Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Handwriting iPhone App from Kate Gladstone

Yes -- the iPhone/iPodTouch application Kate Gladstone has been developing is finally out!
See the informational page (includes download link for
iPhone/iPodTouch users) at .

If you know anyone who has (or whose children have)

/a/ an iPhone or an iPodTouch,
/b/ US$2.99,
/c/ handwriting that could use some help

how about mentioning the app to him or her?

Yours for better letters, Kate Gladstone
Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works
and the World Handwriting Contest
6-B Weis Road, Albany, NY 12208-1942
518/482-6763 -
Twitter --

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book of the Month:

Readings for Fluency
by Gloria Goldsmith
This book is for any student who does not read fluently or with little or no expression, even if the student reads at grade level.
It targets the little words (such as how and who) that tend to be confused. For a student to read fluently, these words must become automatic. This book purposefully uses many types of fonts including a handwriting font and all capitals in order to improve the decoding skills of many students who have difficult identifying letters when the letter looks slightly altered in size or shape from the font they are used to seeing.
To make the learning easier, the readings are in paired sentences. The tutor reads a sentence (often a question) and then the student reads the next.
Set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes. Don't feel obligated to read the entire page. If you can, fine. If you read it twice in fifteen minutes, that's great. You can switch to having the student read the question and you read the answer. Model what you want the student to do: read with enthusiasm and punctuation. The voice drops down on periods and up on questions.
Don't waste learning times by having your student sit and try to sound out a word. Count to two, if necessary, and then give them the word. Be sure to encourage and praise your student when they have accomplished today what they couldn't do yesterday. Give as much help as needed each time. They will learn. Available at at 33% Off.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Don McCabe on Real Talk Radio 1160
Saturday, October 17, 2009 at 10:45, Don McCabe, AVKO’s Research Director, will be on
Kathryn Raaker’s radio show.

You can stream it live on your computer at and at

The topic: Is Dyslexia a Myth? Call-in line: 513.522.2261
Call with your comments or questions!

Some of these stations below may be in your local radio listening area.

Partner Stations
CBSL Corporate
WSNL - Victory 660 AM
Flint/Saginaw, MI
WLCM - Victory 1390 AM
Lansing, MI
WCVX - Victory 1050
Cincinnati, OH
WJMM - 99.1 Life Changing Radio
Lexington, KY
WCGW - 770 Southern Gospel
Lexington, KY
WLRT - Real Talk 1250
Lexington, KY
WJIV - Victory 99.1 & 101.9
Albany/Utica, NY
CBSL Satellite

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sidewalk and Table Top Hopscotch

Sidewalk and Table Top Hopscotch
By Gloria Goldsmith,

Sidewalk Hopscotch is played outdoors and is so much fun, it doesn’t seem like your REALLY working on spelling! Get some chalk and use the driveway or the sidewalk area. (If you live in the country without paving or sidewalk, see Table Top Hopscotch.) Give your student(s) each a piece of chalk and have then draw LARGE boxes in any order they like but they must have both single, double boxes mixed in any order on top of one another. Make it 12 to 16 boxes single and double boxes long. Then give each child a word they will write out correctly (with your help, if needed) filling in all the boxes with different words. When done writing, then take a small rough stone with lots of edges and let them roll it along toward whatever word they want as their target. The word it lands nearest is their word.. They have to hop to the word, pick up the stone, look up at the sky and spell the word aloud. If they spell it correctly they go forward from that word. If they spelled it incorrectly, they have to come back to their last position. The goal is to go to the end and come back first. The winner should get some sort of prize. Maybe a pencil, tootsie roll, but I like a home-made Crown as King or Queen of the Hopscotch! Or course the King or Queen can do a victory dance, making it all the more fun! A nice glass of ice tea or lemonade under a shade tree is a great way for everyone to celebrate and plan their victory dance for the next contest.

Table Top Hopscotch is played in doors for winter games or if you have no sidewalks or paved driveways. It is played the same way except the student draws out the rectangles on a large piece of paper. (Tape two pieces or more together.) Use a small piece of paper wadded into a ball as your stone. And instead of hopping by foot they hop their fingers over the course, slapping their hand over the target word they are to spell. Without peeking they spell the word to you or another player and if they get it right, put a bingo chip or paperclip there to mark it while the next player has his turn. Be sure the winner gets to put on the crown and do a victory dance and everyone gets some sort or celebration.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Review of Don McCabe's, Get Outta Mah Face! Get Offa Mah Case!, by Dr. J. Oatman, Ph.D.

Don McCabe’s, Get Otta Mah Face! Get Offa Mah Case!, provides clear understanding of the importance of language, verbal and body in relationships with others.

Illustrations of positive and negative effects of language and suggestions for assisting family, staff and students to adapt behavior are included. Ideas such as, family and staff training sessions, student role playing and classroom games are detailed.

Emphasis also is given to students’ beliefs about themselves and others which affect personal interactions and practical tools for implementing change are described. Suggestions are given for use in Schools, Business, Family and Correctional Settings.

