Roma Chadha never meant to start a business. As a dyslexia tutor, all she really wanted to do was to help struggling readers. After years of drawing her designs on a classroom whiteboard, she decided that it would be useful to purchase some picture cards to use with her students. She quickly discovered that there weren’t any sets that were suitable for her kids. There were plenty of picture cards on the market, but they were either too cluttered for her dyslexic students or they featured images that didn't help students to remember the shapes of the letters. Roma decided that the only way to get what she needed for her students was to create it herself. I See, I Spell, I Learn was born. I had the opportunity to interview Roma about her amazing system.
Why do you think it is so difficult for children to learn sight words and how do your picture cards help?
Children learn to read by sounding words out, but sight words wreck that system. My cards contain true sight words, not high-frequency words. Many of the words on the high-frequency lists can be sounded out by readers; it just might take them a while. I’m focusing on the real problem words.
Children with dyslexia often have a difficult time with random memorization, and because sight words cannot be sounded out, they demand rote memorization. Tricky letters need to pop out. These same kids often are very strong right-brained learners, so why not rely on a strength instead of a weakness to help them remember the words?
My pictures are designed around the actual shape of the tricky letter(s), and so children end up spelling as well as reading the sight words just by recalling the picture. As far as I know, they are the only cards on the market that work this way.
Do these cards work for learners who don’t struggle with dyslexia?
Yes. Though they are designed for students who struggle with reading, which kid doesn't like looking at a picture?
What age range is appropriate for the cards?
The cards can be used for 4-6 year old emergent readers, but are meant to help struggling readers from 6-10 years old.
Are you working on any other projects?
Yes! I’m currently working on a new set of sight word cards, as well as picture homophone cards with downloadable workbooks. There's potentially a set of decodable readers in the works as well! I’ll be working on them during the summer .
Where can people find out more information about your products and upcoming projects?
My website is the best place to find information.