1 - Q. Is CompuRead written according to current research?
A. Every word and strategy in CompuRead has been researched. As a lecturer at the University of Arizona, one of the authors, Mrs. Blanche Pryor, had access to all new research, every new book, every method, plus the input of all the faculty. This research advantage enabled us to write for the educable, dyslexic, gifted and gifted dyslexic and indeed every child, so all children and adults could have the opportunity to know the phonetic and comprehension logic of the English Language to their potential. The authors of CompuRead delved deeply into the late research of the University of Utah. We stood on the shoulders of successful teachers and authors. These choice teaching methods and the most current research findings are the thrust of CompuRead.
2 - Q. How will the How to Be a Fantastic Teacher help me to like teaching?
A. A quick read through this manual will give you an understanding of those 20, 30 or 40 kids before you. This important knowledge is seldom taught in college. Most college professors know, but are reluctant to tell, what a young teacher will face. Almost every move your young charges make has been explained in great detail and teachers who have "been there and done that" have joyfully contributed. Their experience can cut many years off your learning by experience. Facing your students with confidence will be a pleasure when you are armed with the much needed, yet seldom taught background information you will find about teaching in today's classroom.
When your time comes to close the door for the last time, you will with grateful hands pass this much referred to, written in the margins, volume on to a teacher you love, to start her on her way.
3 - Q. How long have the authors been teaching?
A. The principal authors have taught from prekindergarten through college with a combined 75 years of teaching which includes mainstream classroom, learning disabilities, mentally challenged and gifted dyslexic children including teachers in training.
4 - Q. How has the reading program been used?
A. CompuRead is the culmination of proven in-classroom teaching methods combined with the thinking of leading educators, past and present.
CompuRead is the first to consider, in extreme detail, skills built upon each other in a highly organized manner and teaches the learner the natural logic of the English Language. This logical presentation of reading skills is a teaching necessity for the slower or disabled learner whose skill absorption takes place in this step-by-step manner.
The step-by-step phonetic structure builds confidence as each skill is absorbed before the next is taught. The complete basics of phonics, spelling, writing, comprehension, listening, sight words and speaking have been incorporated into CompuRead from the beginning of kindergarten to completion of 6th grade. These basic skills are absolutely necessary in order to read the uncontrolled vocabulary with fluency and comprehension presented in upper elementary text books.
5 - Q. Why can some children read and some have a very difficult time?
A. I wish I knew. Every teacher in every language wishes they knew. It boils down to this. Researchers have known early on and know now that we all absorb information at every turn. It whirled around us as children and even now is whirling around in the air.
Everything we as children saw, heard, touched...our every move was registered and lodged into its correct place into the brain. When it was time to release this knowledge, our hands worked to learn to write, our eyes learned to read and our ears heard the right sounds we call phonics. We could easily tell what sound went to the right letter called phonemic awareness and how those letters fit together to make words. For most of us, we didn't have to be taught, it just came naturally. Some of us were reading the funnies at age 4 and 5. Nobody had to teach us, nobody noticed nor did we.
But the senses of a dyslexic child do not coordinate in this correct manner. The hand, ears, eyes and speech do not act as one. Learning does not enter the brain correctly. The senses of reading must be taught and retaught where in the brain each tiny skill must go. It has to be taught until each skill is overlearned or until the part of the brain that controls the skill is activated.
As we speak there is no cure for dyslexia. The best we can do is start early, at birth. Every parent must assume their child will not read. No parent can take that chance. Skills of every sense...sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, physical activities, speech, directionality and a host of other skills must be developed before the child ever enters the kindergarten door. CompuRead excels at teaching this complex learning by greatly simplifying the learning to read process.
6 - Q. Why can't my child read?
A. The good news is all children who do not read until later may not be dyslexic. They advance quickly with adult help or learn later on. Below are some of the reasons for poor reading skills.
- The learner was given books in the beginning with little organized plan for teaching phonics and was expected to just "know" the words.
- The learner was dragged along through this method until sight words or the words memorized became overwhelming.
- The learner had no concept of directionality or the direction of the letters of the words he reads. Reading and spelling demand the learner be well aware of the direction of the letters in both reading and writing.
- The learner did not know the meaning of the words, even if he could sound them. He must be able to tell you in his own vocabulary what the words mean.
- Too little learning background for the material he is trying to read. To comprehend, a reader must form mental pictures of his reading, similar to watching a movie. A student who comprehends well knows much more than the page tells him. Background knowledge is essential for high comprehension.
