Category Archives: Teacher Blogs

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. Albert Einstein

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”  Albert Einstein

November 2011 62nd Annual IDA Conference

62nd Annual IDA Conference
Reading, Literacy & Learning

Hilton Chicago

720 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60605
USAHilton Chicago

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 – Saturday, November 12, 2011

IDA’s Annual international Conference
is attended by some 2,000 teachers, educators, administrators, reading
specialists, faculty, psychologists, physicians, tutors, parents and
individuals from all around the world. This is the premier conference
dedicated to educating individuals and professionals alike on all
aspects related to reading, literacy and learning.

By Stacy Poulos 

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

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SF Macworld 2011 January 27-29 San Francisco Moscone Center.

This is the time of year I love; MacWorld “Expo” Stats: January 27-29 San Francisco Moscone Center.

will be searching for the latest and greatest in Apps technology and
how it can apply to Dyslexia.TV and other applications. We already are working on an App, but
this is a rare opportunity to rub elbows with the developers themselves
since MacWorld is also focusing
on Apps. The fact Apple was not there last year allowed people to focus
on what goes in and on a Mac. You can go to a Mac Store 7 days a week and learn about Apple.
Not to mention they usually have a lot of things deeply discounted. Last
year I got a $150.00 Sennheiser headphones for $75.00! Programs are
usually at a steal. It’s not to be missed. Sometimes you can even win
one. You will learn a great deal. Instead of looking at a box wondering
if it’s something you want, there might be 3 versions by the time you
get from one end of the room to the next. You get to see it, feel it, and
ask questions. They even have set up living rooms where you can sit in
and listen to stereo systems you might want to buy. Stand by tomorrow I
might be getting a promotional code for “Dr. Bott” a company that sells
many of the cool products you want.

Macworld 2011 is a four day
celebration that entertains and educates. Macworld offers access to
hundreds of Apple related products and services. You will discover cool
software, hardware and accessories to use with your favorite Apple

You will also find expert advice, demonstrations and
instruction by the very people that develop these products. Macworld
conference programs feature industry leading minds, presenting cutting
edge product training on the topics you most want to learn.

Exhibitor List: See you there.

    Since I’m a Media Professional and an Educator, I was Also I was sent an announcement about: Apps for children with special needs are showcased at the Macworld 2011 Mobile Apps showcase.

    With its 1001 ways to improve the life of any human being, the use of the iPad has also been a hot topic in the disability community. It is the combination of superb touch screen devices with the scientific knowledge and experience from a speech therapist that is making the difference for thousands of children and adults with special needs around the world. Barbara Fernandes, a speech pathologist and CEO of Smarty Ears has been developing applications for Apple devices for over one year to help children and adults with a variety of speech and language disorders to improve their communication skills and consequently their quality of life.
    Smarty Ears will be showcasing their most recent releases at the Macworld Expo 2011 in San Francisco. Macworld 2011 is “a four day celebration that entertains and educates. Macworld offers access to hundreds of Apple related products and services.” Source:
    This year parents of children with a communication disorder such as stuttering, difficulty pronouncing words, or children that cannot communicate due to Autism or Apraxia of speech will have a chance to try out Smarty Ears apps at the Mobile Apps Showcase at the Macworld 2011. Smarty Ears wants to share with the parents and professionals that already use apple devices how this technology can help children with their communication skills.
 Smarty Ears will be showcasing their newest app releases. “Articulate it!” is a application designed to help parents practice pronouncing sounds with their children. Many children with articulation disorders have difficulty pronouncing specific sounds. This application gives parents a fun way for in-home pronunciation practice.
     Match2Say is a game also designed for children with difficulty pronouncing their sounds in the English language. Match2Say is a game that allows children to have fun while listening to high quality samples of specific sounds while learning at the same time.
    Many children with developmental disorders, such as Autism or Down’s syndrome have difficulty speaking using their own voice. Smarty Ears created an application
    called “Expressive”. With Expressive, children who may have never expressed themselves have a chance to combine pictures that will speak for them.
    At US$34.99 Expressive is one of the most affordable apps on the market and it costs a fraction of the devices it rivals, which typically cost anywhere between US$800 and US$4000.
    Smarty Ears, a company created in August of 2009 has been the new breakthrough in the area of speech and language therapy. They have released innovative products that combine technology and speech and language sciences, making speech therapy more affordable, fun, and greener. Smarty Ears has already released 15 products on the app Store as of January 2011 and it is expected to release at least 5 new products this spring.
    For more information about Smarty Ears visit You can also contact them at

Peace, Stacy Poulos

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

Macworld Conference & Expo January 27 to 29, 2011

Macworld Conference & Expo January 27-29  2011
San Francisco CA Moscone Center

If it wasn’t for Macintosh, I wouldn’t be on a computer. If you’re on the fence about Mac get off it and come over to the bright side of computing experience.

