Search 85,448 tutors
FIND TUTORS

Blogs Blogs

Reading Blogs

Newest Most Active

Writing is a skill.  Just like with any other talents--being musical, athletic, artistic, some people are just better at writing than others.  That doesn't mean you can't develop writing skills.  It just takes more practice!   Many of my weak writers are excellent at math.  I create formulas for a thesis, topic sentence, and each paragraph.  If you can remember a formula, you can write an essay.  I encourage daily reading.  The more we read, the more vocabulary and sentence structure we are exposed to.  This works its way into the brain, and enables recall when it comes time to write.   I also encourage my students to write about what they read.  We do simple things like summarizing, list questions they may have, draw or describe the setting, predict what happens next, or even come up with an alternate title for the book.  All of these things help people to become better readers, and that makes us good writers... read more

For most fluent readers, it can be hard to imagine how the sight word "have" can be tricky for emerging readers. Yet many parents drilling the Dolch sight words find "have" is misread over and over again, made to rhyme with "gave" and "behave". The child is likely making this mistake because he or she is diligently applying the guidance that a silent final E makes the preceding vowel say its name. And for many English speakers, that's the only purpose known for a silent final E. But, that only explains half of the words with a silent final E and has nothing to do with why there is a silent final E in "have". So, why is there a silent final E in "have"? Check out rule #3 in the list posted here: https://www.logicofenglish.com/resources/spelling-rules. Rule 3 states that English words do not end in I, U, V, or J. The silent final E in "have" is there to prevent the word from ending in V, just as... read more

Have you ever wondered what spelling bee champs know about spelling? I have, and my research led me straight to the 31 spelling rules as taught in the Logic of English method. These simple yet powerful rules explain 98% of English words when coupled with 74 phonograms. While that may not be enough to win an elite spelling bee, its a huge step forward for everyday literacy. The 31 rules are posted here: https://www.logicofenglish.com/resources/spelling-rules. While most are remarkably simple, they are quite powerful. Consider how the very first rule explains the answers to these tricky word equations: picnic + ing = picnicking notice + able = noticeable Rule 1 states that "C always softens to /s/ when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise, C says /k/." Thus, picnicking gets its K because without it, the word would say /picnising/. Likewise, noticeable retains its E because without it, the word would say /notikable/. I'd love... read more

English is widely regarded as being full of exceptions, and often logical/literal learners struggle with the ways in which it is commonly taught. Fortunately, though, there is logic to our language, and methods have been developed that carefully distill it into a limited number of spelling rules and phonograms. These concepts are quite simple to learn but very powerful in application, transforming English from a confusing jumble of exceptions to a deliciously rich and robust code. An introduction to these concepts is posted at https://youtu.be/4ilthoEG39M?t=19m59s. The entire video is informative and inspirational, but if you’re pressed for time and want to sample some of the real meat of the content, jump ahead to the 20 minute mark and watch for about 8 minutes. I'd love to hear what you think. Is this content helpful? Did you learn anything new? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Hello Everyone,   Many parents that come to me treat their child's disability as a disease. They feel that the right thing to do, is find a cure. They are unaware that their child's disability is a sign of great gifts and talents. It is my job as a tutor and teacher, to guide parents and students as they unlock their child's hidden gifts and talents, while helping that child discover that they also can learn. 

Answer: at birth. Just last week, I met a young man in third grade at a convention where I was exhibiting. In talking with this young man’s parents they disclosed that he was not reading well and struggled quite a bit. Since Dad was a late reader, they just figured their son would bloom into a reader, eventually, also. Though alarmed, I respected the parents’ belief. I did relay some tips about reading skill development however, in hopes of enlightenment so they could guide their son’s reading success more. I offered a free modified reading assessment to provide a gauge for the parents of their son’s current grade level reading ability. A shock to all…he screened at a pre-primer reading ability level in word call. His comprehension was good but was assessed at this pre-kindergarten grade level, after all. Where should these parents start? Phoneme awareness and sight word recognition leaped out first and foremost. This young man’s ability... read more

