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Friday, September 29, 2017

Voices Inside Your Head

Do you Hear a Voice Inside your Head When you Read?

I was at the school today, volunteering in Freddy's class. Even though it's hard to visit the school I taught at for nine years, I also love it. I feel like a celebrity.

"Mrs. Rabe, you're here!"
"I heard you're an author."
"I've missed you so much."

It's awesome and it gives me that awesome boost that only past students can give. I really miss teaching and it's only been a few months.

Anyway, today one student came up to me and said something like: "Hey, Mrs. Rabe, guess what? You know that voice you hear inside your head when you read? It's the voice that reads all the books. That voice was so familiar in my head and I couldn't figure out who it sounded like until I saw you. It sounded like you!"

My heart melted a little. One of my favorite things to do with my students was to read aloud books. Full novels usually. In one school year I got through 8-10 full novels. We set apart about 20-30 minutes a day for reading, sometimes more, like when we were sewing quilts, and sometimes less, like project crunchtime. It was amazing and if I taught my students nothing, it was that reading is so, so, so important.

The conversation about hearing a voice inside your head as you read has got me really thinking? Does everyone have a little voice inside their head as they read? I looked up an article about it, and there was a guy who had dsylexia and he was amazed to find that he people heard voices in their head as they read. I'll share the website at the bottom but here are some quotes I pulled from the article.

Most people use their inner voice subconsciously. But for those who find they do not have one, it can be a revelation.

Isn't that interesting? For those who struggle with reading, I wonder if they struggle with hearing an inner voice inside their head and if teaching them to listen for that or to build that could help them with reading interest and comprehension.

Professor Rod Nicolson, head of work psychology at the University of Sheffield, has been studying dyslexia for many years and was inspired to investigate internal speech after meeting this guy who couldn't hear the inner voice. He believes he has found a link between lack of inner speech and poor reading ability.

"Children start off having to say every word out loud,' he says. 'At some stage, as their reading improves, so does their ability to sight-read [to read in their heads] and that is the stage at which reading really takes off. By the age of eight or nine, most children can read in their heads. The development of the inner voice seems to be automatic for most people, but our data suggests a link with fluent reading, in that the process of learning to sight-read actually helps inner-speech develop.

Everyone assumes everyone else is the same. However, we have found not everyone has an inner voice and in those who don't, literacy levels are often poor.

They had this cool little test I added, so try it out!


For this you need two people - one asking the questions and the other doing the test. If you find any of this difficult, it may indicate problems with reading.
Ask the person to say numbers one to 26 out loud, then to say them again, but saying one out loud and two and three in their heads, with their tongue clamped between their teeth. 
They must not move any part of their body, such as nodding their head or using their fingers.
The correct sequence would be 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25. They must complete it within 25 seconds.
Using a pen, tap on the table, say, ten times and ask the other person to count the taps in their head, applying the same rules as above.

In summary, I am a writer and an author, and one of my primary concerns is that children and adults improve in their reading skills. Do you have an inner voice in your head? If not, can trying to find it help your reading comprehension? Try it out!

Props to this crazy good article for it's valuable information!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The 3 Be's for Giving and Receiving Critique

Check out my new article on giving and receiving critique. It's like the bread and butter of being a writer and we all need time to slow down and be better at both.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

1st Class Presentation

10,000? What's that about? Well, hang on. Let me catch you up and then I'll explain.

Alot has happened since my launch day. I've been busy getting Playground Treasures out to all who are willing to listen. Marketing a book is very different from writing, and yet almost more crucial if you want to make anything. My goal is to make up for all of my production costs and the money I need to keep writing and attacking new projects. Right now I am saving for Playground Treasures to be put in an audio book format. It's a lot of money, and honestly, I might not make it all back. But how cool is it going to be to have someone read my book with all of its voices and make it come alive. 

Today was also the first time I did something new and exciting in promotion of my book. Not only do I write, but I can also teach about writing. I started putting it out there that I could present to classes about the writing process or my book and the author life in general. So today was my 1/5 booked appointments with classes. I taught 90 sixth graders at Mountain Shadows Elementary in West Jordan. 

I taught about how to break the 10,000 hour rule and still become a better reader, writer, soccer player, etc. So what's the 10,000 rule? Well, some researchers say it takes 10,000 hours to develop and be really good at a talent or skill. Unfortunately that would take 18 years of 1 1/2 hour of practice a day. I can't afford to take that long to become a great author. I need a way of speeding up the process. So while I was researching about this rule, I also saw some researching debunking this data. That sure it might take some people this much of time, but some can develop it faster or slower than 18 years. And there are a few things they have found that can help speed up the process. Three things to be exact.

1)  Create a feedback loop....that means get feedback on what you're doing and do whatever it is you're doing better the next time. So all the beta-reading I ask for and all of the critique groups I attend are really very essential to my progress and growth in writing.

2) Deliberate practice
That means you have to pick on skill, like dribbling or shooting hoops, over and over to accomplish  the goal of getting better at your specified talent. 

3) Become a teacher. After you have learned a skill and had targeted practice, teach someone about it. Share your information and each someone the process and what you learned in your experience.

So, those three things are what I shared with the sixth graders and I really do hope something stuck. :) It was a good experience, and though I sold ONE whopping book, it was part of my feedback loop that I will deliberately practice, and then teach someone. :)

My Final Release of the Year!

Love From Left Field