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Print Inverted Reading is the ability to make sense out of text when viewed upside-down and backward. To some extent, all good readers can do this if they try. Teachers, for example, train themselves to read upside-down, thus making it easier for themselves when working with their students.
But a true PI reader cannot read in the conventional way. He, or she can only read successfully when the print is viewed upside- down. If you've never seen this before, then it is truly amazing to watch. Please click this link and watch the video before you go on. http://www.dropshots.com/teacherman9000#date/2009-04-29/11:57:42
Okay! Now how can this be?
To begin to explain this, we have to go back to High School Physics and Biology. The eye is much like a camera. An image comes through the lense and is projected on the retina, but this image is upside-down, or inverted. It is the brain's job to sort out and make sense of the image entering through the eye. For a video explanation from Bill Nye, the Science Guy, click this link:
Most doctors agree that newborn babies see everything upside down for a period of time - but no one really knows for how long.
At what point does the baby's brain "flip the image over"?
Suppose, for some reason, it doesn't happen and the baby simply adapts to seeing things inverted. Perhaps the baby's brain continues to view the world interchangeably - upside-down or right-side-up depending on what s/he is viewing. Could this be the "gift" that gave Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein and Thomas Edison their incredible intellectual abilities?
What happens if a child continues to view the world in this unique way and it goes unrecognized? What happens when the child enters kindergarten or first grade and his teachers attempt, with all good intentions, to force him to read in the "normal" way?
Without recognition and encouragement by the parent and the teacher the child may never figure out what his or her brain is doing differently, and s/he will eventually be labeled learning disabled or possibly even dyslexic.
But these same children, if allowed and encouraged to read text upside-down, progress just as rapidly in their reading and writing acquisition as their peers and eventually begin to "turn it over" on their own! Here's that same boy just one month later and he's reading a second grade book! If you notice, he has been reading the book right-side-up, and I ask him to read it Print Inverted to show "how smart he really is".
An easy way to determine if a child is a PI reader is to simply present him or her with a random list of upper and lower case letters to name. (See Simple PI Test). You should time the child and record how many correct responses are given. Then re-administer the test upside down and compare the results. If the child does significantly better naming the letters upside down, then chances are s/he is a PI reader. Click this link to see Isaiah taking his test: http://www.dropshots.com/teacherman9000#date/2010-10-22/23:14:56
The video in the link below is of a very bright and eager child who could not name the letters of the alphabet upon entering first grade. I simply turned the test book upside down and the difference is obvious. Click the link below to see the first video. http://www.dropshots.com/teacherman9000#date/2009-09-16/21:57:22
Here is the same boy a few weeks later decoding a leveled reader the only way that he can - upside down. PI kids are not taught to read upside down. They do so naturally as long as they are encouraged and reassured that there is nothing "wrong" with it. http://www.dropshots.com/teacherman9000#date/2009-09-27/11:01:12
© S.Round 2010