Reading is key to writing, thinking, and solving problems Why is everyone always bugging us to read? Because becoming a powerful reader is the best way to become a powerful writer, thinker, and problem solver. When we read, we reach into the author’s mind—not to suck out her brain like a zombie—but to learn how she thinks.     Only then can we compare her thinking to our own. Only then can we learn from it. Only then can we argue with it, be persuaded by it, and enjoy it.      So, how do we do it? How do we become powerful readers? Dig in How? When you come across a word that you don’t know, look it up. I ran into pleonasmyesterday. The point is gobble down its meaning and rush back to the text. The point is to spend time understanding the word and why it was chosen. Trace its etymology—its roots. Why? So you’ll be empowered to understand any word that shares those roots. See? Getting more powerful already after just... read more

1) THE BASE: Ask yourself where you want to start. A building is strongest and most stable at the base. So that being said, you want to build a strong and stable foundation on the subject you want to learn. Concepts, rules, understanding play a big role when learning a subject. Grasping the fundamental ideology of a subject is the beginning of formulating the bases of understanding the core concepts. So in other words get a general picture of the subject and read the history behind it.   2) START SMALL BUT BROAD: Every subject has a broad category and a specific category. The more in-depth you go, the more confusing it can become if you don't have the general knowledge or a broad understanding of that subject. For example, you're not going to understand Calculus 2 without learning Calculus. Or understand how your brain creates memories or thoughts without understanding neurons. So by researching, reading, and analyzing the broad categories of the subject you can learn... read more

1) THE BASE: Ask yourself where you want to start. A building is strongest and most stable at the base. So that being said, you want to build a strong and stable foundation on the subject you want to learn. Concepts, rules, understanding play a big role when learning a subject. Grasping the fundamental ideology of a subject is the beginning of formulating the bases of understanding the core concepts. So in other words get a general picture of the subject and read the history behind it.   2) START SMALL BUT BROAD: Every subject has a broad category and a specific category. The more in-depth you go, the more confusing it can become if you don't have the general knowledge or a broad understanding of that subject. For example, you're not going to understand Calculus 2 without learning Calculus. Or understand how your brain creates memories or thoughts without understanding neurons. So by researching, reading, and analyzing the broad categories of the subject you can learn... read more

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby presents the dark side of the American Dream and does so with unusual panache. The shimmering surface of Fitzgerald's prose style mirrors the daylight optimism of the dream, reflecting the ideal of a society wherein talent and hard work routinely get rewarded and upward mobility is based at least as much on merit as on luck or charm or who you know. Ruthlessness or deceit … but who could need such things? The narrator, Nick Carraway, likewise begins this adventure with a fair measure of this robust American optimism. He envies the high society spoons in his new top drawer of polished acquaintances, interpreting their frivolity and hedonism as an abundance of life. Yet as the narrative progresses, this bright-eyed optimism dims. Nick sees, on the one hand, heirs to inherited wealth who are arrogant, bigoted, selfish, and only superficially cultured – Tom Buchanan and his ilk. On the other hand, he sees those who are... read more

To paraphrase the Disney song, the struggle is as old as time: how to get boys interested in reading? An avid reader my whole life, I never understood my male friends and cousins who fidgeted and giggled all the way through reading time. Even now, after several years of working with students, I still feel a bit disconnected from people who have never found themselves swept into the throws of a good story. What is it like to miss out on wandering Hogwarts’ moving staircases or journeying to Amsterdam with Hazel Grace and Augustus? After spending four years studying some of the greatest literature ever written—both fictional texts for my literature classes and philosophical arguments in my government courses—I have come to realize that many of us wringing our hands are missing the point. It is not that boys are reading less but that they are consuming their “literature” in different ways. Platforms like video games, text messaging, and social media are so ubiquitous in our everyday... read more

Yes, there is a cure for dyslexia. However, the cure is unreachable for most students. Every child facing the dyslexia label needs an individual "toolbox" with unlimited learning supplies. Those "toolbox" supplies need to be (1) whatever teaching methods (even sometimes) make learning easier for that child, (2) unlimited access to educators whose primary concern is raising the student's self esteem, (3) a waiver from having to read aloud or do math problems in front of the entire class, (4) unlimited access to pictures, stories, and hands-on activities, (5) unlimited access to appropriate technology, (6) information broken into smaller parts and/or color-coded, (7) notes, formulas, word-banks, mnemonics, modified assignments, and (8) a total acceptance of outside the box (giving the student the benefit of the doubt) types of problem solving.   Educational challenges come in about as many shapes and sizes as there are children in schools. The "One... read more

