Author Archives: Janice O'Connor

First Dyslexia Specialist Graduate

https://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 recogn [...]

Starting a New Chapter

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/starting-a-new-chapter/

I suppose I did okay in kindergarten, but the rest of my formal education was pretty much a flop. So shares Alby Lee Lewis in Life with No Words, a candid memoir about growing up in poverty in Chicago, masking his illiteracy for decades, navigating adulthood as a non-reader, and returning to school at age 55 to learn to read through the Wilson Reading System®. Al has shared his story on the Oprah Winfrey show, with Wilson® instructors, and with college students earning degrees in education. When a college professor suggested he write a book about his experiences, he said, Why n [...]

Cursive Redux

https://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

https://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

https://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

https://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 [...]

Early Learners Rise and Shine

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/early-learners-rise-and-shine/

For five minutes every weekday morning, Nancy Close is upstaged in her pre-kindergarten classroom by a tiny owl puppet perched on the end of a ruler.Baby Echo is much higher in stature than I am, the veteran early education teacher confided about the prop that came with her Fundations® Pre-K Activity Set.But she doesnt mind. It means her class of energetic four-year-olds at Hunter Elementary School in Greensboro, NC, is eager to learn how to read and write.Theres nothing better than seeing a child learn how to spell and write their name like the big kids do.The Title I elem [...]

Reaching for the Stars

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/reaching-for-the-stars/

Indian River Academy (IRA) students, parents, and educators had plenty to cheer about during Floridas annual Celebrate Literacy Week in January. Not only has the Title I elementary school in Vero Beach surpassed its own self-described lofty goals, its now ranked among the top 1 percent of the states schools for improvement in English Language Arts.We set some lofty goals for ourselves and our students, said Kimberly Smith, the schools literacy coach and a certified Fundations® Facilitator. We could see our students capability in the classroom, and their confidenc [...]

Raising Scores, Opening Doors

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/raising-scores-opening-doors/

A persistent parent. A determined school psychologist. A responsive administration and school board. When these forces converged in the rural Georgetown-Ridge Farm School District in Georgetown, IL, something extraordinary happened.After implementing Wilsons Tier 2 intervention program, Just Words®, to assist struggling middle school readers, the students standard test scores jumped dramatically, their reading gap with grade-level peers closed significantly, and the district embraced a new approach to teaching basic reading skills.Standard scores are generally very stable and predict [...]

Ringing in the New Year

https://www.wilsonlanguage.com/ringing-in-the-new-year/

A new year provides a perfect opportunity to prepare for the months ahead while also reflecting on the progress and activities of the previous year. While 2016 has come to a close, the gains made by school districts, educators, and students using Wilson® throughout the country will continue to grow as the seasons unfold in 2017. Dyslexia Credentials As new dyslexia legislation continues to pass in more states, we have aligned our Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Certification programs with nationally recognized credentialing terminology commonly used in the field. WRS Level I Certified indivi [...]