Success by 3rd Grade Campaign and Reading Comprehension – It is More than the 3rd Grade FCAT

Success by 3rd Grade is important for many reasons.

In a 2010 Annie. E Casey Foundation Report titled Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters on they wrote

“Up to half of the printed fourth-grade curriculum is incomprehensible to students who read below that grade level, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation. And three-quarters of the students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school, according to researchers at Yale University.”  This will become an even bigger challenge with the new and much tougher  Florida State Standards –know elsewhere as the Common Core Standards

They also wrote, “Our current approach to testing and standards masks the extent of our nation’s problem with reading proficiency.”  

Reading comprehension is clearly the issue.  In work done by Taylor Reading Plus, they found that 75% of the 3rd graders tested this school year were 2 to 2.5 years below grade level.  Reading comprehension is the issue, and as parents and professionals, we need to focus on improving our kid’s reading comprehension and love of reading.

We believe the Success by 3rd Grade Campaign includes several elements:

-   Getting the Federal Government and the states to agree that Success by 3rd Grade could and should be a top goal

-   Driving that down to the school level, so principals have goals to increase their 3rd Grade Success rate

-   Parents also focus on Success by 3rd Grade for your child

-   In Florida, shifting the focus from just the 3rd Grade FCAT, also known as the 3rd Grade Reading FCAT, to a program focused on both reading comprehension and the 3rd grade FCAT.

We welcome comments on our Success by 3rd Grade Campaign

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dyslexic Advantage and Difficulty Reading the Way They Were Taught

We have seen thousands of students with dyslexia — and many are bright right-brain learners.

Then we read the following about dyslexia


Upside of Dyslexia? Science Scant, but Intriguing

“As far as research on whether dyslexics have a tendency to be more talented in areas like spatial skills, the empirical evidence for that is pretty weak. It’s weak because enough good solid research hasn’t been done,” said Gilger. “We have anecdotal reports. Those hit the press a lot. We hear commentaries about people being seen in clinics and so forth, that they have special gifts. But we don’t have really good research.”

Is a dyslexics just another myth? Wishful thinking? A bromide? Is it a red herring distracting us from the important task at hand—learning to read? Are talents in dyslexia a “neural compensation effect,” a work-around to compensate for weaknesses in a developing brain? Or are “dyslexic brains different almost from the start? (See study, Raschle, Zuk & Gaab, 2012.) Are these abilities nothing more than an “I’ll-show-‘em” response to early failure? Does the premise actually hurt kids with dyslexia by setting unrealistic expectations?

At 3D Learner, we have been helping these bright dyslexic students for 17 years.  We have seen compelling evidence:

-   The dyslexic child who wanted to be a car mechanic, until he realized he could be an architect, with the right training that capitalized on his strengths

-   The brilliant artist who gained 4 years in reading comprehension, when we leveraged his ability to visualize what he read

-    The student caught in the middle who went from the 48th to the 95th percentile with a right-brain approach

We call these students 3D LearnersDyslexia is a term that described their former challenge.

Their dyslexia was related to the way they were being taught.  They learned from whole to part and did not do well when drilled in phonics.

When they were taught to their strengths they flourished.

The 3D Learner label often describes a bright right-brain learner who is more likely to have attention and/or visual tracking issues

The 3D Learner does have a sea of strengths and challenges and it high time we respect their talents, capitalize on their strengths, identify and address their challenges and help these bright young people to be all they can be.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Your Child Failed the 3rd Grade FCAT Benchmarks, Act NOW!!!

Schools are now informing parents ASAP when a child has failed the 3rd Grade FCAT Benchmarks.  The 3rd Grade Benchmarks are given to tell teachers and parents who the at-risk students are early enough to make the difference.

If you are reading this in October through February, there is still time to act. 

Most schools remediate students with more of the same.  More test prep, helping the child to read better and more test prep.

Unfortunately, most smart struggling students have a combination of learning different and visual tracking, auditory processing and/or attention issues.

At 3D Learner, we assess for learning differences, attention, visual tracking and auditory challenges.  Even better, we then can help the student with programs tailored to your child’s needs.

Click here to access the Assessment

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

For Students with Learning Disabilities — The Common Core Risks

For students with learning disabilities and all students with disabilities the Common Core Assessments present the biggest risk ever.  The Common Core Assessments also present students with a learning disability with the great opportunity, if the student with a learning disability masters the skills to pass these tests, they will be far better prepared for a career and college.

How big is the risk.

Read this New York State Department of Education Report.

In reading, the percent of students with disabilities passing the New York State reading test dropped from 16 to 5% between 2012 and 2013.  For students with learning disabilities the percentage was probably 3% — meaning only 3 out of 100 students with learning disabilities passed the state mandated exam based on the Common Core Standards.

In Math, the passing scores dropped from 28 to 7% for students with disabilities and probably down to 4% for students with a learning disability.

The time for parents to act is now!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vision and Dyslexia

Dyslexia organizations continually say that dyslexia and vision are not related.  This article on Dyslexia and Vision leads one to believe the visual tracking issues may be related to lack of reading experience versus a true visual tracking issue.

If you define dyslexia as a problem with phonics, then you could say that vision issues do not cause dyslexia.  If you define dyslexia as a problem with reading comprehension, then visual tracking issues most certainly impact performance.

At 3D Learner, we believe it is important to identify and address reading and visual tracking issues — and we know that for the child with dyslexia and a tracking issue, the student can make much more dramatic gains in a much quicker time frame if the dyslexia and the tracking issues are addressed

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gifted Dyslexia or Bright Right-Brain Learner?

“They told me my child has gifted dyslexia and that he will not outgrow the dyslexia“, said a frustrated mom.

Gifted dyslexia may be defined as a problem sounding out words, or one could view the challenge as students who learn differently do not respond well to a phonics-based approach.

We assessed the same student and found a bright right-brain learner, who also had a challenge paying attention to that which was boring and skipped words and lines when reading.

Gifted Dyslexia or a Bright Right-Brained Learner?

It all depends on your perspective.

Consider the picture below


Some people see a man looking to the left and others see a man looking straight at you.  Both are true — it is one of those images that can be seen both ways.

We believe the term gifted dyslexia may be accurate, but for the gifted child who learns differently, we believe the term bright right-brain learner can lead to an exploration of right-brain programs and the selection of the best right-brain program for your child.

At 3D Learner, we find that the term dyslexia is valuable to some, heart wrenching to others, and too often leads to a focus on phonics-based solutions, when the student is a bright right-brain learner, and will not reach their full potential with a phonics-based solution.

A clear option for right-brain learners is to have a right-brain program that plays to their strengths, while identifying and addressing their challenges.

The image below shows that child, with the bulls eye being the right-brain learner who also has an attention and visual tracking challenges

Too see if your child is a right-brain learner and which issues are impacting your child take the 3D Learner Screening Tool.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Right-Brain Learners Exist

University of Utah researchers have found that resting brains show no difference between right-brain learners and left-brain learners. 

What Dr. Shaywitz’ studies have found is that for good readers, 3 parts of their left-brain have activity when reading, while students with dyslexia only have 1 part of their left-brain that lights up when reading and two parts of their right-brain light up.

Would love to see more studies that focus on the active brain,  specifically, what is the difference in brain activity between right-brain learners and left-brain learners when

-   Reading

-   Watching an event occur

-   Trying to solve a problem

Then we might have a better understanding of how a right-brain learner and a left-brain learner operate.  We would expect there to be a significant difference between the two


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment