The Magnifying Glass - A newsletter June, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 2 WHAT'S NEW? The first half of the year has been busy busy busy! Here is what we h

Focus Foundation1

The Magnifying Glass - A newsletter

June, 2011
Volume 1, Issue 2


The first half of the year has been busy busy busy! Here is what we have been up to:

January and February marked the beginning of our new Robot study we are conducting in collaboration with AnthroTronix. The study focused on social cognition and put three different kinds of robots to the test. We were able to gather pilot data on some of our young volunteers in hopes of learning more about communication and social cognition. Our data was presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) and was well received.

April held our first ever Atypical Learner Conference. We were joined by parents and individuals from all over the country right here in Annapolis. The guru of children’s special education rights, Pete Wright of Wrightslaw Education, joined us for a 5 hour seminar on how to get the IEP you need. Carol Stock Kranowitz, author of The Out-of-Sync Child books also joined us as well as several other specialists. Dr. Samango-Sprouse and Dr. Paduch presented on the long term issues of children with X and Y chromosomal variations. Presentations will be available via the web site before the summer is over.
We still have conference materials for sale if you were unable to make it and are interested in purchasing some materials please contact

May was a very successful X & Y Chromosomal Variation Awareness Month. So far we received proclamations from D.C., Maryland, Connecticut and Oregon. We discussed some of our efforts on NBC News 4 locally in DC with Barbara Harrison (Almost 95 Percent of Reading Disorders Aren't Properly Addressed). We also completed our new PSA with lots of help from some of our greatest supporters, you can view it by clicking HERE.


We have two fundraisers being held in The Next Week!.

June 20th – The Focus Foundation will be in NYC for some “Friend and Fun-Raising” to spread the word about all the work we have been involved in lately.

June 22nd – A Midsummer Golf Outing hosted by The Scandinavian – American Business Forum will take place at Paxon Hollow Country Club in Philadelphia. Proceeds will benefit The Focus Foundation along with several other organizations. To get involved or register please visit their site:

July 27 - 29 – Eighth Annual 49ers Conference in Annapolis MD. For more information or to register please visit : The Focus Foundation

September 10 - Chesapeake Walk for The Focus Foundation This walk will be held locally in Kinder Farm Park. Details are coming soon and we would love to have you join in raising funds and fun for all our kids out there!

September 22-24 – Third Annual Xceptional 48 Conference Stay tuned for more information!



You can support The Focus Foundation, just by searching online!
Just download the GoodSearch – Focus Foundation (Davidsonville MD) toolbar here.
use for your internet searches (be sure to select The Focus Foundation as the charity you search for).

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

Each time you search the web with GoodSearch’s Yahoo-powered search engine, about a penny will go towards The Focus Foundation. Also, every time you shop online at the 2,000 participating stores including Amazon, eBay, Target, Apple, Staples, Expedia, etc., a percentage of your purchase will be donated for free!

All this money can really add up, the ASPCA has already earned more than $30,000! Please tell your friends about the GoodSearch toolbar today. They’ve been featured in the NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Oprah Magazine and many more.



The NDC has a speech pathologist that does weekly evaluations and therapy sessions. Tess Dixon is our PROMPT certified speech pathologists and has been working with Dr. Samango-Sprouse’s patients over the past year. This has been a great addition to our ever growing staff! If you are interested for more information regarding evaluations and treatment, give us a call at (410) 721-2273 ext. 8957


Fun iPad Apps for Math and Memory

School is out and summer is here and we all know the old saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” So we’ve compiled a list of a few fun games for the kids to play so they can keep those wonderful brains active. Check out the math, memory and reading applications below!


Math Magic

Math Magic makes learning addition, subtraction, multiplication and division into a game that your child will love to play. With a colorful display, simple controls and encouragement for every answer, this app will help your child improve their math skills and have fun doing it. Customize the settings for any age and level of ability.

KidCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun

KidCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun uses exciting flashcards and engaging puzzle games to teach 7 different math skills, from number recognition and counting to multiplication and division. It’s a great app for kids from pre-school to elementary school, and has fun themes for seasons, holidays and more to keep every child interested.

Math Bingo

This app turns math into a bingo game! Answer addition, subtraction, multiplication and division questions to fill up your bingo board. Create your own avatar and save your personal high scores to collect rewards.

