Monday, April 9, 2018

Mastery is like Riding a Bike

I was chatting with a group of teachers yesterday when one of the group mentioned she was feeling pressure to move through the curriculum within a certain time frame. Students were “putting in their time” yet simply not learning. After a “lively” discussion the group decided it was necessary to insert mastery criteria into each lesson. We shared The Reading Company’s approach to mastery for their consideration. 
We believe that achieving mastery of each skill before moving to the next is essential, regardless of the curriculum being used.

Mastery has been achieved when a student can read 90% of word cards, word lists, and/or stories fluently, two days in a row.

If a student reads words correctly but is decoding the words slowly, mastery has not been achieved.

The minimum goal for reading sentences is 50 words per minute. Students should reach 140 words per minute as soon as possible.

When a standard is taught to mastery, the retention rate is 80% - 90%.

Learning is like riding a bike- if you haven’t ridden for awhile you may be “rusty” but you will never forget.

The Fingerprint of ReadingDevelopment

The Fingerprint of Reading Development

Each student's reading progress is as individual as a fingerprint. Reading development, as with all human development, is at an individual’s own pace. When teaching reading it is important to recognize that students learn in different ways and in synchronization with their own personal growth and development. 

 As Piaget consistently  acknowledges, all learning is  an active process. Reading, then, is an activity, a process of  confrontation between an  individual and a text  For  both Piaget and Chomsky,  language is highly structured.  In Chomsky’s terms, there is  a linguistic relationship  between the surface structure  and the phonological aspects    of language. Excerpt from:  Developing a Philosophy of  Reading: Piaget and Chomsky by Robert P. Craig As found in Reading Horizons
Reading is a complex process involving multiple skills and systems that must be coordinated in order to result in fluent reading behaviors. Reading Brain Lab: Dartmouth College Department of Education

The stages of reading development can be used as general reference guidelines. In no instance should guidelines become reasons to judge a student’s ability to learn nor should they be a reason to hold a student to curriculum that is no longer challenging.

As part of the normal growth process, children pass through stages of reading development. Advancement through these stages may differ from child to child. For example, a family may have one child who begins reading at age four while another does not begin to read until age six. Parents may be surprised to notice that both children are reading quite well at age eight. In other words, a slow beginning simply may indicate the child is not yet ready to read and nothing more.

The quality of reading is not measured by how soon a child begins to read but how well he or she reads when ready. 

Reading development is enhanced when parents, family members, and friends read to children. It also helps if children observe their parents and other important adults reading and discussing the written word. Having books of all types around the house tells children that reading is important.

 It is always a good idea to make sure that each student has a vision and physical examination before beginning instruction. Most doctors have a list of resources on hand to assist parents and caregivers in connecting with community specialists and school agencies if glasses or other support is required. 

Pre-reading: Birth to Kindergarten Children learn to understand the spoken word, enjoy having books read to them, recognize letters, and perhaps write their name. They may also pretend to read books aloud and talk about the pictures. 

Kindergarten and Grade One Children learn the names of the letters and the concept of sound/symbol and symbol/sound relationships. They learn linguistic patterning, the blending of sounds, and recognize certain sight words. 

Grades Two and Three Children enhance and expand decoding skills, learn advanced skills for obtaining meaning from texts, and increase reading fluency. 

Grades Four through Eight Children learn information that goes beyond their life experiences, they increase their basic vocabulary, and they apply that vocabulary to new reading and writing experiences. 

Grades Nine through Twelve Students develop complex language structures, interpret multiple points of view, learn advanced vocabulary, and construct their own meanings through analysis and synthesis. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Quarry Bank Runaways: The Journey to London of Thomas Priestley & Joseph Sefton in 1806 Author: G. J. Griffiths

Note from Jacquie: This is an excellent slice of history set in the genre of historical fiction. Teachers and homeschoolers looking to add a bit of adventure into 19th-century history need look no further. Please be aware of differences in UK and US spelling and grammar.
 In the early 19th-century, it was the policy of many of the poorhouses and workhouses to maintain harsh and unpleasant conditions. Children were separated from their parents, removed from orphanages and poor houses, and forced to work at a very young age.  It was within this context that two boys snuck away from their apprenticeships at the Quarry Bank Cotton Mill and set out on a 200-mile journey in search of their mothers. 

Quarry Bank Mill beside the River Bollin: 2016
It was likely that these enterprising travelers took advantage of the drovers’ roads and the newly developed “motorways” of the times – the canals. Perhaps they were lucky enough some days to hitch a lift; their general direction of travel taking them to Beartown, the Potteries, Dunstable Downs and eventually to London. Whatever challenges they encountered along the way archive evidence shows that they made it.

This is the story of their adventure and it concludes with the events in the Middlesex Courthouse. This well-crafted book is available on Kindle and in hard-copy at this 

Amazon Link More about Mr. Griffiths and his accomplishments may be found on his Author's Page

Note from Jacquie: I asked Mr. Griffiths to please share what inspired the writing of this historical fiction novel. His answer gives us all food for thought.

During the writing of my latest book, The Quarry Bank Runaways, I referred to several other books, papers, and texts and one of the most amazing was The Real Oliver Twist by John Waller.
This is not a review of the book because I intend to do that later but I wanted to recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in history, but especially history during the period of the Industrial Revolution, say about 1750 to 1850. I did not enjoy any of my history lessons at school through very poor teaching in my opinion as a retired (science) teacher of secondary school kids. This book did not inspire my later fascination with history as I believe it grew through reading the novels of Dickens, Elliot, Gaskell, and Austen. However, what John Waller's book about Robert Blincoe, a real "work'us child", did for me was fan the embers of my interest into flames of a real passion for reading more factual books about some of the less fortunate characters during that time.
Robert Blincoe's suffering as a child worker in various cotton mills will cause successions of tears, horror, and incredulity to emerge from any reader, of that I'm sure. We can only be pleased that such a thing does not occur in today's factories - at least as far as we know! However, one hears of so-called child "sweat shops" involved in the production of artefacts for sale in all kinds of "developing" countries around the world. So obviously there is still a lot of important awareness work to be done. Where the right people are to do it is a real problem in today's world.
The Real Oliver Twist: Robert Blincoe: A Life that Illuminates a Violent Age
The Real Oliver Twist Robert Blincoe A Life that Illuminates a Violent Age by John WallerRead the book and see if you agree!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Miss Lando's Math Resources

Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus

Note from Jacquie: 
I have been a FB friend of Miss Lando for several years. During that time I have noticed the positive feedback from her students and her no-nonsense approach to teaching math. Her math lessons, some of which are available on her store sites, are an excellent resource for students. Thank you Miss Lando for sharing the story behind your lessons and the links to your stores.

Miss Lando’s Math Tutoring Study Aids

Note from Miss Lando: 

Over the past couple of decades working with math students from elementary school through college, I’ve often been frustrated by the lack of detail and clarity in math textbooks and workbooks. 

Too often, students have to scan several chapters to find what they’re looking for, or the examples given in the text are not at the same level as the homework exercises and tests. 

For these reasons, I began to construct study guides and pod casts that allow students to access major concepts and procedures clearly and succinctly. 

If you are a student or if you are helping a student who wants to improve his or her math grade or increase understanding, these study guides and pod casts will definitely help. These are also wonderful supplements for homeschoolers or for students taking online math courses. 

Welcome to my stores!

Direct Link to Miss Lando's Web Store:
Many thanks,
Miss Lando