Issuu on Google+

Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures By Dr. Astrid Kopp-Duller Chief Science Director of the American Dyslexia Association & Executive Director of the Dyslexia Research Center, USA

Jasmina Ionkova President of the Bulgarian Dyslexia Association

Elisabeth Nuhl President of the Vienna Dyslexia Association

Mag. Livia R. Pailer-Duller Co-Author of Dyslexia—Dyscalculia!?

Angelika Troller-Janesch Vice-President of the Carinthian Dyslexia Association

Linda Davis-Kyle, MA collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor & photographer


Activities from Teachers in Austria, Bulgaria, and the United States Focusing on Learning the Alphabet “Duplicating What You Hear” ~ Angelika Troller-Janesch, Vice-President of the Carinthian Dyslexia Association, Klagenfurt, Austria www.legasthenie.com “Observing Happenings” ~ Elisabeth Nuhl, President of the Vienna Dyslexia Association, Vienna, Austria www.wll.at/ and www.sissi-nuhl.com/ “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’on the Wall” ~ Mag. Livia R. Pailer-Duller, Co-author of Dyslexia—Dyscalculia!? DRC Publications www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0047DWZ1S/ “Becoming a Wizard with Letters” ~ Jasmina Ionkova, President of the Bulgarian Dyslexia Association, Rousse, Bulgaria www.dyslexia-center.eu/

Focusing on Reviewing and Remembering the Alphabet “Sitting in Silence with the Alphabet” ~ Dr. Astrid Kopp-Duller, Chief Science Director of the American Dyslexia Association & Executive Director of the Dyslexia Research Center, USA www.american-dyslexia-association.com/ “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

2


Letters and Numbers. Nagoya, Japan. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2006.

Focusing on Learning the Numbers “Reading ‘Flashlight Numbers’on the Wall” ~ Mag. Livia R. Pailer-Duller, Co-author of Dyslexia—Dyscalculia!? DRC Publications www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0047DWZ1S/ “Becoming a Wizard with Numbers” ~ Jasmina Ionkova, President of the Bulgarian Dyslexia Association, Rousse, Bulgaria www.dyslexia-center.eu/

Focusing on Reviewing and Remembering the Numbers “Sitting in Silence with Numbers” ~ Dr. Astrid Kopp-Duller, Chief Science Director of the American Dyslexia Association & Executive Director of the Dyslexia Research Center, USA www.american-dyslexia-association.com/ “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

3


Fun learning and play space for children in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2012.

Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures Tyron Edwards said, “To waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sure way to teach easily and successfully.” Educators around the world have found that incorporating fun learning games into their lesson plans not only wake interest when a class of new students meet for the first time but also for a group already familiar with each other. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

4


Dominoes. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2013. Dominoes courtesy of Brenda Maguire, retired teacher.

Both time-tested games, such as dominoes, new ones that are created somewhere each day, and even spur-of-the-moment games that may pop into the minds of seasoned teachers—just when they need them—have a way of grabbing and holding attention, strengthening concentration, and stirring emotion among the players. Plato said, “All learning has an emotional base.” If the games are intriguing enough to invite and rivet attention, boost concentration, and create a healthy passion for participation, the likelihood of retaining the information presented is high. It is no secret that young learners who can relax are able to pay attention and maintain concentration on any task at hand with greater ease than those who may feel nervous or anxious. In addition, whatever is learned in a more relaxed state enhances retention of the information. In turn, remembering what has been learned fosters self-esteem which furthers motivation. So, at the heart and soul of many learning philosophies, instructing strategies, and teaching systems, relaxation is held in high regard.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

5


Children happily learning in Viña del Mar, Chile. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2010.

