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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Syllable Division - An example of Scott's Lessons

I'm going to tell you what's involved in Scott's reading and spelling lessons. You ready???? We start with a review of what we have done in the previous lessons.


Then we do a phonemic awareness warm-up. I say some nonsense words from the lesson script. By using nonsense word he can't rely on memory. He repeats what I said and points to the colored tiles of the beginning, middle (vowel) or ending sound. Whichever I ask for. One of the issues in dyslexia is not NATURALLY knowing how to break a word apart into its individual sounds. A preschooler/K who is a natural reader knows cat begins with /k/ and ends with /t/, etc.... We keep practicing that skill with the progressively more complicated spelling and reading words.

Notice we've got our tiles, worksheets, spelling rules laid out. I keep our spelling rules pages in page protectors since we use them so much. We sit side-by-side, feet on the floor and usually upright. These lessons are EXPLICIT. We don't, we can't, curl up in bed or the couch to do them. Notice the tutor manual is yellow paper. It's made to be dyslexic friendly, in case the tutor is dyslexic.

I teach the new lesson without paper. I use the color tiles. In this lesson I taught syllable division rule 2. Over simplified, that's when there are two consonants in between 2 vowels of a 2 syllable word. He will learn the exceptions to the rule. Scott will then practice reading and spelling new words with the tiles before moving on.

Then he will read nonsense words using new skill on paper. The third column is nonsense words.
Then he will spell both real and nonsense words, on paper. Notice the paper we use is blue or yellow. The glare on white paper bothers most dyslexics. He reads his word list through a window. There is no picture or story. He MUST learn the word following the spellimg rules. There are no context or illustrations to trick me into thinking he his reading.


His spelling words are dictated and he writes them from memory. The last 3 are nonsense words. He put a gap in some of his words so he could practice his syllable division.


Then he reads & spells phrases on paper for fluency as well as accuracy He learns to read phrases as a chunk and for fluency because dyslexics tend to read - word - for - word without comprehension. When they come to prepositions (a, the, at, on), it breaks their concentration and visual 3D image. With these lessons he can't ignore the prepositions.

You can click on the photo to see what he is reading and he will join the phrases together to form a sentence. This gives him plenty of practice to read and re-read.

There is an opportunity for me to teach him subject/verb agreement here also. It's not officially apart of the lessons, but there are examples I can expound on.


The first three lines are his phrases. All of this was dictated. He tried to get away with writing the number "20." But it didn't work. :) Dyslexics have a hard time writing on a straight line (and spacing). He did really good in this lesson. He is doing separate handwriting lessons. Notice he used a mechanical pencil. These pencils are good for those who print to hard.




Next is reading on paper for fluency, accuracy, and phrasing. He marks his phrases.

For the spelling portion we used the same yellow paper to write dictated sentences, shown above with phrases.



Next he reads controlled-text stories on paper for fluency, accuracy, and phrasing. Also to check for comprehension skills. The skills build within each lesson. He marked a few words to help him "see" how to pronounce the word. You can see he has learned contractions in a prior lesson. Finally there are two worksheets. The first one is matching rhyming words. Preschoolers love rhyming words. Preschool dyslexics don't usually get rhyming without tutoring. I can't remember observing if Scott was rhyming or not as a pre-k. I guess he wasn't...

The 2nd sheet is forming two syllable words.

Every 3 lessons a new set of sight words is given. He must not only read them but spell them back to me. When he has trouble spelling them, we make cards highlighting one tricky letter. There is a laborious :) sequence I go through to aid his memory. He doesn't seem to mind this as much as I do.
I keep up with his lessons with this check list. Each level has an exhausting looking check list page like this. I am in level 4 and finished tutoring lesson 3 which is the the 3rd column. It took two sit-downs to finish Lesson 3 in level 4. He happened to be very co-operative and moved along. No one else was in the house these two times we sat. He is working very hard.

If I do a lesson a week (a column) we will be done in 58 weeks from now with level 8. As much work as this is, he seems to be progressing quickly because we work at least 5 times a week on this. To get ready for lesson 4, the next column, I will watch the DVD in between lessons with Scott and then I will start again with a review, phonemic awareness, new lesson, reading and spelling words, reading and spelling phrases, reading and spelling sentences, etc...
I know so many families rely on the tax payers dollar for this kind of tutoring in school. I am grateful that I have the energy and inclination to do this for Scott. I am certain a school (at least right now) wouldn't be able to catch Scott up as quickly as I am, if they provided him with any of these lessons at all. Scott's going to be writing his own blog posts before you know it!
Happy Mother's Day!

10 comments:

ScienceGeek said...

This is great. You guys are moving at a very fast pace. Level 4 was hard for JD. We took a lot longer to get through each lesson. I found he stumbled a lot with the longer words. I'm glad Scott is doing so well.

You have a lot of patience to lay out all of the tiles every day! I magnetized mine and keep them on a magnetic board.

I thought it was funny that Scott underlines his sentences when he reads them. JD underlines every word, phrase and sentence. I think it's akin to marking items off of a to do list- it gives him a feeling of accomplishment and helps him see that he's making progress.

I know this is hard, hard work! I'm proud of you both.

Permission to Mother said...

Scott has consistently gotten through the reading and spelling part using tiles in one sitting. I usually break when we get to the next lesson (reading words on paper) and I don't always pull out the letter tiles when we work on paper.

FYI-Formal curriculum work in other areas isn't moving along as fast, perhaps I should be more balanced, but, since this is going well, I figure we should stick with the momentem and not divide our time so much.

Rod Duncan said...

Learning to read takes a lot work. I remember it vividly, though I am now on the wrong side of 40. The methods used to each me differed somewhat from the program you describe here - but the basic fuel is the same - lots of care and love from the teacher and lots of focus, concentration, frustration and eventually achievement from the student.

I went on to be a novelist. My spelling is still not perfect, but that's what proof readers are for.

Keep up the hard work. It'll be worth it.

Rod

Wife to the Rockstar said...

WOW. Great work!! I really like this method.

Tammie said...

I know I have mentioned this before but Scott is so lucky to have you for his mother! Way to go BOTH of you!

hayesatlbch said...

I put some links together to free information and programs that should be helpful for dyslexics. Free text to speech and dyslexic friendly spell checker as well as a 40 week course for at risk dyslexics.

Here is the URL http://dyslexiaglasses.com/links.html

My niche is visual dyslexia but that is only a minority of dyslexics.

Lauren said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, Denise. I'm impressed! Maybe I can watch you in action one of these days. I love watching and learning from other teachers.

Mark Pennington said...

Nice balanced lesson. Re: spelling rules with syllable divisions... I have a nice list of the spelling rules with examples and MP3s of spelling rule songs and raps to check out at Spelling Rules Songs and Raps.

Zoe said...

Very nice post. I'm tutoring two adult students in the Barton dyslexia program. Both are in Level 7. We frequently use colored highlighters, which seems similar to your son's underlining. The visual cue helps distinguish differences between words.

On the other hand, if he's using underlining to keep his place when he reads, I wonder if it wouldn't be better to hold a folded piece of paper under the lines? I foresee a very angry librarian in the future if he ever returns a book full of markings. :)

Permission to Mother said...

Hi Zoe,
We are almost ready to start Level 7. Scott is way past underlining. Yeah.

He's an independant reader now. He looks up a lot of his interests on his own!

I am glad you posted because it reminded me how far we have come!

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