Thursday, December 12, 2013

Revisiting Success: Madeline Hunter

Preface:

As recently as 20 years ago, the United States was ranked No.1 in high school and college education. In 2009, the United States was ranked 18th out of 36 industrialized nations. http://www.historynet.com/was-the-usa-ever-no-1-in-education.htm While discussions continue attributing this reason or that for the 20-year decline of student performance, one truth remains, educators are jumping from one fad to the next leaving our students and teachers in the dust of decline.

Melissa Mitchell defines  the problem so well when she said  “ I find it ironic that many of the experts who are proposing these new ideas and consider themselves highly educated and knowledgeable were educated by the very methods they seek to destroy.” http://www.carolinajournal.com/articles/display_story.html?id=7792 The concepts stated in Ms. Mitchell’s article have inspired this blog author to write about a series on Successful programs that have withstood the test of time.

Madeline Hunter, Part 1, is the first in the Revisiting Success series. As a teacher, tutor, homeschooler, college instructor, and teacher supervisor, I know, this approach leads to successful classroom teaching, tutoring and homeschooling.

Revisiting Success Part 1: Madeline Hunter
Madeline Hunter is listed as one of the 20 most influential women in the 20th century. She developed a direct instruction lesson plan model that differentiated Knowledge  of Effective Teaching and Knowledge of Teacher Effectiveness. It was her belief that if a teacher applied the tools of effective teaching, he or she would become an effective teacher. For more information abut Madeline Hunter please go to http://gatheringgardiners.blogspot.com/2013/06/madeline-hunter-1916-1994.html

Madeline Hunter’s 7 step lesson plan consisted of:
Madeline Hunter at UCLA

  1. Developing the objective
  2. Provide an anticipatory set
  3. State the objective to the student
  4. Provide input on the content
  5. Check for understanding
  6. Provided guided practice
  7. Assign independent practice


I have included a few links that reference current practice. You Tube and the internet are sources for hundreds of ideas a teacher or parent can use today.  

These two links describe the 7 steps in detail:



 YouTube samples further explain the 7 Step Lesson Plan:

Writing Guided Practice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE_KTMRwbJs

Writing a Complete Paragraph Using the Hamburger Model
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-2CmqfQD4k&feature=youtu.be


Kindergarten Dance Guided Practice


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who Says Autism is a Disability?

This article is was first posted on the Friendship Circle of Michigan's site. It is written by Reese Rickards who can be found at radio station b93.com. serving Grand Rapids & Kalamazoo.


The question I have is: Should this student receive the grade of "A" or "F" ? 

Jacquie

The full article can be found by following the link found at the end of this page.

Reese Rickards:

This was sent to me by a member of the listener family.
It took me quite a few minutes to understand what came instantly to this autistic child...


http://www.b93.com/pages/Reeserickards.html?article=11714606

Read more: http://www.b93.com/pages/Reeserickards.html?article=11714606#ixzz2llUN9ESH

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sight Words


Whether teaching elementary, secondary, or adult students, beginning with a solid sight word base builds confidence and enthusiasm for learning.
Sight words are words that cannot be sounded out or the skill of sounding out the word has not been taught.  In order to achieve sight word success, students learn sight words as units and are not asked to attempt to sound out these words using phonetic decoding.

Jacquie
Twitter: @jacquie_rhoades
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/sight-Words-41-60-990149

Saturday, October 19, 2013

You Are Not Alone

These You Tube  video, presented by the National Center for Learning Disabilities,  are an overview of everyday challenges. The first video is technical, the second very personal. If you investigate further you will find this site is filled with valuable information presented in an easy-to-understand format. A running script is available for each video.



Making Friends


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sharing My Favorite Madeline Hunter Quote



To say that yohave taught when students haven't learned is to say yohave sold when no one has bought. But hocan yoknothat students have learned without spendinhours correctintests anpapers? . .  check students understandinwhile yoare teachin(not at 10 o'clocat night when you'r
correctinpapers) so yodon't move owitunlearned materiathat caaccumulate like a snowball and eventually engulf thstudent in confusion andespair.
Madeline Hunter

Friday, September 13, 2013

Peace Education by S.L. Wallace

Note by Jacquie: Thank you S.L Wallace for sharing this very useful post. Whether you are teaching in a classroom, facilitating a homeschool group, or working in the community, this post is filled with ideas you can use today.

Peace education is one of the most important skills we can teach our children today. Just turn on the news, and you’ll see what I mean. Adults face difficult situations every day. Married individuals need to get along with their spouses, or their marriage could end in divorce. Coworkers need to know how to get along because happy workers are more likely to pull their weight and be efficient. Politicians need to know how to discuss difficult situations to keep entire nations safe and out of war.

