2. A Piano Recital
child. I found that blue or green work
best. Many of these kids say that the
words stop moving when they read
through these inexpensive transparen-
cies. They relax the eyes while reading.
(See article, “An Easy Reading Aid” on
c. See if your son will let you slowly move
your pencil above the words while he
reads, or ask if he will use his finger to
track below the words. Each of these
reading techniques takes a work load off
the child’s visual system while reading.
(Don’t worry; this is just temporary.)
d. Kids often resist reading just because
the type is too small, and the page
seems overwhelming. Some moms get
around this by copying the page and
enlarging it. It’s possible that a Kindle
could come in handy here, because you
can enlarge the font easily.
e. Increase his Essential Fatty Acids. The
retina of the eye is made of rods and
cones. The cones are for acuity, but the
rods are for light and dark adaptation.
The membranes in the rods are rich in
the essential fatty acids, particularly
DHA. DHA is found mainly in fish
oils. (See article, “Essential Fatty Acids
and the Brain” on my website for kinds
I never have a student do “cold reading”.
We treat oral reading like a piano recital.
We practice all the pieces of the reading
first, and then put it all together in one
performance. Before the child even sees
the book or story, I pull out all the “tricky”
words (I have to use my best judgment
here). I write these tricky words, not in
pencil or pen, but large, in broad magic
marker with no more than five words to a
page. Together we sound out, or practice
reading these words until they’re comfortable. Then I leave that paper in front
of the reader while he is reading aloud.
If he gets stuck on one of the words we
studied, I just point to the word on the
paper, and (always to my great surprise)
the child reads it easily.
3. Duct Tape for the Teacher
This is a very important part. Have you
ever seen a piano teacher interrupt her
student during the piano recital, with
the whole audience watching, to practice
part of the piece? Of course not! But who
is the audience during this oral reading?
It is the child, himself! We want him to be
impressed by himself. Sometimes this re-
quires Duct Tape over our mouth during
the process, because we are very tempted
to correct the child while he is reading.
But what if he skips some words? Ignore.
What if he reads some words wrong?
Ignore, but keep mental track of those
words. If he reads “pretty” for “beauti-
ful,” he is just a right brainer, editing as
he goes. They do this. No problem. He’s
getting the story line.
The next day, before you begin to read
the next story, re-read the “tricky” words
you wrote on the paper from the day before, and add the words that he misread
that you mentally stored from yesterday’s
oral reading. This way he will learn the
word, but not have the flow of his reading
interrupted or be given the message that
reading is hard. Duct Tape comes in pink!
Before long, you will find your son
looking forward to reading. If you are
not seeing the progress you are hoping
for, feel free to email me. I will help you
think through the next step.
Would you like to have your question featured on “Ask A Specialist?” Just email me,
at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will not be able
to publish all answers, but I will answer
all questions personally, via email. And
for free Daily Lesson Plans and articles on
alternative teaching strategies, go to www
Dianne Craft has a Master’s Degree in
Elementary and Special Education. She
has 25 years’ experience teaching bright,
hardworking children and teens who have
to work too hard to learn. Dianne uses a
“Three Pronged Approach” to eliminate
learning blocks. Her manual, Brain Integration Therapy for Children has been a
best seller throughout the United States for
the past 15 years. Her Right Brain Reading Program, Spelling, and Math products
have helped thousands of children. www
of Dianne Craft Products
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Kids often resist reading just because the type is too
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small, and the page seems overwhelming.