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Struggling readers

All the posts we've tagged "struggling readers"

Supporting Children with Auditory Processing Weaknesses

We recently received the following question from a parent using Logic of English Foundations with her five-, six-, and seven-year-olds.

Overcoming Visual Challenges: Learning to Read and Write with LOE Foundations

We received the following letter from Adriana Buttafoco in 2013 when she was beta testing our Foundations curriculum.

Help! My Child Can't Read

You are not alone. Two-thirds of U.S. students read below grade level and between 25% and 30% are functionally illiterate.

Literacy Myth 3 - Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science

As a whole, English speakers cannot explain to someone else how to begin the process of learning to read. To most people it is a mystery. If we are literate, we may begin by reading to another person and pointing to each word as we say it aloud. Some of...

Literacy Myth #2 - The Dolch Words Cannot Be Sounded Out

Most educators mistakenly believe that most of the Dolch Sight Words cannot be sounded out. Therefore, children around the United States begin reading instruction by memorizing these words by rote, rather than learning the linguistic principles that explain them. The theory is that the Dolch high-frequency words must be mastered...

Literacy Myth #1 - Students Learn to Read Naturally

There is a widespread myth in our culture that children learn to read the same way they learn to speak: naturally. However, this is simply not true. One look at the literacy statistics reveals the fallacy. Two-thirds of U.S. students read below grade level and one-third of fourth graders are...

Level One Readers - Why are They So Difficult to Read?

Two weeks ago, I went to Barnes and Noble and purchased thirty early readers. I wanted to analyze the phonograms and spelling rules found in books that parents and teachers ask young students to read. What I found amazed me. Seemingly simple books in English, are not so simple on...

Exceptions - The Cultural Source of the Literacy Crisis

"As I have spoken around the country, I have discovered a pervasive affliction: English spelling appears inconsistent, illogical, and for some impossible. This ache resides not only within our schools: public, private, and home, but within the hearts of professionals who cannot spell, parents who cannot answer their children's questions,...

Foundations of Reading

A Foundation to Build Upon: Phonemic Awareness and Systematic Phonics The Problem In many of our nation's schools reading instruction begins with comprehension and fluency instruction. I know of several schools that require all students, even kindergarten students, to read a minimum of 40-60 minutes per day. In order to...

What is Dyslexia?

Making the Orton-Gillingham Method Accessible to Everyone

Tips for Helping Students with Dyslexia

Preventing Visual Confusion Reading has a component of muscle memory. The eyes are muscles which must learn to track together in the direction of reading and writing. In the case of English, the direction is from left to right, top to bottom. Children vary in their eye-muscle development, and the...

Phonemic Awareness Games

Phonemic awareness is foundational to reading and spelling. Here are a few fun phonemic awareness games to try. Simon Says - Say word "unglued" into its sounds and have the students do the action. /s-ĭ-t/, /j-ŭ-m-p/… To increase the challenge have a student be "Simon" and call out the actions...

Keeping Up with China: It All Begins with Reading

In the past sixty years China has successfully reversed the literacy crisis that ravaged their nation going from less than 20% of the public being able to read prior to 1950 to 93% literate in 2002 (UNESCO). In addition, China is continually raising the standard for calling their citizens literate....

SAT Reading Scores Continue to Fall

SAT Reading scores have hit an all-time low, dropping one point this year, four points over the past decade, and twenty-nine points since 1972. Each year when we hear the bad news, people shake their heads, teachers assign more sight words, and we continue to march in the wrong direction....

Tips to Help Struggling Readers and Spellers

Cover pictures. Many young students struggle with the left-to-right eye movement of reading. Allow students to look at the pictures, then cover them with a blank sheet of paper while reading. Covering pictures makes it easier to focus on text. Practice blending words together aloud. Many students guess wildly while...

The Logic of English and STEM Education

In July, Microsoft, Bank of America, and Nike agreed to invest $3.5 billion to increase the effectiveness of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in our nation's public schools. The future of these companies and the prosperity of our nation depend upon how well we educate our children and...

Isn't Reading Comprehension the Point? Why Teach Phonics?

