Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bonnie Terry Learning Review

Bonnie Terry has used her 30 years teaching experience to create materials that work with children with special needs, dyslexia, reading problems, math problems, and much more. She has many different products to meet these needs. I was fortunate to review her Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills and Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills.

Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills was created to help with fluency, comprehension, visual closure, and visual tracking through 45 phonics drills. This book was so easy to read and start using right away. All materials are provided, including a sheet protector and dry erase marker which will keep your book like new and able to be used over and over.

At the beginning of every drill, a specific phonic sound is introduced. Then an oral pre-read is done for the child to practice. Then a one minute timed oral read is done where the parent keeps track of the errors and words read per minute. The student charts his own results, which creates motivation. My son loved doing this. He got excited when he was able to beat a previous score or lower the number of errors he made on a previous drill.

The drills build on each other so there is continual review. They are also set up so that the first couple of sets of words on the page are spaced farther apart than normal to help with visual perception. I noticed that when my son got to the bottom sets, which were closer together, he could read much quicker than usual. It was definitely helping him to read with better fluency.

These drills can be repeated with a child from year to year by just changing the words-per-minute goal. This program also fits in with any reading program you may be using. I was a little worried about that before I received the materials. Because my son is dyslexic, I have a very specific program I use with him and didn't want to have to put it aside for a while. I was very pleasantly surprised how easy this was to use and it complemented everything he has learned. We were able to continue our regular reading program and then just add this for five minutes at the end.

These drills really do only take five minutes to do and my son has really enjoyed using this. He actually cheered today when I pulled it out. He has yet to complain about using this and he doesn't usually like when I add "extra" stuff to our regular day. This is one we will be sure to continue and look forward to the results!
This program is $60 for everything (teacher and student books).
CLICK HERE to learn more.

Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills is exactly that! In just ten minutes a day, your child can learn to take notes and better prepare himself for studying and test taking. Note taking is an important life skill that all children need to learn. It will help them to organize material for better storage and retrieval when needed.

This book can be used from 3rd grade through high school covering story organizers and book reports to research papers and business letters. It is very simple to use and well organized so that you can move around in the book very easily to find what you need. It also works very well right along side the Five Minutes to Better Reading. When the child is done reading a short selection after the drill, one of these forms can be used to take notes.

It is divided into four parts:
1. Getting Started- this describes what you need, how to organize the program, and charts to assist in this.
2. Nitty Gritty- an overview of the different forms and the various ways to use them. The forms included in the book are simple and easy to follow visually.
3. Study and Writing Tips- Tips for studying, note taking, test taking, and paragraph and essay writing. The first several lists of tips are things that may seem like common sense to us adults, but not to students. In fact, as I read through them, I could easily seem many of them being overlooked by an adult because we would think the child would realize to do them. I thought this was an important section to include.
4. Easy Reference- This part contains great reference materials that would be a huge help to students when writing. Included are spelling patterns, capitalization and punctuation rules, grammar, parts of speech, and even how to write a bibliography.

My son hates to write so I modified this program (which is suggested in the manual) by having him dictate his responses to me and I wrote them down for him. I hope to work him up to writing a few of the responses for himself.

This book will be very effective in teaching your child how to study, take tests, and take notes in different formats and create well written papers from them.

The price of the book is $37.00.
CLICK HERE to learn more.

Go to Bonnie Terry Learning to find out about her other books, games, and learning tools.

Heidi Miller-Ford

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