From August through December, Jones would work with Emberly about once a week, 90 minutes to two hours at a time.
Emberly had been reading at a third-grade level as a second-grader, but is now reading on a seventh-grade level as a third-grader, Jones said.
“I tell people all the time that the IMSE approach is for all students,” Jones said.
She started the training because Emberly’s mom, Selina, had told Jones that she needed a challenge and was slightly bored in the classroom. Jones said Emberly loved the multi-sensory connections to their lessons. Emberly learned a new sound concept — a soft c — by making soft cinnamon cyan play dough, and, for the sound concept and syllable type — consonant-le — they made gourmet truffles.
“It’s connections like that that help facilitate memory and create learning pathways,” Jones said.
Jones said, after teaching Emberly decoding strategy, “her appetite for syllabication became almost ferocious.”
“One night I got a picture text from her mom,” Jones said. “She showed me a picture of a word Emberly was decoding. It looked like a very tough word, one an adult would have difficulty with. Selina texted, she can’t get enough, she just said, ‘Mom, think of some harder words! Mom, go get some words out of the Bible!’ We laughed over that one, but it was amazing to see that she was reading at such a high level for a second-grader.”
Emberly said she loved learning about words and called the process “fun.”
She also “learned that an upside down e is called a schwa.”
Selina Smith said OG helped her daughter make “some huge games in a very short amount of time.”
“Emberly is very bright, so I wasn’t sure if this program could help her improve academically. Oh boy, was I ever wrong,” Smith said.
Jones, who was diagnosed with dyslexia, said that has fueled her passion for students’ successes.
“As an IMSE instructor diagnosed with dyslexia, I love sharing my experiences, insight, and what I believe, is the best prescriptive approach to structured literacy out there,” Jones said.
Jones said Emberly is on track to read more than 1 million words over the last two months. OG also has helped Emberly obtain 100 percent spelling accuracy, Jones said.
“I’m convinced this approach is for all students, to help them reach their full literacy potential,” Jones said.