How the Reading Process and the Editing Process are Alike

How the Reading Process and the Editing Process are Alike

Over the holiday weekend I have been experiencing much joy in my life.  I have been remembering all of the things that I am grateful for and focusing on completing the editing stage of my book 31 Days to Become a Better Reader.  As I have been editing the book, it dawned on me how similar the self-monitoring tactics I teach to children in my online tutoring program are similar to the editing process.  Those strategies are:

  • Does it look right?
  • Does it sound right?
  • Does it make sense?

In my book I mention these strategies on Day 5.  Let’s take a closer look at what this looks like in the reading process and compare it to the writing process.

Does it Look Right?

In reading if I say a word that was not written on the page, then I need to think does that look right.  I can use the beginning of the word to make an initial decision and then move onto the end of the word and the middle.

As I was editing my book, thinking does it look right was extremely pivotal.  Amazon has expectations when a book is sent in about the size of the margins and font.  I even needed to pay close attention to the space at the end of a page and check with the alignment on the top.

My Table of Contents was one of those things that I saved for last because I knew that the page numbers would change.  However, I had difficulty with the page alignment with the chapter numbers and the chapter title.  I needed to call in my resource of call a friend and she helped me fix it.

Sometimes when we are reading we are able to fix our mistakes.  However, there are times when you just can’t figure out a word and you need to ask someone for help.

Does it sound right?

When we are reading we want to make sure that we are reading the way the author wrote it.  This means that the author needs to take special care to make sure that the sentences are grammatically correct.  If it doesn’t make sense, then we need to go back to read it if we are the reader, or go back and reword it if we are the editor/writer.

Does it Make Sense?

Many times struggling readers will read words that don’t sound like real words.  They need to think themselves if that is a word they have heard of or not.  The tricky part is sometimes the child reads the word correctly, but because she is not familiar with the meaning of the word, she second guesses herself.

During the editing process I found that I need to read my work out loud and check for any errors I may have made.  I found that I had several errors that I had not caught previously.  Thank goodness for that red squiggly line that alerts one to these errors.  I had a few spelling errors that are similar to the errors a reader makes when reading a made up word.

Writing a book from start to finish opened my eyes to the entire reading/writing process more than it ever has before.  In the schools many people are utilizing Lucy Calkins method of teaching writing.  This woman is spot on and she teaches children to edit for one thing at a time.  I found that in editing my book that I needed to focus on one part at a time.  For example, I looked for page alignment throughout the whole text, matching table of contents with my chapter titles, and so on and so forth.

The reading and the writing process are so closely aligned that it is important to marry the two and only focus on one thing at a time.  If we try to focus on everything, then eventually our minds will become frazzled.  Sometimes we need to take it one word at a time, one sentence at a time, one page at a time, or one chapter at a time.  However we decide to go about we always need to remember to keep it simple.

My Mom’s Experience as a Struggling Reader

My Mom’s Experience as a Struggling Reader

After I shared my post about my own personal struggle with reading, my mom shared her story as a struggling reader.  It was so inspiring that I decided to share it with everyone with her permission.

I was put in a reading improvement class my freshman year with one girl and 20 boys who constantly threw spit balls a


t you every time the teacher left the room. I never even started enjoying reading until I graduated from high school when I could read books that I wanted to read and not the required reading in school. We always had to read a book a month in high school but did not get to pick the book.

I even got placed lower than my twin because of my reading ability. I guess I read to you a little bit, but back when I was growing up my mom or dad never read to me. My grades did not suffer as I always was an a and b student so no one would have guessed I had a reading problem. Like you I never scored well on tests because I was a very slow reader and it took me a long time to complete a test. I guess they realized this when I was in high school but there was not a lot available.  I totally felt like I was being bullied in that reading improvement class especially with 20 other boys throwing spit balls at me all the time.
I guess this is one of the reasons why I never wanted to go to college as I had had enough with going through high school and never getting any better grades than my sister. Although I did have my winning personality back then and it helped me get by.
When we went to Scottsdale Arizona and I read that Frank Lloyd Wright accomplished more than 50% of his lifetime work after he turned 65 it made me feel as though I still had a lot to accomplish for the rest of my life.
It is experiences like this that have inspired me to continue to do what I do, which is to teach children from around the world to read via my online tutoring program.  I know that I can't stop experiences like this from happening, but I can make myself available so that the amount of time people suffer does not have to be so long.
P.S.  Did you ever struggle with reading?  What are some of your first experiences with reading?
Overcoming Dyslexia an Effective Tutoring Program for Struggling Readers