J. Oatman, Ph.D.,


Tuesday, August 18, 2009's "101 Things to Do This Summer"

Posted by Brian McCabe,



Make a scrapbook of everything you do this summer
The Basics of Scrapbooking


Have a picnic
Planning a Picnic


Learn how to play soccer
How to Play Soccer


Visit another country
Lonely Planet Destination Guides


Go to a ballgame
Major League Baseball Team Schedules


Get a job (parent permission)
Teens 4 Hire


Become a photographer
BetterPhoto for Kids and Teens


Make dinner for your family
Do-It-Yourself Dinner Party Project (PDF)


Compare a book to a movie
Compare and Contrast Essay (PDF)


Write a poem
30 Days of Poetry


Learn about fireworks
How Stuff Works: Fireworks


Bake some cookies
Science of Cookies


Take a boat ride
Boat Safe Kids!


Sketch a picture of your house from the outside
Perspective Drawing


Go to camp
Smart Start to Business


Visit a farm
4-H Virtual Farms


Take a walk and record the sounds
Listening to Nature


Embrace Other Cultures
Culture Quest


Keep a journal of what you do during the Summer
Keepsake Diary


Cut up an old greeting card picture and make a puzzle
(parent help)

How to make your own jigsaw puzzle


Start a band
Make Music! Start a Band


Learn how to make a movie
Digital Movie Making for Kids


Blow up balloons, put notes inside and hand them
out to friends

Message in a Balloon


Go backpacking
The Beginning Backpacker


Learn how to oil paint
Free Art Lessons


Create a web site
Lissa Explains HTML for Kids


Go camping
Go Camping America Kids Pages


Learn how to use Microsoft Office
Free Tutorials for Microsoft Office


Help an elderly person with house or yard work
(parent permission)

20 Great Reasons to Volunteer


Visit the zoo
National Zoo Animal Web cams


Learn a foreign language
Free Online Language Courses


Make an obstacle course in your back yard
How To Set Up An Obstacle Course


Make a treasure hunt
The Ultimate Treasure Hunt


View and learn about Modern Art
Destination Modern Art


Learn about the Animals that live on our planet
A Library of the World’s Animals


Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity
The Internet Consumer Recycling Guide


Explore the Universe
A Learning Center for Young Astronomers


Build a tree house
The Tree House Guide


Create a new world
World Building


Set up a lemonade stand
Lemonade Stand Game


Learn how to make ethnic food
Ethnic Recipes


Attend a concert
Buy tickets


Have family game nights
What Game Should We Play?


Learn about science
Latest Science News


Make a collage from magazine words and pictures


Create a terrarium
How to Make a Terrarium


Learn how to help the environment
Environmental Kids Club


Discover new games to play
Nature Games


Go to a museum
Find a museum in your area


Make a fire plan
Home Fire Safety


Make up bubble solution and have a contest
Casey Carle's "Secret" Bubble Solutions


Find a pen-pal (parent permission)
Pen Pal Directories


Plant something
Gardens for Beginners


Learn about Plants and our Environment


Host a yard sale
How to Plan a Yard Sale


Build a sandcastle
Sandcastle Tools


Donate some of the toys and clothes you no longer use
How To Donate Toys


Research your family tree
Free Genealogy Information


Fly a kite
Professor Kite and the Secret of Kites


Invent your own board game
Design Your Own Board Game


Make your own comic book
Comic Creator


Create a book cover for your writing projects
Book Cover Creator


Act in a play
So You Want to Put On a Play?


Learn to Cook
Introductory Cooking Lessons


Make a bird feeder
Easy birdfeeders for young children


Organize a bike safety clinic
Bicycle Safety Command Center


Spend time with your grandparents
10 Great Activities


Learn how the Internet works
Learn the Net


Dig for fossils
Dinosaur Dig


Write a song
Notes on Songwriting


Tie-dye some t-shirts
How to Tie-Dye


Make your own banana split


Create a themed dinner
Theme Dinner Ideas


Tour the World
Google Earth Style


Throw a pajama party
Make it a success


Learn some new outdoor games
Games Kids Play


Make something from recyclables
Crafts from Recycled Products


See a movie with a friend
In the theatre or on DVD


Make homemade ice cream
Kitchen Theater Science in a Scoop


Build a time capsule
For the entire family


Get a magazine subscription (parent permission)
Magazine Listing


Organize a scavenger hunt
Outdoor Scavenger Hunts


Go swimming
Video Clips of the Swimming Strokes


Paint a portrait of your best friend
Draw Your Friend


Start a collection
How to Start a Collection


Write a fairy tale
Fractured Fairy Tales


Travel in time
Odyssey Online


Stargaze and track the moon phases
Moon information


Learn how to sew
Learn to Sew


Visit a National Park
National Park Service Guide


Rent a video of a ballet
Easy to Read Profiles of the Histories of Ballets


Roast marshmallows
How to Roast a Marshmallow


Watch the birds
Tips on Getting Started with Bird Watching


Arrange a bouquet of flowers
Learn how to make a beautiful display


Learn to blog (parents’ permission)


Re-decorate your room
Decorating Gallery


Learn to play chess
Chess is Fun


Adopt a pet (parent permission)


Keep your brain going
Brain Teasers


Teach someone to use email
How eMail Works


Create your own holiday
A Month With No Holidays? Make Up Your Own!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bind Your Own Books at Home

Posted by Brian McCabe,

Whether you are scrapbooking, self-publishing your child's best-selling work of fiction, doing arts and crafts, or creating a portfolio of writings, there are many reasons why you may want to bind your own book at home. AVKO recommends daily writing; creating a book that contains all of these writings, in chronological order, can easily show the progress that your student has made in writing over the course of a lifetime.
has ready-to-go packages for you to use to make your own books at home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AVKO Philosophy

Posted by Brian McCabe,

Read all about the philosophy behind AVKO's methods and curriculum materials on the AVKO Philosophy page of the website.