Combining a Passion for Participation with Relaxation It seems that one wonderful combination to help children learn is by teaming a passion for participation with relaxation. The handful of multi-sensory games shared here are favorites from Austria, Bulgaria, and the United States that invite participation and foster relaxation. Even further, the activities are organized incrementally to support confident learning.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

6


Previewing the Activities Focusing on Listening and Looking The first simple exercise, “Duplicating What You Hear,” is a listening game that requires attentive listening and then repeating what was said. Next, “Observing Happenings” invites youngsters to go beyond just listening to looking with attention and “seeing.” Their observation of happenings happily will include hearing whatever sounds accompany the sights they see and whatever fragrances or aromas they smell. Describing in their own words what they observe can be great fun. When youngsters are focused on the same scene and share with their teacher and the group, it can be very exciting to them to see that they have a common view.

appreciating varying viewpoints—a positive side effect Likewise, it can be interesting when some students may share additional foreground or background items that others might not even have noticed. The sharing and comparing helps young learners recognize that not everyone sees quite the same. Insight comes from this recognition and can begin to create an appreciation for varying viewpoints, a vital quality for establishing good relationships with peers, family, and friends.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

7


Focusing on Learning the Alphabet “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’ on the Wall” adds another dimension to observing. Students must focus their attention, be in the present moment, and maintain concentration not only to see but also identify the letter that is being “written” with light energy on the wall in a darkened room. Then students must say the letter. The close attention, concentration, and articulation—all in the spirit of fun—will help the young learners remember the letters. They may ask often to play this novel and innovative activity.

focusing on a bit of magic Teachers know best that it is no coincidence that classic literature is rich with books for children filled with fantasy, magic, and miracles, because young wizards delight in the amazing powers of the mind, body, and spirit. “Becoming a Wizard with Letters” takes studying, learning, imagining, and writing the letters of the alphabet to a “magic” level and includes an action component for added fun. First, the young learners write the various letters of the alphabet using their noses as writing implements. Once the young wizards feel confident with that approach, the teacher invites them to make their arm and hand an extension of the nose. This step often brings laughter and encourages the young learners to relax and have fun.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

8


With their hand already in possession of the magical force, they can hold a marker, pen, or pencil in their dominant writing hand to draw—in the air— each letter of the alphabet. Finally, the young wizards will use a marker, pen, or pencil to draw the letters with ease on paper.

Focusing on Reviewing and Remembering the Alphabet “Sitting in Silence with the Alphabet” works beautifully after the students feel confident with knowing the alphabet. This silent visualization helps to lock in the order of the letters, the look of the alphabet, and even the sounds of the letters as the students “see” and “hear” them in their memories.

Focusing on Learning the Numbers Budding mathematicians find “Reading ‘Flashlight Numbers’ on the Wall”—a sister activity to the “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’ on the Wall”—to be a sheer delight just as they do when reading flashlight writing. “Becoming a Wizard with Numbers” duplicates the same magical steps of “Becoming a Wizard with Letters,” but this time, it offers fun with math rather than playing with the alphabet. “Sitting in Silence with Numbers” works nicely after the teacher knows that the students have a firm image of the numbers in their minds and feels confident that the young learners will be able not only to “see” the numbers but also to “hear” the sounds that speak the names of the numbers. When students can clearly visualize and silently recite the numbers in their minds, “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

9


such practice fosters memory and helps youngsters to gain quiet composure. Parents and teachers are pleased with the success that these activities can bring. “There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

Listening & Hearing Engaging children first in duplicating what they hear can be a totally fun early learning activity. Modest mistakes can be erased magically when the instructor gently repeats what should have been heard without any inkling of criticism. The activity “Duplicating What You Hear” utilizes repetition in such a fun way that young learners receive gentle correction with repetition and addition of a new word with each round. Students can feel good about their practice. “Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing.” ~ Arnold Glasgow

Duplicating What You Hear Angelika Troller-Janesch, Vice President Carinthian Dyslexia Association Klagenfurt, Austria (listening, hearing, repeating, duplicating) Purpose: The “Duplicating What You Hear” exercise gives students practice in listening and repeating what they hear. It grabs and holds complete attention, enhances concentration, improves pronunciation, and gives young learners a sense of satisfaction during a time that can be totally fun for them. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

10


Age Group: 6-8 Goals: The goals of the “Duplicating What You Hear” activity are to • learn to listen with good attention • improve concentration • repeat what they hear • enhance memory • recognize different cadences of the spoken language Materials: A thoughtful instructor with a strong, clear voice Students ready to listen to their teacher and repeat what they hear Procedure: 1. An instructor says a four-word sentence very rapidly. 2. The children repeat the sentence that they hear. 3. Then the instructor says a five-word sentence. 4. The young learners duplicate the words in the order they were spoken and match the teacher’s cadence. 5. With each new sentence, the teacher adds one more word to build longer and longer sentences and speaks faster and faster. 6. The students repeat and have great fun as the sentences get longer and longer.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

11


Reflection: When students have the opportunity to practice this listening activity more and more, their duplication of what they have heard gets better and better. Young learners remember well, and their articulation improves all while having fun with their teacher and their peers.