Macintosh is naturally ‘dyslexic friendly’. Maybe that’s because
Steve Jobs the developer is dyslexic himself. I always rave about
Apple with good reason. It’s simple, logical, and easy to use, and it
gets better every year!

Last year we found many products that enhance
the dyslexic user. Go to MacWorld Expo and see all the vendors. IDG
puts on a great show. The Expo starts in January this year.

Exhibitors 2011

I never pass up the opportunity to talk to the actual people who develop the programs I use, or might use. See you there. Is it January yet?

By Stacy Poulos

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

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Teachers, It Takes a Village of Readers Award, A Multisensory, Structured Language Training Program

Teachers; It Takes a Village of Readers Award – A multisensory, structured language training program

Ultimately someday my goal is to have reading programs specific for dyslexic’s. Not me necessarily but have FreeThinkers University fund grants to help others have them.

Today Forest Park Review reported “Garfield was recently named the winner of the “It Takes a Village of Readers Award” by the Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The award is handed out annually to only one school in the state that provides an “exemplary program for children struggling with learning to read.” By Katie Drews Editor

See article:

The reading program is called “SLANT”. The SLANT System for Structured Language Training® is a research-based, multisensory, structured language training program combining professional development for teachers and systematic curriculum materials for students. I’m always attracted to the multisensory side of teaching. Teachers can see more information about the program on the SLANT site. I would love comments on your helpful discoveries for other teachers to benefit from this if it works. Or if Slant would like to elaborate about the program.

Download your free SLANT System Short Vowel Bookmark!

By Stacy Poulos

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

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Hey it’s The Fonz saying it’s cool to read, Henry Winkler endorses Smart kids with LD books.

Hey it’s The Fonz saying it’s cool to read,  Henry Winkler endorses Smart kids with LD  books.

“It does not matter how you learn… You have greatness in you. Your job is to figure out what your gift is and give it to the world.”  – Henry Winkler Actor, director, producer, author, Honorary Chairman, Smart Kids with LD

It’s not news Henry Winkler’s dyslexic, he’s been an advocate for dyslexia for a long time. Today I came across this website where he endorses ‘Smart kids with LD’. Till the end of the month, they are having a read-a-thon. He suggest reading some of the books below.

Recommended books for:

Elementary School

Middle School

High School


By Stacy Poulos

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

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Dyslexic Teen, Jessica Watson is now the Youngest to Sail Around the World. She Lands in Front of the Sydney Opera House, Designed by a Dyslexic

After nearly seven months on her own, sailing around the world in the deep blue sea, days away from her finish line, Jessica Watson contemplates her “two more sleeps till the finish line!” (An Australian phrase). She’s thinking about a hot shower, fresh food and everything else! She’s more excited than if it were Christmas. 

“I think it’s going to take a fair bit longer than that for the whole ‘I’ve just sailed around the world’ thing to sink in. It’s just too big to get my head around!”  Jessica wrote on her blog. 

Although this 16-year-old says she enjoyed being away from her “annoying” brother, she also misses him. And of course her Mum and Dad. Ella’s Pink Lady, a 30 foot yacht, assisted her round-the-world trip, but not with out reminding her the dangers of such a journey. [See previous article]

Saturday, May 15, 2010 Jessica Watson sailed into Australia’s Sydney Harbor, past thousands of boats awaiting her arrival. Thousands of people lined up along the harbor, inspired by her young and unwavering bravery. From a sea of ocean and fish to a sea of people, everyone gave her a hero’s welcome. I wish I could have been there.

When you look at her journey on a map, the GPS path resembles an spike in a heart beat monitor. The sea can be unforgiving but graced Jessica with the right of passage. It was an uplifting passage to all, especially herself, and a boost for those who followed her journey. The beginning of her journey started when she didn’t feel she had a lot going for her because of her dyslexia. Her mother read her a book “The Lion’s Heart” that sparked her determination to be the next youngest to sail around the world solo. Although there is not an official ‘world record’ kept anymore (because it is to dangerous to challenge), it was about the journey. The outer journey and the inner journey.  Jesse Martin did it when he was 18, and now Jessica Watson has at 16. As everyone looks to Jessica and cheers her on, I look behind her, and the fact she rode in and was welcomed in front the most famous masterpiece in Australia, “The Sydney Opera House” designed by Jørn Utzon, also dyslexic.

