Hidden Reading Glitches and IQs

Think ahead and save time and trouble.

An IQ can go up!


An IQ is an ‘intelligence quotient’ ( A little division here to get a quotient!) based on testing your thinking ability as compared to others who took the test. Sometimes, an IQ is low because there is a ‘glitch’ in the reader’s ability to read that is not obvious.

The first clue is that a person is a terrific in a specific area such as music or drawing or sports, yet  has a low IQ.

Poor reading skills – the ones that are not obvious – will impact the IQ.


One first grade student was ‘out-thinking’ the reading/writing process.  Her parents had had her tested verbally, and she was identified as a genius. I wondered what was happening. Over time, I discovered that she was breaking down every word she heard into its syllables and thinking each syllable was a word. Hearing words incorrectly, it was hard for her to make her ‘syllable-thinking’ match with the words on a page!

Another time, three children who were two years behind in reading,  had no understanding of the reading process. They couldn’t see the connection that  the words on a page represented the thoughts in someone’s head.  Once they experienced what words on a page represented, their reading ability took off.

A sixth grade reader hadn’t grasped that he had to interact creatively with the information as he read.  He could decode and find the answers to the questions in a paragraph, but had never explored the implied meanings. Once he realized that he needed to think about what he was reading as he read, he successfully understood what he read.

Did IQs go up?  Yes.

A low IQ may indicate that the reader has not grasped the hidden aspects of the reading process. With training in the hidden aspects of reading, the IQ changes.



You Are So Smart

Drawing was more fun than studying.

Drawing became my first love.

How well I recall my mother’s first explanation of my intelligence.  After a sixth grade conference with my teacher, she returned home to tell me, “Dear, you are just average. You will have to work hard to do well.”  I wasn’t sure what it was all about, but it didn’t sound good.  For me, learning seemed easy, it was the tests that threw me off. Somehow the words didn’t match the ideas I thought I knew. Rather than  studying more, I gave up.   Getting mediocre grades was easier that studying when I already knew I couldn’t do any better.

Years later, dear Mother informed me that she had hoped that by telling me I was average, it would push me to try harder and excel. She called it reverse psychology.

I must say when I hit forty years and decided to take my masters in education, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that by studying, my grades went up.  My teenage children wondered how I gotten so smart since they has seen my childhood and college report cards. Studying counts. Lots of studying counts more.

As a classroom teacher, it became important that students knew and applied a variety of study skills.  Tutoring took the same approach. Each child was shown how they learned and the best way for them to study. The mantra was always the same, “You are so smart.”

Vignette.  One young man in fifth grade felt he didn’t need study skills. “I remember everything,” he said. I reminded him that in middle school he would be with others who were as intelligent as he was, and the work would be harder and taught faster. Grudgingly, he learned the study skills.  The following year, he surprised me.  He  returned to tell me that indeed the work was harder, and his classmates were as smart as he was. “I remembered that you told me that I might feel I had lost my smarts and couldn’t succeed, but that actually I was just being challenged. So, I didn’t give up. I used those skills, and my grades went back up. Thank you.”  Big grin from him. He made my day.


P.S.  May I mention that drawing became my first love? What a great trade-off!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

At 4:16 a.m., the radio seemed the best idea as I wasn’t getting any sleep.  On came a talk show host soon interrupted by news from Europe – on the spot news. People talking and worried news. From along side the bed, I reached for the black patterned clipboard and from the drawer in the nightstand, I grabbed a pencil. Somehow, old friends do not go away. During the day, it’s the computer. But, night is special. My pillows and bed sheets welcomed a clipboard and pencil as more like themselves – not as new technology, but from a long ago time. The friends that fit with the night.

Three pages of pencil writing poured out over the next two hours. Pencil erasings were carefully dumped over the edge of the bed for later vacuuming. Ideas flew.  Why were the Chinese loaning us so much money?  What was with the terror in Europe, and why was our government taking so little interest?  My yellow pencil wore down as it happily recorded my thoughts.

For me, a laptop would have demanded that my writing connect with the world. My pencil connected me only to my thoughts.  My pencil is my forever friend, indeed.

News connects me to everywhere. A pencil connects to my thoughts.

