I was working with Carter this week, a boy with dyslexia and a lot of emotional issues as far as reading goes. He’s made a lot of improvement. But not enough for me.
He kept changing beginnings and endings of simple vowel, consonant, vowel words. For instance, he’d read the word “beg” as “bet” and the word “kid” as “lid”. After coaxing, changing teaching methodology, offering a numerous of other approaches, asking him where the “t” was in the word “bet” and so forth, I ran out of options.
Keep in mind, I’ve been at this for over thirty years, so I was getting frustrated. I didn’t want Carter to know this, as I suspect the emotional component to his reading issues is because he’s become a master at making teachers frustrated so they’ll give up on him.
Have I told you I’m a pit bull? I dig my jaws in and never give up.
I asked Carter this: “Why do you keep reading the wrong letters for these words on the page when you can read them perfectly when I have you pull down individual tiles for the same words?”
Out of the mouth of a babe, he responded, “I get all these letters mixed up with the other letters on this page.”
I felt like smacking myself on the head. I know better!
I ran into the office and came back with a pair of scissors and a recipe card. Quickly, I made Carter a reading window. Folks, this isn’t some new creation. I learned about reading windows in college. That was back in the 1980’s and have used them successfully for years. I just haven’t had a need to use them because my dyslexia reading program corrects most of these issues. Most, I said. There’s always an outlier. (Most of the time, it’s me!)
Well, you guessed it. With the reading window, Carter read every word correctly. He puffed out his chest and strutted out of the room, feeling good about himself and his reading.
All because of a simple reading window. (To make a reading window, just cut a small rectangle, about the size of the print, in a recipe card. Have the student put the “window” on the words he’s reading. Like magic, he’ll focus only on those letters.)
You can overcome dyslexia!