Author Archives: Janice O'Connor

2017 Parent Night

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/2017-parent-night/

Obtaining assistive technology (AT) for students with learning disabilities can seem overwhelming for parents or caregivers. Learning about whats available, how AT can benefit students, who is eligible, and how to collaborate with public schools or districts to acquire services will help demystify and facilitate the process.During our annual Parent Night on October 3, Senior Educational Technologist Nanci Shepardson presented an overview of AT that included a review of students rights under federal laws, guidelines to follow when working with a childs education team to determine appro [...]

YMCA Book Club Boosts Summer Literacy

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/ymca-book-club-boosts-summer-literacy/

The summer months arent just for playing outside and doing fun crafts. At the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, campers made progress in their reading skills alongside these traditional summer activities.For the third summer, the YMCAs Quincy Summer Day Camp hosted a free summer literacy program aimed at mitigating summer learning losses. The program, referred to as Book Club by the campers, uses Wilson® materials to advance and maintain the literacy skills of third- and fourth-grade students who have been identified as at risk of experiencing summer learning losses. This [...]

2017 Trainer Meeting Recap

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/2017-trainer-meeting-recap/

Educators from 28 states gathered in the seacoast city of Portsmouth, N.H., during the 18th annual meeting of Wilson® Credentialed Trainers.The two-day meeting in July provided an opportunity for 128 Trainers and 50 Wilson Literacy Specialists and Literacy Advisors to reenergize, reflect on the past school year, and cultivate new ideas for the upcoming year. The upcoming release of the Wilson Reading System® 4th Edition in early 2018, and the enhanced curriculum and materials it will provide to instruct students with dyslexia, was a primary focus throughout the conference.Wilson Language Tra [...]

Dreams Fulfilled

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/dreams-fulfilled/

Forty summers ago in St. Louis, a handful of educators gathered with 21 struggling readers in donated classroom space and unknowingly launched a legacy.That first seven-week summer session for students with learning disabilities fulfilled a dream of parents who wanted to bring to their own community the type of support and instruction they had previously only found for their children in far-away boarding schools.Following three successful summers and with the support of the greater community and pioneering mentors, the burgeoning summer school expanded to become a full-time day program in the [...]

First Dyslexia Specialist Graduate

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/first-dyslexia-specialist-graduate/

This spring, Margaret Reilley, a teacher in New Jerseys Stafford Township School District, earned her masters degree, top grades, and the distinction of being the first graduate of Fitchburg State Universitys new dyslexia specialist concentration. From her home 260 miles away from the Massachusetts campus, Maggie tackled literacy, language disorders, assessment methods and other related topics to earn her M.Ed. in Special Education: Guided Studies Dyslexia Specialist. The online program launched in fall 2015 in partnership with Wilson Language Training®, a nationally recogniz [...]

Cursive Redux

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/cursive-redux/

Cursive handwriting instruction, a rite of childhood in public elementary schools for generations until recently, is making a comeback as more states and cities reinstate lessons in the classroom.While still taught in a number of schools and districts, the amount of time allotted to cursive instruction has been waning over the past few decades. When it was omitted from Common Core State Standards, adopted by a majority of states in 2010, instruction time further decreased or was widely erased from lesson plans altogether as keyboarding and computer skills took priority in time-strapped schools [...]

Teen Advocate

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/teen-advocate/

As a student with dyslexia, 13-year-old Ainsley P. once would have balked at the sight of the four-syllable, 11-letter word legislation. Now, its part of her lexicon.For the past two years, the Virginia Beach eighth-grader has used her voice and experience to raise awareness about dyslexia by advocating for laws that address the educational needs of students with the learning disability.Most people think dyslexia is just mixing up the letters b and d or m and w. They dont realize how much it affects kids like me. If you cant read, its very difficult to learn in all subject [...]

In Appreciation of Teachers

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/in-appreciation-of-teachers/

During our Teacher Appreciation Week Sweepstakes, we asked educators to share their most memorable moments from the field. We received nearly 1,000 responses from across the country, ranging from stories of jubilant children just learning to form words in Fundations® to the triumphant breakthroughs of struggling readers in the Just Words® and Wilson Reading System® programs.Its the tiny successes that have the biggest impact, shared Julie H. I remember the day one of my students was able to read by himself. I had been working with him for four years ... I cried, along with every [...]

Leading the Way

http://www.wilsonlanguage.com/leading-the-way/

While Allison McAvoy cant predict the future, the veteran educator has a pretty good idea where she intends to be one spring day in 2026: celebrating the high school graduation of a student she met when he was a headstrong first-grader with dyslexia.Some students come in eagerly and some come in kicking and screaming, the Chattanooga, TN, educator explained about the intricacies of running a private reading center.One boy was adamant when he arrived, protesting, I didnt sign up for this! I dont want to be here! Ive had him for two years now. Hes now in third grad [...]