2003 Conference Proceedings

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Mary Jo Barry
Don Johnston Incorporated
26799 W Commerce Drive
Volo, IL 60073
Phone: 847-740-0749, ext 554
Fax: 847-740-7326
Email: mjbarry@donjohnston.com

Learning to read is essential to success in today's society. If reading skills are not mastered, a child is guaranteed frustration and hardship throughout school and adult life. Today, large numbers of students from all social classes have significant difficulties in learning to read. However, there is ample evidence that with well-designed instruction, most students can learn to read.

Although the field of reading has long been plagued by controversy and disagreements, an analysis of the research over the past 20 years has produced a clear picture of what is needed for students who experience difficulty with reading. As stated by the research conducted by the National Reading Panel (2000), "these facts and findings provide converging evidence that explicit, systematic phonics instruction is a valuable and essential part of a successful classroom reading program ." (Excerpt from Designer, Ted Hasselbring, EdD)

In this hands-on lab, you'll see how Simon(r) S.I.O. meets the needs of children who have difficulties in reading by providing systematic instruction in the alphabetic principle, reading words by mapping speech sounds to parts of words, and achieving fluency. Simon S.I.O. is based on the best instructional research to date and is grounded in extensive field-testing. Because it is computer-based and incorporates a personal tutor, students move at their own pace, enjoy individualized lessons and feedback and receive extensive practice on the skills necessary for mastering phonological awareness.

Students can self-monitor pronunciation and inflection as they read words and sentences in the guided oral reading activities-these are recorded. Teachers and paraprofessionals can also monitor progress by retrieving not only student recorded samples, but also measure time on task, problem areas and level progression. Pre- and post- assessment components help educators customize Simon to meet the individual needs of each student. Rich lesson plans, individual and small group "off-computer" activities are appropriate for older struggling students and make practice fun. Seamless accessibility offers intervention for students using a single switch.


National Reading Panel. (2000) Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (National Institute of Health Pub. No. 00-4749). Washington, DC: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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