Exciting announcement: www.breakingthecode.com, the new site that I’m co-hosting with my colleague Richard McManus of The Fluency Factory, is finally live (pats self on back for setting up and designing a website entirely from scratch, with only a minuscule amount of help; to my tech people, you’re awesome, but apparently I’ve learned a thing or two in all my years of wrangling this site into shape).
So the good news is that I’ll finally get out of everyone’s hair about little-kid reading problems—even though, for the record, they tend to turn into big-kid reading problems—and stick to writing about testing and admissions-related topics (well, mostly).
Kidding aside, Richard and I really want this to become a major resource for people involved in reading instruction, whether out of personal or professional interest. Richard and his tutors do phenomenal work getting kids who’ve fallen behind in reading back on track.
Last fall I was lucky enough to spend a few days hanging out with them, and I can testify to their dedication and effectiveness. If anyone reading this has a child, or knows anyone who has a child, struggling with reading, I really encourage you to get in touch. (Because of the Coronavirus situation, they’re working exclusively online and on a pay-what-you-can-afford model.)
For anyone who wants an overview of the basics of teaching reading, I’m also planning to make available a short (just over 30- page) downloadable guide to the major concepts. There’ll probably be a small fee, but not more than a few dollars. I started out intending for it to be very bare bones, but the more research I did, the more I realized had to be included, and it kind of spiraled from there…
One of the things I realized was the extent to which really key information about reading instruction is diffused over a very wide range of sources, many of which are quite dense and not particularly accessible to a non-academic audience. I’d be skimming through an article or an interview that I’d found half by chance, and all of the sudden I’d read something that made me think, “This is so incredibly important—how did it take me so long to learn this, and why isn’t it common knowledge?”
Then I’d read blog comments left by people who were struggling to teach reading and realized they hadn’t been trained well but couldn’t find a primer that explained just what they needed to know. So obviously I had to take it upon myself to write one;)
So please feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested, and if you’re interested in contributing, please drop us a line!
As a tutor, I am. concerned about how to teach the reading sections when the ACT and SAT will likely be going online in the fall. Right now for the ACT, I teach students to “chunk” the paragraphs, underline key info and make notes to the side to remember where things are and what paragraphs cover. Students won’t be able to do this if they take the reading test online.
Would love the guide!