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speed writing/reading practice

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Ok, a bit out of the blue here -- but I have lately seen several different suggestions of practicing reading faster on purpose, or writing faster on purpose, in order to generally speed up reading or writing.   Practicing reading or writing on the edge of comprehensibility or legibility so to speak.   In some ways I think that "how could that work?" with dyslexic older but... I also think how you can get in 'a rut' so to speak and stop really trying to improve speed (or other factors) without a 'push' in that direction.   Has anyone tried to do this with their DC and seen positive results?


To be clear -- I do not mean repeated reading (or writing) speeding things up as their practice of those specific words improves -- instead I mean purposefully trying to read (or write) as fast as possible.

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It was not "speedy" but sometimes when I read things at the same time as my son, it was b/c I was hoping to have him get used to reading a little faster.  


http://www.childrenofthecode.org/interviews/breznitz.htm  This article has a section "pushing the brain to work faster" I have thought was interesting.


I also have read descriptions of Seeing Stars by Lindamood Bell, where they "flash" cards and kids are supposed to see and remember (and I suppose read) the word from seeing it for just a second.


I have never done these in particular.  


But I have done "reading together" (whatever that is called in fluency, choral reading?) and that was helpful.  He could keep going with me even if he missed a word here and there, he did not get bogged down.  He was on the advanced side (for him) before we started doing this.  It was not something we did in a huge way.  But, I did think it was helpful.  And choral reading (or whatever fluency practice this is) is a recommended fluency practice.  I think I did a lot of recommended fluency practices with him.  


I also didn't do this, but I think it is the same kind of thing when kids read along with a computer or kindle, and also when kids read along with a cassette tape (from older books, lol, but there is still a station with cassette players in K here) that has 3 speeds, and they go from the slower to the faster speed.


That is still kind-of doing repeated practice of the same passage, depending on how you did it.  If you just started with reading along with a regular speed instead of a slow speed, it seems like it could be practicing with a faster speed.  


Blah, blah, blah.  But yeah, I have heard of it in those two places (mainly), and I have done some choral reading.  He liked choral reading.  We did it just with his reading of whatever book, we were not doing it with repeated reading of short passages.  Just some reading together in his reading-for-pleasure book.  He would have an attitude like "this is a better deal for me than reading out loud by myself" so it was a win-win as far as his willingness and attitude.  


But we never did "speed" past the speed of nicely reading out loud at a regular pace for me.  I did not do "I'm reading slow on purpose" if I thought he didn't need it.  Sometimes I still did "I am reading slow but trying to sound very fluent and expressive."  

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Hopefully one day, learning to read will become part of the curriculum?

While elementary school focuses on learning to read words.

It doesn't go on to explore different methods of reading.

When making the transition from 'reading out loud'.

To reading silently.

When reading 'silently', it can use 2 processes?

The first process is vision, where we see the word/s and move our eyes across the line.

The second process, uses 'self-talk'. Where we hear the sound of the words in our mind, as we read.


Firstly with vision, you might observe how your eyes move across the line, as you read?

Where most likely, your eyes don't move from one word to the next?

Rather your eyes move from one 'block of words', to next.

Maybe you could try something?

Simply focus on any word on the above lines?

Then without moving your eyes?

Try to read the words either side of it, without moving your eyes?

Where you will have a 'width of vision', that you can read.

This can actually be tested, letter by letter on each side.


But an important thing with this?

Is that if you practice starting at a letter, and recognizing letters either side of it?

Then you will most likely find, that you can more and more letters each side.


So that in terms of 'speed'?

You can probably appreciate, how making less eye movements across the line as we read?

Will increase the reading speed.


But then we also have the other factor; self-talk.

Where we sound out the words in our mind, as we read.


Though important thing about this?

Is that with many 'common words', we can cognize them by simply 'seeing them'.

We don't need to sound them out.

So what this means, is that instead of sounding out every word as we read?

We can use this more selectively, and just sound out the keywords in a sentence.

Which of course, means that we will read a line quicker.


But this also has an effect on comprehension?

When we read, most words are discarded.

Rather just keywords are sent to short term memory.

Where the relationship between the keywords, is what forms comprehension.


Though importantly, their is no single way to read?

For example with a technical instruction, it might need to read 'word by word'.

So that it really involves learning and understanding different ways that we can read?

Then choosing the method, to suit what we are reading.

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Oh, handwriting.  It wouldn't do anything for my son's handwriting.  He barely has proper letter formations, still has mistakes with his letter formations, and he CAN write smoothly and quickly, it just turns into illegible handwriitng.  Even his letters are not legible as letters.  But he is writing smoothly and he knows what he is writing. 


He just does not have automatic letter formation at a certain point. 


It is kind-of something I think is not going to happen for him.


I would try it with typing!  If it made sense.  It seems like something some typing programs do, though. 