“Eveyone hears only what he understands.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No Honking sign. Santiago, Chile. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2010.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

12


Discussion: Teachers may like to invite the young observers and talk about what the “No Honking” sign means to them. Have they seen a similar sign in their own country? Do the young readers have ideas about why such a sign is necessary? They even may enjoy drawing the image. eeefff “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” ~ Robertson Davies

Looking & Seeing Offering the students preliminary observation practice affords the teacher insight into how the students interpret what they see. To help prepare them to describe a generally larger outdoor landscape from a window, it may be useful incrementally to ask them first to describe what they see in the fun image of ladybugs shown here or some other fun image to get an idea of their powers of observation at a closer range.

Wall art in Valparaiso, Chile. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2010. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

13


“Observation—activity of both eyes and ears.” ~ Horace Mann

Observing Happenings Elisabeth Nuhl, President Vienna Dyslexia Association Vienna, Austria (imagination, interpretation, vision, attention, concentration, description, articulation) Purpose: The “Observing Happenings” activity encourages imagination, allows for interpretation, supports vision, enhances attention, builds concentration, and gives fine practice in description and articulation. Age Group: 6-8 Goals: The goals of the “Observing Happenings” activity are to • pay close attention • propel young learners to go beyond “looking” to “seeing” • strengthen concentration • foster imagination • give practice in interpretation • encourage vivid description and strong articulation • invite discussion and comparison • to see the points of view of their peers

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

14


Materials: A caring teacher A room with a view of the outdoors A timer Imagination Powers of observation Procedure: 1. The child, if being taught privately, is asked to sit relaxed on a chair and look out the window. 2. If, in a classroom full of lively students, all the students are asked to relax in their chairs and look out the window. 3. The young learners are told that they will have one full minute to look. 4. When the time is up, they will be asked to tell what they have observed. 5. If the students are taken outdoors, they may be asked also to notice not only the sights but also the sounds, the aromas in the air, and the texture of the grass, sand, or rocks under their feet. Reflection: The children can have loads of fun with this activity, especially if they are looking out the same window at the same time. Recognizing the variations of what each saw in comparison to what their classmates observed can help students to learn that not everyone sees everything the same way. In discussions about what they saw, it not only gives the opportunity to expand their own viewpoint but also it fosters tolerance and respect for others.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

15


“In order to see clearly, changing one’s perspective is often enough.” ~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Parque Forestal in Santiago, Chile. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2010.

Discussion: Instructors may wish to ask the young observers to describe how the view out their classroom window is like and unlike the view of Parque Forestal in the image shared here.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

16


Focusing children on their surroundings and having them practice describing what they see can serve them well as they grow and mature. Noticing and “reading” the people, activities, and environment around them can enhance their safety and foster their longevity. This exercise can be an eye-opener for students as they learn from each other and their devoted teacher. “Each one sees what he carries in his heart.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A Young Learner Intently Observing Street Performers in Viña del Mar, Chile. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2010. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

17


Discussion: Instructors may like to encourage their young learners describe what they see through the eyes of the young girl in the foreground who is watching the street performers in Viña del Mar. eeefff

Seeing & Reading When their wonderful teacher draws the letters of the alphabet on the wall with a bright flashlight in a totally darkened room, it introduces young readers to an exciting new perspective. Instead of seeing black or even a vivid kaleidoscope of colored letters on paper or a white board, eager students can follow the development of the letters as the light moves to create each letter.

A sneak preview of “Flashlight Writing” on the wall.

