Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Midwest Homeschool Convention - The Struggling Reader

I have a struggling reader. That's been difficult for me to admit since I love reading and it's easy for me. Of course, since I am a certified teacher with graduate work in Reading and Language Arts, I ought to know exactly how to help her, right? I thought so. But she's almost ten and still struggling. So I went to this workshop to see if there were any keys I've been missing to assist her in her path to fluency.

The Struggling Reader! Am I Emphasizing the Right Things?
Does your son or daughter seem to be faltering in their efforts to learn to read? Is it the curriculum? Is it you? Based on current research, Dr. Eckenwiler and his wife have designed this workshop to help parents better understand the most essential elements of the reading process, along with those critical ingredients that must be emphasized to produce a successful, capable reader

Kristin Eckenwiler, of, led this 8:30 AM workshop on Friday morning. The room was hard to find and overly warm. She promised each parent that they could learn to be a "mini reading specialist". She reassured parents that their homeschooled children were in the best place - home.

The Eckenwiler's system is a multi-sensory approach and she spent a few moments describing what that means. I didn't take notes on that and apparently her explanation didn't stick with me. She did recommend Visual Vocabulary's materials as a multi-sensory approach to teaching vocabulary.

A phoeneme is the smallest unit of sound in our language. Phonemic awareness (the awareness of phoenemes) is NOT the same as phonics, as it does not include letter recognition. It is just sounds. Many say that phonemic awareness is the #1 predictor of reading success. Their phonemic awareness test evaluates 21 discrete skills without worksheets, using a multi-sensory approach.

Dyslexia is a neurological processing challenge. It happens IN the brain.

Their phonics assessment takes 25-30 minutes.

decoding skills = phonics
Sight Words
Ability to self-monitor (was I paying attention?)

Sight words are often misunderstood. Most common/frequent word is "the". Can't sound it out.

The 10 most common words constitute 24% of printed material.
The 25 most common words constitute 1/3 of printed material.
The 100 most common words constitute 50% of printed material.
300 sight words should be known COLD - memorized by sight, like the snap of a finger, that fast.

FLUENCY (sight words are included here)
1 - Reading speed
Third graders read 100 words per minute. Adults read 250-300 words per minute.
However, reading too fast = mistakes.
2 - Accuracy
3 - Prosody (rhythm)

Fluency affects comprehension.

Comprehension is very complex and includes everything from simple recall to inference.
What can affect comprehension? Physical and emotional state, decoding skills, background knowledge

Reading levels
Independent - fun to read on their own
Frustration - too challenging, avoid

DRTA - Directed Reading-Thinking Activity
comprehension is NOT "read the story and answer the questions".
Try a pre-reading activity to increase comprehension.

(Sorry, these notes were not as good as some of my others.)

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