Posts Tagged ‘reading comprehension’

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Learning Reading Help: 3 Reasons for Reading Struggles

October 22nd, 2010

Looking for help with learning reading

and don't know where to start?

Learning Reading Help Can Be Divided into 3 Categories

There are actually 3 Roadblocks to Learning Reading, 3 Roadblocks to Learning Writing, and 6 roadblocks to Learning Spelling. Whether your child has dyslexia, has an identified learning disability, is falling through the cracks at school or is even gifted… understanding what is interfering with their learning reading skills makes the difference in reading success or reading failure. 3 Roadblocks to Learning Reading. 1. Learning Reading: Phonics Related Problem This is the type of problem where it is almost ‘painful’ to listen to your child read. This happens more frequently with children in the primary grades, although older children can also have this difficulty. This first roadblock to reading success is phonics related. Phonics reading problems are when a child ‘jumbles’ or mispronounces the words as they are trying to decode (the ability to sound out printed words) or encode (the ability to put letters to the sounds that make up a word). You have no idea what the word is that they are trying to read until you look at it yourself. 2. Learning Reading: Fluency/Visual Tracking Problem This is when you listen to your child read the selection doesn’t make any sense to you. You know something must be missing. The second reading roadblock to reading success is where it takes your child what seems like forever to read the sentence or they have skipped, omitted, or repeated words when reading. They may even re-read the whole selection and still not get meaning from it because they have missed bits and pieces of what they have read. This fluency problem happens quite often with children of all ages, from 1st grade to adults. Over the years I have found that most students that have reading problems or are 'reluctant readers' have fluency/visual tracking problems that interfere with their reading. 3. Learning Reading: Lack of Language or Vocabulary Problem This is when your child reads and you know they don’t understand the meaning of the words they are reading.This prevents comprehension or being able to understand what you read. Many children don’t have a large base of language or vocabulary. This happens often due to poor visual memory or auditory memory skills. This makes reading comprehension difficult. This problem may not be noticeable until the 4th grade and above due to the relatively common vocabulary that is used in reading material for younger students. There are solutions to each of these roadblocks to learning reading skills.

Reading Comprehension Game Improves Learning Skills

October 2nd, 2010

Playing Reading Comprehension Game

Improves Learning Skills

What if you could play a game and improve your child's reading and listening comprehension at the same time? It also sounds too good to be true doesn't it? But a game really can improve reading comprehension. As a learning disability specialist and board certified educational therapist I have probably worked with every type of reading problem, dyslexia, learning disability imaginable over my 37 years or teaching.

Reading Comprehension Problems

Many of my students had reading comprehension problems. They were very frustrated with their reading assignments. It was so hard for them when they had to read their social studies book and answer the questions at the end of the chapter. And they would often read the chapter multiple times and still not be able to answer the reading comprehension questions. The problem was, no one had taught my students how to read for meaning. There is a specific way you read for reading comprehension. There is a certain way to listen for listening comprehension.

Solution to Reading Comprehension and Listening Comprehension Problems

As a result of teaching frustrated students of all ages, students that had given up on being able to understand what they had read, I decided to create a game that would teach them how to read for meaning and improve their reading comprehension. I knew from both working with my students and from research on learning that game playing was a great way to teach and reinforce skills. So I developed The Comprehension Zone: Rocket Rap to help them improve their skills. What The Comprehension Zone: Rocket Rap™ did for our child: "The Comprehension Zone: Rocket Rap had amazing results for one of our children.   We have been working with him on comprehension for years.  I often have him draw pictures of what I’m reading, we act things out and we read just a few phrases at a time and ask him questions whenever we are dealing with auditory learning.  He simply struggles in this area.  I was interested to see how he would do with Rocket Rap. We began playing Rocket Rap often.  The improvement was rapid and dramatic!  By the end of the second game he was able to play successfully and currently it is easy enough for him to pick out facts while listening that he likes to try reading the card himself. For the first time in his life our child will raise his hand when Mark asks questions during family worship and he will know the answer.  He will come up to us after church and spontaneously tell us something that he learned from the sermon.  He is so amazingly proud of himself and I’m amazingly thankful. For our child who has always struggled with comprehension, for these results, I would happily pay double.  We’ve tried things similar to this in the past, we’ve been focused on this problem for years, but Rocket Rap has been the first activity that has been successful.” Kimberly from RaisingOlives.com

Struggling with Learning Reading Skills?

September 21st, 2010

Struggling With Learning Reading Skills?