This brief outline does not take into consideration, eye, health and emotional problems. Each should be diagnosed and treated early in the child's educational career. (A more comprehensive outline with every step to success is written in the Early Intervention Techniques for the Prevention of Reading Problems)
7 - Q. What makes CompuRead so special?
A. Most reading programs teach all the elements of phonics at once and expect the student to absorb them for use in reading.
-In a nutshell, CompuRead teaches one or two letters, giving background information about the upcoming story to be read by the learner, following writing and comprehension exercises to ensure the learner is understanding and knows all the information to ensure success in the next story and level..
-To greatly reduce left, right, up and down confusion for the early learner, each letter is written with a very logical directional sequence, thus enabling the learner to more fully comprehend directionality of letter formation - eliminating learning frustration.
- As the learned skill transfers to the next story, the student becomes aware that each skill builds upon the next.
- The stories are also written to give the learner a character-building experience as well as the skills of reading. The stories have
adventure and fun, too.
Further answers to this question can be found by browsing throughout our website.
8 - Q. Do you have other programs that teach reading past the 6th grade?
A. Not at this time.
9 - Q. What are some ways I can help my child at home so he will not have the handicap of dyslexia?
A. The main thrust of CompuRead is to start the child early to get writing, spelling, sounding and reading right the first time he holds a pencil to learn.
Make sure the child:
1. Is not allowed to reverse his letters and writes all letters in the correct direction the first time he is introduced to them. CompuRead has produced an excellent DVD presentation especially for this purpose and demonstrates to the learner correct letter formation. You can learn more about this DVD here.
2. Sees the words he reads in the correct direction and can trace over them with his finger.
3. Knows the sounds that correspond with the letters and is aware of how these sounds are made with his mouth, throat, tongue, gums and lips.
4. Can tell the parent or teacher in his own words what has been read and can draw a picture about it.
5. Is made aware of something more than the story tells him.
Knowing the above skills will give the child a boost in kindergarten by having formed correct habits. If the child's early learning is carefully taught the skills of reading and writing can for the most part be directed into the correct parts of the brain.
10 - Q. Is CompuRead considered to be the main program taught in the classroom?
A. CompuRead can be learned by all students from struggling to gifted so all have the opportunity to learn the many skills CompuRead offers. Faster learners can of course branch out. Some children who work at a slower pace and little time for other lessons do very well with only CompuRead. With CompuRead as a base the teacher can organize on-hand materials give opportunities for review and extra practice.
CompuRead is a program in which the faster learners who have covered the material can be of substantial help to those who travel at a slower pace.
11 - Q. You have stated that it is advantagous to the student to begin with CompuRead at Level 1, no matter the tested reading level.
A. It would seem strange to read easy stories and review early phonetic and comprehension concepts. The lack of the grasp of these early skills may be adding to the cause of current problems. It is a high probability that when the student was younger and these concepts were being taught he/she was so confused and frightened that the student failed to grasp them. As the student was tested in later school years, he may have been diagnosed as being on 2nd or 3rd grade and so on, so he was started on this level without these early concepts as a foundation. If the student can start over, review the phonics, rules and comprehension structure again. the concepts will now be easily understood and used.
12 - Q. What are some of the main phonetic rules taught in CompuRead?
A. All phonetic rules do not apply in all cases and can be confusing. There are some taught early on that usually hold true:
1. The Short Vowel Rule. A vowel between two consonants has the short sound as in cat, men, cot, bit, cot, but. A consonant on either
side closes in the vowel and is called a closed syllable. If a consonant does not come after the vowel the vowel may take the long sound as in me, go, be, no and we. This is called an open syllable.
Longer words can follow this rule such as
va ca tion.
Three-letter words that do not follow the rule are taught at the same time, such as "the, are, was". Multisyllable words can be sounded with this same rule as in "hap pin ess," "per son al" or "pon der."
2. The Long Vowel Rule: When two vowels are together such as ai, oa, and ea, the first vowel says its own name and the second is silent. This rule is about evenly divided as to reliable use. It is more reliable in beginning English words. Again sight words are taught along with the rule.
3. The Vowel-Consonant e Pattern: Hundreds of words follow this rule with almost every consonant in the alphabet such as babe, race, ride, rode on through the alphabet to maze.
4. The many sounds of the long a, such as ay, ey, eigh, ai.
5. R-controlled vowels such as car, park, horn, bird, burn. A rule children learn quickly is: 'er', 'ir', 'ur', 'or', they all say /r/.
er is a fern r
ir is a bird r
ur is a church r
or is a word r
6. The diphthongs of oo in book, oo in moon, ow in cow and ou in couch, oi in boil and oy in boy. The ow is mainly at the end of words and ou in the middle. The spelling of oi is mainly in the middle, oy at the end.
