Reading, Spelling, and Writing Instruction

Francis Lunney of Reading-by-the-Sea is a MA certified K-12 Reading Specialist and English/Language Arts (Grades 5-8) teacher offering expert in-person reading and writing instruction for students in all grades on Boston’s North Shore as well as online instruction for students in all areas.

Fran’s expertise, professionalism, and approachable nature translate into a positive experience for families and measurable gains for students.

Fran is trained and experienced in Orton-Gillingham, a systematic and multisensory phonics-based reading approach to helping struggling readers overcome their reading (decoding), and spelling difficulties. Fran taught for more than ten years in specialized private schools that incorporated the Orton-Gillingham approach throughout their curriculum. For the past twenty years, he has utilized these skills in public school settings.

Fran is also trained and experienced using Lively Letters, a research-based curriculum in which the forty-four sounds of the English language are presented as lively characters with personalities that interact. This multisensory approach “combines imagery, hand and body cues, music, and humorous stories to turn abstract letters into engaging, lively characters.” Lively Letters instruction enables students to develop long-lasting letter-sound associations and blend sounds more fluently. Fran has taught reading to students at all levels of literacy development who need a range of support. For example, he has taught and tutored:

  • Students needing extra support to read on grade level
  • Students diagnosed with a language-based reading disability (dyslexia)
  • Early readers in need of additional practice to solidify their skills and build confidence
  • Kindergarteners not yet familiar with sounds and letters
  • Homeschooled students needing supplemental instruction
  • Students in need of additional strategies for writing sentences, paragraphs, and essays
  • Students who have trouble getting started with writing assignments
  • Families who need a professional to help manage homework time
  • Advanced readers and writers who need more challenge than they are getting in school
  • Students who are not excited about reading

All students have unique learning profiles. Fran meets students where they are and has experience working with students whose reading and writing impacted by language-based learning disabilities, ADHD, and giftedness.

Educational Assessments

In addition to offering academic tutoring to address each student’s specific needs, Fran provides a range of reading assessments that provide valuable insights into a student’s overall learning profile and academic needs.

Fran’s assessment services can play a key role in identifying areas of concern and devising an instructional plan that will lead to greater academic success. Reading assessments range from brief screenings that take no longer than 1-2 hours to more comprehensive evaluations that measure a wide array of foundational skills. Comprehensive assessments measure:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Rapid naming
  • Word reading
  • Word attack skills
  • Reading fluency
  • Oral reading comprehension
  • Silent reading comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Sound-symbol awareness
  • Vocabulary

Fran uses standardized, norm-referenced assessment tools recognized by educational professionals.

Teacher Training / Lively Letters

Fran is a national trainer for Lively Letters (Reading with TLC) who is available to travel and train teachers in this program in various locations during the summer months. He has completed Lively Letters (Reading with TLC) training sessions in Massachusetts and Wyoming.