Computers connect me to everywhere. A pencil connects only to my thoughts.

Majority Rule – the Inherent Flaw

Bringing together a team to make a plan can produce excellent results – or the process may lead to disagreements and a patched project that goes nowhere.

Perhaps success is not in majority rule.

Perhaps success is not in majority rule.

The following is a description of a group that took a different tack – one that honored each member’s contribution.

It was a contest – a science project at the university level. Three teams were competing and, although this seems unimportant to tell you now, two teams were Caucasian and one Native American.

On the Monday morning of the contest, the teams were given the challenge and told to take as long as they needed to create their plans. At that point, the contest to execute the plan would begin.

By Tuesday afternoon, the two Caucasian teams had checked in and were ready to begin the contest. The Native American group was still consulting among themselves. By Wednesday morning, the two earlier teams were commenting on the perceived inability of the last team to come up with a plan.  A few derisive remarks were heard.  Late Wednesday afternoon, the last team appeared with their project plan in hand.  Asked by a few puzzled and slightly disgruntled members of the other two teams, they explained their seeming lateness.  “Your team plans were put together with the underlying belief that the majority should always rule. As a result you finished the plan faster, but unique ideas that didn’t’ agree with the majority were set aside or just plain ignored. Our culture does not work like that.  We work through the plan until every member has contributed and adjustments are made to create a workable plan that has been thoroughly analyzed and laid out.”

It was true. The plan based on a thorough analysis and a fully involved and supportive team won.

Perhaps it is time to learn that the majority rule should be set aside for well thought out plans based on the intelligence of the entire group.  If I may state analogy, it is like taking the lowest bid. It does not mean the best materials or the highest workmanship will be used, it just means that the job is done more cheaply.



You Are What You Think

Check out what you're thinking.

Check out what you’re thinking.

Recently, I heard an individual claim that he felt constantly happy.  His explanation was that when he awoke each day, he began to think with gratitude about his life. Not only what he had, but what he learned, who he knew, and the opportunities he’d had. Before he got out of bed, his thoughts were firm in what he had going for him.  Best of all, he said he was never sick. I realized, who could entertain sick thoughts with all those great ones filling one up full!

Follow up that talk with my daughter. She was regularly watching a new TV show with speakers that emphasized paying attention to your thoughts – the old adage, ‘what you think is what you are’. This led her to identify the thoughts she had about herself: how she looked, what she listened to others say about her. She realized that self-criticism made her not just unhappy, but miserable.  As she thought better thoughts, life was looking good.  Her conclusion – “Why should I believe what others say? I know who I am.” Right on.

Jump to a recent lesson I learned from the two of them.  I serve on a committee that always seems to be disorganized, pushy, and downright angry.  Talking it over with a friend, the recommendation came: “Let go of my thinking that was determined to ‘be right’.  Pause, let the others think after you say something. then wait longer and see if they say what you would have said.”    That  night at the meeting, I paid attention to my thoughts.  I was totally amazed. The very ideas I had mentioned slightly days before came back at me better than ever. A direction for action that I was going to suggest and ‘plead my case for’ was laid out beautifully, and it wasn’t me talking!  I had changed my thoughts and actions, and the world changed with it.  Epic.


A long ago poem springs to mind:

I am not what I think I am.

I am not what you think I am.

I am what I  think you think I am.

And now to add:

I will think what I want

me to be.

And… Be grateful!

Think First….5 Ways

Open your door to thinking!

Open your door to thinking!

Are you a  learner or a teacher or are you  running a company? No matter what you do, to think is to add brilliance to your life!

Research proves that certain types of thinking just plain make you a better all around success story! These five will put you on the path to better thinking.

Ideas all over everywhere!

Ideas all over everywhere!


Get the creative juices rolling. With this technique, you will be popping with new  ideas and alternatives every time!

Step by step and the answer is clear!

Step by step and the answer is clear!

DECISION MAKING considers the impact as well as the questions to lead you to finding the best solution to your problem  – whether shopping or taking a step into the future!

Think ahead and save time and trouble.

Think ahead and save time and trouble.

FORECASTING/PREDICTING isn’t fortune telling, but focus on the possible results and implications before you make a move OR figure out what went wrong from many angles, and you are doing what most people never learned.

