I have worked for many years as a school psychologist, with particular interests in reading delay, and in the processes of children’s thinking. I have taught Philosophy for Children in classes from Grade 1 to university, encouraging students to think more deeply and analytically.
In 1997, seeing a need for appealing Philosophy for Children classroom materials, I wrote a set of 6 books – The Brain Strain books, comprising short stories, big picture books and teacher manuals, and these were published by Macmillan.
These were followed by Changing My Mind, teacher manual and student short story books, again providing springboards for philosophical discussion.
The Time Riders series (The Time Riders Code, Time Riders Ride Again, Time Riders Out Back, Reflections of Time Riders and The Time Rider’s Project) were online novels for students with a need for extension, providing intellectual and philosophical challenges. The Time Riders Code and Teacher Manual were also printed in paperback.
My experience as a school psychologist and my research on studies of reading delay showed strong evidence that the majority of students who have difficulty learning to read, have poor phonic understanding. I noted that even if they were involved in catch up literacy groups, the books these students were given to read did not support the program and I was unable to find suitable books for them. In order to fill this gap, I wrote the Rip Rap Series of novels, published by Cumquatmay. The appearance and subject matter of the two sets of 12 novels (Rip Rap A and B) are suitable for older students, while the controlled and cumulative vocabulary enhances readability and skill development. A Teacher’s Manual supports the program.
The Rip Rap novels include:
The Train and the Pain
Keeping the Light
The Black Eagle
The Clones Strike Back
The Zone in the Mirror
When the Zoths Come
Queen of Slaves
The Room with No Door
Fear of Water
The Bell Tower
The Hiding Ground
The Rip Rap series is used across Australia and in New Zealand and Canada, in schools, homes, tutoring, speech pathology, correctional facilities, adult learning and English as Additional Language Centres.
A reading board game Pay Load will be released very shortly. This truck driving, pick up and delivery game is aimed primarily at adolescent and adult delayed readers, though it is also suitable for children.