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!

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.

Computers or Enrich Thinking

Chairs facing, I learned.

Chairs facing, I learned.

I was raised ‘pretech’.  Elementary school  in the 1950’s and high school in the 1960’s was low key. As a child at home, my time was occupied with reading, gardening, drawing, photography, and roaming the woods. As a teacher in the 1970’s and ’80’s, I rewarded students for finishing their work early with independent investigations and activities, rather than computer time.

Today, as pictures in the news of students with laptops and articles about learning the basics on a computer abound,  some related research comes to mind. One experiment compared a child’s  brain activity during  TV watching to looking out a window. TV watching had almost a straight line or no brain activity.  Looking out the window had significantly higher brain activity. Also, a student’s study effort  rewarded with TV time significantly decreased information recall. Now the question, can computer time enrich thinking?

As a teacher, without a computer, it was natural to enrich the assignments. Giving a report? The student gave a five question quiz to their classmates,  graded the answers, returned them to the students;  and gave a class summary of the results. There would have been no time to use a computer.

Reading groups focused on biographical books about the same person,  then compared and contrasted similar events.  The favorite was the Great Brain series.  For fun, this same sixth grade reread Dr. Seuss for a week! There were a lot in-depth observations during the class discussion time.

To enrich the writing process, students learned how to critique writing – their own efforts and others.  Again, no time for a computer.

In essence, without a computer, they had the time to participate at higher levels of thinking. One last observation: As a child I needed to learn my multiplication facts. My mother sat me down on a chair facing her with our knees touching.  I learned them, and still remember the love.    LOL

VIGNETTE:  I first recognized the computer impact when my son called from work asking how to make his new ‘slightly smaller’ bed sheets stay in place. As I mentioned the words, ‘hospital corners’, he paused, then said, “Got it, Mom.”  The Google search and computer pictorial had beaten my explanation. “Motherhood is on the way out,” I commented to him. He chuckled and hung up.

NOTE: See trudilovesteaching.wordpress.com  for lessons on the above mentioned ideas.   Search ‘reading’, ‘presentations’ and ‘writing’.

Children’s Books Are Everyone’s Books

Books children fall in love and are bought by many are called popular and, over time, may become classics.  Why? Because the children who loved the books became the adults who read them to the next generation – and the next. Every business needs children’s books to provide moments of relaxation and delight in childhood memories. To enhance the childlike moment, add coloring books and crayons.

Velovotee / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A classic author for me is Beatrix Potter. The Story of Peter Rabbit shows her flair for a detailed, simple story that appeals to many ages, including mine! Reading the’ back story’ to Peter Rabbit, I found that she had originally written the story in a letter to a child. Later, she asked for the letter back so she might publish the story. Today, children the world over delight in Peter’s adventures.

Future classics, in my humble opinion, will be Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books. Written for the ‘I Can Read’ children, the stories take a small event and look at it from many angles. For instance, in April, when Frog wants Toad to get up from his winter hibernation, and Toad wants to sleep just a little longer like maybe until May, Frog tears off the calendar pages from November to April. He then reawakens Toad who is surprised as to how fast time has flown! What a smile that brings to a child’s face as the logic and the humor come together. The happiest part is there are at least five stories to every book!

The Magic School Bus series based on a PBS program reveals a love for science in delightful stories of travel through time in a school bus that shrinks and enlarges. With factual information and a story to carry the adventure along, children discover the world around them, and hopefully go outside for another look!

An interesting book, written for an older child, is one I discovered in a grocery store. For fun, I asked a friend to read it to me. (If, as an adult you have not had another adult read a children’s book to you, I assure you, it is a unique way to hear a children’s story.) The Mask of the Dancing Princess written and illustrated by Judith Gwyn Brown is a fantasy beyond imagination and yet, well, maybe it could happen. The king’s daughter asks for the impossible – someone who looks just like her. When the king grants her wish, things go wrong, and her adventure as a gypsy begin. Over time, she learns that there are more important things than just loving oneself.

Children’s literature is such a rich world.  To enter it,  find a comfortable chair, gather a stack of children’s books, and enter the mind of a child. For me, I include a stack of Oreo cookies and a glass of milk.

Ah yes! One more! James’ Herriot’s books including The Christmas Day Kitten are truly a delightful must read.