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Of course it is.... The reason we read is to gain meaning from print and if holding the book at an angle or upside down helps someone to process print faster and easier then that's the way to do it. For some people (ESPECIALLY YOUNG CHILDREN) it's the only way they can make sense of it!
a first grade teacher and I've discovered something very interesting.
I've found that the kids that seem to struggle the most with learning
how to read, not only do much better when they read and write upside
down, but it helps them to transition to "conventional" reading quickly
and easily within a month or two.
Ten years ago I had a little
boy named Emmanuel in 2nd grade who absolutely could not read the
simplest text - no matter how much he tried. Everyone who had attempted
to help him through the years - his family, his kindergarten teacher,
his first grade teacher, reading specialists and special ed. teachers,
all had all eventually given up in frustration - AND SO HAD HE! His
behavior was terrible, his grades were awful, he refused to pay
attention and often simply went to sleep in class.
guy knew that he was smart but could not figure out what he was doing
wrong. He had become so frustrated that one day he actually hit me right
in the middle of class (the only child in ten years to do so) and was
dragged out of the room by the "behavior specialists". But I could not
give up on him.
Then one day I was observing Emmanuel and
another boy "partner reading" on the rug. The other boy would read a
page AND EMMANUEL WAS HELPING HIM FIGURE OUT THE WORDS WHEN HE GOT
STUCK! How was that possible? I quietly walked over and watched what was
The other boy was holding the book and Emmanuel was
LOOKING OVER THE TOP ! To him, everything was upside down and backwards -
but he could make perfect sense of it! I called him up to my desk and
asked him if it was easier for him to read upside down and he said
"Yes." I was shocked. I immediately took out a simple first grade text
(one that Emmanuel had never been able to read before) and he proceeded
to read it perfectly - COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN! I gave him a harder book
and the same thing happened.
I grabbed his hand and his books
and we went straight down to the principal. Up until that day, the only
time she had ever seen Emmanuel was because of discipline problems.
Today both he and I were smiling. I said, "Mrs. Owen, I want you to meet
the absolutely best upside down reader I have ever seen!" And he walked
over next to her and read his books, fluently and with feeling,
completely upside down. We praised him. She hugged him. We called his
mom with the good news.
I wrote a "good note" home that
afternoon and said to just encourage him to continue doing exactly what
he was doing. Emmanuel went on through the semester reading that way. He
even went into other teacher's classrooms to demonstrate his talent to
their classes. His self respect and confidence sky- rocketed. By the end
of the year he was "On Level" with his peers.
His mom came in
to thank me for turning Emmanuel around, and she continued to call me
for a few years after that to tell me how well he was doing in his new
school. The remarkable thing was, she said, that "Emmanuel taught
himself how to read right-side-up, all on his own!"
months that I worked with Emmanuel I did my best to find information on
the internet and at the local libraries on "Upside Down Reading" , but
could find absolutely nothing. Some people said that they had heard of
it, and that they thought it was some rare form of dyslexia, but no
studies had ever been done.
Well, I figured that Emmanuel was
"one-in-a-million" and life went on. I lost touch with Emmanuel and his
mom, but continued to teach both first and second grades. And I had
never thought that much about upside down reading until the spring of
2009. At that time I had two very bright little boys who were turning
out to be just like Emmanuel. Six months went by with no progress with
either one. Then one day it hit me - Upside Down Readers !!
called them up one at a time and had them try it. Success!! Both boys
did significantly better upside down than they had ever done "the normal
way". And from that day I have made it a point to find out everything I
can about this phenomena and how it can help struggling readers. I've
dubbed it Print Inverted Reading and you can find all about what I've learned by going to my website - http://www.pireading.com . You can see videos of kids reading and writing upside down! So, if you know someone who has trouble reading, suggest that s/he look at it another way..... Upside Down!