Being a teacher, I use multiple whiteboards every day at school.  I don’t know what we would do without them now.  Years ago, we used chalkboards and had to deal with messy chalk dust at school.  Back then, we had no idea about a whiteboard, whiteboard mount, whiteboard marker, or whiteboard eraser.  I wonder how many people’s allergies were affected by all that chalk dust?  I’m so glad we have whiteboards today!

“Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism”

Just got through reading Carly’s Voice by Arthur Fleischmann (Carly’s dad) with Carly Fleischmann, and I highly recommend this book if you’re wanting to learn more about autism.  Recently published, it gives another first-hand view of what it’s like to be autistic and wanting to communicate.  If you would like to know more about this insightful book, here’s a short book review.

This book, along with I Am in Here by Elizabeth M. Bonker & Virginia G. Breen and all of Temple Grandin’s books completely dispel the belief which was prominent decades ago that non-verbal autistic children should be institutionalized because they would never be able to communicate or talk, as in Grandin’s case.    Hopefully, more and more people will be educated about autism and dispel the myths which surround it.

ACT & SAT Testing Score Averages by State

Looking at a map of test score averages and seeing the scores of all the different states is interesting.   Averages of ACT Scores and also SAT Scores vary from state to state, and the statistics show which states have the higher scores.  Many families decide where they are going to settle down according to how good the school systems are in the neighborhood where they’re considering buying a house.  I wonder if some people decide which state to live in by its test score averages.  By the way, my son developed the maps at the above links.

Map of Time Zones

If you ever need a map of time zones, here is a good map that not only gives the different zones but also the time and date in each zone.  It’s especially good for those who are traveling to Hawaii.  It’s been a while since we went to Hawaii with our family after our daughter graduated from high school, but I can remember trying to figure out the time difference.  For example, looking at this map I can see that Hawaii is five hours behind us here in Central Mountain Time.  I’m a visual learner, so it helps me remember to look at an actual map.

April 2: Light It Up Blue – National Autism Awareness Month

Wear “blue”  on April 2 in support of Autism Awareness.

Go to Light it Up Blue for more info.
Teaching children with autism is an awesome experience!  True, it is challenging and sometimes puzzling (thus the “puzzle piece”), but it is so rewarding to work with these precious children.  Being able to connect with them, to encourage their language development and then see them using language on their own in the classroom and at home without any prompting makes me, those I work with, and their parents want to celebrate.  We are so happy at each milestone, no matter how small.

If you have ever been around children with autism, you will probably notice their lack of communication skills and lack of eye contact.  Usually, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect with you.  It just means that you need to learn how to connect with them!  And I fully believe it is worth every effort!

It is estimated that approximately one million U.S. children and teens are affected by autism.   Boys are five times more likely to have autism than girls.   There is a lot of debate about what causes autism, and no one knows for sure.  It is definitely puzzling!  

A few people with autism have shared more than any research has ever revealed.  Temple Grandin has given tremendous insight into autism.  There is a wonderful movie about her life, “Temple Grandin,” which won seven Emmy Awards and gives the viewer a window into the mind of Grandin.  I’ve watched it four times and want to see it again.  Even my husband, our college-age son, and my mother-in-law really liked it.  My husband ranked it as one of the best movies he’s seen.   I highly recommend it!

Also, there is a fairly new book, I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice, which was released October 2011 and gives great insight into a young girl with autism.  Speaking through poetry she has written, Elizabeth has typed her thoughts which were not sharable by audible words.  These valuable insights are a great blessing!

For more information:



In the job market today, it takes thinking out of the box sometimes.  Some people who have degrees are having to go back to school and get training in another field.   There are all types of certifications out there that can aid in getting jobs such as strength and conditioning certification, etc.  For a teacher, getting ESL or Gifted & Talented certification might help in the job market.  If that’s what it takes to get a good job then it’s worth getting the certification.

LCU Online Degrees

If you are looking to expand your knowledge in accounting, finance and human resources then you may wish to consider an Organizational Management Degree Online from Lubbock Christian University (LCU).  You will also increase knowledge and skills in professional communication, social responsibility and ethics, research techniques and much more.  Get your degree online from LCU, a Christian-based university that is fully accredited and well trusted since 1957.

Help for the Struggling Learner

When you’re thinking about Christmas gifts this year, think out-of-the-box. What about giving someone you love a gift that will help them with their struggle to learn. If you have a child in your family who is really struggling, do your research and check out Learning Link Technologies. Read their testimonials and see if you think they could help someone you love. Free tests for dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia are on their site.

Note:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.

Teaching Children With Learning Disabilities: Free Dyslexia & Dyscalculia Tests

As a Special Education teacher starting out teaching in the late seventies, our Resource Room focused on auditory and visual problems that interfered with children’s learning.  These were some of the skills we focused on in our Resource Room:

  • Auditory Memory
  • Auditory Sequencing
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual Sequencing

But after two or three years, there was an emphasis placed on teaching the core subjects of reading, math, writing, and English.   The auditory and visual skills were a small part of those objectives, but not to the extent they once were.

Teachers and parents have utilized activities involving these skills such as listening to a story which requires auditory sequencing (“Brown Bear, Brown Bear”).  And there are memory match-up games (Concentration style) that require visual memory.  But for the child who is deficit in any of the above areas, that may not be enough.  Regular classroom teachers do not have the time to address these deficits in detail, and many home-schooling parents don’t know exactly what to do or what works best.

After teaching in the Resource Room for six years, I became a stay-at-home mom with our first baby, Christi.  I went back to teaching school when she was nearly four, but this time in a first grade classroom.  Through the years, I had children with learning disabilities and wished I had the time to work with them like I did in the Resource Room.  But I didn’t, and so I had to do the best I could.  It takes time and concentrated effect to work on auditory and visual skills.

Talking about auditory and visual skills, I have been given the opportunity to review the online Learning Link Educational Therapy Product which deals with brain retraining, and I am excited to be able to do this.  They deal with the auditory and visual skills that are so often passed over quickly. I have been so overwhelmed with all the work at school, though, that I have not had the time to review their product extensively, but over time I hope to get back to you with more information.  For now, I’ll say that I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Learning Link Technologies offers a free Dyslexia Test and also free Dyscalculia Testing.  You can print these tests and give them to your child if you have concerns about these areas. These tests are absolutely free, there is no commitment, and they can give you insight into your child’s needs. I think that’s too good an offer to pass up!


WordWorld DVD “Get Up and Move” Giveaway

Are you familiar with WordWorld? If not, check it out and see if you agree with me that it is one of the best educational TV shows available for children. There are also WordWorld DVDs available, and I’m giving away their new one, “Get Up and Move,” which encourages children to exercise while also teaching them reading skills in a fun way.

WordWorld was the only show that our grandson would watch when he was a year old. As a teacher who has taught many children how to read in first grade, I immediately fell in love with the characters and the influence I knew they must be having on young children learning their alphabet letters and sounds plus teaching them how to read words.

WordWorld is providing one DVD for giveaway. This contest is open to all U.S. residents. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Please leave a separate comment for each entry:


Visit WordWorld – “Where Words Come Alive” and leave a comment telling me who is your favorite character.


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* WordWorld is supplying a DVD for this giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this article. This is my honest opinion.