As a centrist, one of my goals in the past few years has been to meet and learn from people of all different points of view about how to teach reading. Doing that helps me find the common ground that I know exists on this very important topic. Niki Simonetti has spent 50 years teaching children with dyslexia. As you will see in the interview, she has found ways to help them become readers and writers. She has done this in part by focusing on what she calls the overlooked factors. In our many conversations on Twitter, I’ve found Niki to be open-minded and full of ideas that help teachers help kids. I was excited when she agreed to talk to me about her experiences and the new book she has written. The name of that book is Dyslexia Defused: Reading Struggles and Reading Solutions.
This book contains several unique and innovative ideas about strategies that can be used to help children with dyslexia. In addition to ideas for the classroom, she also includes ideas for helping everyone, including parents, who are dealing with dyslexia. There’s even advice for folks who are thinking about entering the field of working with dyslexic children. This book is a must-have for teachers. I highly recommend teachers consider getting one for themselves and making sure that their building has at least one copy available in their professional library.
Here are some highlights from the interview. They are time-stamped so you can go to the parts of the video of most interest to you:
Introduction to Niki 00:00
Niki talks about a case study of a six-year-old she worked with 01:01
Niki’s approach to phonics 8:55
Niki on consonants 14:10
Other tips from Niki, including how to break words into syllables 19:01
Final remarks 26:47
To get your copy of Niki’s book use this link:
Next week I’ll be taking a break for Thanksgiving. After that, I’ve lined up a series of great interviews with leading literacy experts. All of these interviews center around new books they’ve written. Among the people that are scheduled are Susan Vincent, David Harrison, Laura Robb, Ann Kay, and Jenna Cunningham.
In the meantime- Happy Reading and Writing!
Dr. Sam Bommarito, aka the centrist who uses ideas from all sides to inform his teaching
Copyright 2021 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.
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Excellent interview. I like the way you make the interviewee feel at ease by your jovial nature. I also liked your ‘ My way or the highway’ for the SoR folks. Thank you Dr.