13 - Q. Why don't you have a tracking/retrieval system of CompuRead on the computer, or how is student progress tracked?
A. Throughout CompuRead student progress skills are tracked with the Certificate of Completion. This certificate is found on the CompuRead program CD and is easily printed out upon demand for each student. People surrounding the child such as parents and siblings are interested in the child's progress but are surprised to know the many skills it takes to make progress happen. The parent and teacher and student not only know the level in which the child is operating but also the skills within that level. This certificate is a great boost to reading success if the learner knows the skill being checked off by the teacher's hand with the child by her side - proof of success. The skills can be reviewed with the page number in the story where each skill was taught.
The certificate tracking/retrival system can also be brought home to parents for the child to show, giving the child a very big self-esteem in the learning and reading process.
14 - Q. I notice the questions after the stories are not written down by the student. What is the best way to keep track of each child's oral answers if you have several students in CompuRead?
A. The learner marks on a class chart when he has read a story and is ready to discuss. When several students have read a particular story (sometimes the whole class) they are called together for discussion and oral reading with his or her printed Supplementary Workbook in hand. It might be an advantage for a slower moving student to join the discussion group several times.
Confidence and further insight and knowledge into the story could be gained when a student hears how his faster moving classmates confidently answer questions and can thus learn from them. Faster students may read several stories ahead, then join the discussion group when enough students warrant it. The faster student could join the slower group, if he hasn't checked that story off and could add insights to the discussion. The faster learner may even help the slower one before they decide to join the group together. The teacher encourages all members of the group to participate.
If it is obvious a student has little or no grasp of the comprehension and skills surrounding the story, he is invited to study the story further.
15 - Q. Why did you choose to print CompuRead in School Text?
A. This answer is in the School Text font. Research has shown that fonts without serifs are more easily read than those with serifs. The School text font features the 'a' that leads to the left directionally and into the 'c', and commonly reversed letters of 'd', 'o' and 's'. School Text is a familiar manuscript with the tall letters written just that way, tall. The same text is used for reading and the learner's writing. The direction learned in writing is transferred to that same direction in reading. Thus reading and writing are learned together. Some learners have difficulty transferring from the font learned in reading to another font used in traditional spelling books. CompuRead excels at teaching the correct directionality of letter formation.
16 - Q. You state in your How to Confidently Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten manual that a child should learn the alphabet before starting kindergarten. Isn't learning to write a kindergarten activity?
A. Learning to read, write and sound the letters of the alphabet is indeed learned in kindergarten. But if the child hasn't been exposed and taught correctly by then, it is likely he/she will have difficulty in kindergarten. The habits of wrong directionality, in what writing he may have done, are established in his mind and are most difficult for the kindergarten teacher to break. Such essentials as, 1) writing directionality, 2) hearing likenesses and differences in sounds, 3) matching letter sounds with the written letter (known as phonemic awareness), are critical to reading success.
17 - Q. You have dozens of pages of skills a child should know before he starts kindergarten. Why so many? What good will it do?
A. A child who has the advantage of an excellent preschool starts kindergarten ready to confidently face the world, academic life and to become a leader of his peers.
There is no reason every child cannot start school life with that same advantage. The skills in How to Confidently Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten manual are written for birth to age five for a busy parent, caregiver or teacher to ask questions and present techniques to entice the child to think with those same techniques promoted in the best preschools. Every child has the right to a level playing field.
18 - Q. How will the How To Confidently Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten manual prepare a PARENT for kindergarten?
A. When parents bring their child to the kindergarten door, they will be confident that their child has been taught every skill needed and more to make him/her a leader, academically and socially.
Education has its own vocabulary. Your kindergarten teacher speaks in that language. The Early Intervention Techniques for the Prevention of Reading Problems manual will help you know what she is talking about. Educational words such as visual, auditory, kinesthetic and so on will be familiar and how education words relate to your child. You will understand what they mean and be able to talk with ease in educational language.
19 - Q. Why in later stories did you print the stories in different fonts?
A. Computers have dozens of fonts children may have to know. After the child has read the story in School Font, then learning a new font is fun and mind stimulating. It also prepares the child for creative use of the computer in school and on the job.
20 - Q. What are ways to teach with the Wall Charts?