A planner avoids mistakes and capitalizes are the future!

A planner avoids mistakes and capitalizes are the future!

Make that PLAN, and it reveals: specific steps, materials needed, and  the research as well as the possible  problems and solutions that may save you from disasters.  New home?                     New step in life?   Doing a project for work or school?  Develop a plan first!

Planning looks at the puzzle pieces before you start.

Effective communication brings it all together.

Analogies, metaphors, specifics or broad ideas – effective COMMUNICATION                           makes your point clear – and your voice heard.


Because it’s easier to introduce new ideas with familiar foundations, Cinderella of fairy tale renown will take you down the pathways to thinking.  Decision making helps Cindy decide how to get to the ball. Predicting possible problems, she identifies the implications of a midnight curfew. Creative ideas help her to get her three sisters’ bossy work load done faster – and better.  A plan helps her hide her glass slipper from her sisters.  Communication makes her points with analogies and metaphors when she writes to her sisters back home.

                 For  Cinderella’s detailed thinking techniques , go to http://www.trudicarter.com                                and click on Trudi Loves Teaching.


 Be brilliant!  Be a thinker!





This list of thinking skills is based on the teacher training program Talents Unlimited. I trained for them in  the 1980’s while teaching in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. How I use them now is my own take on them as I blend in other teaching ideas.

Source: Talents Unlimited materials are based on extensive research to prove that using thinking skills to learn subject areas increases student achievement both in the classroom and in testing. To find out more about them, go here:  eric.ed.gov and search Talents Unlimited.

The Age of Rewards


Stars or not?

Stars or not?

Stickers? Candy? Stars on a chart? If a reward is waiting, will the child work harder? Do better? Want to go home and learn more?

In my  humble opinion, either the successful children earn the rewards all the time, and the poor students have one more thing they cannot do. Or, the rewards are set up for the poor students because they need a boost, while the hard worker receives nothing. Then, the child of a higher intelligence doesn’t see the point of working harder.  After four decades of teaching different grade levels, the ‘ages’ of reward ideas came and went. The following ideas worked well for me either as rewards for behavior or for finishing work early.

The Age of Stickers  Teachers were spending a small fortune buying beautiful stickers for well done work and behavior that improved. Instead, in our classroom,  there was a basket with the sticker freebies [Actually quite nice as they were for the teachers to use.] that came with the book orders. The students were told to take one if they wanted one.  Seldom taken, the children did enjoy making their own decision as to whether they should have one. (First grade.)

The Age of Candy  Some classrooms had gallon jars filled with candy to give the students. In our class, candy was limited to one event: good behavior outside the room. The class as a whole had to receive a compliment from another adult for their good behavior  in the hallways.  (Quietness, straight line, getting drinks properly, etc.) As they re-entered the classroom, one single, lone, little M&M was taken by each child from the candy box.  If there were two compliments, there were two candies.  Yes, they loved it. (First grade.)

P.S. Holding the candy box was one of the classroom jobs.

The Age of Sharing If a student wanted to share something they wrote or a new idea that they figured out in math, they came to the front of the room with a friend and told their classmates all about it. (Grades 1-4.)

The Age of Reading  A stack of books on a topic in science or social studies was available for anyone who finished his classwork early.  Some were picture books, and some had in-depth articles. (Grades 1-4.)

The Age of Blocks  Having an industrial arts background, I had a stack of mini blocks I’d painted.  Kept in a basket, they could be used for five minutes. (Second grade.)

The Age of Drawing  Early in the school year,  I taught the children how to draw simple figures using math shapes – squares, triangles, etc.  Later, thumbprint [oval] designs were used as taught in a popular children’s book. (Ed Emberley) Blank paper and markers were on a table for those who finished early. (Grades 1-4.)

The Age of Charts and Smiley Faces   A giant chart had the children’s names listed on the left, while the dates of the spelling tests were across the top. Small stickers were put up to show the test was taken.   Oops, I take it back.  The smiley face was orange if the test was 100%, and yellow to show it was taken.

Not only did I save  money on treats and stickers and small rewards, but the children learned that work completed and well done was, truly, its own reward.