Frequently Asked Questions on Reading Tutorials and More
The teaching of reading in most classrooms begins with letters and sounds. Some children are unable to “crack the code” of phonics or phonemic awareness because that system uses an auditory method.
Some children who need a visual system continue to struggle. The struggle with reading is not related to children’s intelligence. Your child may be a visual learner or a multi-sensory learner and not an auditory learner. That's how Write Read Lead is different from other programs.
Language is learned from infancy as children grow. Language is never taught. Children learn that words they hear can be repeated, imitated, and have meaning. Since children use all their senses, they watch and listen attentively not only to their parents but to other people they encounter.
Oral language is the beginning of children’s development. As children see things in their environment they touch and babble before they form words.
But the learning process includes language as the basis for communication. Therefore, written language is used as another form of communication. Reading is the process of oral language written down. The foundation for reading really begins with oral language development.
The theory behind writing first, originated from Dr. Roach Van Allen who stated “what you think you can say, what you say you can write, and what you write you can read.” The essence of reading is one’s thoughts written down.
Reading is actually a person’s thoughts written down. When children can read their own thoughts that are written down, they develop a sense of accomplishment.
They learn that if they can read their own thoughts, they can read other people’s words. In context, many of their words are the same as others.
Comprehension becomes an integrated part of children’s own reading material. If they write what they know they can answer any kind of question about what they already know. Children’s success at answering questions about their own lived experiences prepares them to answer questions about unfamiliar material.
Children learn that their words are the same as other people’s written words, and become familiar with the repetition of seeing words in the context of their own writing. Writing also helps their thoughts.
The stories are dictated so there is no question of how to spell a word and how to write a grammatically correct sentence. Dictation is a model that children learn to imitate.
As we write, the “story” becomes sequential. Writing becomes a natural process for self-expression. Once they can read their own work, they can read other people’s work.
The written word in books is really the author’s thoughts. When teaching children that their words can become written into understandable material that they can read themselves, it builds upon their confidence to read other authors’ work.
- Isn’t interested in reading or listening to books read by parents or teachers
- Has difficulty pronouncing words and gets frustrated when reading
- Reverses letters (b for d) and reads words like, “was” for “saw”
- Doesn’t understand what s/he reads
- Loses place when reading; has eye-tracking difficulty
- As the child reads s/he skips words or lines in the material
- Has difficulty completing other academic assignments
First, these children need to learn phonics in order to read. This is a myth because children learning to read already have knowledge of words and can comprehend material read to them.
Using those factors can assist children in the reading process. Since children have different learning styles, it should be apparent that another approach or alternative to phonics can bring the same results in reading proficiency that happens with phonics.
Second, more time or an increase in reading time will teach them to read. This is a myth because most LD children need another approach, not more time. More time, with continued failure in reading progress, doesn’t change the reading progress.
Third, doing the same thing over and over again will change the results. This is a myth because if the process has not worked, teaching the same way over and over, again, doesn’t change the results.
First, their passions drive them. If they are not interested they will not focus. So many children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are not really lacking attention, but are not interested in what they are learning.
Second, teachers and parents don’t give children with Learning Disabilities (LD) credit for their abilities. These children have more ability, not less.
They want to share their knowledge but need a safe and open forum in which to do so. They can actually teach if given the opportunity to share what they know.
Third, Learning Disabled (LD) children really have a desire to learn. They want to be recognized in an authentic sincere way that they are smart and can make a contribution.
Give these children credit for their own personal knowledge. Pay close attention to listening to them and have them contribute to their learning. If children are included as volunteers for their classrooms and recognized for what they know, they may change their disruptive behavior and behave more positively. Every child wants to be acknowledged and recognized for what they know regardless of whether the information will help them complete standardized tests properly.
Find opportunities where the LD children can be leaders rather than disturbers. Have them be subject resources for a class project or activity.
Give them a responsibility to share their knowledge highlighting their subject matter expertise. Many Learning Disabled (LD) children have a solid knowledge of computers and games.
Children who read well are probably just good "word callers." They have a good command of phonics or phonemic awareness, but the children do not understand the meaning of the words. In order to comprehend material, children need to know what the words they are pronouncing mean.
Therefore, after they read the words in the text these children can’t answer comprehension questions. To improve the children’s comprehension, it is important to relate the words children are learning to their personal experiences. The meaning of words is generally understood when children can relate to what the word means.
Reading comprehension doesn’t have anything to do with a child’s memory. When a child has difficulty answering questions about what she reads that usually means she is likely a “word caller” and has no knowledge of the meaning of the words.
Reading skills are taught and integrated into written stories. The Write Read Lead program is comprehensive whereby children learn new vocabulary words and practice spelling words. The new vocabulary is learned through familiarity with the words the children use in their stories.
There is no teaching of letters and sounds or phonics and the meanings of the new words are shared immediately. Also, children copy their stories so that they become comfortable with the writing process. They are writing complete sentences and punctuating the sentences correctly.
The Write Read Lead program is based on children’s age-appropriate reading material. Therefore, when children use a word they are familiar with and can read, we work together to choose a synonym that is age-appropriate. They learn new words from the thesaurus that mean the same as the simple words that they use in their story.
The objective is to introduce the children to new words, but maintain the integrity of the story they tell. At times the children will use a word and suggest we try and find a different word in the thesaurus because they want to learn new words.
Since the Write Read Lead program concentrates on personal stories, children with ADD and ADHD stay focused because they are the center of attention.
Since the focus is completely on the children there is an attitude change. Authentic attention changes children’s attitude when parents and teachers deliberately give the one-on-one positive attention they crave.
No. An individual, either child or adult, can improve reading skills with the structure of the Write Read Lead program. Since the premise of the program is based on the children’s or adults’ personal stories, the reading program is not restricted to children.
The actual skill development is based on age-appropriate information. Comprehension questions are derived from the content and topic and are very specific to the person learning to read.