A. Besides the obvious use of hanging them, here are a few:
1. The Table of Contents is laid out before the student with an almost complete list of the phonetic sounds of the English Language. To read down through and know these sounds by sight is an advantage that will help him sound words reaching into the upper middle grades.
2. A DVD allows the learner to hear the words and sounds of all 146 pages in the binder.
3. The learner sees page after page, a panorama of organized sounds and words. What fun for a first grader to wrap his tongue around longer "big" words.
4. The words can be used for spelling lessons allowing the learner to know actually how many English words within his vocabulary contain that particular sound.
5. Alphabetizing to the second and third letter. The words start the same and the child must go further into the word to correctly alphabetize. Computers do this job but the child should also know the skill.
6. Vocabulary study, as all the words will be in his reading and speaking vocabulary. The learner may keep a notebook of the meanings of some of the words that reach higher into the grades. A game could be made to match words with definitions. This is a painless way to increase the vocabulary, starting in the early grades, of words that have many meanings. CompuRead uses this vocabulary building technique extensively throughout the program.
7. Story starter words can light the imagination. This myriad of words and pictures may kindle the student's memories. It may only take one word or picture to enter a learner into creativity. The skills of fiction writing learned in Story Mapping are background knowledge to aid the child to produce stories that are satisfying to himself and a delight to others.
8. Acting Out the Words. A row or a page of words is chosen. One or several students perform the actions that represent the word. Other students say the word. This activity could be done in teams with a point for selecting the correct word, a point erased for a wrong one.
9. Art models to use in projects. Some of the pictures are cartoons or large pictures of small objects children can use as a model for accurate drawing.
10. Rhyming lists could be created for a classroom rhyming dictionary.
21 - Q. Why do you use humor so much in CompuRead? Doesn't this distract and take the kids' minds off learning?
A. Research has shown over and over again that a relaxed mind is more receptive to learning. Removing stress and anxiety allows the learner to attack the lesson with a smile and ready to be taught.
The humor in CompuRead has the purpose in helping the learner understand the story. Laughing with the teacher also shows that the teacher is human and can have a good laugh along with the children.
22 - Q. Why doesn't CompuRead introduce the alphabet in ABC order? Isn't it confusing for the children to jump all over the alphabet to learn to read?
A. The alphabet is hung in the front of the classroom face down in the traditional order. As each letter is introduced, that letter is turned over. As the sounds are learned the traditional order of the alphabet is revealed. Many children learn to read in the traditional alphabetical a, b, c, d sequence. However, a child with directionality problems is confused with the b and d, and all letters that can be reversed.
In CompuRead, using the School Font, the 'a' is introduced first. The 'b' is skipped. The 'c' and 'd' are then introduced because they follow the left directionality of the 'a.' The 'b' is introduced toward the end of Level 1 after the direction of the 'd' is established in the child's handwriting and reading directionality. This separation of the 'd' and 'b' greatly eliminates directional confusion. CompuRead introduces manuscript handwriting for each letter as it leads into another. Learn More.
23 - Q. How is spelling connected to reading?
A. Spelling and writing are more difficult to learn than reading. As difficult as reading is the child can make an error here and there and go on his way. Spelling and writing are not so forgiving. Every tiny error glares.
Writing requires an intense sense of touch. Through The CompuRead Program, the phonics and directionality of reading are transferred to spelling and the child equates the two as one lesson. As the directionality of writing is transferred in the child's mind to reading, the learning of English is greatly simplified -- like learning two lessons for the mental price of one. It, again, depends upon directionality. If the reading and spelling lessons are in the same font, that simplifies the learning. For example, if the learner sees the word 'dad' in reading, the same directionality, font and sounds transfer into spelling. The same could be said for spelling transferred to reading.
24 - Q. Why are the songs sung in a slow tempo?
A. Children hear much loud and fast music today. The decision was made to slow the tempo so the songs could be heard in a relaxed manner. If the child wishes to further sing the songs or say the jump-the-rope rhymes, they could be sung or spoken at the tempo or speed he desires.
25 - Q. Is the Supplementary Workbook pad consumable?
A. Yes. It is intended that the children keep the supplementary printed workbook for their personal use. They are to be traced over, written in, cut apart, drawn in, underlined and studied. They were written to correspond with the lessons on the computer's monitor with every place the child is directed to write to complete the lesson. With this workbook, his lessons are now highly organized. Reading, spelling, etc., can be studied away from the computer.
26 - Q. Why are the first five pages printed over and over for every story in the Supplementary Wordbook?
