Surpass the Class was founded in 2013 by Beth Miller, M.Ed. Beth holds a bachelor's degree in Special Education and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Language and Literacy.
Beth has spent her teaching career providing reading therapy for students with Dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. She is skilled in many Orton-Gillingham based reading remediation programs and is a certified Level 1 Wilson Reading System teacher, and a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner by the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and the International Dyslexia Association.
Beth is a Washington State and Arizona State certified Special Education teacher with Reading endorsements. She is also a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and has been a past membership chair for the Arizona Branch of the IDA.
Not all students learn to read automatically and require step-by-step instruction in the science of language. These students need explicit, systematic, evidence-based, multi-sensory language learning in a one-on-one setting to make reading, spelling, and written language progress - this is where we can help.
Our masters level dyslexia practitioner is skilled in many Orton-Gillingham based reading and spelling remediation programs such as Wilson Reading System (www.wilsonlanguage.com) and other structured literacy and multi-sensory techniques.
Standardized testing in phonological awareness, short and long-term memory, reading decoding, reading comprehension, spelling, and written language are also offered as a stand alone for private school students or as a baseline for the start of dyslexia therapy.
Beth's philosophy of education is that all children can learn given the right tools and teaching techniques. She believes that learning should be fun, interactive, and encouraging. Beth enjoys teaching children to become readers and writers, and helping them gain confidence in their abilities as learners. It is her mission to take the struggle out of learning for all her students.
Whether you're a parent of a homeschooled child, or simply looking for additional literacy support due to school closures, we would be happy to speak to you about what we can offer to support the academic needs of your child.
We look forward to working with you to partner in your child's academic success!
What is Dyslexia?
“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impeded the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
That’s the official definition, but it might be easier to think of it like this:
Dyslexia is characterized by a surprising level of difficulty when reading words on the page. Why is it surprising? It is surprising because dyslexic children (and adults) generally love listening to stories and learning. They are bright, with average to above average intelligence. And, they have significant difficulty remembering the sounds that “go with” the letters. When you think about those sounds – that code, which some children seem to learn so effortlessly – it actually has no internal logic. Why does an “s” sounds like /s/? Good question? Neuroscientists are beginning to understand the wiring inside the brain that makes this decoding task easy for some and very difficult for others. But while brain experts wrestle with the science, families and teachers – the front lines – must deal with these capable learners, who have such a hard time recognizing and spelling these words. They must devise alternate routes to comprehending the ideas in text, developing background knowledge and encouraging the growth of a robust vocabulary.
Surpass the Class has a track record of many years of success when it comes to Dyslexia treatment and reading therapy/tutoring. Many students over the years have been taught the techniques to help them overcome even the most difficult reading obstacles. We have found success by following the principles below. You can expect your student to receive:
- One-on-one instruction with a highly trained Master’s level dyslexia practitioner
- Comprehensive assessment to pin point areas of learning need
- Structured and cumulative lessons – students build on previous knowledge working from sounds to syllables, words to sentences, and paragraphs to stories, learning the structure of English through constant repetition and review
- Multi-sensory and interactive methods for both reading and spelling – all skills and knowledge are reinforced through visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses
- Research-based, systematic, sequential, direct instruction of language structure and rules to help dyslexia treatment
- Structured sessions with a predictable lesson outline
- Opportunity for practice and feedback
- Positive reinforcement, encouragement, and enjoyable sessions
- Learning challenges demystified for students and family members
Your child will experience a structured, science-based approach to literacy that is taught in a multi-sensory and systematic way geared to their unique learning profile.
Methods and Techniques
Surpass the Class uses multi-sensory instructional techniques in order to help students improve their reading and written language challenges. An excellent description of multi-sensory structured language teaching can be found here.
Some of the specific techniques are displayed below:
- Color coded sound cards with key words to reinforce newly learned sounds
- Making words with color coded sound cards or syllable cards
- Color coded phonetic whole word flash cards for each newly learned reading skill
- Sight word cards based on the individual needs of the student (multi-sensory methods for learning sight words including sky writing, gel boards, sand trays etc.)
- Daily word list reading of current pattern and charting of results
- Sentence reading of controlled text, focusing on decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension
- Unique “sound tapping” method for one-to-one correspondence of each sound in a word
- Reading passages of controlled text with a focus on decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension
- Visualization techniques for creating a “mind movie” when reading controlled and non-controlled text and verbalizing the images
- Explicit teaching of specific thinking strategies to use during reading (Monitoring Comprehension, Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Determining Importance, Summarizing and Synthesizing Information)
- Repeated readings of short passages at student’s reading level
- Focus on prosody, rate, and accuracy
- Student graphs results for first reading and final reading after practice
- Drill spelling sounds with color coded magnetic letter tiles
- Student makes words with color coded magnetic letter tiles
- Written practice dictation of sounds, real words, pseudo words, sight words, and sentences
- Explicit teaching of Rewards Writing (Grades 5 – 12)(http://www.voyagersopris.com/curriculum/subject/literacy/rewards/take-a-closer-look/rewards-writing)
- Explicit teaching of Step-up-to-Writing (See links and resources for a power point explanation)
With the many challenges our son Nick had with learning to read, my husband and I were so thankful for Ms. Miller’s patient instruction. Even though Nick was very behind, once he began working with Ms. Miller we noticed his willingness to try reading and work more diligently in other academic areas. Ms. Miller challenged him and he was able to accomplish so much in a relatively short amount of time. Without her kind and attentive manner, we don’t think Nick would have been able to accomplish what he has, not to mention the confidence he found working with her. We will be forever grateful!" ~ Ben and Wendy L.
"Once our son Paul was introduced to a different learning environment, the difference was amazing. His confidence, self esteem and overall attitude improved. He started looking forward to going to school again. He was able to read and comprehend effectively for the first time ever. The experience we had with Ms. Miller was a game changer.....we cannot thank you enough!" ~Char W.
"Our son, Justin, struggles with dyslexia which hindered his reading progress and leveled his self-esteem in regards to this academic area. After a year of reading therapy with Ms. Miller, Justin has progressed exponentially and he is now initiating reading aloud, when the previous year he would not even attempt to do so. Ms. Miller helped give us back our self-assured son. We can't be more happy, proud and thankful." ~Amy F. and Carl C.
"Words cannot express our gratitude for the outstanding work Ms. Miller does with her students. Our son, Mac, was not thriving at school until he entered this program. After this experience his behavior, outlook, self confidence and eagerness to learn has made all the difference in the world. He has even won reading awards. We are so happy with the work Ms. Miller has accomplished with our son and will forever be thankful." ~Fondly, Tim and Trish M., Parents of Macintyre M. age 12
"Beth is well trained in the most effective evidence-based methods for teaching reading to struggling readers and executes these methods with skilled professionalism. Her reading therapy produces results." ~Deborah Fash, MA, CCC-SLP, Director of Intervention, New Way Academy, Phoenix, Arizona
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Surpass the Class Literacy & Learning Center, LLC is located in the small, charming town of Sequim, WA located on the picturesque Olympic Peninsula. If you are unable to visit our community for on site therapy, Zoom sessions are offered both for students and for parent consultations for IEP advocacy and guidance.
376 West Bell Street, Sequim, Washington 98382, United States
Monday - Friday: By Appointment
Saturday - Sunday: Closed