About Lee-Ann Lear
Lee-Ann has been a teacher for 21 years. Until recently, she worked in the York Region in Ontario, Canada, as a Special Education Teacher. Recently, she has resigned her position to focus on SyllaSense. Throughout her teaching years, she has been fascinated by the process of teaching reading and working with struggling readers. Lee-Ann taught Reading Recovery for 6 years, and then completed her Reading Specialist. In 2014, she completed an Associate Level course in the Orton Gillingham Approach. Soon after, Lee-Ann became trained in Empower Reading™ when it was piloted in the York Region. She then completed her Special Education Specialist, and in 2020/2021 she completed a 100-hour practicum with an Orton Gillingham Fellow. In December 2022, Lee-Ann applied to the Orton Gillingham Academy and was approved as an Associate Level Member.
Lee-Ann began writing SyllaSense Decodable Readers while teaching Kindergarten. She noticed that some of her students were struggling with a Whole Language approach. She began looking for an alternative to leveled readers, but didn’t like the lack of story line and the unnatural language structures in many decodable books on the market. Lee-Ann explored the idea of creating a book series using only “closed syllable” words (a single vowel followed by consonants will make its short sound). The challenge was to also keep the stories meaningful and engaging for young children. The first versions were made from family photos and drawings created by her co-educator Nataliya Katula (DECE). These books allowed struggling readers to begin experiencing success. Several years later, Lee-Ann wrote and published the Purple Series (Vowel-Consonant-e syllable type). Over the summer of 2021 Lee-Ann worked to update the Green Series to incorporate multicultural pictures into the books. As part of this process, Ashlyn Mundy re-illustrated 3 of the fiction books. In late winter of 2022, Lee-Ann began to explore the idea of expanding the series and making some changes to the structure of the Scope and Sequence. The result, a full reprint of 50 titles, will be ready for purchase in September 2022.
Lee-Ann is also working on a blog about her literacy journey. Check it out at: https://alongthelearningjourney.wordpress.com/