  But we wanted a way to insure that they would also use the proper finger placement and not resort to hunting and pecking with their index fingers. So we invented these simple plastic Finger Guides.  You attach them to a typical keyboard, placing them diagonally between the “W” and the “E” on the left … Read More