And where do adults learn these vital social skills? At school. Traditionally, schoolchildren have learned negotiating and peacekeeping skills on the playground, in the lunchroom and in the hallways. However, in more and more classrooms today, educators are recognizing the importance of teaching social skills in the classroom and letting their students practice during less structured times of the day. This is much like any other subject. Reading skills are taught in class, and students then practice while playing video games, reading notes from their friends and reading books for enjoyment. Likewise, math skills are taught in class, and students then practice while baking a cake, measuring to build a model airplane, shopping for the latest item, etc.

Just as reading and math are important, so too is peace education. In my opinion, the best time of the year to formally teach peace education is at the very beginning when classroom policies and procedures are being established. Throughout the year, follow up lessons and activities reinforce what has already been presented. Some follow up lessons include the entire class and should be brief, and small group/individual practice and reinforcement should be used when children experience problems naturally.

Teachers don’t have a lot of extra time. Administrators, politicians and parents expect a lot from us. I know from experience...there is so much to do, and teachers are often pressured to jump right in. But I assure you, if a teacher does not take the time to lay the groundwork properly, the rest of the year will be a big waste of time. It’s important to lay the groundwork to ensure the rest of the year will flow as smoothly as possible.

Here are some ideas that have worked for me and that may work for you:

Establish an inclusive and emotionally safe environment for everyone. Use the term “we.” Let the students know that the classroom is as much theirs as it is yours. Use a rotating job chart so that everyone who uses the environment is responsible for keeping it neat and clean. Encourage students to work together and help each other during work time. Give students the chance to share their strengths with each other. Have a weekly class meeting. Let the students add to the agenda and run the meeting. The teacher is there for support and has the power to veto.

At the beginning of the year, we review the school’s policy of respecting yourself, respecting others and respecting the environment. Students discuss the meaning of those statements, and together, we generate a class list of examples for each category. The students also receive a contract for responsibility. This goes home the first week and is their first assignment. They are to read it and discuss it with a parent. The contract is for three parties and therefore has been split into three sections: as a parent/guardian, I will; as a student, I will; and as a teacher, I will... If a student asks, “What if we don’t sign it?” The standard response is, “If there is something you or your parents disagree with, I’ll be happy to have a conference with you to discuss that and make changes to the policy, if necessary.”

Teach students to recognize teasing, put-downs and bullying. I do a very special read aloud that first week. It’s a book called Simon’s Hook: A Story about Teases and Put-Downs by Karen Gedig Burnett. We follow with a discussion about bullying: what it means, what it looks like and how students can respond. We also discuss the importance of standing up for others and what that may look like. A great book to reinforce this lesson later in the year is Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust by Eve Bunting. This can be tied into a history lesson or simply read for the idea behind it which is standing up for others.

Create a peace area. I have a peace area in my classroom. It is a bookcase with a number of items on it including books and activities. There are books including: A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley, Simon’s Hook by Karen Gedig Burnett, If the World Were a Village by David J. Smith and Children of the Earth...Remember by Schim Schimmel. As they tie into my curriculum, I read them aloud to the entire class, and we discuss them. These books are also available for any student to take off the shelf and read on their own or with a friend.

The No Fault Zone Game is also on the peace shelves in my classroom as well as in every elementary and middle school classroom in our building. Our elementary and middle school staff have enjoyed numerous workshops, both online and in person, led by Sura Hart. Even without the training, teachers can easily purchase the game, read the directions and find a variety of ways to help students begin expressing their feelings and needs which is the basis for clear communication and which come in especially handy when anyone is not feeling calm and alert. The No Fault Zone is not a gimmick. It’s a tool to help people communicate. In the past, I’ve used it during book groups to help students consider the feelings and motivations of characters in the books we’re reading so it’s easy enough to tie in teaching without trying to find more time in our already hectic schedules. My students have also been taught how to use the game to do a daily self check-in and many have used it with a peer when they are in the middle of a conflict. This often requires a teacher separating the students so they can complete their own check-in, using the “listen to MY feelings and needs” card before bringing them together so they can read how each other is feeling and see what their needs are. Sometimes, that is enough to resolve the conflict. Other times, it leads to enlightening discussions between the students. Occasionally, the students will walk away without having completely solved the conflict but with a better understanding of where the other person is coming from.

There are yoga mats and a deck of yoga cards on the peace shelf. Students are allowed to use these during work time as long as it does not become distracting.


The younger elementary students at our school (1st – 3rd grade) are taught the FISH! philosophy. The four steps in the FISH! philosophy are: play, make their day, be there and choose your attitude.