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” ~ Aaron Rose “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

18


Reading “Flashlight Writing” on the Wall Mag. Livia R. Pailer-Duller Austrian Dyslexia Association Klagenfurt, Austria (imagination, interpretation, vision, attention, concentration, articulation) Purpose: The “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’ on the Wall” activity—in which the instructor uses a flashlight to “draw” one letter at a time on the wall in a darkened room for the children to identify—is a favorite of students.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

19


Flashlight writing fully engages the attention of young readers and boosts concentration, because with the lights out there are fewer visual distractions. The vision even may be enhanced, and with the vision fully engaged, the other senses may have a bit of a holiday. The darkness of the room even may bring quieter surroundings, as well. Students are able to focus completely on the activity, which fosters memory. In addition, they may feel more comfortable speaking out in the darkened room; so, they participate more eagerly. This full attention and sustained concentration enhances the sense of vision for even better results when once again teamed with the other senses in typical daylight conditions. Age Group: 6-8 Goals: The goals of the “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’ on the Wall” exercise are to • practice recognizing the letters of the alphabet in a fun way • focus on one letter of the alphabet at a time • improve attention span • enhance concentration • support memory • practice answering aloud in a group

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

20


Materials: A thoughtful teacher or parent A wall in a darkened room A good working flashlight with a sharp beam Students who love to play learning games Procedure: 1. Using a flashlight, an adult “draws” one letter at a time on a wall in a darkened room. 2. The child, if practicing singly with an instructor or parent, then is asked to name the letter. 3. The children, if practicing in a group with a teacher, are asked to name each letter after it has been drawn. 4. The students will participate more freely and comfortably to answer aloud in a darkened room. Reflection: This activity introduces an innovative method of teaching the letters of the alphabet. Children can enjoy this exercise whether practiced individually with a parent or tutor or when their astute teacher shares it with a classroom full of students. It fosters memory for it helps students to see, “read,” and remember letters in such a delightful way.

“Memory is the mother of all wisdom.” ~ Aeschylus eeefff “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

21


Combining Imagining with Extending Oneself into the Process of Writing the Alphabet The “Becoming a Wizard with Letters” encourages the students to feel that they are the creators of the letters of the alphabet, for as they draw, the letters grow from their hands in a magical way. Finally, the letters are transferred to a writing instrument such as a marker, pen, or pencil to bring letters to life on paper or on a white board.

Engraved letters on stone. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2012.

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” ~ Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

22


Becoming a Wizard with Letters Jasmina Ionkova President of the Bulgarian Dyslexia Association Rousse, Bulgaria (motivation, imagination, inner vision, concentration, action) Purpose: The “Becoming a Wizard with Letters” game aims at facilitating—in an entertaining way—learning the letters of the alphabet. Young learners are encouraged to use their imaginations to write and remember a respective letter in three easy steps. Goals: The goals of the “Becoming a Wizard with Letters” practice are to • use imagination • invite attention • improve concentration skills • “see” with their visual memory the respective graphic letter or symbol • memorize the written representation of a graphical letter or symbol Materials: A wonderful imagination Curiosity toward magic Non-toxic marker, pen, or pencil White board Paper sheets Notebook “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

23


Procedure: The First Magical Step ✰ The young wizards are asked to attempt to use their noses to draw a magical letter in the air. Second Magical Step 1. Next, the young wizards fully extend their dominant arm, touch the nose briefly to their upper arm thus making their dominant hand a natural extension of their noses. 2. The magic passes from the nose through the arm to the hand. 3. Now the young wizards use their hands to write carefully each letter in the air remembering to keep themselves and their classmates safe from their “writing space” to prevent inadvertently hitting anyone. Third Magical Step—The magic is almost complete…. 1. The hand already is in possession of the magical force and now can transfer the letter to the marker, pen, or pencil. 2. Finally, the young wizards can use their marker, pen, or pencil to write in the air or or on a board or paper each letter of the alphabet. The Exciting Magical Wonder Is Complete Finally, the talented wizards very easily can write their alphabet not only in the air—letter by letter—but also in their notebooks or on a board or even in the sand on their favorite beach, for now the letters are their very own.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

