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Freedom Scientific LSG Presents
The WYNNing Word
February 2006

Star bulletSpecial Announcement:
WYNN Chosen to Participate in a National Research Project


Student Success with WYNN in Saskatchewan

Matt using WYNN
"We knew we had created a program that was successful for Matt the day he came to us with a novel – J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings – and asked us to scan it for him," said Tracy Shaw. "Matt became a reader and discipline was no longer an issue."

During Tracy Shaw's first year at South Shore School, Regina Beach, Saskatchewan, Canada, as a Student Support Services teacher, Tracy met Matt. Matt was a 6th grader who could neither read nor write. There had been no formalized assessment of Matt — no diagnosis or designation had been determined. Matt had failed kindergarten and had been pulled out of classes for Reading Recovery and small group work daily. This plan did not help Matt read or write. By 6th grade he had become frustrated and was a behavior problem.

"Building a relationship with Matt became very important. Matt needed to know and trust that I had the best of intentions for him," said Tracy. "He needed to see me advocate on his behalf, to defend him if necessary, and to know that I was willing to work for him."

During that time, it was decided that Matt should have an in-depth vision assessment and IQ test. The assessment came back to the school stating that Matt suffered from symptoms of dyslexia. Matt's difficulties included the inability to "sound out" words and the inability to take whole words or configurations and perceive them as a unit symbol. This diagnosis confirmed why he couldn’t learn through sound or sight. The IQ test showed that Matt was intelligent and able to learn. After researching software programs designed to assist students with reading and writing, Tracy chose WYNN Wizard and Reader.

"When I approached Matt about our purchase he was quite excited, explained Ms. Shaw. "He liked the idea of being able to participate with the rest of his class. I taught a couple students how to scan, and off we went."

Developing an Independent Reader

The class was doing a study on the novel Peacekeepers. Because of Matt’s learning problems, an alternate book would have to be chosen for him to read: a high interest, low vocabulary choice at an approximate first or second grade level. It also meant an Educational Assistant or teacher would work directly with Matt to ensure he was reading the novel because, by this point, Matt hated reading.

With the purchase of WYNN, a new plan was put in place. The student-teacher team scanned the novel into WYNN, allowing Matt to follow along visually while listening to the story. The team also scanned the activity guide into WYNN so that Matt could respond to the novel independently.

Students cheeringUsing an alternative, authentic assessment approach, Matt could choose how to respond to the chapter. He could respond orally (using WYNN and Dragon NaturallySpeaking), or he could tape his responses. He could create a chapter review by drawing the main events of the story, highlighting the main events of the story in WYNN, or acting out the main events of the chapter. Matt began to meet with success. He was thrilled and soon became an enthusiastic reader!

The added bonus to Matt's success was his classmates' reaction. Ms. Shaw proudly commented, "His classmates were taking an interest in how Matt was learning. I was receiving requests from students to try out the program. Mark, a boy diagnosed with ADHD, would sit, listen, and follow along as the novel was read for the entire period. We had to create a sign up list for students within the class to use the computer. It was getting to the point that Matt was unable to get onto a computer! We rectified that situation so that this opportunity would be available to all our students."

"We knew we had created a program that was successful for Matt the day he came to us with a novel – J.R.R.Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – and asked us to scan it for him. Matt became a reader and discipline was no longer an issue. WYNN is now being used by students at South Shore from kindergarten to 8th grade. You can walk into South Shore at any time and find students utilizing WYNN. We have happy, successful readers!"

Tracy Shaw

Ms. Shaw is now Student Support Services Coordinator at Greenall High School, located in Balgonie, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is a full service school serving grades 9 through 12. Greenhall has 665 students enrolled, as well as a Bridges program (for students with behavioral needs), an Adult Education program, and an Integrated Learning program. They have just recently purchased WYNN and will be utilizing it throughout their various programs.

Want More Information About Matt’s Form of Dyslexia?

Please Don't Miss This Wonderful Opportunity to Bring Current Events to Your Students!

NewsCurrents: The world's best current events program!
To sign up for this FREE subscription, valued at $249 a year, go to the NewsCurrents One on One link on the page, and sign up for One on One, using your WYNN serial number as the promotion code. For more detailed information, call (800) 356-2303 or view the informational flyer.

NOTE: You must own WYNN to take advantage of this exciting, free offer. One on One is recommended for Grades 5 and up.

"Finally my students are excited about reading current events. They now see this information as interesting, rather than difficult material they have to read. They hear it, see it and they understand it. They want to delve deeper into the event," says Joan Streitenberger, 7th grade social studies teacher.

"With One on One presenting the material in an interesting and understandable manner and WYNN meeting the needs of my students' individual learning styles, I do not have to 'rewrite history.' My time is spent in discussion with the students on the topics. How wonderful it is to hear their educated opinions!"

Coming Next Month:

A girl at college Increasing Student Retention, Graduation Rates & Higher Ed Enrollment - Learn how a collaborative effort between the Arkansas State University, the Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education Unit, and Easter Seals of Arkansas is disseminating information — through training and professional development — concerning supportive technology and a universally designed curriculum in Arkansas schools.

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