Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

 

February 1, 2002

SMU TO OFFER NEW TAAS WORKSHOPS FOR SCHOOL-AGE STUDENTS

DALLAS (SMU) -- A new program at Southern Methodist University could help alleviate the anxiety school students face when they take the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills this spring, as well as help students learn to read and develop better study skills.

Beginning March 25, SMU will offer youth camps for students in grades three through eight to help with TAAS strategies in reading and math. “Successful Reading for TAAS” workshops will be offered from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays March 25, 27, April 1, 3 and 8. Quality, age-appropriate literature is the foundation for this interactive, intensive and directed instruction for reading for information. Questions and workshop activities are aligned with the reading objectives found on the TAAS Reading Test and will build students’ skills and self-confidence.

“Successful Math Strategies” workshops will be offered from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays March 26, 28, April 2, 4 and 9. The workshop will help students develop strategies for recognizing key words and phrases that lead to successful problem solving.

The cost for the TAAS preparedness workshops, as well as other workshops SMU is offering for students from kindergarten through grade 12 to enhance reading and study skills, is $275 per student.

“Reading Adventures in the Forest,” “Listening and Writing Adventures,” and “Reading Fluency Adventures” are limited-enrollment workshops for students in grades 1-3. These workshops will meet from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on five consecutive Mondays beginning April 1. Students will enhance their reading, listening and comprehension skills in small groups with selected thematic literature in an interactive setting. Writing fluency and expression will improve through understanding of basic sentence and paragraph construction. The joy of reading will be celebrated as students see their reading fluency and comprehension improve.

“Phoneme Awareness” workshops are for students in kindergarten through second grade to accelerate their reading, spelling and writing skills through interactive games and activities. The workshop for students in kindergarten and first grade will meet from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on five consecutive Tuesdays beginning April 2. The workshop for second grade students will meet at the same time on five consecutive Thursdays beginning April 4.

“WorkSmart for Dyslexics” is a workshop for students in grades 3-12 that will enable students with dyslexia to gain greater insight into their strengths as well as identifying some difficulties that can occur in school and out of school. Professionals specially trained to work with dyslexic learners will address issues of self-advocacy, organization, time management and self-esteem. All workshop times are from 5 to 6:30 p.m. with the workshop for grades 3-4 meeting on five consecutive Tuesdays beginning April 2, while the workshops for grades 5-12 will meet on five consecutive Thursdays beginning April 4.

The following workshops will be offered from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning April 2:

  • “Vocabulary Booster” is a workshop for students in grades 3-8 to expand their spoken and written vocabulary through discovery of word origins and word relationships.
  • “Reading Comprehension” is a workshop for students in grades 4-8 to develop strategies using age-appropriate literature to improve how students comprehend and remember what they have read.
  • “Reading Fluency” is a workshop for students in grades 4-8 to teach them to read with greater accuracy and efficiency through dramatic readings of poetry and short stories.
  • “Study Skills” is a workshop for students in grades 6-12 to learn the issues of planning, time management, organization and strategies that will make studying easier and faster for students.

For registration and more information, contact Karen Vickery at (214) 768-2223 or visit the Web site at www.smu.edu/read.


-30-