Many times when your child struggles they are actually working three, four, five times harder than their classmates. Your child gets frustrated and the homework battles start because the homework becomes overwhelming. When your child struggles with reading skills or your evenings become filled with 'homework battles' it is typically due to a reason and the reason typically isn't that your child is lazy!

There are actually 3 Roadblocks to Learning Reading.

Whether your child has dyslexia, has an identified learning disability, is falling through the cracks at school or is even gifted... understanding what is interfering with their reading skills makes the difference in reading success or reading failure. 1.  Learning Reading: Phonics Related Problem The first roadblock to reading success is with phonics related. Phonics reading problems are when a child 'jumbles' or mispronounces the words as they are trying to decode(the ability to sound out printed words) or encode (the ability to put letters to the sounds that make up a word). You have no idea what the word is that they are trying to read until you look at it yourself. It is almost painful listening to your child read because they are struggling so much. 2.  Learning Reading: Fluency/Visual Tracking Problem The second reading roadblock to reading success is where it takes your child what seems like forever to read the sentence or they have skipped, omitted, or repeated words when reading. They may even re-read the whole selection and still not get meaning from it because they have missed bits and pieces of what they have read. 3.  Learning Reading: Lack of Language or Vocabulary Problem This prevents comprehension or being able to understand what you read. Many children don't have a large base of language or vocabulary.  This happens often due to poor visual memory or auditory memory skills. This makes reading comprehension difficult. There are solutions to each of these roadblocks to learning reading skills.

4 Activities to Improve Reading Skills (Part 3 – Reading Comprehension)

August 6th, 2010

4 Activities to Improve Reading Skills

(Part 3 - Reading Comprehension)

As a parent you do have the power and ability to help your kids improve their reading skills. Now what I mean here is that you as a parent can help your child whether they have an identified learning disability, dyslexia, ADHD, or are gifted. There are 4 easy to implement activities that each take just a few minutes a day to improve reading.
  1. Improve reading fluency in 5 minutes a day
  2. Improve spelling and learn the 8 ways we put letters together to make words
  3. Improve reading comprehension by playing a reading comprehension game
  4. Improve writing skills using specially designed graphic organizers

Improve Reading Skills Activities

The first activity you can do to help your child improve reading skills  just takes 5 minutes a day - reading fluency. The second activity which is helping your children improve reading skills is by helping your children improve their spelling skills (about 12 minutes). The third activity is to play games with your children. The key here is to play games that are specifically designed to improve reading comprehension. So, the third activity is playing a reading comprehension game. That’s right, game playing! Playing The Comprehension Zone, a reading comprehension game, teaches your kids how to read for the main idea and details or sequence what they read does the trick. So many children struggle with reading comprehension, specifically finding the main idea of what they are reading or finding details that support the main idea or for sequential order. This can be daunting for some students, and not just those students with LD, dyslexia, or ADHD. You don't have to have a learning disability to have difficulty with reading comprehension! Even gifted children sometimes struggle with reading comprehension. Think about how difficult note-taking is when you don’t have a clue about the main idea of what you read. Typically you either stare at blank sheets of paper or you copy everything down, not knowing how to pick out the important information.

Play Reading Game to Improve Reading Skills

To be able to play a game and learn, practice, and reinforce the skill of pulling out the main idea and the details or putting information into sequential order at the same time is quite something. Additionally, this  reading game can be played for both reading comprehension or listening comprehension. One of the beauties of playing games that improve reading skills, teach, and reinforce skills is that you are in a relaxed state when you are playing. Leaning is retained more efficiently when your body is not in a tense fight or flight state. Using games to learn skills is a way to learn in a non-threatening way. Games even help and encourage learners to stay interested and they often work happier and longer without even realizing it. Lee Su Kim states: 'There is a common perception that all learning should be serious and solemn in nature, and that if one is having fun and there is hilarity and laughter, then it is not really learning. This is a misconception. It is possible to learn a language as well as enjoy oneself at the same time. One of the best ways of doing this is through games.' 'There are many advantages of using games to improve reading skills in the classroom: 1. Games are a welcome break from the usual routine of the language class. 2. They are motivating and challenging. 3. Learning a language requires a great deal of effort. Games help students to make and sustain the effort of learning. 4. Games provide language practice in the various skills- speaking, writing, listening and reading. 5. They encourage students to interact and communicate. 6. They create a meaningful context for language use.' Creative Games for the Language Class 'Forum' Vol. 33 No 1, January - March 1995, Page 35 So, be sure to include games like The Comprehension Zone in your family’s activities. Your children will benefit from them. And, you will be spending quality time with your children and be helping them improve their reading comprehension skills at the same time.

