I recently attended the high school graduation ceremony for a group of students who were also graduates of The Sounds Of Words. I had helped the struggling students in 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and/or 10th grade. They all had difficulty with decoding, fluency, and comprehension. Once they learned to use The Sounds Of Words to discover "sound spellings", reading, spelling, and writing began making sense to them.

I taught some of the former 10th grade students language arts/English, and some of them I taught World History. I had taught a few of them in elementary school as well. While teaching them, I used every available opportunity to help them do the decoding for unfamiliar words. We read the texts and discussed them together. They practiced spelling and writing words and sentences. They completed various tests. Some of those students told me that they planned to take college coursework. Others planned employment or military service. Whatever they decide, they now have a high school diploma!

Then there were eight students who graduated this year that I taught in elementary school, and who completed their high school graduation requirements in the regular classroom. In elementary school classes, I taught them how to decode words to discover the "sound spelling", and worked with them to help them develop fluency and comprehension skills. They improved their language arts skills, and they were able to maintain regular subject requirements and graduate with standard diplomas. Some of those eight will choose to study for a college diploma. All of them will have the opportunity to do so.

Being a participant in Graduation 2012 was truly exciting!

Anita Landoll

Written by : Anita Landoll

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