About Sharon Zinke

Sharon Zinke is a specialist in the area of literacy development and reading intervention. She has worked extensively with struggling readers at elementary, middle, and high schools in her years as a Classroom Teacher, Reading Specialist, Resource Specialist, and Reading Intervention Specialist.

She has worked with schools in the Bay Area (Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Hayward, Richmond, El Cerrito, San Pablo, Concord, San Lorenzo) and schools throughout the US and Canada to quickly raise the decoding and word recognition levels of students reading significantly below grade level, to support strong foundational skills in the primary grades, and to assist intervention teams in setting up structures that support effective reading intervention and classroom support.

She demonstrates in classrooms, coaches and collaborates with classroom teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, special education teachers, and RTI teams to plan effective intervention and classroom strategies for struggling readers. She has taught reading and literacy courses (Classroom-Tested Reading Techniques and the RICA preparation course) at the University of California Extension, Berkeley, with rave reviews.

After publishing her book, The Decoding Solution: Rime Magic and Fast Success for Struggling Readers (Scholastic)* , Sharon has developed the Rime Magic method with a kit containing a comprehensive Teachers Guide and all of the materials for easy implementation, Rime Magic: Phonics-Powered Prevention and Intervention for All Students, to bring research-based, effective instructional strategies to teachers and success to students of all ages who have struggled with learning to read. When students can become proficient in decoding and spelling (encoding) through five-minute lessons in the primary grades and in small upper-grade intervention groups, they are freed to spend the greatest amount of time in class reading, writing, and talking about books.

Sharon has refined her approach to an easy 7-step system that works, as students say, “like magic.” Her work has led to a dramatic rise in the decoding and word recognition levels of striving readers across the country.

When teachers introduce Rime Magic: Phonics-Powered Prevention and Intervention for All Students (2017) into their classroom routine, the foundational skills are mastered by over 90% of students before the end of third grade. In addition, the Power Paks give teachers a tool that is highly effective in addressing the needs and boosting the confidence of students who have qualified for special education services and upper-grade students who have fallen behind in word recognition.

Sharon is committed that children learn to read in a way that feels natural to them. She believes that classrooms must be filled with books that are highly interesting to students. She knows from decades of classroom experience that reading is all about comprehension and interacting with text and that we need to offer our students choices about what books they would like to read and daily opportunities to read deeply and talk with their peers about what they are reading.

Sharon’s promise for the world: All children will learn to read with EASE and with DIGNITY and have fun while they’re doing it!

*The original book, Rime Magic: Fast Success for Struggling Readers, has been greatly enhanced and turned into the Teachers Guide included in the kit: Rime Magic: Phonics-Powered Prevention and Intervention for All Students.