Amy was in Year 10, almost 15, very artistic, and refused to read even one multi-syllable basic code word on the TRT assessment. “I don’t read words like that.”
Me: Amy – when you read, do you get pictures in your head? (This is a standard That Reading Thing question for teens who often say, “I didn’t know I was allowed to do that anymore.”)
Amy: (with feeling) I hate reading. I just hate it. I hate reading.
Me: Well, that makes you an extraordinary young woman.
Amy: (wide-eyed) It does?
Me: Of course! If you hate reading that much, it means you come to school every day to do something you hate. And that makes you extraordinary because I don’t know one adult who would do something they hated every single day for 10 years without even being paid. And not only do you show up, but you’re polite and friendly and good company.
Amy: (silently processes these facts…)
Fast forward a week. Amy sticks her head round the door before coming in and says, “I bought a book”.
It was a drawing book but it did have written instructions which she had clearly read and, best of all, she’d actually gone into a bookshop and looked at the shelves. In other words she treated it as a place where just maybe she belonged.
A structured, safe and age-appropriate reading method will not just teach reading and spelling; it will help older struggling readers re-envision themselves as people who belong in a world of books.
Oh – Amy gained 11 months of reading age in 6.5 hours of That Reading Thing. She also discovered she had a great memory for spelling.
Here’s a PowerPoint introduction to That Reading Thing’s method for turning “I hate reading” into “I bought a book” .
(Or, go watch the Topic 1 of That Reading Thing’s online training. Takes you to trtgo.com)