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.

EXAMPLES

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.

 

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.

Building a Foundation for Creative Writing for Young Children

For the young child, who believes in tooth fairies, Santa Claus, and invisible friends, creative writing begins not with ideas but a clear and easy writing process. A writing process easily understood and repeated over time, allows them to tell the stories hidden in their imagination.

The following process has been used in first to fourth grade classrooms.

The Writing Process.

Choose a topic ahead of time and set out picture books, science books, and story books.  Encourage the children to look at them during the week before the writing activity.

On the first day, read a variety of passages from the books that provides ideas for writing.

Next, put an open-ended question on the board related to the passages you read. If the topic is ‘spring’, and you read passages about the coming of spring, it might be asked: “What happens in nature when spring arrives?”  List their answers as short sentences. ‘Squirrels leave their winter nests.’  ‘Leaves begin to unfold.’  ‘The air gets warmer.’   ‘Ice melts.’

After several sentences are recorded, provide opportunities for successful participation.  Ask, “Who will come up and point to the word ‘squirrels’?  ‘Who will read this sentence?’ At the height of excited involvement, stop.  Compliment them. (Save those sentences!)

The next day, begin with the children rereading the sentences. Have them add words to make the sentences more interesting. (See the blog article ‘Young Writers: Enriching Sentences’.  If you have done this  activity a few times, they will enrich the sentences easily. )

Introduce and define an opening and closing sentence.  Write an example of each. Identify a title. Perhaps have them identify a couple of titles. Make sure they are super familiar with the words. Compliment them.

 

For the next two days, let them write.  If they are just beginning, take it step by step.  Let those who can, go ahead of you.

“Everyone write down an opening sentence, either mine or one that you make up.”

“Choose and write three to four sentences that tell about the opening sentence.”

“Write a closing sentence, yours or mine.”

 

When there is time, let them share one of their favorite sentences.

On the final day, (For me, this was Friday.)  offer options that allow each child to finish their work, make it better, or illustrate it.

 

1. Finish your first draft.

2. Make a final copy.

3. Draw a picture(s).

4. Share your story with someone.

3. Read more in the reference books. Tell the class new ideas you found out.

 

As this process is repeated and becomes clear to each child, it builds a solid foundation. Over time, expand and enrich it. It is not static! It grows with you and your class.

Soon you will be reading the whimsical tales found in their imagination.