for Dyslexic and Struggling Readers
How Wise on Reading Differs from Other Programs
My Wise on Reading Program encompasses what I’ve learned from other programs, classes, and my experience working with students. Wise on Reading is a multisensory, systematic, synthetic phonics-based program. (For a good definition of synthetic phonics, go to Parent Resources page.)
I trained in the Lindamood-Bell Lips and Visualizing and Verbalizing Programs. I have also used the Phono-Graphix Method for the last ten years. If you're familiar with the Orton-Gillingham method, Phono-Graphix differs in that instead of teaching the written symbols and the sounds that go with each, it teaches the sounds and then the symbols that represent those sounds. Beginning with what the student already knows (the sounds they've been speaking for years) gives them a good strategy for learning. Additionally, this approach doesn't bog students down with so many unnecessary rules (many of which often don't work anyway). Students are happy to be taught strategies that makes sense to them.
My philosophy is to not assume anything. (I've learned through the years that many students are not clear about the simple vowel sounds.) I give a thorough assessment in order to fill in any gaps in the student’s learning. My goal is to get the student reading as quickly as possible, and to lead him or her from one reading success to the next. This increases self-esteem and motivation.
I'm very experienced in teaching phonemic manipulation (the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in words to make new words). Phonemic manipulation has proven to be of paramount importance in increasing students' ability to read and spell well.
My Program is different in that each of the stories I present to students to read, I wrote directly to apply seamlessly to what they’ve just been taught. The Wise on Reading stories (unlike typical phonics readers) are written in a cumulative fashion so that each new story combines what students have previously learned with their new learning). This way they are practicing old skills at the same time they are learning new ones. This is more productive and more like real reading. You may have discovered yourself that most books touted as “easy readers” aren’t easy at all. Wise on Reading stories are written to assure the student’s success. It's important that students develop fluency (smoothness, speed, and accuracy), so practice readers the stories is helpful.
Spelling and writing are also part of the equation. Reading, spelling, and writing work to reinforce each other. After each lesson students will have a small amount of writing homework to reinforce what they've just learned.
Unlike many programs, my Wise on Reading program provides a strong multi-syllable component. I love teaching multi-syllables (prefixes/suffixes, etc.) because this is the point where the student’s reading really begins to take off.
I do not believe in dumbing-down vocabulary. I believe that when vocabulary increases along with decoding (sounding out) skill, readers will be much further along in the literacy process. Parents can help the process along, by reading to their children books that are above the student’s reading level, and by discussing words and ideas. I teach the learner how to look words up in the dictionary (a lost art these days) and make a personal vocabulary list.
If children have a language processing problem, where it seems that what they’re reading “goes in one ear and out the other,” I utilize the Lindamood-Bell “Visualizing and Verbalizing” program. This will have a direct impact on the student’s memory and comprehension.
I’m knowledgeable about children’s literature, which allows me to supply the “right book at the right time.” It’s so important for readers not to struggle too much when reading. Trying to read books independently at or above their frustration level is not productive. If picking up a book is not a pleasurable activity, it will never become a lifelong habit. Each book that is read paves the way for the next more challenging book.
Another goal of mine is to teach students as efficiently as possible; your and the student's time (and money) is valuable. Therefore, I use my professional knowledge and skill in deciding what is most important for the student to learn next; I don’t waste time teaching that which the student already has a good grasp of. I keep a very thorough checklist on students, to verify what they’ve previously learned, and what is the most important next step to move them along in developing a lifelong love of reading.
I welcome all questions and offer a free consultation.
To schedule a free consultation, email or call:
Margo Emrich, M.Ed.