Three Roads to Success in 2012 Three Roads to Success in 2012
Three Roads to Success in 2012

Three Roads to Success in 2012

Three Roads to Success in 2012

by Vera Goodman, ReadingWings.com

Vera Goodman has a Master's degree in Language Arts from the University of Calgary. She is a retired teacher with experience teaching grades 1 - 9. As a private tutor, she has helped parents learn how to coach their children to read and write effectively.

Recently, I listened to a neuroscientist speak about the functions of the brain.  I had a chance to explain to him my approach to turning struggling readers into readers, sometimes in as little as one session.  

He told me why my approach often seems to work like magic.  His answer was simple and I realized that it exactly describes what makes the Making Sense Approach to Reading unusual.

He said there are three conditions that enable the frontal cortex, the area responsible for reading,  to do its job.

  1.     Stress must be released; it creates limitations
  2.     Simplicity enables optimum function
  3.     Joy allows it to open; to operate at its best

Seems simple, right?   But it is the secret of reading success.   Without consciously realizing it, I incorporated these three elements into my Coaching Model as I strove to understand the simple elements that enable good readers to read well.   

That's where the magic lies.   The Making Sense Approach creates the conditions that open the brain so it can access and use the knowledge it has stored. It just changes the focus of the brain.

Often students who come to me for reading help don't want to come into my house or to talk to me.  Sometimes they cry, curl up in a chair or refuse to try to read.  They have had it with reading.  It has caused them too much shame.  They believe there is something wrong with them. Reading, as presented, is too complex for them.  They certainly are joyless. Too much teaching has put obstacles in their path.

Everyone who comes to see me already knows what they need to know to read.  They can't do it because they lack the three conditions that enable the frontal cortex to operate properly.

Daniel Amen, in his book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, tells about a thirteen year old girl who cried as she said, "When I read I am so mean to myself.  I tell myself, 'Try harder.  If you try harder then you won't be so stupid.'  But trying harder doesn't seem to help."   

Struggling readers are not stupid but they cannot rescue themselves.  They need a different kind of coaching.  

This will make any endeavor you undertake in 2012 more successful. I don't know about you, but I need all the help I can get from my brain!   

If these were the goals of education,  we would produce highly functioning students who could learn to cope with life and complexity.

You may contact Vera Goodman at:  Vera@ReadingWings.com.
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