24


Reflection: This activity is profoundly helpful in making young wizards feel that they have the power within themselves to learn. Taking the practice from the nose writing in the air to the arm and hand as an extension of the nose to the transfer of their energy, power, and talent from their own hand controlled by a fine brain and sharp mind, indeed, is empowering and success building. Discussion: If possible, have available a stone on which letters are engraved. Ask the young learners to close their eyes, feel the shapes of the engraved letters, and describe what they feel. This process may foster memory of the letters of the alphabet in a way similar to writing their names in the sand on a friendly, safe beach using their fingers to feel the texture of the sand and the way it moves under their fingers as they make the letters and hear the rumble of the ocean waves and the gulls singing overhead. If no engraved stone is available, instructors may like to refer to the illustration of the engraved letters shared at the beginning of this activity and encourage the students to describe how they imagine the indentions would feel—smooth, scratchy, sharp, hard, cold, etc. and to write abou what they feel in complete sentences with subject and verb to express their ideas and to lock the thoughts into their memory banks. “My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz. It’s the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz. You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond ‘Z’ and start poking around!” ~ Dr. Seuss eeefff “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

25


“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” ~ Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

Relaxing and Remembering to Reinforce Learning the Alphabet Students who already know their alphabet can enjoy practicing reviewing by reciting aloud together first so the teacher can monitor their recitation. Then the students can recite silently and visualize—with eyes closed—the alphabet to impress it upon their minds. The more they do this fun exercise the stronger their association and retention of the letters of the alphabet will become.

Andes Mountains ~ Santiago, Chile. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2010.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

26


“Power comes through repose; it is in the silence that we can be still, and when we are still, we can think, and thought is the secret of all attainment.” ~ Charles Haanel

Sitting in Silence with the Alphabet Dr. Astrid Kopp-Duller Chief Science Director of the American Dyslexia Association (relaxation, imagination, inner vision, visualization, concentration, prior acquisition of being able to recite the alphabet) Purpose: Students, who already know their alphabet, can practice visualizing vividly and reciting silently in their minds to reinforce the correct order of the letters of the alphabet and to strengthen their ability to remember, in general. Once young learners know perfectly their alphabet A to Z by means of playing perhaps with activities such as “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’ on the Wall” and “Becoming a Wizard with Letters” and other pleasant methods, as well, it may help them to practice reciting it from Z to A, which also encourages strong mindful attention and complete concentration. Many students take on this challenge with great gusto, and they accomplish it much to their pleasure. Thus, their confidence grows and grows as they meet this challenge under the guidance of their devoted teacher. Age Group: 6-8

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

27


Goals: The goals of the “Sitting in Silence with the Alphabet” quiet time are to • relax the young learners • help students to gain quiet composure • encourage pupils to find their inner strength • visualize the letters in their minds • “hear” the sounds that create the letters • enhance overall learning • build self-confidence • have fun learning Materials: An encouraging teacher Ability to visualize, recite, and “hear” the alphabet in silence A quiet space A quiet time A comfortable chair A desire to learn Procedure: 1. The young learners are asked to sit comfortably with eyes closed. 2. They are asked please just to let go of their current thoughts and to relax. 3. Then they are encouraged to visualize the letters and to recite slowly and silently their alphabet in their respective language in order from A to Z. 4. Once the students are very secure in their ability to visualize and to recite their alphabet in its natural order, they may like to work on reciting the “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

28


alphabet from Z to A as the teacher listens and observes. When the students can achieve this task, then they can practice from Z to A silently, as well. Reflection: The “Sitting in Silence with the Alphabet” activity enhances keen attention and concentration. It also supports memory and boosts self-confidence. Discussion: Sometimes a soothing landscape—majestic snow-capped mountains such as the Andes in the image shared, a lush green forest, a sunny meadow dotted with red, blue, pink, and purple wildflowers, or a white sandy beach and crystal blue ocean waves—can help to bring a tranquil feeling. Each of us has our own favorite niche of nature. Perhaps the young nature lovers will enjoy painting a “word picture” of the views that bring a feeling of peace and calm to them that they can recall to help them feel quiet as they begin to visualize clearly and recite silently their alphabet. “To be silent oft is to learn.” ~ Edward Counsel, Maxims eeefff

A sneak preview of “Flashlight Numbers” on the wall. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

29


Reading “Flashlight Numbers” on the Wall Mag. Livia R. Pailer-Duller Austrian Dyslexia Association Klagenfurt, Austria (imagination, interpretation, vision, attention, concentration, articulation) Purpose: The “Reading ‘Flashlight Numbers’ on the Wall” activity—in which the teacher uses a flashlight to “draw” one number at a time on the wall in a darkened room for the children to identify—is a big hit with young mathematicians-in-the-making. Flashlight numbers not only capture the interest and hold the attention of budding mathematicians but also these “active” numbers keep young thinkers focused, because in complete darkness visual distractions are diminished.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

