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Freedom Scientific Learning Systems Group Presents
The WYNNing Word
February 2007
Happy Valentines Day!


WYNN Produces a Closed Circuit of Information for a Struggling Student to Achieve Success

Samantha sitting at her computer

Meet Samantha, a 14-year-old teenager, who is meeting her educational challenges with the help of WYNN.

"Samantha is an incredibly vivacious and remarkable teenager!" says Elaine Huot, the language specialist who has worked with Samantha for seven years.

Elaine says to understand what remarkable progress Samantha has achieved, we should know her history.

Samantha was born premature at 36 weeks and at four hours old, required emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine.  At only four months of age, Samantha suffered from cardiomyopathy, a heart condition, and needed an emergency heart transplant. 

The critical conditions and essential surgeries that she underwent before her first birthday have had an immense impact on her cognitive and physical growth.

Samantha entered school with significant gaps in her early learning as a result of her physical development challenges. Due to her delay in developing fine motor, visual, and language skills, Samantha received intense therapy for visual motor integration and years of speech therapy. To this day, her schedule is busy.  She attends a full day of school followed by after-school speech therapy, occupational therapy, and one-on-one language training with Elaine.

Several factors contribute to Samantha's struggle with language development.  First, she has difficulty with receptive language and perceptual reasoning. Her test scores in 2005 indicated a below average score in vocabulary, word reasoning, letter-number sequence, coding, and symbol searching.  Secondly, with weaknesses in long-term memory and thought processing speed, her ability to read fluently and retain main ideas with supporting details is very limited. By 7th grade, Samantha needed to decode multi-syllable words in all core subjects.  Reading assignments in all subject areas became extremely difficult.  Answering comprehension questions was an enormous frustration.  She needed tools that would help facilitate learning and aid in the expression of ideas. Tools that would support her strengths of immediate recall, verbal presentation, and visual learning were essential for success. 

Elaine says, "In the seven years I have worked with her, we have focused upon a multi-sensory learning approach with a heavy emphasis on the visual and kinesthetic input of information.  Sammy loves singing, rhymes, and artwork. Whenever possible I taught her language and math concepts using these modes of presentation. As the reading content in her core subjects became more complex, I needed to find other sources of assistance for Sammy.  I introduced Sammy to WYNN, and it has made all the difference in her academic progress."

Elaine cited examples of how Sammy's use of WYNN allows her to read and comprehend written handouts in science and social studies and to enjoy literature:

Image Green Reading Styles Tool Bar

  • Using WYNN's green Reading Styles toolbar, Samantha can replay the content information at her own pace.  
  • Customizing WYNN's reading and writing environment to meet Samantha's needs has helped immensely with her comprehension of grade level texts and her written assignments.
  • The Dictionary feature enables her to look up word meanings instantly without losing her place in the text. 

Image Pink Reading Tool Bar

  • Using Wizard's scanning function, Sammy is actively accessing a text-only presentation of information that is supported aurally.   
  • Samantha is able to cut and paste text into lists for studying and to help her construct logical detailed responses for her daily assignments.
  • The use of the "Word Predict" tool has made the writing process smoother, relieving some of the frustrations of the mechanics of writing.

Image Yellow Writing Tool Bar

"Using WYNN has lead to more time on task and completion of tasks using correct vocabulary choices and higher level sentence structures," explains Elaine.   She further elaborates, "Although Sammy can not read independently at grade level, WYNN helps her develop better receptive language skills by reading  passages to her.  This enables her to understand the textbook concepts and vocabulary when she returns to the classroom. For a student who has struggled with writing complete sentences, the ease with which she can now compose, check, and edit her work by using WYNN's Read feature has been both a relief and a tremendous support for her. And imagine,  this multi-sensory support for her learning new material or procedures is completed independently of a tutor, teacher, or parental help!"

Image of SamanthaSamantha's comments say it all," I like using WYNN with Elaine because it helps me spell, and I can hear the words that I wrote so I can correct my mistakes right away.  Because I need another operation, I will miss six weeks of school in March and April.  I can use WYNN to catch up on all the work they are doing in class.  I can get the handouts and have WYNN read them to me and look up words in the dictionary that I don' t know.  I know using WYNN will help me get through this school year and I will do great."

I am sure that all our readers join in wishing Samantha the very best.  With her strong motivation and wonderful spirit, Samantha will achieve her educational goals. Good Luck Samantha!

We thank Elaine Huot for sharing Samantha's story with us. Their work together is an inspiration to us all. 


Image of an eye Keep an Eye on the News

Congress saves E2T2, hikes '07 funding. Budget deal will boost education spending by $1.17 billion–while funding key educational technology programs at 2006 levels.
To learn more about the funding, please go to eSchoolNews.com.

Bush to Congress: Renew NCLB this year
President calls for measures to strengthen math and science and to expand options for parents.
To read more about this story, please go to eSchoolNews.com.



Tip of the Month:

Closed Circuit of Information

Elaine and Samantha are working together to create a closed circuit of information that will enable Samantha to transfer files between home, school, and tutoring sessions. Elaine explains that this is essential for most of her students who struggle with the "paper" issue each day; for example: "Oops, I forgot the handout,"  or  "I thought I put it in my binder or locker,"  or  " I can't find my rough draft, edited copy, final copy,"  and so on....

How do they accomplish this task? Here are some of Elaine's suggestions:

Image of thumb drive

Thumb Drives: These are sometimes called USB Flash Drives or Memory Sticks

Email attachments

MP3 Players: For instructions to use MP3 players with WYNN, see the attachment, Learn on the Go!

Web browsing: Using the Web is another way to bring subject matter home. To see a summary of our new Web features in WYNN 5.1, please visit our Freedom Scientific Web site.

Upper left corner of  the LSG Web page using WYNN's Web browser

Elaine suggests that students read and reread passages within WYNN in order to build fluency in reading grade level text. She also recommends that the student leave the File List sidebar open while using the yellow Writing toolbar.  This allows easy movement between the original document and the student's document.  This will help ensure correct transition of information between documents.

From experience with her own students, Elaine recommends the use of WYNN's short cut keys.  She stresses that, for some of her students, this feature helps them to manage the program more efficiently.  If you would like a copy of WYNN's short cut key list, please e-mail WYNNing Word.


Want to view past issues of WYNNing Word? Please go to Archives of WYNNing Word Articles.

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About Freedom Scientific LSG:

Freedom Scientific, Learning Systems Group, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, provides products that are acclaimed for their easy-to-use interface, innovative technology, and flexible but powerful features. Designed by educational experts to enhance the learning process for struggling students, WYNN provides reading and writing solutions. Freedom Scientific LSG also created TestTalker, which provides test-taking preparations and worksheet completion. To find out more about our products, please visit us at www.freedomscientific.com/lsg.


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For more information, call 1-800-444-4443 or e-mail wynn at freedomscientific.com.

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