Better than my dad!

This week, since the prizes have started to arrive, Brodie has got a new burst of enthusiasm – he has given all family members spy names, changed his name and we are no longer doing a reading program but spy training.
Yesterday he was so excited when he could do something his dad couldn’t! After Brodie’s lesson, I asked him to get his dad to see if he could read it. Of course, when dad was asked whether he could read the first page with text his response was yeah, of course. But when the second page of characters-only text came up and he couldn’t read it, Brodie decoded it again for his dad and was so proud he was able to do something dad couldn’t! Thank you.

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Famous Dyslexics: From the ancient past…

Because the term ‘dyslexia‘ didn’t surface until the late 1800s – and even then didn’t catch hold until recent decades – it is possible that a huge number of iconic figures from our past struggled with it unknowingly.

One article speculates about a few of those stars of history, based on what little we know about their educational upbringing. I’ll give you a hint to get us started… the first one lived way back in the 15th century and was a man of many talents!

Check out the article here:

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is a Literacy Specialist for the Easyread System, a ground-breaking online course that helps children with reading difficulties achieve their potential. Find out more at

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She read adult engineering text!

Today, she sat on my lap for a minute. I was writing a report. She actually read this text below fairly well – sounding out words she did not know!!!! Not bad. :)

The required finished water quality after reuse treatment will depend on the goals for reuse at that particular site and the regulatory requirements. Along with general water quality parameters, such as turbidity, metals, and pH, disinfection and micropollutant control are the main goals.

Boring engineering text, but some big words in there for sure!!

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Do teachers need the label ‘dyslexia’ in order to help their students?

It is understandable that parents feel like they might get more support for their child if they have an ‘official’ label. It also makes sense that it might be easier for teachers and SENCOs to differentiate lessons and interventions if they know exactly what children’s difficulties are.

Yet isn’t this precisely the issue? Dyslexia is an umbrella term that doesn’t necessarily give teachers any explicit reasons for a student’s difficulties. Any teacher can tell you whether a child is struggling with reading – what we need is the neurologically-based expertise to help find a tailored solution. Needless to say, I completely agree with Dr Gibbs’ findings, which found that:

“[teachers felt] the label ‘dyslexia’ evoked responses that suggested it was seen as a fixed disability, and that the teachers believed their ability to help children with ‘dyslexia was unlikely to develop over time. By contrast, the teachers who had been asked about ‘reading difficulties’ were less likely to see the children’s problems as permanent; were also more likely to believe that they would be able to help them, and that their skills developed with experience.”

We had already moved to the term ‘struggling readers’ at my last school as it sits alongside psychologist Carol Dweck’s notion of growth mindset much more comfortably. All teachers want to believe that their students can achieve their full potential and more. What we need to make sure they feel able to do is apply growth mindset even with their struggling readers.

Surely by removing supposedly fixed labels, teachers can feel less daunted about their ability to change a child’s literacy trajectory, leaving room for the all-important question ‘how?’ to be the focus of attention. In many cases, the term ‘dyslexia’ feels somewhat more like a full stop rather than a question mark.

Sticking with precise identification of a student’s reading difficulties and then working on precise solutions is unquestionably the key. What is arguably even more important in ensuring this is skilling up our teachers – primary and secondary – making sure they are equipped with the level of expertise needed to tackle the causes of reading difficulty at their core.

rachel headshotRachel Wallace is a former English teacher and KS3/4 Leader, and current Literacy Specialist for the Easyread System. Easyread is an online intervention for children with reading difficulties, dyslexia, auditory processing problems and more.

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How important and how rewarding being able to read is

From our point of view receiving Stacey’s report at end of 2014 from school and seeing that she had achieved the New Zealand reading level set for her age group was fantastic. Stacey also understands now how important and how rewarding being able to read is which has taken the battle out of everything.
So, thank you very much for your help.

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Program is revolutionary

Hi! We have been extremely satisfied and impressed with EasyRead and have already told others (including Declan’s school) about it. Just a few lessons into it, Declan told me how smart the EasyRead people must be to make reading so easy! The eye tracking exercises have proven so effective, and I can see carryover into other areas such as sports, games, and just life in general. I would have never guessed that eye tracking was a problem for Declan, that it could be so simple to help, and that the results would be so evident in so many areas…

Thank you for all of the support as well. The program itself is revolutionary, but I have to add that the support is crucial and so appreciated.

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