30


As with the “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’ on the Wall” activity, the students focus now on the number that is being created in the darkness. This practice can bring a sense of calm and quiet and strengthen memory. Frequently, young learners are happier speaking the number they see in the darkened room, for the darkness makes them feel protected and freer to say each number they see. Age Group: 6-8 Goals: The goals of the “Reading ‘Flashlight Numbers’ on the Wall” exercise are to • practice recognizing the numbers in a relaxed and innovative way • focus on one number at a time • improve attention span • enhance concentration • support memory • practice answering aloud in a group Materials: A thoughtful teacher or parent A wall in a darkened room A good working flashlight with a sharp beam Students who love to play learning games

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

31


Procedure: 1. Just as in the “Reading ‘Flashlight Writing’ on the Wall” exercise, using a flashlight, this time an adult “draws” one number at a time on a wall in a darkened room. 2. The young learners are asked to name each number after it has been drawn. 3. The students answer more freely and comfortably in a darkened room. 4. The teacher may ask the students also to visualize the shapes of the numbers and how they magically can draw them as they think of each one. Reflection: Introducing the numbers 0 [zero] through 9 [nine] in such a clever way fosters memory for it helps students to see, “read,” and remember numbers.

“Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

eeefff

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

32


“Math is like going to the gym for your brain. It sharpens your mind.” ~ Donica McKellar

From a sign in Santiago, Chile. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2010.

Becoming a Wizard with Numbers Jasmina Ionkova President of the Bulgarian Dyslexia Association Rousse, Bulgaria (motivation, imagination, inner vision, concentration, action) “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world.” ~ Albert Einstein “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

33


Purpose: The “Becoming a Wizard with Numbers” practice aims at facilitating, in an entertaining way, learning the numbers. Young learners are encouraged to use their imaginations to write or remember a respective number in three easy steps. Goals: The goals of the “Becoming a Wizard with Numbers” activity are to • use imagination • grab and hold attention • improve concentration • practice drawing the numbers • “see” with their visual memory the respective graphic number • memorize the way a number is written and represented Materials: A wonderful imagination Curiosity toward magic Non-toxic marker, pen, or pencil White board Paper sheets Notebook

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

34


Procedure: First Magical Step ✰ The young wizards first will practice training themselves to create magical numbers by using their noses to draw the numbers in the air. Second Magical Step 1. Next, the young wizards fully extend their dominant arm, touch their nose briefly to their upper arm thus making their dominant hand a natural extension of their noses. 2. The magic passes from the nose through the arm to the hand. 3. Now the young wizards use their hands to write numbers in the air. Third Magical Step—The magic is almost complete…. 1. The hand already is in possession of the magical force and now can transfer the number to the marker, pen, or pencil. 2. The young wizards can use their marker, pen, or pencil to write in the air each number zero through nine. The Exciting Magical Wonder Is Complete Now the talented wizard can write their numbers with great ease in their notebooks or on a board or even in the sand on a beach. Reflection: Joyful activities with math can help to set the stage for a greater potential success with math later. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

35


Discussion: Children may enjoy talking about the amazingly exciting relationships of numbers. No matter the order of the presentation of numbers, students can find a fun relationship by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing them. The fun is endless. “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” ~ Albert Einstein eeefff

“Happiness is a continuation of happenings not resisted.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Nanya Coast, Taiwan. Photo by Linda Davis-Kyle, Copyright © 2006. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

36


“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~ Lao Tzu Discussion: Having practiced “Sitting in Silence with the Alphabet” young learners will find “Sitting in Silence with Numbers” to come more easily. Each practice reinforces the other, and the more the active, happy learners practice the more they can create a calm and confident spirit. Perhaps the young learners will enjoy describing what they like and dislike about the Nanya Coast image presented here. By doing so, they may be able better to paint a “picture” in their minds of what brings to them a feeling of calm and confidence that they can remember and call forth when they start to recite silently and visualize happily the numbers. “Mathematics is the queen of sciences, and arithmetic is the queen of mathematics.”~ Carl Friedrich Gauss

