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The Learning Success Blog

Should teachers be readers? A light hearted look with two teachers

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 26, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Colin Klupiec

Effective teaching of reading is a serious issue that deserves attention. But what happens after you’ve learned to read? How much should you read?

Given that schools are such book intensive places, would you expect teachers to be readers? I explored this topic on the Learning Capacity Podcast with music educators Brad Fuller and Peter Orenstein. They both teach at Northern Beaches Christian School in Sydney.

It was a light hearted chat about the serious business of reading.

Listen to the podcast.


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Topics: Reading, Podcasts

Leadership Expert John Spence: Reading is Path to School & Life Success

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 17, 2016 at 5:29 PM

Colin Klupiec

John Spence is an international business thought leader and influencer, and also a guest lecturer at universities such as Harvard, Stanford and The University of Pennsylvania.

According to John, reading is the path to success at school and in business. John is an avid reader, and claims that reading has made a lasting impact on his life and career. He reads 100 to 200 books a year.

I caught up with John on the Learning Capacity podcast to find out more about his story, and what insights he has for Australian & New Zealand students, parents and educators.

Listen to the podcast:

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Topics: Reading, School, Podcasts

1 million Students Risk Reading Failure, says Dr Jennifer Buckingham

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 10, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Colin Klupiec

It’s hard to believe, but 1 million Australian children are at risk of reading failure.

A research report released by the Centre for Independent Studies titled Read About It: Scientific Evidence for Effective Teaching of Reading suggests most children will need significant or intensive reading instruction.

Dr Jennifer Buckingham, editor of the report,  explained the problem in a discussion on the Learning Capacity Podcast, and the five keys to reading that can help address it.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: Comprehension, Reading, Podcasts, For Principals

Phonics Instruction Activates Brain Area Best Wired for Reading

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 12, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Peter Barnes

Research from Stanford University, USA, has shown that phonics instruction activates the left hemisphere of the brain. This is where visual and language regions are located.

The researchers showed that an alternative reading instruction method, known as whole-word or whole-language activates the right side of the brain.

Prof Bruce McCandliss, a co-author of the research noted that left hemisphere activation is characteristic of skilled readers, and is lacking in individuals who struggle with reading.

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Topics: Latest Research, Reading, Educational Neuroscience

Principal's New 7 Way Reading Program: Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 30, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Peter Barnes

I just read an inspiring article by Carole Meyer, a school Principal in Washington State, USA about how her school transformed its reading program. 

The problem at Salk Middle School in Spokane, Washington was that 328 of the 736 students were not proficient readers, based on the state’s reading assessment. This was almost half the students.

So in mid 2013 Meyer decided to find a way to get every student reading at or above grade level.

She succeeded.

The students in the new reading program:

  • Achieved more than a year of reading growth in only one semester
  • Lifted their pass rate so they were passing more than 90% of their classes
  • Shifted their mindsets toward becoming better readers
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Topics: Reading, Confidence & Resilience, Fast ForWord, Reading Assistant Plus (RA+)

How to Create Successful Readers: 5 Articles from Scientific Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 29, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Peter Barnes

What do teachers need to do to make sure students become successful readers?

Scientific Learning Corporation, the developer of the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs, has published five easy to read articles about the components of reading success.

In this blog, I have summarised the articles. You can read them in full by clicking on the links.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Reading, Fast ForWord, Literacy

Improving Reading with Fast ForWord: USA School, Bridges Academy

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 21, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Peter Barnes

Veteran educator, Jacqueline Egli, Executive Director of Bridges Academy, a well known not for profit, private school in USA was interviewed recently on the Fox News channel.

She spoke about how Bridges Academy is using neuroscience-based technology to improve reading for students in the school.

“For many of my students in my early days as an educator it might take me three, four, five years to make 6 months of solid improvement, ”she said.

Now her students with reading or learning difficulties use the Fast ForWord program

Egli says Fast ForWord can improve a child’s reading level by multiple grades in 6 - 8 weeks of training, and MRI scans before & after training show an increase in brain activity in kids with dyslexia.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Reading, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, For Principals

How Fast ForWord Improved Student Outcomes in Canada School District

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Colin Klupiec

Mike McKay is a retired superintendent of the Surrey County schools district in British Columbia, Canada.

He was a public educator for 35 years. The area he supervised has over 160 languages spoken. 

You can imagine it would be difficult to measure the potential problems with language and reading development in such a large and diverse region. 

But back in 2008 he attended a conference hosted by Scientific Learning Corporation, where he saw the research behind the Fast ForWord programs. 

When he came back, he asked his board to trust him, and give him $300,000 to get started. It was bold pitch. Mike tells the story of how things have panned out in this Learning Capacity podcast episode:

 

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Topics: Reading, Confidence & Resilience, School, Fast ForWord, Learning, Literacy, Podcasts, For Principals

How Your Brain Learns to Read: Professor Stanislaus Dehaene

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 8, 2016 at 5:52 PM

Peter Barnes

Did you know that learning to read is one of the most complex things we ask our brain to do?

What goes on in our brain that makes it possible for us to translate the little squiggly marks that are letters on a page, into meaning?

One of the world's foremost experts on reading, Professor Stanislas Dehaene, a French neuroscientists and author of the book “Reading in the Brain” has some answers. He explains in this video:

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Topics: Reading

“Phenomenal” improvements for son after Fast ForWord, says Father

Posted by Colin Klupiec on February 28, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Colin Klupiec


Dr Con Kafataris, father of six, describes the changes he saw in his son George, aged nine, as phenomenal” after George completed the Fast ForWord program.

It was a little bit of a journey to find Fast ForWord for George but after trying a few avenues, including speech pathology, Dr Kafataris came across the program through a book titled, “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Dr Norman Doidge.

“The science seemed plausible”, said Dr Kafataris, so he decided to give it a go.

What were these “phenomenal” improvements? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Or read more below for the complete podcast transcript.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Reading, Autism, Fast ForWord, Learning, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

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