reading listserv

Sally Donlon sod at LOUISIANA.EDU
Sat Jul 8 23:28:19 UTC 2006


Try <>. There's fabulous information there,
as well as activities for all age levels. The Brain Teasers page
hosts games that train the brain in short-term memory focus and sound
discrimination, the basic fundamentals necessary for success in
reading. They're hosted by a company called Scientific Learning,
which created Fast ForWord, educational technology that has shown
huge gains in student reading levels at all ages based on thousands
of trials. Fast ForWord is the best I've seen, but is pricey and
requires a major commitment. However, students' skills typically
increase by 2-3 grade levels in 12-weeks of intensive practice (one
hour every day, five days a week). You can't argue with the results,
but -- like anything else -- it won't work unless the administration
supports it.

I don't know what kind of budget your school has or staff development
they will support, but if y'all get any Title funds, there's got to
be some for reading. I suggest you look into that first.

Also, check out <>, which carries lots of research-
based curricula. One called Language! is particularly strong at the
middle school level.

Sopris-West also offers a series of teacher training workshops called
LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling). It
is not a curriculum, but rather a program that helps teachers to
understand what's going on cognitively when students are learning to
read, and why some kids have more difficulty than others. It's an
excellent program because it provides the kind of background that
teachers and administrators need to better evaluate potential
curricula, as well.

The workshop series is a bit pricey, but well worth the cost. You can
also just buy the manuals and read through them yourself.

Please feel free to email me back channel, if you want any more

Good luck with your middle schoolers next year. I believe the most
important thing we can do in education is to ensure that all kids
learn to be strong readers!


P.S. My daughter learned to read from Dr. Seuss!  -sod-

On Jul 8, 2006, at 4:52 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> Middle-schoolers who can't read - the best reading at the third-
> grade level.
>   And thanks to years of dumbing down, the "third-grade level"
> today probably equals the "first-grade level" of 1956.
>   These are the biggest SOTAs of all.
>   I learned to read from Uncle Scrooge and Bugs Bunny comics before
> I started school. Maybe "graphic novels" are your best bet.
>   A further SOTA.
>   JL
> Jan Kammert <write at SCN.ORG> wrote:
>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Jan Kammert
> Subject: reading listserv
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> This group has often helped me with my teaching in the past. I'm
> hoping
> for some ideas from you now.
> I am going to teach a middle school reading class in the fall. I have
> never taught reading before, and I only vaguely remember the
> university
> class I took on teaching reading over 20 years ago. (I hope lots of
> new
> information on the topic has become available in the last two
> decades.)
> In the last five years, I've read about a dozen books on teaching
> reading
> to adolescents and attended a couple conferences. I'd like a helpful
> listserv specifically geared to teaching reading to adolescents.
> The fall class is likely to have students who are completely unable to
> read. The strongest readers will probably be reading at a second or
> third
> grade level. Some of them will have decoding problems and some will
> have
> comprehension problems. If you have any thoughts, please send them
> to me
> off list. I don't want to take up space here on something that is off
> topic.
> Thanks!
> Jan
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