Sitting in Silence with Numbers Dr. Astrid Kopp-Duller Chief Science Director of the American Dyslexia Association (relaxation, imagination, inner vision, visualization, concentration, prior acquisition of being able to count the numbers from zero to 20) Purpose: “Sitting in Silence with Numbers” is a fun variation of the “Sitting in Silence with the Alphabet.” Helping students to discover the calm that they hold deeply within themselves strengthens their every aspect, prepares them to receive and assimilate information with greater ease, and builds “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

37


confidence. It is recognized generally that in a relaxed state, one not only can learn more easily, but also one retains the materials introduced more readily. Silently reciting previously learned positive, worthwhile material is an excellent way to build a strong foundation for additional incremental learning. Age Group: 6-8 Goals: The goals of the “Sitting in Silence with Numbers” activity are to • relax the young learners • help students to gain quiet composure • encourage pupils to find their inner strength • visualize the numbers • repeat good lessons silently inside their minds to build memory • enhance overall learning • build self-confidence • have fun learning

Materials: An encouraging, thoughtful teacher Ability to count from zero [0] to twenty [20] A quiet space A quiet time A comfortable chair A desire to learn

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

38


Procedure: 1. The young learners are asked to sit comfortably with eyes closed. 2. They are asked please just to let go of their current thoughts and to relax. 3. Then they are encouraged to count slowly and silently from zero (0) to twenty (20) in their respective language. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

4. Next, the young learners may be asked to visualize how each number looks to them as they silently think of the number. 5. Finally, the students may be invited to visualize how the number looks spelled out. zero

one

two

null eins zwei [zwo]

three four five drei

vier fünf

twelve thirteen twenty

fourteen

fifteen

zwölf dreizehn zwanzig

vierzehn

fünfzehn

six sechs

seven

eight nine

sieben acht

sixteen sehzehn

ten

neun zehn

seventeen eighteen sibzehn

eleven elf

nineteen

achtzehn neunzehn

Reflection: The more opportunities students have to practice these calming and nurturing exercises, the more their practice can enhance not only their learning, but their overall health, as well.1 As it helps to build memory, students will be more excited to continue learning; and the more they learn, the more they can learn. Silence, indeed, is a powerful teacher. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

39


Considering the truth of Charles Haanel’s words, “Power comes through repose; it is in the silence that we can be still, and when we are still, we can think, and thought is the secret of all attainment,” this exercise in silence can help young learners to be still and to think, and the better they can think, the more they can learn, and the more they can learn, the greater will be their attainment in life. Frequently, that is the the greatest wish teachers hold for their students. A Note of Interest: 1

The online medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com defines the word “meditation” as “a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.” This dictionary also points out that “Overall, a 1995 report to the National Institutes of Health on alternative medicine concluded that, ‘More than 30 years of research, as well as the experience of a large and growing number of individuals and health care providers, suggests that meditation and similar forms of relaxation can lead to better health, higher quality of life, and lowered health care costs ….’” [Source: medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/meditation].

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

Summing Up Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures in Only a Few Words These incremental elements of the learning procedure build well on each other, give practice observing, listening, giving attention, concentrating, thinking, repeating, and using multiple senses which help to introduce and

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

40


commit to long-term memory the information learned while relaxed and having fun. The more wonderful teachers can provide joyful learning opportunities that include relaxing fun games, activities, and exercises that ignite the imaginations of their young learners, capture their attention, boost their concentration, and build their confidence and competence, the happier and more successful their young learners will be.

Reviewing Fun-Inspired Learning Games

from Teachers’ Treasures with a Buzan Mind Map

Please Note: Mind Maps® is a registered trademark of the Buzan Organisation 1990, www.ThinkBuzan.com. Typically, Buzan Mind Maps include only one word per branch; however, for our purposes, the full titles of games and activities are given on their respective branches for smoother reading and clearer understanding as, it is hoped, a memorable visual method of reviewing and summarizing the exercises and activities shared in this article. “Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

41


Sources Materials Cited BrainyQuotes.com ~ www.BrainyQuotes.com Free Famous Quotes ~ www.freefamousquotes.net/ goodreads ~ www.goodreads.com/quotes medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/meditation The Quote Garden ~ www.quotegarden Think exist.com ~ Think exist.com/quotes Teachers/Contributors Ionkova, Jasmina. Personal communication, 21 December 2012. Kopp-Duller, Dr. Astrid. Personal communication, 05 December 2012. Nuhl, Elisabeth. Personal communication, 11 December 2012. Pailer-Duller, Mag. Livia R. Personal communication, 12 December 2012. Troller-Janesch, Angelika. Personal communication, 12 December 2012.

