Wendy's Reading Room
About WRR and W4R
My Name is Wendy Shibuya and I am a reading tutor. I have been a private reading tutor for over 12 years, and I was a paraeducator in the Kent School District for over eighteen years. I have been using linguistic based interventions for approximately 18 years, both in the public school system and in my private practice. However, the intervention that I enjoy using the most is Wired for Reading®, a multisensory approach to phonological awareness challenges. This approach works well whether I am tutoring remotely or in person.
English is a morpho/phonological language, in other words we must possess the ability to break words apart by both meaning and sound. We read for meaning, but if we cannot decode by sound and read the words correctly then the meaning will elude us. For many of our children who struggle with individual word level reading challenges, the breakdown is in their lack of ability to hear the individual sounds within a syllable or word. Wired For Reading® is an intervention developed by Laura Rogan that addresses this in a fun, meaningful and layered way.
From kindergarten to beginning 3rd grade we are in the beginning stages of our language structure, the Anglo Saxon Layer of English where we learn to read using phonics (sound), to break our words apart, to decode them. Then by mid-3rd grade a transition has occurred and we read to learn. By reading we pick up most of our vocabulary and our grammar. The difference between an average of reading 5 minutes a day and 20 minutes a day is about 1.5 million new words learned a year, which is huge!! We want our children to sustain independent, pleasurable reading for a minimum of 20 minutes each day; we want our children to become readers for life!!
By fourth grade our students are well immersed in the Latin Layer of our language, which is all about breaking words apart by meaning. However, if we don't understand the 6 syllable types relied on in the Anglo-Saxon Layer, where words are broken apart primarily by sound, then the complexities of the Latin and Greek Layers make it very difficult for fluency and comprehension to be maintained.
For students who struggle with reading it is necessary to build a strong foundation of meaningful understanding and to maintain that understanding in meaningful ways. That which is not meaningful to us is soon forgotten.
I personally understand the difficulties that struggling readers face. I am an undiagnosed dyslexic who faced severe reading and spelling challenges as a child. With the assistance of summer school and private tutoring, reading was mastered but spelling was not, remaining nearly a life long challenge. This nemesis affected my self- confidence, which of course affected personal accomplishments. Who would have thought that my deepest insecurity and shame would become my greatest accomplishment and joy? I believe that it is the journey through my own struggles that allows me to guide my students to gain gifts from theirs.