People often ask me, if their student learns the phonograms and rules, will they be able to comprehend what they read? Honestly, maybe. But, if they do not learn how to decode, they will likely struggle to read what they are trying to comprehend. In other words, reading words is...

Shame and Vowels: The Story of a Struggling Reader

Vowel sounds highlight the concept of phonemic awareness and the ability to both glue words back together and break them into their individual sounds. Recently, I had this driven home to me when I was working with a sixth grader whom I tutor. This student has been in the public...

Addressing Cynical Students

Providing Real Help to Struggling Readers Many parents and teachers feel discouraged when their enthusiasm for the Logic of English is not met with equal enthusiasm by their struggling reader or speller. As the student's parent or teacher, you see the advantage of teaching spelling rules and phonograms and may...

The Dark Ages of Written English

In many ways, we are in the midst of the dark ages of written English. Okay, maybe that is a bit overstated... But humor me for a moment. Sixty percent of students read below grade level! Only three percent of adults read at the highest level of proficiency. Countless adults...

Spelling Kills Creativity!

At a recent in-service a teacher raised her hand and said, "I hate that there is a right way to spell a word. Correcting spelling kills creativity!" This teacher expressed one of the doubts at the center of the literacy debate: Don't rules limit children's creativity? As humans we are...

The Logic of English Made Me Cry!

Tears of relief and of untapped pain are a common response to reading Uncovering the Logic of English . The book goes to the heart and provides relief to the hurting. Underneath the confident, poised exterior of many highly educated English speakers is a deep anxiety and pain that there...

Literacy Rates - Nationwide

The following graphs represent literacy rates in the United States. Notice that in fourth grade only one third of students read well, leaving one third struggling, and the remaining third functionally illiterate. By eighth grade some of the students who were illiterate in fourth grade have become struggling readers, but...

We Need to Talk about Reading!

English speaking countries are failing our students in first and second grade. More than 60% of our students, in all grades, are struggling with reading! 38% of 4th graders are functionally illiterate. 68% of eighth graders read below grade level. Only 10% of adults are highly proficient readers. We need...

The Science of Reading

The English-speaking world needs to talk about reading. It is not right that 68% of our students read below grade level in 8th grade and 37% are functionally illiterate. There is no excuse. We have the scientific and linguistic knowledge to solve this problem. Functional MRI studies are uncovering amazing...

Leaving Behind Science and Math Minded Students

Young students who are pattern thinkers, science buffs, and have mathematic minds often struggle to learn to read. They are frustrated when they are taught that the letter S says /s/ and then immediately discover that "is," "his," "was" and "chairs" are all exceptions. These children diligently apply the rules...

The Gift of Struggling Students

As a teacher, the greatest gift I have been given is students who do not think like me. The students who are most different from me have taught me the most. They have stretched me to look from new perspectives, to see the world from new angles and by doing...

Logical English and Our Future Scientists and Engineers

I love hearing from people who have read Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Solution to America's Literacy Crisis.  This weekend, a 70 year old man approached me. He explained he had a successful career as an engineer, solving complex problems using math, science, and computer programming. With tears...

How Reading Relates to Math and Science

The state of the Union, the news, everyone seems to be talking about how the United States is falling behind in math and science education. We have made huge efforts to push forward in math, creating honors math programs and funding science classes, but we are missing the root of...

Teaching to Mastery: The Key to Learning

One of the biggest mistakes I have made when teaching struggling readers and spellers is lack of sufficient repetition.   The logic of English provides students with a systematic way to analyze English words and understand their spelling. Though it greatly reduces the amount of rote visual memorization, memorization is...

How Much Time?

One of the most c ommon questions I am asked is: How much time should I spend teaching the logic of English? Unfortunately there is not a magic answer. Though I would like to challenge people to think about the question in a different way. Reading and writing are the...

Literacy Crisis Statistics

How Torture Reading Helped Denise Discover The Logic of English

As I have spoken around the country, I have discovered a pervasive affliction: English spelling appears inconsistent, illogical, and for some impossible. This ache resides not only within our schools: public, private, and home, but within the hearts of professionals who cannot spell, parents who cannot answer their children's questions,...