In my upper elementary classroom, we build upon what the younger students have learned by adding a conflict resolution process. It’s a five step laminated list that is on the peace shelves along with a peace item that students can pass back and forth. The peace item is a visual indicator of whose turn it is to speak. Here is an abbreviated form of the list: cool down if necessary, take turns explaining the problem (I felt _________ when...), take turns restating how the other person feels and why, try to figure out a win-win solution.

The most important aspect of peace education is to make peace an integral part of the environment. Teach students to recognize peaceful behavior when they see it. Teach them what to do when they see non-peaceful behavior such as bullying. Give them choices. Let them know they are important and that they have a voice. In my classroom, we end every day with a gratitude circle. Everyone has an opportunity to thank someone else in the room for something specific he or she did that day. This takes no more than five minutes. The person receiving the thanks, responds with a simple, “You’re welcome.” In the words of John Lennon, “Give peace a chance.” You might be surprised at the powerful effect your words and actions have on others.

S.L. Wallace has 14 years teaching experience. She has taught in both traditional and Montessori classrooms at the upper elementary and middle school levels. She has worked in AMS and AMI Montessori schools in both the public and private sectors. S.L. Wallace currently has four books available for adults and the older YA audience.

Visit the Author’s Page at:  http://slwallace.com/

CitizenKid/dp/1554535956/

The No Fault Zone Game http://www.thenofaultzone.com/






Saturday, September 7, 2013

Youthful Tendency Disorder

Thank you to the Onion for publishing this very fine article.  A dose of reality is infused into the medical model approach. There are some things in life we really do not need to fix. Please follow the link for the full article.

Youthful Tendency Disorder (YTD), a poorly understood neurological condition that afflicts an estimated 20 million U.S. children, is characterized by a variety of senseless, unproductive physical and mental exercises, often lasting hours at a time. In the thrall of YTD, sufferers run, jump, climb, twirl, shout, dance, do cartwheels, and enter unreal, unexplainable states of "make-believe."
"The Youthful child has a kind of love/hate relationship with reality," said Johns Hopkins University YTD expert Dr. Avi Gwertzman. "Unfit to join the adult world, they struggle to learn its mores and rules in a process that can take the entirety of their childhood. In the meantime, their emotional and perceptive problems cause them to act out in unpredictable and extremely juvenile ways. It's as though they can only take so much reality; they have to 'check out,' to go Youthful for a while."http://www.theonion.com/articles/more-us-children-being-diagnosed-with-youthful-ten,248/ 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What is Task Analysis?

Task analysis, a systematic analysis of content, leads to a set of instructions that tell the teacher how to assist the student to move from point A to point B. The instructor has the flexibility to teach each student, be they adult or a kindergartner, in an age appropriate manner that maximizes instructional time.

In the classroom- Task Analysis is an essential tool for designing 1) Cooperative Learning Lessons, and 2) Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) for Response to Intervention (a) (RTI1), Response to Intervention, (b) (RTI2), and (c) Multi-tiered system of support (MTSS).

In the home- Task Analysis can be used to explain to children the basics of living. For example, telling a child to clean his or her room does not always achieve the desired results. Task analyzing the job with the child will not only build thinking skills but help
define a new definition of clean.

Not all students require a detailed sequence; however if needed, the details are available and at the ready if needed. The application of Task Analysis can be understood by stepping outside traditional academics to consider ways to teach a student to tie his or her shoes.

Examples of shoe tying directions developed by students in one of my college classes are listed below. We all agreed there is not one perfect way to conduct a task analysis and the task analysis varies with each student and group of students.

Student 1- Low Level of Complexity: The first student may simply observe others tie shoes, practice independently, and successfully tie his or her shoes.

Student 2- Medium Level of Complexity: The instructor may need to demonstrate and teach the skill as follows:
1. grab one lace in the left hand and the second in the right hand pull the laces straight up cross the shoelaces
2. pull the front lace around the back of the other pull that lace through the hole

3. tighten the lace with a pull make a bow
4. tighten the bow

Student 3- High Level of Complexity: This student may need a longer version such as the one that follows:
1. grab one lace in the left hand and the second in the right hand pull
2. pinch the end of one lace with the left hand and the other with the right hand

3. pull the laces up in the air
4. put one lace on the right side of the shoe, the second on the left side
5. pick up the lace on the left side with the left hand, pick up the lace on the right side with the right hand
6. pull the laces above the shoe 7. cross the laces to form a tepee
8. the student brings the left lace toward him/her
9. pull the left lace through the tepee pull the laces away from each other and so on….

Following are several links to expand shoe tying experience:
The Shoe Tying box (advertisements on this site) http://www.docstoc.com/docs/75350302/The-Shoe-Tying-Box
Backward Chaining for Shoe Tying
Weekend Diversion, I Finally Learned to Tie My Shoes

Wishing you a fun shoe tying experience and successful task analysis.

