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If you have an older student who has been diagnosed as “dyslexic” or with a “specific learning disability”

3RsPlus READ M-Series
Heck Speck!

You can tell by the subtitle that this is not your “usual” instruction.  The “M” stands for “Mature.”-- “struggling readers/learning disabled/dyslexics”-- individuals who are beyond the primary grades and still have problems in reading.

From Indian sages to Russian witches, from Viking giants to Africa's spider-trickster, from Shakespeare's mad kings to the Roman gods, the five sets of Heck Speck! books contain many of the tales and legends that have kept humanity around the globe enthralled for centuries.

The stories are not for Littlies, and children who have had BRI-ARI instruction will have no need for the M-series.  The stories are sassy and the language not always politically-correct.  But the sex, violence, and other sass are at a “general family” level.  The content is suitable and will be enjoyable for tweens, teens, and adults.  Individuals learning with READ-M can see themselves read successfully from the get-go.

The traditional focus on what problem readers can’t do overlooks their assets—what they can do.  Compared to young children, older individuals are more capable intellectually, physically, emotionally, and so on; but in their attempts to read they have acquired maladaptive patterns that have to be extinguished.   And while they are unlearning what they’ve been doing wrong, they have to be taught to “read right.”  That is exactly what READ-M does.

As with 3RsPlus READ for younger children, the only “instruction” involved is “Say the sounds and read the word.”  And a Notched Card prevents the student from doing anything but follow the simple protocol.

There is just one preparatory step before starting READ-M instruction.  The individual has to know or be taught the NATO alphabet, also known as the international radiotelephony spelling alphabet—the one that goes alpha, bravo, Charlie, and so on.  Knowing this alphabet is useful in its own right, and for READ-M purposes it provides a mnemonic device for recalling the most frequent grapheme correspondences for each of the 40 some English phonemes.  Anyone who can accomplish this preparatory step of learning this alphabet has the prerequisites to handle READ-M instruction.

As with READ, READ-M builds on increasing and repeated exposure to selected vocabulary to provide experience in handling complex Alphabetic Code and other linguistic conventions. When graduated from READ-M, the individual will be in position to read whatever he or she likes.  The “I don’t understand this” reaction will occur at times, as it does for any reader.  There are vocabulary and concepts that sometimes need to be learned to understand unfamiliar text, but this is not a “reading problem;” it’s a subject matter problem.

Any teacher or teaching assistant is qualified to conduct READ-M instruction without further training.  Should a problem in the instruction arise, veteran READ instructors are more than glad to help troubleshoot the matter.


Excerpt from M-Series Set 1, Book 7

Linguistic focus: Past tense, digraphs, “ing” endings

Crying Wolf
Bob’s job was tending the sheep on the hill, camping in the damp and the mist and in the wind and the ice.  Sitting on rocks, tramping in the mud, feeding the dim witless things, chasing lost rams – Bob was fed up.

‘Hey, lad!’ said Bob’s dad, Jack, coming up the dirt track to the top of the hill.  Jack was humming to himself, glad to see the sheep fit, hale, and white; and even more glad to see his lad.  Until, that is, he spotted the fact that Bob was not fit, hale, or white. His face was a mask of dirt, his shirt was torn, and he seemed full of rage.

‘What’s wrong?’ asked Jack, upset.

‘I – hate – sheep!’ Bob snapped back.

‘It’s a sin to say that!’ yelped his dad, going pale. ‘Sheep are fun!’

Fun!’ Bob howled. ‘Sheep are such a drag!  They creep, and lurk, and munch all the grass.  They nip, they bark.  They fall in the pond, they stick in the mud…The sheep can rot, for all I care!  Sheep are so dull! I’ve started racing ants just to pass the time on these cold, endless days!  I’m going mad!’

‘You are going mad if you think they bark,’ snorted his dad. He had been glad to take care of the sheep on the hill before he grew up and wed.

Bob sat hunched on a rock as his dad started back down the hill, tut-tut-ing to himself.  Staying still as dusk fell, a plan came to Bob.  A plan to pay them back – dad, mum and all the town – for his hardship on the hill while they all napped snug in bed, down in the vale.

So: ‘WOLF! WOLF!’ yelled Bob.


Excerpt from M-Series Set 2, Book 6
Linguistic Focus: OW word class:  sorrow(ful), borrow, Owen, pillow, following, glowing, blowin(g), marrow, slow(ly), meadow, low(ly), mow, sow, rows, throw, crows, grow, own(s)(ed), show, bellowed, swallowed, bowls, swallows, yellow, below,

Contrasting correspondences involving O

Puss 'n Boots
‘Let’s get some things clear,’ said Puss, jumping to the ground and fixing Owen with a glowing green gaze. ‘I can make you rich and happy beyond your wildest dreams. But you do as I tell you.

‘Firstly: to you, I am Mister Cat. Not “Hey, you!”; not “Moggy”; not “That flea-ridden fur-ball”; and not “Oochy-coochy fluffy munchkin”. Okay?’

‘Okay…Mister Cat!’ said Owen meekly.

‘Secondly, I want some boots.’

‘Why?’ asked Owen in surprise.

Why? Heck. Speck! – Why do you have boots?’

‘Fine!’ cried Owen. ‘I’ll have some made for you!  With the last of my cash!’

And he did. Soon Puss was strutting around in tall shiny boots looking more smug and more handsome than ever. Then he told the Miller’s lad to get his kit off and jump in the lake.

‘Please tell me you’re joking,’ begged Owen.

‘Nope,’ purred Puss, sharpening his talons on the nearest tree as a hint for the brat to just do as it was told.

‘But…it’s so COLD! There’s a wind blowing! I’ll be chilled to the marrow of my bones!’

‘So…?’ asked Puss, with a feline shrug. ‘You need a bath. And you’ll never grab yourself a Princess wearing those rags.’

‘Princess?  WHAT Princess!’ cried the Miller’s lad. He’d always been a bit slow off the mark.

Humans! Sometimes Puss asked himself why he bothered.

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