Mary Ellis Dahlgren, Ed.D., is president of Tools 4 Reading. She is an experienced educator with over 25 years in the field of education having served as a dyslexia therapist, elementary classroom teacher, international literacy consultant, and author. She is the author of a highly successful phonics tool kit that includes Kid Lips and Phoneme-Grapheme Instructional Cards for elementary, special education, and English language learner teachers. She is also a national trainer for the distinguished teacher curriculum Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS). She is the former executive director of Payne Education Center, a nonprofit teacher training center in Oklahoma. The Center was established to provide teacher training for teachers of dyslexic students and to support parents of dyslexic children. Mary is a founding board member of a school for adjudicated youth, SeeWorth Academy, organized by the late Chief Justice Alma Wilson. Justice Wilson named the school SeeWorth in hopes the children would “see the worth” in education and the future. Mary’s passion is to help everyone involved in reading instruction to feel equipped and confident in providing the highest quality instruction possible. Mary is also the President of The Reading League Oklahoma Chapter.
Concurrent Session Description
Sound Walls: Anchoring and Distinguishing Instruction Between Sounds and Letters Matters
(Special Ed, Dyslexia, Other Learning Challenges, Equity & Inclusion, ELL, Components of Literacy Instruction, General Science of Reading) Using a sound wall in your classroom can transform instruction. Because of the science of reading, we are becoming more aware of the role of phonetics and phonology in beginning reading and spelling. While learning to speak happens long before learning to read, teaching how speech maps to print has not always been a part of general classroom instruction. Developing phonemic awareness to a prescribed level must happen prior to the development of automatic sight word reading. Explicitly teaching the sounds, how they are produced in the mouth, attending to what is happening with your tongue, teeth and lips and the flow of air makes learning more concrete. We will examine the 44 speech sounds, how to introduce them and build a sound wall with consonants and vowel phonemes and discuss strategies for engagement as part of daily practice. These are some of the steppingstones to orthographic mapping so all students can become fluent and proficient readers. We will address how do you set up and begin using a sound wall, where do I post a sound wall, and what do I do with a sound wall now that it Is posted.
Target Audience(s): Elementary
Education Track(s): New to the Science of Reading
Advanced Sound Wall Instruction: Connecting the Speech and the Print
(Special Ed, Dyslexia, Other Learning Challenges, Spelling, Components of Literacy Instruction, General Science of Reading)
One of the most common questions is, how do I help children break the code to become readers? Providing explicit, systematic, sequential instruction in mapping sounds to print is a foundational skill that puts a child on the road to reading success. We will look at the speech system of the English language and common spellings used to represent the sounds. We will discuss how to move into adding graphemes to your sound wall and the common patterns found in the English language. This will extend the knowledge of the learner by helping them to systematically learn about the patterns in English along with a daily review of previously taught patterns. This is the connection forming process for developing rapid storage of sight words leading to what is known as orthographic mapping.
Target Audience(s): Elementary
Education Track(s): Advanced Science of Reading