To become an Orton Gillingham certified teacher and reading specialist for dyslexic children I was immersed in an intensive teacher level certification curriculum for two years at the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Rhode Island. The curriculum is accredited by IMSLEC, “International Multi-sensory Structured Language Education Council,” which is the national organization that provides accreditation for this type of teacher certification curriculum.
My training combined interactive small classroom seminars with required leadership roles, extensive reading and research, personal written work product and a minimum 100 hours of completed one to one after-school student tutoring sessions, 10 of which are graded observations by the center director. The graded observations are purposeful for evaluating and correcting teachers-in-training as they apply their newly learned strategies to individualized lesson content, delivery, and generating student-centered success.
Stand Tall - Don't Fall!
Speak your mind!
Don't be shy!
Write your own story!
Own your writing!
Say what you mean!
Mean what you say!
Have NO FEAR!!!
We are always looking for just the right words to convey our ideas; sometimes those ideas are unstructured concepts and sometimes they represent something concrete.
Your nuance and phrasing combined with your speech gait and tone (prosody), has great power as to how your ideas are received, responded to and ultimately whether you have the hoped for and anticipated result.
Understanding our English language, its many roots and structures, feeling secure in your knowledge that your word choice and phrasing will appropriately convey your intended meaning will, without any question propel you forward on your path to success!
Whether in school, interpersonal relationships, writing for fun, writing THAT blog, keeping peace in your home and avoiding and diffusing UNNECESSARY conflict, knowing WHAT to say and HOW to say it is EVERYTHING!!!
So, let's get started!!!
Use of proper grammar is at the heart of meaningful communication. Presenting your ideas effectively is facilitated through correct grammar and syntax. Some students develop a very fast understanding of isolated grammatical features, but frankly, most of us have to be ever-diligent in our checking, rechecking and final proofing of our own work.
When grammar principles are learned early in life, they stay with you forever! In part, this is a function of having been learned at the time when your memory is most receptive and it is also partly because the rules of grammar do not change in any dramatic way.
Phonics is an approach used to teach reading, writing and spelling in the English language. Successful learning requires development of phonemic awareness which is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes which are the smallest units of sound associated with a corresponding letter. Learning the phonemic letter[sound correspondences provides the foundation for understanding the spelling patterns also known as graphemes that represent those sounds.
Including phonics based learning in early childhood education typically enables beginning readers to decode new words by "sounding out", also referred to as "blending" of the sound-spelling patterns. The dominant focus is on the spoken and written units within words thus phonics is a sub-lexical approach in contrast to whole language; a word-level-up approach for teaching reading.
The whole language approach to learning reading has been controversial among educators since the 1980's at least and is a constructivist approach to knowledge creation. The system does have its merits and supporters, but phonics based learning has become deeply embedded in our early educational environments as the dominant approach.
Teaching reading is rocket science!
So! If it is true, that teaching reading IS in FACT Rocket Science, what about LEARNING to read? Is that any less profound a task? Clearly, given the numbers of struggling readers in our schools and the epidemic of ILLiteracy in our nation, it is a profoundly difficult task to master.
"Learning to read is not natural or easy for most children. Reading is an acquired skill. ...The knowledge base for teaching reading is hidden, extensive, and complex."
"Skilled reading happens too fast and is too automatic to detect its underlying processes through simple introspection. We read, but we cannot watch how our minds make sense out of print. The linkage of sounds and symbols occurs rap-idly and unconsciously. The linguistic units that compose words, the single speech sounds (phonemes), syllables, and meaningful parts (morphemes), are automatically matched with writing symbols so that attention is available for comprehension.
Because our attention is on meaning, we are not aware of the code translation process by which meaning is conveyed. Until we are faced with a class of children who are learning how to read symbols that represent speech sounds and word parts, we may never have analyzed language at the level required for explaining and teaching it.
Similarly, we may not know how a paragraph is organized or how a story is put together until we teach writing to students who do not know how to organize their thoughts. Thus, to understand printed language well enough to teach it explicitly requires disciplined study of its systems and forms, both spoken and written. "
Are you ready for the GREATEST adventure of your life?
When I was being trained to teach spelling using multi-sensory techniques I learned how to guide my students in a discovery experience, rather than ‘talking’ an explanation. For example: There are many ways to spell the phonemic sound: long/a/. Where long/a/ comes at the end of a word like play, I often use magnets to demonstrate where the sound falls within the word, and on that basis, how to spell the sound long /a/ as /ay/ when it is heard in that final position. Repetition with many many examples reinforces the learning process and voila! it is time to move to the next task!!!
"Why is it useful to know if a student can read nonsense words such as flep, tridding, and pertollic? The ability to read nonsense words depends on rapid and accurate association of sounds with symbols. Good readers do this easily so they can decipher new words and attend to the meaning of the passage. Poor readers usually are slower and make more mistakes in sounding out words. Their comprehension suffers as a consequence. Poor readers improve if they are taught in an organized, systematic manner how to decipher the spelling code and sound words out."