Text Box: Learning disAbilities Newsletter
Vol.22, No. 1									October, 2007

     Welcome to the first published Learning disAbilities Newsletter since April 2003!  There were a number of reasons that we were not able to publish the newsletter over the past few years.  When we began posting the Newsletter on the Internet, the idea of charging the same fee we did in the past for paper copies no longer seemed necessary.   However, we did utilize this fee to support our non-profit Center.  Without this fee we needed to cut back in other areas and we did get out of the practice of publishing our Newsletter on a consistent basis.  Recently we have had numerous requests to resurrect our Newsletter, but we find that not everyone wants to read the Newsletter online, some people still want a paper copy.  The reemergence of the Learning disAbilities Newsletter tries to address these issues. 


     We plan to publish the Newsletter each quarter.  We will mail paper copies to the Adult Education Programs in Pennsylvania as part of the professional development program that Dr. Cooper provides.  We will post the Newsletter to the Center for Alternative Learning’s new website:  www.learningdifferences.org and collect the email addresses of individuals who would like email notification when a new newsletter is posted.  For individuals who are not adult educators in Pennsylvania and want paper copies of the Newsletter, we will mail out paper copies and request that those who can make a donation to our Center to help offset the costs of printing and mailing.  A copy of the Newsletter will be included in all orders from Learning disAbilities Resources since a portion of each order goes to our non-profit Center to help us provide educational and counseling services to adults and children who learn differently. 


Independent Study Courses


     Independent Study Courses are offered through the Pennsylvania Professional


Development Center.  Currently, three independent courses, and soon, a fourth will be available to adult educators in Pennsylvania.  The three current courses are:




The fourth course coming soon will be offered on the Learning Differences website online and is titled, “Characteristics of Learning Differences.”  It will be available for professional development and Act 48 credit for Pennsylvania adult educators.  Teachers and tutors in Pennsylvania who are interested in taking these independent courses can register for the courses on E-Campus (https:www.ecampus.ed.state.pa.us).  If you have questions about these courses and the arrangements for independent study, you can contact Pat Capito at 814-878-2015.  Each teacher or tutor who registers to take the course receives a CD or DVD (Tic Tac Toe Math is on DVD) and a packet of materials.  At their own convenience, teachers and tutors may watch the video and complete the assignments and a post-test.  Upon successful completion of the course, the participant receives either professional development hours or Act 48 credit. 

Dr. Cooper In Residence


    Directly from the Pennsylvania ABLE website, “A priority of the Bureau of ABLE is to investigate the impact that professional development has on the instruction by practitioners when they return to their classrooms.”  In order to achieve this, the ABLE LD project offers the Dr. Cooper In Residence Program.  The In Residence Program allows teachers to practice new skills in a mentoring situation, request demonstrations of specific techniques, and discuss problems with the workshop presenter while they are in their own classroom setting.  The program also provides follow up with participants to gauge the impact of training.

     Adult Education Agencies in Pennsylvania can request Dr. Cooper to be “In Residence” through their Regional Professional Development Center.  It is advisable to first call Dr. Cooper to discuss the agency staff’s needs and the types of activities that would be involved during the “In Residence” day.  Examples of activities include screening for learning problems, consultation with students, classroom demonstrations, staff meetings, and consultations with teachers and tutors.


For more information about these activities and other services provided for adult educators in Pennsylvania, visit the Learning Differences Project’s website:




Dr. Cooper’s speaking schedule


     Dr. Cooper has a busy speaking schedule this summer!  In July, Dr. Cooper presented four times at the Correction Education Conference in Atlanta, Georgia and was the keynote speaker at the two Mississippi Adult Education Regional Conferences.  He made presentations at four summer institutes in four of the six Professional Development Regions in Pennsylvania.

 In September, he made a presentation about Dyslexia and Other Learning Disorders, at the Education Committee of the Mississippi State Legislature.  He was the luncheon speaker for the Ohio Correction Education Conference.  The title of that speech was Teaching Students Who Learn Like Me.  That same week Dr. Cooper set up a display of his educational materials including Double Take Notepaper at the Ohio Adult Education Kick Off at Ohio State University in Athens, OH.  And finally, during this busy September, he traveled to Huron, South Dakota to provide training to adult educators on Writing and Spelling Techniques. 


These and other presentation dates are listed on the Learning Differences website.  Some presentations are open to the public, while others are restricted to employees at the hosting agency.  If you are interested in attending any of Dr. Cooper’s speaking engagements or your agency would like to have him conduct training, please contact our office for more information and ask to speak with Scott or James.  Some people report that they think they are talking with Richard Cooper when they are actually speaking with his sons who now run the daily operation of the Center while he is out traveling due to speaking engagements.   



The Center for Alternative Learning located on the first floor at 4 & 6 E. Eagle Road in Havertown, PA



Double Take Carbonless Duplicating Notepaper

     Have you ever wished that you had an instant copy of something that you wrote?  Maybe this scenario sounds familiar…You are explaining a concept to a student and you draw an illustration or a diagram that really gets the point across.  Wouldn’t it be great if you and the student had an immediate copy rather than going to the office and waiting in line to use the photo copy machine, or worse giving the page to the student without getting a copy for your files? 


     Last week I had my first class with a group of incoming freshmen at a local college.  In order to get to know the students and assess their writing skills, I asked them to write a personal philosophy statement on the Double Take carbonless notepaper.  When they were finished, I asked the students to tear off the copy and pass them forward.  Their assignment for the next class was to take their copy and edit, refine and/or expand the statement that they had written in class.  This five minute activity produced a wealth of information for me about the students in my class.  By reading their statements, I have a sense of what is important to each of them in addition to a writing sample.  The writing sample enabled me to assess their writing, spelling, and punctuation skills.  At the next class meeting, I will be able to ascertain their commitment of completing assignments along with an assessment of their editing and rewriting skills. 


