Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Phonics, Sight Words, and Student Success

Approximately 70 to 85 percent of English words are phonetically regular. With the present emphasis on phonics, students will sometimes struggle in vain to sound out a particular word. As parents and teachers, we need to consider the possibility that the word is not phonetically regular or the student has not mastered the phonetic rule(s) that apply to the particular word. Students can be successful learners if we either teach the word as a sight word (until we have the opportunity to teach the skill), OR grab that teachable moment and teach the skill.
When we eliminate the fear of failure, we increase the joy of reading.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Students of any Age Learn to Read

Whether you are coming from behind, or you want to stay on track or move ahead, Rhoades to Reading will work for you because:
1.students of any age learn to read - geared for all ages
2. no training necessary to use the program - user friendly

3. teach only the skills the student needs to learn - geared to addressed specific needs

4. students experience immediate success - immediate gratification for students

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thought for the Day

"If you want to feel secure, do what you already know how to do. If you want to be a true professional and continue to grow. . . go to the cutting-edge of your competence, which means a temporary loss of security. So whenever you don't quite know what you're doing, know you are growing." Madeline Hunter

Thursday, June 14, 2012

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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reading Development

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

Excerpt from: How to Use Rhoades to Reading 2nd Edition (2011)

ISBN: 9781453625583Available on Amazon.com, www.readingcompany.us, or your local book store.