ReadingWritingAssessmentSpecial Education

Reading Mastery

Becoming a successful reader is the most critical skill a child should master in school. The ability to read fluently creates a pattern of successes for students not only in school, but in life. The skill of reading, of gaining meaning from print, can logically be divided into two subskills, reading decoding and reading comprehension

Reading Decoding:

Reading decoding is the ability to recognize the sounds represented by letters within words, and blend those sounds together into meaningful units.

I work with clients from ages 5 to adult to explain reading decoding in a simple, easily understood manner. To do this, I use an extremely effective method for teaching the decoding of real and nonsense words - Phono-Graphix, developed by Carmen and Geoffrey McGuiness and described in their book Reading Reflex. There are four key concepts that students are taught during instruction using the Phono-Graphix method. First, students learn that letters are pictures of sounds.  Second, they learn that some sounds are represented by one letter and some sounds are represented by more than one letter. Third, clients learn that there is variation in the code, that most sounds can be shown with more than one picture. Finally, clients learn that there is overlap in the code, that some sound pictures are used for more than one sound. The Phono-Graphix method does not teach students to memorize rules, as is so often true of traditional phonics programs. Instead students are taught how to use simple strategies to recognize sound pictures and read words and passages.

Barring the presence of significant processing deficits, it is possible to remediate deficits in decoding with 12 hours of one-on-one tutoring, combined with nightly homework, spread over a 12-week time period.

Reading Comprehension:

For clients who are successful decoders but continue to have difficulty gaining meaning from text, there is a need for work in the areas of vocabulary knowledge and comprehension strategies. To remediate in the area of comprehension, I incorporate methods outlined in the book Visualizing & Verbalizing for Language Comprehension, written by Nanci Bell, as well as those described by Carmen and Geoffrey McGuiness in their book, How to Increase Your Child's Verbal Intelligence: The Groundbreaking Language Wise Method

Additionally, I help clients expand their vocabulary with a two-pronged approach. First, I teach them the meaning of common word parts which often have Latin roots. Second, we work on strategies for discovering the meaning of new words encountered in level-appropriate text.

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