  • what AVKO believes about dyslexia testing.
  • what AVKO believes about teaching reading and spelling.
  • what AVKO believes are the most important factors for teaching students reading and spelling.
  • what AVKO believes about studying.
  • how AVKO teaches handwriting.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Become an Institutional Member Today

Posted by Brian McCabe,

AVKO has recently revamped Institutional Membership, increasing the resources offered as well as the discount. Everyone can become an Institutional Member, not just schools, non-profits, tutoring centers, etc. and can reap the benefits.

The newest e-books are available for free download with Institutional Membership, including the Word Family Supplements 1-7 (that correspond to each of the levels of Sequential Spelling) and the Spelling Remediation Test Kit (which has 17 pre-tests, diagnostic tests, and prescriptive tests for remediation and evaluation of spelling and reading level). Additionally, Institutional Members have read-only access to all of the other AVKO materials (excluding Sequential Spelling and Engaging Language Kits). They can read and use the entire books of the other AVKO supplemental and reference materials from the internet, but cannot download or print them.

Benefits of AVKO Institutional Membership

Institutional Membership is open to individuals as well as tutoring centers, schools, learning centers, homeschool resource centers, etc.

  • Access to all of the benefits of AVKO's Individual Membership (see below)
  • 25% discount off all materials ordered
  • Read-only access to ALL AVKO curriculum materials (except for Sequential Spelling and Engaging Language Kits)
  • Access to AVKO's newest e-books:
    • Word Family Supplements 1-7 for Sequential Spelling
    • Spelling Remediation Test Kit
If you are currently an individual member, you may upgrade your membership to an Institutional Membership for only $50 from now until the end of August. E-mail or call AVKO at 810.686.9283 or toll-free at 1-866-285-6612 to do this.

Learn more about membership here

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Teaching Aid Freebies on

Posted by Brian McCabe,

AVKO is proud to share with you a few new teaching aid freebies for the teaching of reading and spelling, or for your reference in the classroom, homeschool, or resource/reference room.

Newest Freebies:

Monday, July 27, 2009

New AVKO Resource: Sequential Spelling Word Family Supplement E-books

Posted by Brian McCabe,

AVKO is proud to announce that we have launched a new e-book resource series called Sequential Spelling Word Family Supplements. These invaluable e-books correspond to each of the Sequential Spelling levels and contain the pages from The Patterns of English Spelling: Combined with Word Families in Sentence Context for ALL of the major word families presented. This means that you can quickly turn to see all of the other words in a particular word family being tested, as well as have a bank of contextual sentences for the most common words. These can be used for dictation exercises, vocabulary building, choral reading, reading practice, handwriting practice, keyboarding practice, and more! These e-books are available for $7.50 apiece on

Friday, July 24, 2009

New AVKO Resource for Testing Spelling and Reading Levels

Posted by Brian McCabe,

AVKO has introduced a new e-book resource: a collection of diagnostic, prescriptive, and pre-tests for spelling and reading. This collection of 17 tests written by Don McCabe will allow you to quickly determine which spelling patterns your students need to learn, where they should be placed in Sequential Spelling (or another spelling program), and how to best remediate their spelling. This collection will also give you all of the information you need to quickly create your own spelling program. These tests can also be used for ESL instruction, special education, creating an IEP, and many other things!

This is available for purchase from AVKO for only $5.00 from the Scribd website. You can see all of AVKO's documents on Scribd here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Become an AVKO Commissioned Salesperson -- Now Even Easier

Posted by Brian McCabe,

AVKO has a commissioned sales program where you can earn 10% for each and every sale that you refer to us. We have now made it even easier for you to earn money: All you have to do is enroll as an AVKO commissioned salesperson ("associate") and then when people click on the link that you send them or that you have posted on your blog, e-mail signature, website, etc. and purchase something from us, you earn 10%. You can even log in and track your earnings.

For more information and tips on how to earn more money, see the sales section of our website; also visit the Retailer Resources section of the website for advertising and product graphics, ISBNs and SKUs, and more. Remember that you can also earn bonuses for getting new schools and bookstores to carry or purchase AVKO materials. Also, do not hesitate to contact Brian at for more information.

Engaging Language Kit by Brian McCabe Sample on Scribd

Posted by Brian McCabe,

Learn more about AVKO's Engaging Language Kits by Brian McCabe. Check out this sample of the various language arts activities that your students will have fun -- and learn -- with below.

381 Sample