by Sue Smith, Upper Carmen Charter School
Sue Smith, long time educator, has just published the fifth book in a five-book series. This series of books is used to teach very young, deaf, dyslexic, learning delayed, and English as a second language students how to read. She developed this reading program over a period of thirty years, based largely on her own dyslexia and struggles in learning how to read. The difference in this program from the typical programs is that it utilizes the four learning modalities of sight, hearing, touch, and movement; as opposed to typical kindergarten curriculums which only use sight and hearing.
BethTommy Read-to-Read is a reading series to implement the learning to read process. It is based on the twenty-four most used phonic rules. The five books sequentially introduce the phonic rules with ample exposure to the rules to make them automatic. This reading series is currently being used at the kindergarten and delayed first grade level in six school districts across Idaho and Utah. Upper Carmen Public Charter School, which Sue founded 16 years ago, has continuously used this program to teach children to read. Sue and her curriculum have been recognized at both the state and national levels for the outstanding success her reading program has had.
Schools using this reading program see kindergarten students beginning to read book #1, typically by Thanksgiving. At the end of book #3 most kindergarten students are reading at mid-first grade level about February, and at this time students are becoming independent readers. Books #4-5 are used to expand children’s vocabulary and work in conjunction with other stories which are readily available.
As an author and teacher, Sue is grateful the her approach to teaching reading has spared some students from going through some of the school struggles she endured and has given hundreds of children a solid foundation for navigating school and their future endeavors.
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