Struggling With Note-Taking, Reading Comprehension & Listening Comprehension?

July 30th, 2010
Bonnie, I found you through Youtube and am intrigued by the 10 Minutes to Better Study Skills! My home-schooled daughter is 16 and dual-enrolling in our local community college and currently in her first class. She is struggling with note-taking!  She also took the SAT in June and scored poorly in the reading portion, especially the "passage" reading. I'm beginning to make the connection with these two problems... there seems to be a struggle, for her, in pulling out keys points in a written document, or passage, and in an oral lecture. She tends to want to write down too much from a lecture and gets overwhelmed when given a passage to read with questions to answer, especially when timed. For writing assignments, she is gifted in vocabulary usage, spelling and grammar, but the process of writing becomes a long, drawn-out process. She wants to "hover" over a slew of ideas but struggles to land the plane.  When she does land the plane, it will take hours. Will your book and the forms therein help us? Karen McGold
Karen, There is a direct connection with the ability to pull out the main idea and important details and note-taking. You want to be sure the notes you take are meaningful and when you don't know how to quickly pull out that information from either reading a passage or listening to a lecture, you are 'sunk'. That is one of the specific reasons I designed the graphic organizers in Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills in the manner that I did. These forms not only help you with note-taking, they also become a 'study-guide' for you when you are reviewing the material or answering the questions at the end of a section or chapter. They can also be used to learn how to take notes while listening to a lecture or presentation. The graphic organizer fill-in-the-blank forms are designed specifically with your daughter in mind. Another product that will also help her is our game the Comprehension Zone because it teaches you specifically how to pull out the main idea, details, and sequence what you read or listen to in a game format. It can be played for both reading or listening comprehension. Playing with the skill, practicing the skill through play, and then utilizing the Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills will go a long way in teaching her those missing skills. Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET http://bonnieterrylearning.com

6 Must-do Learning Games & Activities For the Summer

June 3rd, 2010
Can you do your own summer learning program? Should you do your own summer learning program? Fact: More than half of the achievement gap present in 9th grade between lower- and higher-income children can be explained by summer learning loss. Make Learning Stick with learning games and reading fluency training over the summer. There are many things you can do at home to bridge that summer learning gap.
  1. Reading Fluency using Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills…and Yes…it only takes 5 minutes to do. Sally Shawitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia states, "I urge parents to make fluency training their number one priority."
  2. Take a weekly trip …to the zoo, a local park, the pool, the river, a local factory…and afterwards as a family write down what you did and what your favorite part was…using the fill-in-the-blank forms from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills and create a booklet to keep for all of your weekly trips.
  3. Do some nature activities such as listening to outdoor sounds, nature rubbings, shape hike, incher hikes … again use the fill-in-the-blank forms from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills to describe what you found or did.
  4. Activities to do at home like making puppets and putting on a puppet show. Bake cookies together, have a backwards day where you eat dinner in the morning and breakfast in the evening, do add-on-stories. Again write down your favorite things or worse things about the activity.
  5. Have a Game Night or a Game Day…choose learning games…they are fun as well as work on skills. Some great ones are The Sentence Zone (play & learn sentence building and grammar while having fun) , The Comprehension Zone (play & learn reading comprehension and listening comprehension), or the Math Zone (play & math calculation practice).
  6. Read books together…and write a review or report on it, or have a review night where you all act as book reviewers of the book you read.
Check out the books, games, and guides here: Reading Writing Math Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

How to Help Your Child Improve Their Reading, Writing, & Math Skills in 20 Minutes a Day

March 10th, 2010
I have had such an overwhelming response from last night's call; I am truly humbled.  "We've already done some of the exercises you told us about. My kids thought they were fun! I just wish we had found you before we had spent thousands of dollars." Kathy G  "I like that I can use this for all of my kids, not just my struggling one. I like that. That's a big plus." Linda E.  "I was able to join the call via the web conference and from what I heard, it was very exciting! Then I had tech problems. Any chance of being able to listen again?" Elise C.  "I sooo appreciate your making it doable via computer." Tricia L  "Thank you so much for the information!" Rachel B  "I didn't know there were so many easy ways I could help my son." Susan B For those of you that were unable to attend, I have twisted Susan's arm and we are doing it again this Saturday. This is another chance for you to join in to the FREE private training call. How to Help Your Child Improve Their Reading, Writing, & Math Skills in 20 Minutes a Day Sat. March 13th 11am PST, noon MST, 1pm CST, and 2pm EST. Register here: http://www.homeworkwars.com/privatetrainingcall/ Upon registration, you will receive the call in information and a Handbook on How to Help Your Child Improve Their Skills.                                                                                                                                                                                       You can either call in or attend via the web. Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