Teachers/Contributors [in alphabetical order] Jasmina Ionkova, a social pedagogue, earned a Master in Pedagogy and Certified Dyslexia Trainer with Östereichischer Dachverband Legasthenie. In 2006, Ionkova established the Bulgarian Dyslexia Association, and two years later, she established a dyslexia center. She has created her own training program known as “New Start,” based on diagnostics and the Attention Function (Perception) Symptom AFS Method of Dr. Astrid KoppDuller.

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

42


Dr. Astrid Elisabeth Kopp-Duller, an innovative educator, has dedicated her energy and time since 2006 to instruct more than 750 teachers in the Austrian Government Program, and has educated more than 8500 Germanspeaking Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Trainers in 52 countries around the world. International educational authorities, governments, and academic institutions have adopted her theories and methodologies. She is the Chief Science Director of the American Dyslexia Association, the Executive Director of the Dyslexia Research Center USA, and the Chairperson of the Committee

for

Distance

Learning

Courses—Dyslexia

Trainer

and

Dyscalculia Trainer. She heads the American Dyslexia Association and attends to board functions in eight international dyslexia organizations. Kopp-Duller has authored more than a dozen books in German, and many in English, to bring the world of reading and mathematics to learners challenged with dyslexia. Her work, Dyslexia – Dyscalculia!? by DRC Publications, is co-authored with Mag. Livia R. Pailer-Duller. Elisabeth Nuhl, President of the Vienna Dyslexia Association, Vienna, Austria, is a graduate of Dyslexia Trainer EÖDL, who not only teaches dyslexic kindegarten students but also she has developed fun vocabularybuilding games such as Den richtigen Artikkel kennen [Knowing the Right Product] and Im Aquarium [In Aquarium]—CD’s that have won the 2012 Dyslexia Quality Award and are available at www.sissi-nuhl.com/. In addition, Nuhl lectures on “Dyslexia/LRS/Dyscalculia.”

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

43


Mag. Livia R. Pailer-Duller, is not only an active board member of the Vienna Dyslexia Association, but also she is the co-author of Dyslexia— Dyscalculia!?

DRC

Publications

an

e-book

available

at

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0047DWZ1S/ Angelika Troller-Janesch, Vice-President of the Carinthian Dyslexia Association, Klagenfurt, Austria, is known not only for her talent in teaching subject matter to dyslexic students, but also she is acknowledged for her excellence in encouraging students to workout to improve their physical condition and fitness through such activities as hiking and endurance training in which they measure their results using the free app “runtastic.”

collaborator/ compiler/ contributor/editor/photographer Linda Davis-Kyle, MA in English, ACCET certified to instruct English as a Foreign Language, is a general interest and educational writer whose articles have been published in several countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Davis-Kyle not only writes but also edits professionally, gives parenting seminars, loves teaching writing composition to guide aspiring writers of all ages to make their dreams to write and to be published come true writingnow.com/. She worked some magic to help compose Ready, Set, Action! An Entertainment Fun Book for Parents of Dyslexic PreTeens~Adventures in Writing & Performing elabsworkbook.com/. More recently, Davis-Kyle has worked some magic once again to help make Camp RSA! Ready, Set, Action! A Camp Leader’s Guide and Camp RSA! Ready, Set, Action! Journal a reality. 

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

44


Acknowledgments I am immensely grateful to all the teachers/contributors for their innovative activities, games, and exercises for young learners and to Brenda Maguire, retired teacher, for her generosity, her thoughtful critique, and her wise counsel. ~ ldk eeefff

“Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers’ Treasures.” Linda Davis-Kyle, MA, collaborator, compiler, contributor, editor, & photographer. Copyright © 2012-2013.

45


Fun-Inspired Learning Games from Teachers Treasures