Letter Spacing and Readability (particularly for dyslexia)

June 8, 2012

Letter spacing. Read this.

Two European researchers have demonstrated that increasing the spacing between letters help students with dyslexia read faster, bumping up their reading ability by about a year. Their app for testing your best reading spacing, DYS, is free.

Robert Lee Hotz has the details.

Unlike having to use expensive fonts, like dyslexie, letter spacing is very easy to change on a webpage, and anyone should be able to change the preferences on their browser; for Mozilla Firefox you can change the letter-spacing using User CSS (which is not quite as easy as changing it in the preferences).

Hotz, 2012.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Letter Spacing and Readability (particularly for dyslexia), Retrieved November 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

U.S. Senators’ 10th Grade Speeches

May 29, 2012

NPR presents the results of a Sunlight Foundation study that showed that U.S. senatorial speeches average at a 10th grade reading level. The maximum is about 16th grade (high school + 4 years of college), while the minimum is about 8th grade. The average is down one and a half grade levels from just 10 years ago.

Note that the U.S. constitution was written at an 18th grade level.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. U.S. Senators' 10th Grade Speeches, Retrieved November 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Readability

April 20, 2012

You can get Google to give its assessment of a site’s readability, using a basic-intermediate-advanced scale, but for more granularity, you can use an online utilities like this Readability Calculator.

This recent post, for example, can be comprehended by students somewhere within the 8th and 12th grades.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Readability, Retrieved November 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Reading levels?

December 20, 2010

One of Google’s new search options lets you assess sites based on reading levels.

The purpose of this blog keeps evolving in my mind. It is a place for me to keep all the notes and pedagogic reflections that I should be recording, but have not, and would not, be keeping otherwise. It’s also a bit like my writer’s notebook in that I use it to experiment my writing style.

I also hope the site can be useful to other Montessori (or any really) teachers because I have a real, fervent belief that everyone gains when we share as much information as possible.

This blog, being in a public space, should also be friendly to parents who might look in once in a while; this way they can get a fair, if perhaps too revealing, glimpse of my educational philosophy, see where I’m going, and get a bit of an explanation of why I do the things I do.

Finally, I occasionally show certain blog posts to my middle school students. It’s an easy place to link videos like the one about the Northwest Passage. Almost inevitably after I do that though, I’ll find some student perusing through the rest of the blog, usually with the exclamation, “Hey that’s not what actually happened!”

So I try to write posts that are accessible to all these different groups. I try not to shy too much away from using longer words, layered meanings, references, and subtexts, because, after all, if students don’t already get them, this is as good a place as any for them to learn.

Barry Schwartz has an interesting post at the Search Engine Roundtable about the new Google option, as does Adrian Chen at Gawker. Both articles post the graphs for a number of different sites. I’ve not yet seen an actual definition of the what the different levels on the graphs mean, but the Muddle sits almost entirely in the intermediate section of the graph, much like the New York Times’ site. This does not seem like bad company to keep, though I do think I’d like to try for more variety. We’ll see.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2010. Reading levels?, Retrieved November 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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