Learning the Alphabet Case Study

Case Study: How Henry Learned the Alphabet

learning the alphabet case studyHenry, who had just turned five, came into my office with his mom. Mom was concerned that Henry didn’t know all the letters in the alphabet. She said that Henry had been in preschool since two years old and therefore had enough exposure to the alphabet that he should have learned the letters by now.

When I assessed Henry, he was in the above average range of intelligence, but only knew five letters…H E N R Y. As I watched Henry it was obvious that he became totally engaged when he was playing and having fun. So, I took out the Tiger Tuesday Alphabet Lotto game and invited him to play the game with me. He wanted his mom to join us and she did. Each one of us had four Lotto boards, each with different letters of the alphabet. Henry chose which boards each would get.

He then wanted to be the caller. Of course I was delighted. It meant more practice in learning the letters. As he picked up each alphabet card with an upper case letter of the alphabet, he quickly looked at his boards to see if he had that letter. When his mom got one of the letters he’d jump up and down and tell her that she was doing great. But, the final result was that Henry won.

I told him that he could keep the game. When it was back in the package he stood hugging it. As they were leaving, his mom told him that she was taking him to Toys R Us because he had done such a good job. He then said, still hugging the game against his chest,  “Can I take my alphabet game with me into the store? I love this game.” [Read more…]

Introducing the Best Reading Program

The Best Reading Program For Preschoolers, Dyslexia, Struggling Readers and Elementary Schools…

        …Because Teachers Tell Us What They Want and What Children Need!

We’ve surveyed teachers, tutors and parents to find out what they need to teach kids to learn how to read. For 2015 and beyond, they said over-whelmingly that reading programs need to be multi-sensory and integrating phonics and whole language components into a balanced literacy guided reading approach. It is interactive & comprehensive.

They want it aligned with Common Core Standards and compatible with the Orton Gillingham Approach.

It also helps that it is “The Funnest Way to Learn How to Read in the Whole Wide World!”

Why should you watch the Tiger Tuesday video? [Read more…]

4th Grade Reading Comprehension

4-Year-Old Understands More Than His 4th-Grade Brother

A concerned parent wants Dr. Linda’s help for her 4th grade son’s reading comprehension.

low reading comprehension in 4th gradeDear Dr. Linda,

My son is in fourth grade and he loves to read. He even reads the newspaper. But he has no idea what he’s reading! He reads stories to his younger brother who’s four. My four year old can tell me about the story, but his fourth grade brother can’t. I’m concerned there’s something wrong with him.

Janet

Dear Janet,

What’s happening is that he’s learned to read as if he’s reading a word list. He is not visualizing an image in his head nor is he thinking about the story. He also may not be focusing. He’s just reading words. [Read more…]

When should we begin teaching our daughter to read?

What Do Beginning Readers Need and When?

Today’s Mailbag Question comes from parents of a 4-year-old who ask a common question. Dr. Linda has great insights and a few suggestions.

when-should-we-begin-teaching-our-daughter-to-readDear Dr. Silbert,

Our daughter Megan is 4 years old. She’ll go into kindergarten next year. Should we start teaching her to read now so she won’t be behind?  Or is it better just to let the school do it. Of course, we want her to do well in school and will help her in any way that is appropriate. Thank you for your help.

Patti and Mike

Dear Patti and Mike,

Many concerned parents have the same question, wondering whether they should start teaching their kids to read at home.

Megan doesn’t need to know how to read by the time she gets to kindergarten. But as a beginning reader, it’s helpful if she has some basics down and is looking forward to reading.

If she really wants to learn to read now, that’s fine. She should be encouraged as long as it’s fun and not taking time away from playing.

Beginning readers play, run around, skip, sing, and imagine. They love learning new things about their world. They’ve got questions, energy, and enthusiasm.

Most, especially if they’ve been read to or introduced to books, look forward to reading themselves.

What they don’t have is a long attention span. Sitting still and being quiet for long periods of time is not their strength. Boring is out.

So what do beginning readers like Megan need? [Read more…]

Kids Begin Dropping Out of College in 3rd Grade

Why Kids Fail College in Elementary School & What to Do About it Now!

Why kids drop out of college in 3rd grade

3rd Grade College Dropout

Have you ever heard the expression, “He dropped out of college in the third grade?” Or “Kids begin dropping out of college in third grade.

Strange as it sounds, it’s real.

Dropping out of college — and failing to succeed in school in general — really does begin in grade school. There are many reasons for this. In order to break this failure cycle, the reasons needed to be identified and addressed.

The most common reason? Failing to learn how to read because of un-diagnosed and untreated learning disabilities.

While some children pick up reading on their own before they begin school, most children learn to read between the first and third grades. Let’s take a look at “Johnny”, a youngster who is about to finish third grade and is struggling with reading. (Suggested reading: Why Johnny Can’t Read: and what you can do about it by Rudolf Flesch)

Johnny didn’t pick up reading in first grade but he did not stand out because they were others in the same situation. By second grade there were fewer, and by third grade Johnny started to notice that almost everybody was reading but him.