How to Improve Reading and Memory Skills and Still Have Fun

January 7th, 2010
What can you do during the winter weather to help your kids improve their skills? This question is a frequent one for me. Parents are always interested in helping their kids, but it is sometimes hard to stay motivated, especially during the winter months. The following activities work well with all kids, whether they have dyslexia, LD, ADHD, are falling through the cracks, or are gifted. I have done the activities successfully with all of them! I have two favorite things to do to not only help my kids, but to stay motivated doing it too. The first thing is to have more frequent game nights, playing educational games - learning games like The Sentence Zone, The Comprehension Zone, or The Math Zone. When you play games with your kids, they build skills while having fun and get a lot of modeling from you too. At the same time you get to have quality family time, so it is a double win situation. The other activity I like to do is to have an evening where I might turn the heat up a degree or two, and everyone gets dressed in ‘summer’ clothes, and we have a ‘picnic’ on the floor of the living room. Afterwards, we might tell stories to each other – what I call ‘add-on stories.’ In these stories one person starts off and then the next person adds on to the story. We keep going round and round and the story gets longer and longer. The only thing is, the kids have to pay attention and so do you, so what you add on makes sense to the story. This builds listening comprehension and memory as well as a really good time. Hope this is helpful! Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

Question About Comprehension Zone: Age Range? Reading Game

December 12th, 2009

Hi Susan,

The Comprehension Zone can be used from 2nd grade - 12th grade (reading levels) or when played for listening comprehension, from 1st & up. The Comprehension Zone comes with 3 sets of cards - 2-3 reading level, 4-6 reading level, and 7-12 reading level. It can be played simultaneously with all levels. Can also be played for listening comprehension at a level that is higher than the students reading level. All of my products are multi-age/grade level because I primarily taught from 1st - 12th in my classrooms and/or center. I transition my kids that were in kindergarten as soon as I can into using the products, but never had too many that were in kindergarten. I am able to use the products with 1st - 12th. Hope this helps, Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
Hi Bonnie, I'd like to place an order for a product of yours, but I have not been able to locate any age or grade range for any of the items.  Can you tell me for whom the Comprehension Zone is appropriate? Thanks, Susan Taber

Reading Help & Phonics Help for Older Students

November 18th, 2009
Hi there, I recently found you on the web and just watching your vids, I'm VERY interested. To wit: I'm homeschooling my 16 year old nephew who has been diagnosed ADHD and dyslexic. With the phonics reading materials I've found on the net and at my local library, I can only find elementary school age relative materials. Money is tight or I'd simply order EVERYTHING you offer. Any suggestions? Thank you for your time, and more importantly your efforts to bring REAL EDUCATION to this nation! Sincerely, Rich Brewer Hi Rich, Sorry for the delay in responding. I was out of town visiting my mom in Chicago. I know what you mean about phonics reading materials being geared to elementary students. In fact, most are geared to kindergarten through 3rd grade. That is why I designed mine for all ages. I've always worked with students from kindergarten through adult ages. I figured that my younger students would feel like they were doing older kids stuff and my older students wouldn't feel like they had to do little kid stuff. You can always start small and gradually build what you are using. The first things I would get are the Making Spelling Sense, Making Spelling Sense II, and Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills. The Making Spelling Sense teaches all of the phonics, word attack skills, auditory processing, and word structure. The Five Minutes to Better Reading works on reading fluency and accuracy as well as visual and auditory processing skills. The Spelling Pack saves you $4.00; the Five Minutes to Better Reading Set saves you $9.00 When you purchase all of them as the Reading Pack - which includes the Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills + the Comprehension Zone you get a $20.00 discount, plus you then have the comprehension piece in place. You also get a copy of my new e-book: Understanding LD and Dyslexia as a bonus with the Reading Pack. Hope this is helpful. I'm glad to see you signed up for the free teaching and homework tips from my blog. BTW: You can subscribe to the videos on You Tube too. Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET http://bonnieterrylearning.com

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