By Stacy Poulos

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

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One Tough Cookie: The Journey of a Dyslexic 16 year old, Jessica Watson, Sails Around the World

It’s not often, not often at all, when a fellow dyslexic (or anyone for that manner) gives me the chills when I hear about their journey. Or that it stays in my head throughout the day, constantly thinking, “Wow!!” But this journey isn’t one I would recommend, even for a seasoned adult.  It is one that would wrap up a lifetime of searching for answers in one good day, and certainly force you to grow up in one big wave. This is the journey of sixteen-year-old Jessica Watson.  Right now, she is somewhere Down Under in the deep blue ocean on her last stretch towards home of her six month journey around the world. She started out on October 17, 2009, determined to beat the record of Jesse Martin, the youngest to sail around the world unassisted. Monday, April 19, 2010 marked the sixth month into her journey of over 20,000 miles. 

She sails on a sponsored boat she named “Ella’s Pink Lady.” Another sponsor, Panasonic, is allowing her to video tape her journey and SatCom which allows her to communicate it back home via satellite. In the meantime, she has been journaling her experience almost bi weekly through blogging photos and stories to her website , and videos on Youtube , tweets on twitter , etc.

If the thought of this journey doesn’t give you white knuckles and make you want to hold your breath thinking about it, get this: Before she started her journey on a 10-day test run, she was broadsided by a huge 63,000 ton cargo vessel, the Silver Yang. The ship ripped her sail and broke her mast like a toothpick, sending it crashing down in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, ALONE! 

Imagine. It’s not as if you can turn on the porch light, look out to a lit street and identify the Mac Truck that hit your house and call for help.  You’re alone, you’re asleep, you’re 16, (maybe a little crazy), you’re in the middle of the ocean on a small boat, it’s 2:30 in the morning and suddenly you get hit by something of which you’re not sure of yet. You look out your porthole thinking, “What the heck!!” ‘Cause whatever it is, it’s so big you can’t see both ends to identify it. If you had the chance to yell at whoever hit you, they’re steering the boat from half a football field away and can’t hear you. When the cargo ship hit her, they didn’t even bother to stop, leaving her in the dust to survive on her own. 

Did I mention that she is 16?

The journey alone has been an inspiration but not without mixed reviews. Many think the parents are crazy for letting her go in the first place.  Many might sit alone on their boat after an encounter like that and think it’s a sign from God not to go on.

Or if you’re one tough cookie like Jessica Watson, you would be empowered by surviving such an encounter. An encounter with a 63,000 ton cargo vessel, an encounter with an ignorant public, or an encounter with a school system that doesn’t understand how to teach a multi-dimensional Freethinker, a Lion heart and spirit. 

What ails this teenager to take such a daring journey? Inspiration came from the book The 

Lionsheart about Jesse Martin’s journey and, (in the back of her mind), a bit of 

frustration with her thoughts of her future with dyslexia. Jessica Watson didn’t just 

wake up one day after being inspired by the book; she was already an avid sailor 

for years. Since she started, there has been a lot of media coverage about the ride 

and a lot of ignorance from the public. Like one idea, “How can she write when she 

has dyslexia?”

 Oh, you mean like how dyslexic authors Hans Christian Anderson, 

Agatha Christie, Earnest Hemingway, Steven Cannell, Fannie Flagg, Patricia Polacco, 

Debbie Macomber, Andrew Dornenburg, William Butler Yeats, Stacy Poulos, and 

author Mark Twain (just to name a few who managed to write books). For me, she is an 

inspiration. She reminds me of my youth, of not understanding my dyslexia yet being 

determined to follow my heart. 


 As I know, she (and others) wonder about her dyslexia and what future she might 

have. She was even quoted as saying, “I didn’t have anything going for me.” I can

understand the reason why one might feel this way. What she doesn’t realize now

(but hope she will in her last stretch home) is that she sails in the spirit of so many who 

have shared her frustration and succeeded. She is surrounded by them. 

A few more dyslexic names that came to mind when reading about 

this journey are explorers:  Inventor William Lear, inventors Orville & Wilbur 

Wright, aviator Charles Lindbergh, 19-year-old playwright Danielle Mullen, 

Arctic explorer Ann Bancroft and astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr.  She 

also has dyslexic neighbors: Managing Director of Parle Foods Australia, Anthony 

Parle (supplier of McDonalds Pickles), and singer, songwriter, and activist John Lennon. 

Oh, and the most famous building masterpiece in Australia which she is pictured sailing in front of. The Sydney Opera House was designed by Jørn Utzon, also dyslexic. 

These are your colleagues, Jessica Watson. You have a greater

 future than you could ever imagine.. starting with your motivation and sense of adventure. 

Harness your assets, and you have more than you know. 