A. These are very important pages about fluency and how to teach the stories. They start the child knowing early that accurate fluency is necessary if he is to enjoy and understand what he reads. If the learner is charted early and knows with every level the fluency he must attain, that is one more step to reading confidence. The numbers along the left side of each story's line shows the number of words the reader has read and are totaled at the end of each line. Many other pages throughout the stories have words to chart for fluency.
27 - Q. You mention that most anybody can teach The CompuRead Program. Shouldn't teaching be left to competent teachers? I don't know anything about teaching reading.
A. I'll be very frank. CompuRead can be taught by a certified teacher. But most anyone can teach CompuRead. This is the CompuRead plan: Every question to ask, every word to say, every skill to learn is clearly stated. The CompuRead Program takes the teacher as if he/she were in a classroom in college to learn to teach reading. By the end of Level Six, you will feel you have solid knowledge. The teacher will learn along with the students. Your students will feel the same. They will know the how and why of reading. They may also want to teach other children as they have learned.
28. Q. How long for each day do you recommend a child studies in CompuRead?
A. Children's attention spans differ. The words per page in the stories and activities have intentionally been kept as few as possible so the child with a short attention span feels accomplishment. Greater success is attained with every day or study session sustained effort whether this is ten minutes or one hour or more.
29 - Q. Why does the child meet with the teacher to answer questions after every story?
A. One of the main skills of success is being able to express verbally. If the child is able to stand on his feet, confidently answer the questions and retell the story and both the child and teacher feel he has performed well, he can be checked off on his Certificate of Completion.
The child is made aware even from Level 1 that being able to express himself verbally is essential to later success. This method of answering the questions has been deliberately written into CompuRead from the first story on Level 1 to the last story on Level 6 so the child has the opportunity for hundreds of verbal situations.
30 - Q. My child is upset because he can't remember. How can I explain how you learn to a child?
A. The explanation I have found that children come back years later and say they have taught their children is:
Your brain is a city with many hundreds of streets and tiny houses. Each word you learn runs down the right street into its own little house. When you haven't learned a word and it hasn't found its little house it roams around lost in the streets. When a word is learned it can then open its front door and come out when it is needed. If a word sits in its house for a long time not being read or spelled or talked about, it goes out the back door. The house is empty. The word is forgotten.
You must keep the words in their houses. Practice and practice and practice reading. Keep your words in their houses coming out the front door to help you learn.
31 - Q. What is the best way to use a chalkboard at home?
A. The ultimate chalkboard is painted on a wall out of public view. An alphabet is placed across the top either commercial or hand printed. These are the steps to write a word:
1. When the child begins to write the alphabet, those early strokes are engrained upon his mind. Make sure they are written in the correct direction. Take hold of his hand and guide him. The letters could be written very big.
2. When the child begins to form words and the direction of the letters is learned, guide his hand in the air. Keep his arm stiff with a piece of chalk in his hand with correct pencil grip.
3. Write the word saying each letter then underlining it from left to right, saying the word.
4. Then write the word on the chalkboard in the usual way.
5. Write the word on paper. Each of the above is with the correct word in sight.
6. Now the child can write again on paper without the word in sight.
If the child cannot remember the word, without emotion, start again. A more detailed explanation is in the Beginning Reading section of How to Confidently Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten
32 - Q. Schools are not teaching cursive writing much any more. Why have you included it in CompuRead?
A. Not all schools have dropped cursive writing from the curriculum. If your school does not include cursive in its curriculum, the child prints his responses in manuscript.
However, being able to write cursive letters is a skill that's always needed later as a adult. CompuRead produces a DVD specificially to teach how to write in Manuscript as well as Cursive. Learn more about cursive writing with CompuRead.
33 - Q. Will it slow my faster learning child down to help another child?
A. One of the prime lessons CompuRead teaches is verbal expression. It is important that the faster learning child be able to explain to the struggling child a correct concept. The faster child’s own understanding and patience will be enhanced. If the concept cannot be explained in a simple manner the faster child does not really know it. Sometimes one child can explain a concept to another child where the teacher has failed.
Both children gain confidence. The faster child has the satisfaction that he has taught the struggling child. The struggling child gains by studying with, learning from, sitting by, talking to and being paid positive attention by the faster student.
34 - Q. Why are the Certificates so important?
A. Every story has particular skills that must be mastered before the student is allowed to progress to the next story. If the student and teacher are not aware of the skills necessary for progression some skills may be glossed over only to be needed in the next story. Every skill has the page number where it was learned, making it easy to return for review and mastery.
If you need more information about CompuRead, please email. We will get back with you usually within 12-24 hours. We're always happy to assist you.
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