About Marya Outterson
With a Massachusetts teaching license and over 10 years classroom teaching experience, I have always enjoyed seeing children “break the code” as they learn to read and write. Now, through Word Bird, I tutor children who especially need help with reading. In lessons tailored to the child’s individual needs, we practice letter sounds, learn how to blend them together, and spend significant time reading aloud, using the Orton-Gillingham approach. We also work on spelling—both words and full sentences—because learning how to write words helps with reading them too.
What’s special about Word Bird Reading?
Due to direct, systematic, explicit teaching, the child gains phonemic awareness and learns which letters represent which sounds. Of course children learn by being challenged, but I want each child to experience some measure of success and accomplishment during every lesson. Activities are multi-sensory and often movement-oriented to help the brain make the necessary reading connections. We also practice specific strategies to reduce anxiety, a common struggle for children who feel like they are not learning to read as quickly as their peers.
I am always mindful that children generally learn best through playful approaches. For example, we play “Memory” or BINGO with sight words, use a Willaby Wallaby puppet to practice rhyming words, and use a Long Jump/Short Jump game to identify long and short vowel sounds.