  One of my favorite things to help young children learn to read, in addition to drilling phonics, is helping them make their own books.  Of course, I keep the books short to accommodate their short attention spans.  Using books they made helps to break up the monotony of rote/drill work, which is very important.  We start with books that only contain words with the same sound, for example, the "oo" sound.  I find that the "oo" sound is very exciting to start with because one can make words that a child loves.  Some "oo" words we start with are "boo", boom, "zoo", "zoom", "moo", moon", and  the word " boot".   Children latch on to these words and really make a connection to the sounds because these are fun words.    Next, I make another book using two sight words .  For example, introduce the words  "I like".  On each page,... read more

I tutor a lot of "little learners:" students K-6.  In order to keep my costs of materials and resources low but maximize the expanse of my creative lessons, I recently signed up for a membership to my local public children's library.  Although I do not have any children of my own, I stop in once a week to pick up several books for my students to use during our lessons.  They love having a new book brought to them each week "just for them" and I appreciate not having to break the bank to bring new and exciting topics and activities to my students!  Memberships are usually free, so there is no reason why tutors of elementary age children should not take advantage of borrowing books/lesson ideas from their local libraries!

All students should enjoy a healthy and joyful summer break. It's important to take breaks. But it's also important to hone your writing skills before the next school season begins in the fall.   I remember one of my writing teachers telling me a long time ago that the best way to learn how to write was to read. And he was right. In addition to practicing writing -- because writing is a practice -- I was always reading a book.   So during the summer, try to catch up on a few good, well-written books that are age appropriate for you. It doesn't have to be a boring read. It can be a fun read. A librarian can help you make some choices.    Notice the author's sentence and paragraph structure. Take note of what kind of language the author is using: is it formal or informal? Or pick up a newspaper. Or a quality magazine like National Geographic. I do not recommend blogs unless the content is edited and curated. Not every blogger is... read more

Handwriting is a kinesthetic activity. Kinesthetic memory is thought to be the earliest, strongest, and most reliable form of memory within the human language learning experience.   Research results support the importance of learning handwriting, letter and word-forming skills activity as a factor in learning to read. Handwriting is thought to aid (spellers) in remembering orthographic patterns.   Specific frequent spellings are used for each of the consonant and vowel phonemes in English. Handwriting develops recognition for the patterns and application of the rules, increases fluency, improves legibility and assists in organization of thoughts.   Spelling typically improves with increased handwriting legibility. Letter tracing and copying aid fine and gross motor skill(s) development and promotes necessary skills for reading and writing. Instruction in writing and spelling often comes before instruction in reading thus efforts to promote... read more

EX: New Feature: Spelling /ay/ at end of word, as in play or stay.   Engaging guided discovery using magnets. Teaching spelling for a sound unit that has more than one spelling option requires imprinting with specificity. Guiding the student in a discovery experience, rather than ‘talking’ an explanation can accomplish this.   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, guided discovery technique using magnets is one recognized method for demonstrating to the student where the sound falls within the word, and on that basis, how to spell the sound when in that position.   In the word /play/, student pulls down one magnet for each phoneme (sound) heard (not the letter name). Student pulls down 3 magnets saying their individual sounds simultaneously to the movement of its corresponding magnet as follows: One magnet for /p/, one for /l/, and one for the long /a/ sound.... read more

i. Individual instruction: O.G. approach typically pairs teachers with students on a one to one basis.   ii. Diagnostic and prescriptive: As a warm-up and review at start of every lesson consisting of letters and sounds already taught: The process of learning to read goes from symbol to sound, thus symbol recognition must be the first drill segment engaged for instructional emphasis. Inclusion at the start of an O-G lesson plan provides the basic foundation for the remaining lesson plan. This Visual Flash-Card Phonogram Drill develops students' decoding ability through the constant random repetitive visual recognition of all the individual letter symbols while simultaneously performing the repetitive exercise of verbalizing their corresponding phonemic sounds. This is a support action, which serves to consistently reinforce cumulative integrated learning.    iii. Automaticity directed: As students confirm accuracy in decoding they move toward automaticity... read more

1 2 3 4 5

Reading Blogs RSS feed