I don't know for sure, but I don't think he has/had a slow RAN/RAS score in general.  I don't think he would ever be slow to name colors or shapes.  But, I don't know that he didn't.  I don't know.


If there IS a RAN/RAS weakness I agree on targeting it with RAN/RAS exercises and expecting it to transfer.


I kind-of feel like my son just struggled when it was with reading, but I am not sure. 

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DD's typing is not yet good enough to worry about pushing it faster :lol:


I am really torn both ways on this -- on the one hand, in the past reading or practicing math facts to a 'timer' never did squat to speed things up.

But on the other hand, we are both doing karate, and the sensei every now and then has you do the kata as fast as possible -- and it is useful, in a see where the holes are manner. 

And on the third hand, I would like to work on 'skimming' or 'scanning' longer passages -- to find relevant information, and in some ways pushing to read super fast would seem similar to that.


And on the writing side -- DD does not seem to struggle with that -- but at least attempting a 'as fast as possible' would probably make that pretty darn clear too.   And the 'skimming' equivalent is really 'taking notes'  in a lot of ways -- which is a skill she needs a lot of work on too.


The RAN/RAS stuff seems separate to me -- but perhaps I am just not seeing the connection? 

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The reason they test RAN/RAS is because rapid naming (of ANYTHING) actually correlates to strong readers.  Working on RAN/RAS with ANYTHING improves reading.  I'm not an expert.  I'm just saying dig in and read about RAN/RAS.  I guess it might not make sense to you that reading dots (and pushing them to read faster, faster by repetition) would improve reading fluency for words (assuming you have the phonics in place), but it does.  I see it in my own ds.  His fluency with reading aloud is MUCH better than you would expect, and the bump directly connects to the diligent work we did on RAN/RAS.  


Besides, what have you got to lose?  It costs next to nothing to do.  You print the pages, put them in a couple page protectors, and every day buzz through them for 10 minutes.  After 4 weeks you go hey I see improvement or nope, no change.  


Anyways, that's some links to get you started reading.  Those are what I read that persuaded me it was worth it to make some small effort.  I'm not talking huge effort like 30 minutes a day for 6 months.  I'm talking 5-10 minutes a day for a month, see where you're at, keep going for another month, kwim?  That's not hard to stuff in somewhere.  It's actually really fun.  And the other thing we did was throw in some metronome.  Or combine it with some of the S'cool Moves/Focus Moves movement patterns.  Or clap with the metronome while doing the rapid naming.  Or do something where she's crossing midline.  I never did *backwards* but I did things like slanting the paper vertically.  I found his need for support with tracking from line to line decreased as we did it consistently also.  So really, it's like the cheapest, easiest therapy thing you could think of, kwim?

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That's an interesting thought.  I'm still learning about reading fluency, have a little pile of books I'm trying to work through (a total snooze fest).  I would think you could group them to promote healthier, more mature eye movement patterns.  So some of the pages are just a 6X10 grid of dots that you read, one by one, but then as the student gets more proficient you move on to the numbers.  Those can have 3,5, 7, however many digits you want, and there you're reading in chunks (phrases, what have you).  It's just that my ds didn't have the articulation to do that as a starting point, so we used the colors.  But even within the pages I've posted, you have that progression. 


Basically I just make my own version of whatever I find online, so it's not like it's original to me or reflecting expertise or anything. 

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We started doing them at the school (dyslexic, ADHD, dysgraphic, etc.)  that I work for. We give the kids a prompts and let them brainstorm (with teacher help) for 1 minute. We then time the kids for 3 minutes of writing whatever they can get on paper. We graph the number of words. The kids like seeing the improvement week by week. We do this in conjunction with using IEW which teaches sentence, paragraph  and grammar basics. 


WE have found that many of these kids are asking to do more free writes -- writing about anything for about 10 minutes. 


The fact that they are asking to do them is huge. With practice putting more words on the paper it is easier to edit other IEW style writing. 


There writing is improving and they (many) are enjoying it. 



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On the RAN/RAS -- one of the exercises we've done that I feel really helped DD's reading is having her read words in columns, inside columns to outside columns.  I really did this for other reasons, but it seems it does have some RAN/RAS application.


Way, way back, I did phrase flash cards with her. And we have done various 'speed reading' apps, that split a reading selection into 3-4 word 'chunks' (in various manners -- across the screen, in a diamond pattern etc) and 'pushed' you to read faster than comfortable.  There was no obvious improvement from any of those although I have seen somewhere recently that reading on a phone size screen (i.e. 3-4 word size) can help dyslexics -- so that is something to consider.  


But really I was NOT thinking in terms of flash cards or rapid naming or the chunk style reading at all -- I was thinking more in terms of just pushing yourself to your limit (including letting her judge for herself what is her limit vs. trying to keep up with an app or Mom reading) -- and how pushing yourself like that can can sometimes expand your limit as Mandamom is describing.   I think I might have to at least try it out in a let's just see what happens kind of way.

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