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How to Teach Reading to High School Students
Find the beat ...decoding or breaking down the sounds-inside-of-words can also be thought of as finding or feeling the beat within a word.









Being taught to understand that letters and spelling patterns have a distinct rhythm, learning to read can be an uncomplicated enjoyable experience for teenage and adult struggling readers who enjoy music and dancing.

Think of the letter-sounds relationship as a line dance, similar to the "Electric Slide!"


Tasha's Story








sounds-sense
approach to
reading remediation


Phonics for Adults Reading Interventions








































During the 3 years that I spent at the Reading Center, many students of Tasha's skill level and beyond passed through the doors.  Several of which I had the privilege of serving as either the primary or guest tutor.  
These experiences were the foundation on which I built and customized my private practice.

In the Letter Sounds Save Their Souls series, you will learn and practice the rhythm of letters and sounds and confidently pass this knowledge on to your children.  You'll discover that letters and spelling patterns (paired and teamed letters), have a distinct rhythmic connection and how mastery of these phonic systems will naturally improve fluency and reading comprehension.



"Sounds are like the keys opening up the doors to words"
Marva Collins, Educator






In 2004, I met Tasha an outgoing, chatty high-school senior who loved rap music and going to the movies. 
Tasha effortlessly caught the subway and then transferred to a city bus to attend her weekly tutoring sessions at the Oakland California reading center that I was employed with as both the Operations Manager and newly certified reading instructor.  
During one class, when confronted with the letters 
s-t-r-u-t on the page of a book that she was reading, it appeared as if Tasha was looking at a foreign language that she couldn't translate onto her
 mental screen which frustrated, embarrassed and angered her.
This particular exchange between Tasha and her tutor, 
a senior instructor at the center who also had a teaching degree, was a life altering light-bulb moment for me. 


As I listened to my colleague discuss how upsetting this session was for her student, 
I was struck with the idea that instead of unsuccessfully attempting to take a whole word or soundless approach to reading, what if Tasha were coached to take a sounds-sense approach, where letters = sound pictures or musical notes and words could be broken down and understood as pieces-of-sound.
Although Tasha was reading challenged, because music is so natural for teenagers, using music as an aid to teach reading  would also make the subject matter natural and easily understood. 
What a boost to her confidence and reading abilities, if she were taught how to mentally connect her love of music and mastery of rapid-paced lyrics to the equivalency 
of instantly translating letters into pictures of sounds.