 Go Jessica Watson, God Bless your journey.  

 Please join my FreeThinkers University, it would be my honor! You are an example of why 

 I am so passionate about producing Dyslexia TV and FreeThinkers University.

150 Famous dyslexics [] 

PS Jessica I need a "Notable Quote"

See Video Ten News - April 15th

By Stacy Poulos 

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

Jessicas Blog:

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dys.lex.i.a Defined by FreeThinkers University

the umbrella slang word for public’s inability to understand the complex and extraordinary thought process of
‘Multi-dimensional FreeThinking”.

-By Stacy Poulos
-FreeThinkers University

Get this definition on different products…

Dyslexia definition Jr. Jersey T-ShirtDyslexia definition Large Mug Dyslexia definition Magnet

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

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Dyslexia is Running Around Dis logic Without A Reference Point Recent Brain Research

One thing that bothered me as a child AND as a adult is how you are
constantly tested for dyslexia or really just a grade level. I found
the test in school just made me feel more insecure and humiliated.
You take them often, I think like every quarter? And it’s the same
one from elementary school, to Jr. High, to High school and believe
it or not… College! I felt they just wanted to always know, what
‘skills’ level I was at all times. After stepping away and hiding out
from the ‘Learning Assistance’ people, I was caught and forced to
take the test again if I wanted to continue on to a 4 year
University. At the time, being removed from that part of the system
for so long, I thought maybe things changed, heck, I’m in “College”
they have to have something better now? So I went through the
humiliating process again. After all was said and done, I thought
they would have a better sense of that “I see like this or that” or
I don’t understand certain concepts about reading or something
important. But no, what I got was what they were always looking for
from the day I flunked the second grade… a grade level. My reading
level, comprehension, etc. is so many grade levels below what it
should. I guess the only benefit at the end of the rainbow is with my
renewed certification of having a ‘Learning Disability’, that I got
more time on test, books on tape, and tutoring if I needed it. So I
don’t have a lot of respect for the process because they do not
address how we think or change how they teach. When I do come across
information I believe understands the process, I report it.

In the article ‘Freaky news about your brain may change your mind’ Elizabeth Landau suggests …”New research in the
journal Current Biology suggests that, in fact, people do tend to
walk in circles if they do not have a reference point such as the

….In one experiment, participants were taken to the Sahara Desert
and given the direction of camp, then left to wander for four hours.
In a second scenario, participants were dropped in a forest in
Germany, also given a direction, and walked for four hours…

….”Walking in a straight line is a complicated process when you
think about it from the perspective of the brain,” said Jan Souman,
researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in

…..Their hypothesis is that, the longer people walk, their errors in
relation to a straight line build up by chance to the left or right.
This may result in a zigzag pattern. Over time, the tendencies to the
left or right may take the person in a circle.” …

….The lesson from this study is that, if you want to walk straight,
use a landmark such as a tower, mountain, or the sun to update your
direction, Souman said. If it’s life-threatening that you get to your
destination, bring a compass or a GPS. …”

The lesson for the teachers is that in processing language is the
same concept. Young Dyslexic students are not going to accept that a
‘b,d, p, and q’ are different letters. It is one letter orientated 4
different ways, that means something different in each orientation.
How crazy is this teachers and parents? Why don’t we just accept it
and move onto the next letter? Because we don’t get the dis-logic
about using the same letter and we are stuck on it. We visualize what
we think and the logic behind it. When you help us visualize it, we
get it. Then we can move on. When it comes to some of the basics like
‘b,d, p, and q’ tell us when we are stuck that the reversed
orientation of a ‘b, is a ‘d’.

You may have answered the logic why
they see the ‘b’ in the ‘d’ the perspective issue but you still
didn’t completely appeal to our ‘logic’. Anyway you slice it, it’s a
gift to think three-dimensionally but not when you’re reading one
dimensional text stuck on a page. We are sensory learners. In this
article they talk about sound and smell as well. She says “… a
treatment for tone deafness might also help people with speech
disorders such as dyslexia, she said. There has been evidence that
people with dyslexia have same auditory processing problems as people
with tone deafness, she said. Her lab showed last year that children
with musical training performed better on dyslexia tests….


How do you help students visualize non visual words? Like the word
‘the’ I don’t know? you have to be inventive and creative. “The Gift
Of Dyslexia” By Ron Davis suggests using clay, here they illustrated
‘the’. It shows the students ‘the’ is a ‘pointing and connection
word’ that bridges the the gap and becomes logical.

Interesting Read full Story ‘Freaky news about your brain may change your mind’ by Elizabeth Landau:

By Stacy Poulos

Dyslexia TV & FreeThinkers University

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