In elementary school, I already had plans to become an elementary school teacher. When I discovered one of my new friends was having problems learning to read, I appointed myself his official after school tutor. As I assisted him, I began my education as a teacher.
In 1975, I graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk, Virginia, with a B.A. degree, and certification to teach preschool through grade seven.
I then became involved with many areas of education; finally, I decided to learn more about persons with special learning needs. I graduated from Lynchburg College with a master’s degree in teaching learning disabilities and emotional disturbance.
Throughout my entire career in education, I have successfully helped many students with their reading problems.
I have always enjoyed books and reading. I never understood why some of my friends found it so difficult to learn to read. Later, while I was teaching elementary school, I found that the reading system presented in the regular textbook was not working for some of my students. They didn’t learn the concepts involved in decoding words. Later, in an attempt to help a woman who had never been able to learn to read throughout her entire school career, I became involved in writing, visually decoding, and sounding letters and words, she began finding reading success for the first time.
As I continued using my method, I taught using hearing, saying, writing the letters, visually decoding, and finally sounding the words. Students with the most severe language problems began learning, and those with milder problems improved rapidly.
I have successfully used my method with students with many and varied learning problems, and with multiple texts. This book is organized in vowel sound patterns, with the vowels in the order they appear in the alphabet.
Research shows that a student who has reading problems has difficulty utilizing the decoding area of the brain. Because the student has problems manipulating the sounds of a word within the decoding area, the word is unable to be processed into the automatic recognition area of the brain. Thus, the student is unable to use the retrieval and comprehension features within that area. (Shaywitz, 2003).
Some languages show a transparency between the written spelling and the pronunciation of words; there is close match between symbol and expected sound. My experience teaching reading is that many words in the English language are more translucent in this area; at times the words become almost opaque! One example of lack of match between symbol and usual sound is the frequently-used word, “busy,” where the b is the only letter that matches the usual sound. The person who reads naturally is able to make sense of the confusion between symbol and sound for these words. But unfortunately for many students with reading disabilities, confusion reigns. The student who has difficulty decoding unknown words, also has problems with reading comprehension and reading rate. Reading problems also affect spelling and writing. The student has difficulty meeting age-level language arts expectations.
P has been doing very well reading, spelling, and writing Level one words. Level one words include the most frequently used words in speech and______________
My reading students chose to participate in their annual talent show recently. They chose to sing along with songs they liked. Once they selec______________
Today is a bright, blue sky autumn day in Southside Virginia. The leaves of the trees are losing their green, and are glowing with reds, orange______________
In many instances, the teacher is assigned a particular curriculum to be used for language arts/English instruction. The material often creates______________
Many struggling learners of English have difficulty with phonemic awareness. They do not hear the sounds of words clearly enough to comprehend ______________
Citizens of the world are interested in learning the English language. English-speaking countries generally value democracy and free enterprise______________
Struggling readers have the desire to be able to communicate with their friends on social media. They wish to be able to read and post messages______________
Readers are writers, and writers are readers. Natural readers enjoy reading widely, often at an early age. They comprehend the words and the t______________
Today I helped a learner who is planning to sing a self-selected country song in a talent show this fall. He has listened to the song on the ra______________
Recently I was asked why I insist on teaching phonics to students who are having difficulty learning phonics. My answer to that question is tha______________