I have a passion for learning and exploring new ideas and I enjoy sharing these with students, especially in learning basic reading and in understanding dyslexia. Since reading is a code, one must simply learn to break the code to gain the power and right to learn and communicate through reading and writing.
Although English can be a difficult language to learn, (especially when it comes to spelling), there are many patterns and rules to help, as well as understanding the history of English (why some letters are silent, for example). Despite the exceptions & complexities, English is mostly predictable, follows patterns and rules, and CAN be learned. It is possible to learn to read and read well, even with a reading disability or dyslexia!
Through exploration of the six syllables, we unlock part of the code for many other words that follow those same syllable patterns. There are many clues to help us know when to spell a certain way and how to break up multisyllabic words into their syllables.
Morphology (the study of word parts including prefixes, roots, and suffixes) helps us read bigger words, as well as understand what those words mean. The majority of the words in English (over 80%) do follow a pattern or rule that can be learned, but those that do not, we call irregular. Practicing with irregular words and understanding why they’re irregular, builds one’s spelling knowledge, vocabulary and word knowledge base. Analyzing irregularities in words helps students categorize them, strengthens pattern knowledge, and facilitates reading.
At the root of reading is what we call phonological awareness, the ability to hear sounds in words (including hearing words in a sentence, rhyming, & clapping out syllables). Phonological Awareness includes phonemic awareness, the ability to isolate and manipulate individual sounds within words (phonemes), such as /f/, /i/ /sh/ in the word fish, or /b/, /r/, /i/, /j/ in the word bridge; changing the beginning sound in a word to make a new word, or saying a word without a particular phoneme.
Basic Language Skills is one of the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory structured literacy programs I use (including Reading Readiness, Colors and Shapes of Language, Multi-sensory Grammar, Developing Metacognitive Skills, and Word Detective). These programs, along with my own toolbox of resources, are what I have used in public school and in private therapy to move students forward with their reading & writing goals, and in support of gaining confidence for many elementary to middle school-aged children. Hearing a child say that they can spell for the first time in their life, or watching them read a book they weren’t able to decode before, is very rewarding! With private reading services, I work to support these goals by individualizing for each student based on their abilities and needs within an explicit, direct, multi-sensory, and cumulative approach.
Again, reading is a code and students deserve to have what they need to unlock the patterns and rules (and confidence), and to have a good understanding of our somewhat complex language to be successful in life.
About Me, Personally
Family is my Life…
…which includes lots of pets (2 dogs, 1 cat, 10-13 chickens-this number keeps changing if you know anything about chicken math).
I write for fun, for children, for teaching, but also for myself. In 2011, I won the Book Doctors’ Pitchapalooza at the Texas Book Festival for my pitch for a middle grade novel, and have been a member of SCBWI Austin Chapter, off and on for several years.
I have taught 17 years in public schools in grades K-12 within various roles such as, Science and Math Enrichment teacher for K-5, second and third grade, G/T lead teacher at two elementary campuses, with students with learning disabilities & social-emotional struggles as a Special Education teacher for 5 1/2 years, and through evaluation of students with Dyslexia & Dysgraphia (and was a 504 Coordinator for two elementary campuses). I have been a Dyslexia Specialist at Middle, High school, and Elementary levels and have chosen Elementary-6th Grade as a focus for my services, though enjoy providing support for any learner at any age. You’re never too old to learn something new.
Through my experience working with young learners, I developed a love of writing books (actually started as a child) that inspire and promote a positive sense of self (and how to be a little silly). I LOVE when I can inspire children to write and read!
Teaching certifications include Special Education, Dyslexia, Gifted Learning (30-hour training), Early Childhood-4th, 4th-8th (Core Subjects), English as a Second Language, and certification as an Academic Language Therapist (C.A.L.T.). Once part of the ACC Collaborative, I attended 100+ hours of science training, which was turned around for staff training and science and math enrichment for grades K-5, back when I was known as the “Science Lady.”
I have learned so much from teaching, training, and writing, and hope to inspire others to follow their dreams and never give up! You must believe in yourself no matter the obstacles, and you must find and follow your voice, but if you can find support, a mentor, a cheerleader, you will have more success in getting what you need. I would love to be a part of your positive support team to help your child reach his or her goals!
To contact about Academic Language Therapy/reading services:
Other places to find me:
The Reading Therapist Channel (Youtube)
Facebook @Aim’ee’s Writing or @The Reading Therapist