Why can’t some of them read?
Red Flags for
27 Neurodevelopmental and Vision Issues that Affect Larning with Activities to Help
5 x 7.5", 142 pages
OUT OF PRINT
Come into Katie Johnson’s world, the world of six-and seven-year-olds and how they think and move. After forty years of working in first grades all over the country, teaching children how to read and write, she has seen many puzzling children.
Why can’t some of them read? If you are a teacher of young children, or a parent of a beginning reader, you may have been puzzled by some children who cannot read and write.
Katie believes that many children are having trouble learning to read and liking to read because they have problems with their vision — not their eyesight — or problems with their neurological development.
Red Flags for Primary Teachers presents such children, all students Katie has worked with during her teaching career, so that you might recognize children you work with and find new ways to help them.
The book is organized into three parts: What I see, What I Do, and What I Have Learned. You will meet many children who have no labels or initials, ordinary children in ordinary classrooms. Knowing them may help you work with your puzzling students.
A child who struggles to learn can easily fall through the cracks, particularly if he is not a behavior problem. It is not uncommon for parents to relate that they know their child isn’t keeping pace with his peers, but that he does not qualify for support services because he isn’t “bad enough”. To wait until a child fails before intervening is unconscionable, but there is tension in balancing an increasingly tighter budget for available services.
Reading the handbook that Katie Johnson has put together should inspire you to broaden your insight through informed observation. You will find numerous case examples of children who are going about their day-to-day learning in the classroom in a very inefficient manner. Katie is able to share her observations based on her explorations into BrainDance, Brain Gym, and Optometric Vision Therapy.
Red Flags is chock full of practical advice for helping children learn better through kinesthetic and visual exercises and games from a master teacher with over forty years of experience. Katie Johnson’s new book is a must-read for teachers and parents who want to help young people be the best they can be.
Anne Green Gilbert, Recipient of the 2011 National Dance Education Organization Lifetime Achievement Award, Director of Creative Dance Center in Seattle
Every teacher and many parents have had students that struggle in school. Red Flags is a must-read to find out what to watch for and what to do to take students from frustrated to eager, from just compensating to thriving. Read this book to help change a student's life.
Dr. Nancy Torgerson, Alderwood Vision Center, Lynnwood, Washington
Katie Johnson had three books published about teaching writing to young children at the time that she sent me her manuscript with the request to write a foreword for her new book. She had served as an adjunct professor of literacy in the teacher-training program of the University of Washington and given many professional development presentations across the United States. I was encouraged when I read the manuscript that this was a nuts and bolts effort that spoke directly to teachers’ minds and hearts. The result is a book that is a must-read for teachers and its cost is reasonable enough that ODs should consider donating copies to local schools, libraries, and individual teachers.
Red Flags is unique in its style of having multiple sections that introduce a visual concept, illustrating it with a real life story, and concluding with a paragraph oriented toward teachers entitled “What Do I Do Next?” In that regard it resonates with the classroom teacher who is trying to balance offering some sort of effective guidance or intervention, balanced with the need for professional input. The book borrows freely from David Cook, Lynn Hellerstein, Carla Hannaford, and BrainDance, among other sources. It even has a QR code the reader can scan to go directly to the COVD website for a doctor locator. Teachers will find bite size tips for a variety of problems, some of which are more complex that what a book of this nature can offer. Its pocket size lends it to serving as a handbook that a teacher can flip through in case she sees a child exhibiting one or more of the red flags compiled by Katie, and treatment activities that may help. It is always mindful of indications for professional guidance by a developmental optometrist.
Dr. Len Press, O.D., FCOVD
from his blog, http://visionhelp.wordpress.com, October 9, 2012
Somewhere in the vicinity of 30 years ago, I sat on an imaginary front porch at a Lesley Kindergarten Conference Workshop with another conference participant as we visualized what we saw in our teaching futures and the future of education. My workshop partner’s name was Katie Johnson, author of Doing Words as well as More Than Words and Reading Into Writing. Over the years, Katie and I have stayed in touch, working on opposite coasts for the most part, often bemoaning trends in education that provide less and less time for truly child-centered teaching and learning.
Katie’s latest book, Red Flags for Primary Teachers, does comment thoughtfully about many of the developmental and learning issues children face these days. But the core content of the book is designed to provide dozens of specific activities and strategies from the field of vision and neuro-motor patterning that can make significant differences in the reading and writing careers of elementary school students. Katie does this in a no-frills, straightforward style based on what she has learned in her own classrooms and from experts who work with children outside the classroom. Reading this small gem of a book is like listening to a teacher down the hall share a great idea.
Although I often make the point that while education and society have changed dramatically in terms of expectations for children, their growth and developmental patterns are essentially no different from the way they were 50 years ago. Katie tells a starker truth. “American children lead restricted lives, constantly bound in car seats where they have to sit in one position for sometimes hours at a time. Most children don’t go out to play without adult supervision, even in their own yards…” “The bottom line—children are not the same as when I began teaching.”
Katie argues that children’s developmental vision and patterning skills are being impacted negatively by significantly increased screen time and a commensurate decrease in motor activity. Her book provides meaningful ways to address this crisis and is immensely helpful, not only for primary teachers, but for their administrators, for music and physical education teachers, for OT, PT, and dance therapy teachers, and for parents who want to know what’s best for their children’s brain and body development and their academic progress.
Pass it on!
from Yardsticks, Chip Wood's blog, December 10, 2012