     These are just two examples of how teachers, counselors, and others can use the carbonless notepaper we call Double Take.  A number of years ago, we received many inquiries from Disabled Student Services in colleges and universities about carbonless notepaper.  The staff in these offices, and also an increasing number of high, middle, and elementary school staffs use the paper to accommodate students who have disabilities that limit their ability to take notes in class.  A designated note taker uses the paper and provides the student with an immediate copy.  This eliminates the problems associated with waiting until notes can be copied and delivered to the student who needs the notes.  We experimented with many types of carbonless notepaper with our own students at the Center for Alternative Learning before we came up with the finalized product and added the notepaper to our catalog of alternative instructional materials. Now years later, we have Double Take products in a variety of styles and quantities. 


     Double Take notepaper comes in four styles:  Regular Lined, College Rule (the lines are a bit closer together), Graph Paper, and Unlined Paper.  The paper is lightly glued into sets to keep them together and straight, but is still easily separated.  The two-part paper comes with a white original and a yellow copy or a white original and a white copy.  Three-part paper has the white original and a yellow and pink copy.  The four-part paper has the same with an additional copy in golden rod.  The products are available as loose-leaf notepaper, either 3 hole punched or not.  The same notepaper is available in tablet form, either 3 hole punched or not.  The tablets are twice glued, once lightly into sets and than heavily glued to form a tablet.  The wire bound notebooks come in two, three, and four parts but are only available as white with a yellow copy.  The notebooks measure 9 x 11 inches with a perforation at 8.5 inches for easy and smooth removal of the pages. 


     Many teachers with students in English or Foreign Languages find that the Double Take paper is an excellent tool for peer editing.  Students write on the notepaper and give the copy to a peer.  The peer can mark up the copy with the corrections that he/she believes need to be made.  Since only the copy is marked, the writer can review the corrections and any suggestions and then make the updates on the original.  Using three and four part paper enables a number of students to edit a writer’s work and compare their corrections and editing skills.  This is especially important for individuals who have learning differences.  These students often miss their own mistakes but can see them in the writing of others.  They know what they were trying to express even if that is not what appears in writing on the page.  Through continued practice, they can learn to edit their own writing.


     I have also utilized Double Take paper in the In Residence Program.  During one session, I addressed a number of multi-level English as Another Language classes.  In these classes, I demonstrated how the Double Take notepaper can be used for instruction and follow-up.  At the beginning of the class, I passed out the notepaper to all of the students and instructed them to write on it when I wrote something on the board.  At the conclusion of the class, I collected the copies of what the participants had written and instructed the students to take their copy and review it as homework.  I then reviewed the copies to assess the students’ skills in following directions, as well as copying, handwriting and anything else that would indicate how they benefited from the exercise.  In one multi-level class, a number of students used the paper to copy the alphabet from the WordNets that I had passed out because they were not able to keep up with the oral instruction or with copying what was written on the board.  I gave the copies to the instructors demonstrating how they can use the students’ writing to plan for future classes and encouraged them to continue to use the paper.  If the instructors file these copies, over time, individual student progress will be reflected in the copies of the Double Take paper.


     In addition to the notepaper, we also have a growing number of specialized Double Take products.  Assignment booklets that measure five and a half by eight and a half (a half of a regular page of paper) are designed for children in elementary, middle, and high school.  These assignment booklets can be used by a note-taker so that the student who has difficulty writing down assignments has a correct copy of the day’s assignments.  Another use of these booklets is for teacher aids or tutors to receive a copy of the assignments so that the person helping the student knows all the details of the assignments. 


     The Tutor Aid is a Double Take Notebook that has, in addition to regular lines, two delineated boxes at the bottom of the page labeled for vocabulary and confusables.  This reminds the student and tutor to collect new vocabulary and items that the student finds confusing so that the student can pay particular attention to these items and so they do not get lost in the notes. 


     Double Take products are also available in a number of forms: Brainstorming Map, Student Learning Plan, Teachers Planning Form and two different formats of a Step by Step Planner.  These products were developed by Dr Richard Gacka, a psychologist, the Director of Pennsylvania’s Learning Differences Project, and the director of the Northwest Professional Development Center at Stairways Behavioral Health in Erie.


     Photos of the Double Take products along with our special offer to provide samples of the Double Take Notepaper to new customers can be found using the Double Take links on the Learning Differences website at:  www.learningdifferences.com or www.learningdifferences.org.  You can also call our toll free number 1-800-869-8336 and request a sample. 


On a personal note

     I had heard the story before, but this summer it had a whole new meaning.  Upon the death of famous film director, Ingmar Bergman, news sources provided extensive coverage of his life and accomplishments.  My wife, Anne-Louise had met Ingmar Bergman at the home of Ulla Isaksson, the author of The Virgin Spring, in Stockholm, Sweden many years ago.  These meetings took place before Anne-Louise emigrated to the USA in 1964.  Anne-Louise was born and grew up in Stockholm; her mother was an actress and her father an engineer.  When she told me about Mr. Bergman, it did not mean a lot to me because I have little knowledge about the film industry.  Now I understand what a privilege it was for her to have not only met him but also had an opportunity to discuss his films with him around the kitchen table.  I need to go to the video store and rent some movies to fully understand this renowned director’s contribution to humanity.  Thank you, Anne-Louise!