Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Reading Programs - Fast ForWord

I only just learned that Fast ForWord existed.
It seems to be computer based. 
Info from their website below.

Early Reading Programs
While reading problems vary for ages 4 to 7, the underlying source of difficulty is almost always phonological awareness, the target of our reading programs.
Our early childhood reading programs help reading fundamentals, the cognitive and language skills required for reading fluency.
Elementary Age Reading Programs
Target: Fluency, the ability to read at natural language speed with prosody (natural speech emphasis). Fluency is important because it requires automatic, subconscious decoding, the foundational skill for reading comprehension.
Elementary age children need at least 2-3 months on Fast ForWord Language v2 and Language to Reading v2, before graduating to our reading skills programs, which cover spelling, vocabulary, decoding, and reading comprehension.
Our elementary age reading programs have a computer-game feel — levels, points, prizes — and a self-paced design that together add up to an engaged student experience.
Middle School Reading Programs
Target: Comprehension (Literal). Reading difficulties often show up in later grades as the content gets progressively more challenging. This can be due to a lack of automaticity in decoding, but can also reflect weak vocabulary or delays in essential reading comprehension skills.
Our middle school reading programs take students back to basics, building reading fluency and listening comprehension skills using Fast ForWord Literacy and Literacy Advanced. We then move students to the reading series — typically Reading Level 2, 3 and 4 — to build vocabulary, spelling and other reading comprehension skills.
High School Reading Programs
Target: Comprehension With Metacognition. If a student is a struggling reader at high school, it is generally up the parent to intervene — by this age, most schools assume students are proficient decoders, with the focus being on metacognition, self-regulated learning.
Our reading programs for high school students start with fluency, vocabulary, spelling and comprehension and then train students to think actively while reading, the ultimate reading skill.
Teenagers start with Fast ForWord Literacy and Literacy Advanced. Most high school students complete at least two programs in our reading series, typically Reading Level 3 and Reading Level 5, which work on reading accuracy, making inferences from paragraphs, and metacognition skills as required for SAT, ACT and college level reading.

Logistics and Compliance
Our reading programs can be helpful before sitting ACT or SAT, although they do require consistent effort and attendance, a challenge for some high schoolers. Older students see results quickly, in 2-3 months in most cases.

Probably the End - Blame Google

Due to unhappy life events, I haven't been publishing here.
Now Google won't let me update my payment information,
so I guess the site will vanish.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Go Hang a Salami, I'm a Lasagna Hog

In Aprils Past,
Poetry posts predominated.
(me opt poem)
and certainly we've read some
wonderful poetry.
But sillier stuff appeals
more to my son.
Jon Agee's books of palindromes 
couple ridiculous phrases with
matching silly drawings and
will delight those with a sense
of the ridiculous and anyone
who sees things backwards and
Here a few for you
to see if your gal or guy
would like to give Agee
a try.
Llama Mall
Lion Oil
Emil's Niece, in slime.
You may want to try writing your own -
you'll find out why they can be so weird 
and why Agee's funny drawings help.
The drawings define the palindromes,
and provide a context for the reader.
But I think my son would like them
even without the pictures.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ducks in Muck - Rhyme Time

Cool Spring rain falling, 
happy duck weather, 
found some ducky rhymes.
Ducks in Muck by Lori Haskins
is an "Early Step into Reading" book
and a great easy reading book with
very few words.
The rhymes help kids read and
to have the predictability they
Short, sweet, with bright colors
and cuddly ducks, it should appeal
to beginning readers and those who
just love silly, rhyming stories.
If your child enjoys this, you
should try Duck in the Truck.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Funny Little Woman

The Funny Little Woman won the Caldecott some years ago.
It's a retelling of a Japanese folk tale that reminded my nine
year old of Strega Nona with its theme of a magical cookery
implement (A rice paddle rather than the Strega Nona pasta pot).
The battered little paperback has been sitting unloved and unread
in my house for years, and I decided it was time for it to seek 
a new home. But first I coralled the boys on the couch for
a read aloud. As usual, both protested. I threatened my neurotypical
child with an electronic device ban and told my son with autism
that even though he hadn't "planned to read" we were reading. 
It's a good read aloud. 
You may know some of my touchstones by now.
The Funny Little Woman includes:
1) illustrations that are clear and relate to the story
(they're also next to the words they illustrate)
2) minimal subtext
(adults may find some here, kids are unlikely to and the
story doesn't need it)
3) humor (giggling woman, dumpling chase, rescue by prat fall)
4) repetition (my dumpling)
 Here's another description of this book 
from a blogger who read Caldecott winners with her
girls and had them journal afterwards. She provides
a list of Caldecott winners through 2010. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I saw a Peacock

"I saw a peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail
I saw a cloud with ivy circled round
I saw a sturdy oak creep on the ground
.  .  . "
Ramsingh Urvel chose to illustrate this lovely and puzzling 
poem written in 17th century England to create a book
that may have special appeal for children with autism.
First of all, it rhymes.
Next, the illustrations combine simple and complex
elements in an interesting way that intrigues those
who like to study lines and repetitive patterns. 
Lastly, the whole poem is a play on words. 
The illustrations include strategically placed holes, 
which are both fun and a bit problematic for some
readers. Don't get this one if ripping a page bothers
you or your child.
The illustrations present puzzles of their own. 
Despite their simple black/white contrast and
simple outlines, they contain complicated 
repeating patterns. The shaped holes reveal
portions of both text and pictures.
From the description inside:
"Even the youngest of readers will delight in
The overturning of logic, and the 'trick' with
which meaning can be made to return . . .
Is the difference between fantasy and reality
largely grammatical?"

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Award Winners

This year I've never heard of the Newbery 
and Caldecott winners.
This is usual. 
And as usual, the winners look well worth a look.
The picture book seems a bit over the top illustratively 
for kids who relate better to clear, realistic pictures. 
But the message of someone searching to belong and
succeeding is great. 
And my boy loves poems. 
I'm hoping he'll give The Crossover a try.

D.C.-area poet and author Kwame Alexander won the Newbery Medal 
on Monday for “The Crossover,” his book written in verse about 12-year-old basketball-playing twin boys.
KidsPost reviewer Abby McGanney Nolan wrote that the poems are “sometimes fresh and funny, sometimes sad and painful, but always move the story along in a compelling way.”
Alexander said the book was partly inspired by basketball legends such as Michael Jordan and the way their playing is described as “poetry in motion.”
Two books, “El Deafo” by Cece Bell and “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson, were awarded Newbery Honors.
“The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” by Dan Santat was awarded the Caldecott Medal for the year’s best picture book. Six books were named Caldecott honor books.