Getting Started

Greetings!    You are reading my first ever blog post.   Forgive my inexperience as I get started with my blog and website, learning how to navigate the digital world.  

Let me begin by telling you about myself and my reasons for creating this online space.


Reading is my “jam”.    I’ve heard that saying on The Bachelor.  Some girls will say “Motherhood is my jam.”   or “Being a journalist is my jam.”   This isn’t a phrase in my normal lexicon, but it does sum up how significant reading is to my life, both professionally and personally.


I’ve been a voracious reader since elementary school.  I was that kid staying up past my bedtime with a flashlight under the covers, desperate to finish the book and find out how the story ends.  Even as an adult, I’ve been known to pull all-nighters  to finish the newest Harry Potter or Outlander novels, for example.    I enjoy sending articles to friends and family of interesting things I read.    Anytime I have a new project or interest (tennis, adult ballet, yoga, buying a home, budgeting, healthy cooking, reading, etc), I head to my local library and check out a stack of books on the subject for a free education.  I’m grateful for the adventures I’ve gone on in the books I’ve read-  all the places I’ve “traveled” and interesting characters I’ve “met” in the millions of pages.


It’s not surprising that I chose the field of education as my field of study and work, because I wanted to spread that love of books and learning to the next generations.    I taught third grade for a number of years and then got the opportunity to join the support staff as an EIP (Early Intervention Program) teacher.    Through default, I was  tasked with mostly upper grade (3rd-5th) reading segments and one Kindergarten reading on the side.   That was a huge range but ended up being the pivotal moment of my career.    I quickly realized that the struggling readers in the upper grades were missing the very skills I had to teach to the Kindergarten students (phonemic awareness, blending, segmenting), and once I used the same activities with those older students and taught them the missing skills, they were soon able to catch up and finally learn to read.

So that became my specialty:  teaching older struggling students how to read.  Over the years, I’ve developed a method to catch the readers up as quickly as possible so they can become engaged and successful with their grade level work.

I created this site to share what I’ve learned over the years about reading development and unlocking literacy for struggling readers.   I have also been creating print and digital materials for my students to use, and I want to spread those resources to struggling readers beyond my school so that the learning gap can be closed once and for all.      I feel privileged to have such a meaningful relationship with books, and I believe that everyone deserves to enjoy the gifts of reading, or at least have the choice to do so, even if they don’t evolve into a reading nerd like me.


As this site is developed, you will have access to my teaching materials, resources, and methods.    I’ll let you know what’s in the process of being published, and I’ll be polling you to get feedback and input into product development.   I encourage you to question and comment often about my resources.    Everything I do is for the good of the students, and so I welcome the opportunity to assist you helping your students become great readers.

Let’s unlock literacy together!


All my best,


Shannon Betts