Beyond Accuracy: Promoting Automaticity In Word Recognition

Dr. Vera Blau-McCandliss
VP Education & Research, Square Panda 

Christine Wei
Senior Curriculum Designer, Square Panda

11:00am-12:00pm ET

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In order to become proficient readers and comprehend text, students need to be able to not only decode words accurately, but also automatically- that is quickly and without effort. 

This presentation explores how educators can help students succeed in this early stage of decoding by providing strategies that can help build both accurate and automatic word recognition. We also discuss how the brain learns to process words over the course of reading development and why focussing on automaticity is an important step to promote later text comprehension and fluency.

Educators will:

  • Learn about automaticity and how it is an essential step to developing fluency
  • Learn about the development and neural correlates of word recognition  
  • Experience strategies/techniques for improving automaticity with their students during both in-person and remote instruction

About the Presenters

Dr. Vera Blau-McCandliss is a cognitive neuroscientist specializing in brain bases of reading challenges and development, and the vice president of education and research at Square Panda. In her academic research she has focused on the multisensory integration of letters and speech sounds in the dyslexic brain. Vera is an Orton-Gillingham certified instructor and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to curriculum for games and hands-on learning with children. She is currently driving Square Panda’s content development for digital games as well as user experience and product efficacy research.

Christine Wei is an educator with over ten years of experience working with emergent and struggling readers, both in the classroom and in her work at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes. She is currently a senior curriculum designer at Square Panda, creating stories for a print and digital decodable book series, as well as developing content for multisensory, adaptive learning games. Christine received an M.Ed in Teaching and Learning from UCSB and has taught kindergarten and the primary grades in Title I schools in the Bay Area.

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