Add to this his growing awareness of self that develops around this time, Johnny begins to see himself as “different.” In time, different morphs into “dumb,” with all the emotional baggage associated with this label. For Johnny, and all the Johnnies, learning to read is challenging enough. Add to that the emotional component, and the challenge grows exponentially.

It’s not too late. [Read more…]

Poor Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension skillsIs Reading Comprehension a Problem?

Sometimes kids think they can read. After all, they know all the words. But that doesn’t mean they understand what they read.

Disinterest, struggling with decoding individual words, text is too difficult for a child’s reading level, deficit in working memory which is common with kids with ADHD, visual processing disorder, and limited vocabulary cancause poor reading comprehension.

Poor Reading Comprehension Skills Lead to Poor Grades

When kids don’t understand what they read, it affects their ability to succeed in school.  All subjects, including science and math, require reading comprehension. Even Tests and exams require good reading comprehension which results in low grades and poor test scores if a student has poor reading comprehension.

 Signs of Poor Reading Comprehension [Read more…]

What is Dyslexia?

What is dyslexia?

How Phonics Help Children With Dyslexia Learn to Read

Dr. Linda advises a worried mom to have her child tested for dyslexia, and then explains what dyslexia is and why a phonics-based reading program helps.

Dear Dr. Linda,

Our daughter is in the third grade and was just diagnosed with dyslexia. She’s embarrassed to go to school, because she can’t read. My husband and I are willing to pay anyone who says that they’ll teach her to read.

One of my friends said that her son went for eye therapy and that helped him read. Another friend told me to try a program called “Fast Forward.”

Someone else mentioned trying one of the “movement-based learning” programs. Some are expensive and many involve hours of after school time.

She’s only eight, so we don’t want her to spend all day in school and after school doing schoolwork. We also don’t want to spend a lot of money unless it will help. If it will help, we’ll spend whatever we need to spend. What else is available that won’t be hours and hours a week? Claudia D.

Dear Claudia,

This is a common question. As you know, when a child is already in the third grade and still struggles with reading, many parents will [Read more…]

Improve Reading Comprehension

How to improve reading comprehension

How Having Your Child Draw Pictures Helps Them Learn to Read

Mom of 5th grader gets advice from Dr. Linda about improving her son’s reading comprehension.

Dear Dr. Linda,
My 5th grader was diagnosed with a reading problem in first grade. He’s had extra reading help since then. They take him out of class for instruction. But he’s always complained that he’s missing things in school and doesn’t feel he needs the reading class. I’ve never seen a problem. He seems to read fine when he read to me, but his teachers tell me that his reading comprehension is poor. So I haven’t argued with his teachers. However, nothing has improved. In fact, after his last review, his reading comprehension scores were worse. What do I do? Do I leave him in the reading class? Jen

Dear Jen,
I can’t answer your question about whether to leave him in the reading class or not. I would discuss this with his teacher. However, I can give you [Read more…]

Why Do Kids Hate School?

Child hates school

Does Your Child Hate School?

A 3rd grader hates school and mom asks Dr. Linda what to do. The answers include finding out if she has ADHD, or a physical problem first. Having more fun with learning and physical movement both also help.

Dear Dr. Linda:

My little girl Tammy is already whining about school starting. She’ll be in 3rd grade. I’m not really sure why she doesn’t like school. She liked her teacher last year and has lots of friends.

Her grades were o.k., but I know she could do better. She keeps telling me that school is boring and that her homework is boring. And she certainly didn’t get too much homework.

I think she makes mistakes on her arithmetic and reading worksheets because she just doesn’t pay attention. So now she’s really not reading up to her grade level. And she doesn’t know her arithmetic facts for her grade either.

Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. Perplexed Mom

Dear Perplexed Mom:

Tammy isn’t the only little girl who finds school boring. Parents sometimes ask me why do kids hate school? So many factors can cause a child to say that school is boring or that they hate it. Some kids have [Read more…]

Reading Strategies for Dyslexia

reading strategies for dyslexiaTiger Tuesday helps dyslexic kids learn to read!

Dyslexia, a common reading disorder affecting as much as 17% of the population, can affect a child’s performance in every class, even math and science. Reading is a basic skill for school success from the primary grades on through college.

All of school can be a struggle for children who can’t read. However, dyslexic children canlearn to read and do well in school if they’re provided with appropriate reading strategies for dyslexia.

The Tiger Tuesday Multisensory Interactive Reading Program provides fun activities with the reading strategies for dyslexia that kids need.

What is Dyslexia?

Children struggle with reading for many reasons. Many of these children aren’t dyslexic. Dyslexia isn’t reading backwards. It’s not a visual problem. It’s not associated with a low IQ. Many people with dyslexia are highly intelligent. Dyslexic children aren’t stupid or lazy.

According the International Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origi [Read more…]


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