Piña Reading Academy specializes in prescriptive, individualized tutoring in reading and math for both children and adults. The tutoring is done by a Reading Specialist and/or other credentialed teachers who are trained in the Common Core State Standards and who also have at least ten years of teaching experience in a self-contained classroom. All tutors hold a valid teaching credential in the state of California.
New clients are given an initial educational assessment and, based on the data, a curriculum is designed for the student, by the tutor. Clients typically see the tutor once a week for a 60 minute session. 30 minute sessions are also available. There are no contracts at Piña Reading Academy. Therefore, you can attend sessions as often as you like, depending on tutor availability.
Melinda Pina is an educator with over 22 years of experience as a teacher, reading coach, district resource teacher, and Reading and Language Arts Specialist. She has created and delivered district wide professional developments in many areas including reading fluency, spelling, comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, and phonemic awareness.
Her audiences include administrators, teachers, instructional coaches, paraprofessionals, and parents. Melinda has been responsible for training educators in how to meet the academic needs of each individual student. She obtained her Master's Degree in Advanced Teaching Skills from the University of La Verne and earned a Reading and Language Arts Specialist credential from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Melinda also serves as the Director of Implementation and Professional Development for Colvard Learning, an edtech company dedicated to designing high quality reading programs for the iPad and other devices. She develops the content, assessments, and supplemental materials for the programs.
Phonics instruction teaches children the relationships between the letters (graphemes) of written language and the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language. It teaches children
to use these relationships to read and write words. The goal
of phonics instruction is to help children use the alphabetic principle- the understanding that there are systematic and predictable relationships between written letters and spoken sounds. Knowing these will help children recognize familiar words accurately and automatically, and decode new words.
In short, knowledge of the alphabetic principle contributes greatly to children’s ability to read words both in isolation
and in connected text.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about,
and work with the individual sounds in spoken words.
Before children learn to read print, they need to become
aware of how the sounds in words work. They must
understand that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes. Phonemes are the smallest parts of sound in a spoken word that make a difference in the word’s meaning. Children who have phonemic awareness skills are likely to
have an easier time learning to read and spell than children
who have fewer or none of these skills.
Phonemic awareness is not phonics.
Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly.
When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. They group words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression (prosody). Their reading
sounds natural, as if they are speaking. Readers who have
not yet developed fluency read slowly, word by word. Their
oral reading is choppy and plodding. Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Because fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding the words,they can focus their attention on what the text means. They can make connections among the ideas in the text and between the text and their background knowledge. In other words, fluent readers recognize words and comprehend at the same time. Less fluent readers, however, must focus their attention on figuring out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding the text.
Comprehension is the reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. As they read, good readers are both purposeful and active. Good readers have a purpose for reading. They may read to find out how to use a food processor, read a guidebook to gather information about national parks, read a textbook to satisfy the requirements of a course, read a magazine for entertainment, or read a classic novel to experience the pleasures of great literature. Good readers think actively as they read. To make sense of what they read, good readers engage in a complicated process. Using their experiences and knowledge of the world, their knowledge of vocabulary and language structure, and their knowledge of reading strategies, good readers make sense of the text and know how to get the most out of it. They know when they have problems with understanding and how to resolve these problems as they occur. Research over 30 years has shown that instruction in comprehension can help students understand what they
read, remember what they read, and communicate
with others about what they read.
Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively. In general, vocabulary can be described as oral vocabulary or reading vocabulary. Oral vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening. Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print. Vocabulary plays an important part in learning to read.
As beginning readers, children use the words they have heard to make sense of the words they see in print. Vocabulary is also very important to reading comprehension. Readers cannot understand what they are reading without knowing what most
of the words mean. As children learn to read more advanced texts, they must learn the meaning of new words that are not part of their oral vocabulary.
Spelling knowledge (orthographic rules of English) is acquired in well-researched progression. Systematic instruction in sound segmentation, sound-symbol association, and awareness of spelling patterns leads to better spelling achievement. Children who are taught directly and systematically-including through exercises in transcription- and who are asked to apply their skills often in purposeful writing, learn to spell more readily than children who are taught random lists of words to memorize. Students in this age group must learn how words change by adding either a prefix or suffix (morphology).
A solid foundation in the orthographic rules of English supports both reading and writing success.
The study of grammar all by itself will not necessarily
make someone a better writer. But by gaining a clearer
understanding of how the English language works, students
gain greater control over the way they shape words
into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Studying grammar helps students become more effective writers.
copyright 2016 Pina Reading Academy,
Designed by Andrew Yanez