Memory Apps

Cloud Tap

Cloud Tap is a fun, simple game that can be played by any age. Memorize the numbers on the clouds, and then tap them in the correct order. More clouds are added as you progress to challenge your memory. Compete to get the highest score or beat your personal best.

Animal Memory Match

Play Animal Memory Match to improve visual memory! With 3 levels and brightly colored pictures, this app is great for kids of all ages and is fun and easy to use.

Cake Doodle

Now your child can make a cake without making a mess! Use Cake Doodle to mix the batter, bake the cake, frost it and then add icing and other decorations. Cake Doodle has a wide range of recipes and shapes to choose from so you can make a different cake every time. When you’re done, save your cake to show off or eat it right away!


DeXY's Corner: Where Science and Learning Meet

Mathematics Education

Mathematics activities complied by Sandra Barrows, M.S.Ed

The KeyMath assessments show geometry is a strength for our kids but fast retrieval is often a challenge. Our goal is to produce real life problem solvers. The tools to do this are

Knowledge of appropriate problem solving techniques, automaticity as it relates to the direct retrieval of the facts and recognize that math is a language of patterns that make sense.

Here are some simple steps to start the mathematics learning process early:

-Use pattern blocks For little ones, develop number sense (Show me 3 triangles) and get mathematical language established (greater than, less than).

As children grow, pattern blocks can be used to concretely show abstract ideas of mathematical processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).

Skip counting (2,4,6,8 or 3,6,9,12) is the basis of addition and multiplication. At early stages, lay out blocks by 2’s, 3’s or 5’s and keep a record of the results or mark off results on a number line (How about colored dots on a yardstick?) Doubles are an early addition skill that is easily reinforced by pattern blocks..

Many children have difficulty with fractions. Build shapes by using one shape over and over. Discuss what part of the whole each block is. Stack two triangles on a quadrilateral. Stack the triangles on the hexagon. You can progress to adding like fractions and changing to common denominators for comparing. The more you do to establish part to whole relationships, the better the understanding.

Many children have difficulty with multiplication facts because they see them as a set of unrelated numbers to memorize.

Manipulate the pattern blocks (1 triangle = 1 set of 3 sides, 4 triangles = 4 sets of 3 sides = 12) and counting sides to make sense of multiplication. Have the child say it aloud and write it as a number sentence. Every concept needs a visual, an auditory, and a tactile representation so it can become automatic.

Looking at the multiplication charts can be overwhelming. We need to help break it down so that children can visualize both what they already know and see the patterns that make learning easier. Take the chart and cut off the 0’s table. They should know that none of something is nothing. If the child is unaware of the concept, show him/her how if they give you zero of two cookies, you get nothing. Do the same thing with one and you can cut off the 1’s.

Take your pattern blocks and demonstrate how 3 groups of 4 (squares) = 12 sides just like 4 groups of 3 (triangles) = 12 sides or 3 x 4 = 4 x 3 (or ab=ba) and you have demonstrated the commutative property of multiplication AND you can cut off ½ of the multiplication chart because they are merely duplicates.

Remember skip counting? Put up a finger each time you skip count to the next number to show that they already know the 2, 3, and 5 tables. Help your child recognize patterns .

The 4’s are doubles of the 2’s -- the 8’s are doubles of the 4’s ---6’s are doubles of the 3’s

A great trick for KIDS ----if you add the 2 fact to the 5 fact for a given number, you get the 7 fact of that number. (7 x 3 = 21: 5 x 3 = 15 and 2 x 3 = 6, 15 + 6 = 21).

The 9 facts are fun because the 10’s digit plus the 1’s digit always equal 9, so as the 10’s digit gets larger, the 1’s digit gets smaller. Kids love the “magic finger” trick where you put down the finger you are multiplying by 9, then read the 10’s and 1’s digits that result.

Kids love card games! Keep a deck with you. A game of WAR teaches greater than and less than. (You can leave out the face cards.) Put out 2 cards instead of 1 and add, subtract or multiply them. The one with the highest sum gets the cards. As the kids progress, make black cards positive and red ones negative. Again, reinforce greater than, less than, addition, subtraction and multiplication with integers.

Money is a great tool. 5’s and 10’s are easier for kids and pennies make good remainders in division. “How will you share $10 with your siblings?” It’s a good way to demonstrate division concepts – especially if your child thinks he can keep the cash!

Math can be fun! Math is important in every aspect of Life
Explain it every day and often---Kids will love it!

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