The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


March 22, 2006

New program helps young students grasp reading processes

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer McCulley is excited about the Lindamood-Bell programs — so much so her husband tells her she talks too fast and tends to ramble on when someone asks about the education program that is teaching her young students to read better and earlier.

Students use the LIPS program by the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling and Speech, as a supplement to their phonics program. McCulley said the program is helping her students master some processes in reading typically not introduced until the end of the first grade year.

“I just think it’s wonderful,” said McCulley, who has taught for 13 years. “This is the best program I’ve ever had.”

McCulley is quick to show anyone the progress her 21 students are making with the program that uses the development of oral-motor, visual and auditory feedback that enables all students to prove the identity, number and order of phonemes, or letters, in syllables and words.

McCulley said by examining the way sounds feel on the students’ lips, they are able to recognize and process the sounds, letters and words.

McCulley and Kendra Hamilton, speech pathologist at Chisholm Elementary, are both trained in LIPS and visualizing and verbalizing for language comprehension, a program that helps stimulate concept imagery, attention skills, memory and cognitive development. The training isn’t cheap and can cost as much as $10,000 for comprehensive training, McCulley said.

Another Chisholm teacher, Amy Jeffries, also has attended some training, and other teachers plan training later this year.

McCulley uses letter tiles and photos of mouths to illustrate the way a mouth should be shaped when making sounds. Students are able to identify the feeling the sounds are making when they pass through their lips. As McCulley demonstrates a sound, students call out “fat-pushed air,” or “puff out air,” or other phrases that describe the sounds the mouth is making.

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