Overcoming Dyslexia an Effective Tutoring Program for Struggling Readers

There are so many fantastic books out there that discuss what dyslexia is and provide awareness of this learning disability.  But, the one that sticks out the most for me is Sally Shaywtiz’s book Overcoming Dyslexia because it doesn’t only identify what dyslexia is, it provides solutions to how to overcome it.Sally Shaywitz


As an online tutor that is constantly helping struggling readers I have read this book, listened to it on audiobook, and have read it again.  Not many books get my attention for me to do this, so that is a clear indicator that this book is special.


Sally Shaywitz has spent her entire career learning about Dyslexia and teaching people with this disability.  (I just want to quickly mention, that just because someone has this disability does not mean he/she is not capable in many other areas of life).  In her book Overcoming Dyslexia she discusses cutting edge teaching practices that make an impact on learning.  These same teaching practices I found out were the same exact principles that I spent 5 years learning about while I was part of the Reading First Grant program at the Milwaukee Academy of Science.


The Reading First Grant focused their attention on phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.  Sally discusses ways to teach children with dyslexia in each of these areas.  It seems to come down to best teaching practices.  This is why the Reading First Grant focused on educating teachers in these best teaching practices.


If you are a parent or educator who has a need to know more dyslexia, then I highly recommend this book.  There is a lot of information to soak up and some very deep theoretical language, but if you are persistent and allow the information to soak up by taking it in you will be able to learn what to do for dyslexics.  In my own online tutoring program for struggling readers I incorporate the strategies she talks about and use the information to enhance my students learning engagement.  Thank you Sally Shaywitz for adding so much to the awareness of dyslexia.

Success Story in Online Tutoring Program

Success Story in Online Tutoring Program

Online Tutoring ProgramToday I get to feature one of my students that I had this summer with my online tutoring program and she is an absolute inspiration to all.  First of all let me explain who I am.  My name is Joanne Kaminski and I am also known as the Skyping Reading Tutor.  I tutor children all over the world in reading and it is my personal mission to help 10,000 people become better readers.

This post is about a little girl named Ruby.  When I first began working with Ruby she was a first grade student reading at a Kindergarten level.  According to her mom, Ruby had been part of a literacy intervention group at her elementary school. A few weeks before I began working with her in May of 2010 she was dismissed from that group. It was pointed out to Ruby’s mom that she was on the low end of the normal range for her school's 1st grade standards.

Her mom was concerned about her because she has had other delays - crawling, walking, talking, alphabet, writing, penmanship, math, etc. She had mentioned that she was a very hard worker. Ruby’s mom had mentioned that Ruby was prone to anxiety when she didn’t think she could live up to expectations. On several occasions I experienced Ruby breaking down due to this anxiety and my heart just went out for her.  Her mom had mentioned that it was not uncommon for Ruby to say she didn’t know the answer rather than risk answering incorrectly.


When I started working with Ruby sight words were particularly problematic for her, both to read them and to spell them.  Her mom was unsure where she should be with regards to comprehension, but felt that might be an issue as well.  She had even mentioned there might be a possibility for dyslexia, but after the initial assessment we were able to put that thought to rest.  She did not have dyslexic tendencies.


Ruby was an A+ tutoring student in my mind.  She showed up on time to each session, if she wasn’t able to make it a session her mom let me know.  Ruby showed up to her sessions with an earnest desire to learn.  She made further gains than was projected even possible with just 1 hour of instruction a week for 3 months.


She has gone from the bottom of her class by the end of 1st grade to the top of the class at the beginning of 2nd grade.  She is currently reading 2 and ½ grade levels above where she was reading back in May.  She is starting off her 2nd grade year with a renewed confidence in reading and is no longer in need of tutoring.  She has graduated from the online tutoring program.  What a blessing this family was and now, because of the tutoring that Ruby has received she is set for the rest of her educational career.


What part of this story touches you?