Jacquie

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sight Words = Reading Survival

Whether teaching elementary, secondary, or adult students, providing learners with a solid sight word base builds confidence and enthusiasm for learning.

Sight words are words that cannot be sounded out or the skill of sounding out the word has not been taught. 

According to most experts, the basic 250 sight words provide an immediate survival vocabulary giving students access 50%-70% of most reading material.

There are thousands of internet references that discuss  the specific number of essential words required and the relative value of different lists. Sample  references that showcase the sight word controversy,  can be found at the end of this article. 

 I believe the following can be considered true:

Sight words give a student, regardless of grade or ability level, a jump-start to reading.

A Direct Teaching using a multisensory method   should be used for initial teaching. Direct Teaching is the process of teaching small units of content in contained scripted lessons.

After the initial lesson, Cooperative Learning is the most effective way to attain mastery of a given sight word list.

Read Repeat Spell Write is one multi-sensory method of Direct Teaching that I have found successful with groups of one to forty.

Read Repeat Spell Write


Preparation: Before the beginning of the instructional period, Write selected vocabulary words, on the board. The words should be numbered to assist quick reference. A yardstick, ruler, pointer or hand may be used to point to the words.

Note: Vocabulary words should remain on the board until mastery of the words have been attained The visual reinforcement and opportunity for quick reference facilitates visual retention of words.

 Provide each student with a paper and a pencil.

 The instructor points to the first word and says the name of the word.

 The instructor points to the first word and asks, “What is this word?”

 Students read the name of the word aloud as a group.

 The instructor says, “This word is spelled…..” spelling out the letter names of the word.

 The instructor asks, “How is this word spelled?”

 Students, as a group, spell the word together as the instructor points to the letters. If the group does not spell the word together, repeat the activity until mastered.

 The instructor says, “Write the word.” Students write the word on their paper.

The instructor conducts a check for accuracy using a Walking Check or Peer Check. This can be done after each word or at the completion of writing the list. The frequency of checking depends on the ability level of the group.

Note: When students are writing a list of words on their papers, you may want to have them fold the paper in half to provide an interior straight margin.

Note: This activity may be used to memorize math facts. ©

Internet Resources:

Bettis, Julie A. Sight Word Instruction Methods: Concordia University
DePaul University: Comparison of Fry and Dolch
Dr Shanahn: Sight Words for Grade K
E-how Mom: What are Dolch Words
Ehrl, Linnea C:  City University of NY
Illinois State University: Sight Word Recognition Among Children at Risk
Lincs: Assessment Strategies and Reading
Michigan State Adult Education: Sight Words
Nichcy Meta-Analysis
Penn State: Sight Word Recognition
Pinterest: Kinesthetic Activities
Utah Education Network: Sight Words

Wikipedia: Sight Words

Links:
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Alexandra Berube: When Students Are Not Learning Letters

What to Do With a Student Who is Not Learning His Letters
When I was teaching kindergarten, I had one student who was far behind the others. In kindergarten, there is always a wide spectrum of skills, but he did not know almost any of his letters or his letter-sound relationships, and this is a skill that students are expected to have before entering kindergarten--maybe not completely mastered, but close to it. During the fall of kindergarten, I did everything I could to aid him in gaining familiarity with the visual appearance of letters, as well as the letter sounds. Here are two games that I used so that by January he had finally mastered these skills.
1. Twister
I took a twister board, and used masking tape to make large letters on the colored circles. I used four different letters and repeated them across the board, each letter being a distinct sound: P, A, T, and N. On the spinner, I wrote these letters as well. When you spin the spinner, I changed it to, "put your left foot on the letter that makes the sound 't,'" emphasizing the sound and the tongue placement in the mouth. I did this with a group of students, so the student who was struggling never felt left out, and whenever he didn't know the letter sound, the other students happily showed him. He didn't mind being a student who wasn't sure of the letter sound in this game, because they were all physically moving around, rather than a bunch of students all looking at a whiteboard and one student being singled out as the one who doesn't know the answer.
2. Foam Letters 
I have foam letters, about 2 inches in size, that I use for a number of activities. The letters are a great way to physically interpret the shape of letters, in order to gain more familiarity with the letter shapes and the sounds that they make. I had a file folder game, in which there was a trail that each game piece had to move down. On each square along the trail, there was a sticker that corresponded to an initial sound, so there was a sticker with a bee ('b'), dog ('d'), cat ('c'), etc. You would pull a foam letter out of a bag, and move your space to the corresponding sticker that started with that initial sound. So if you pulled a B out of the bag, you would move your game piece onto the sticker of the bee. In playing a group game like this, every student can get involved in sounding out the initial letter sounds, physically touching the letters, and seeing objects that begin with that letter. Any student who is struggling with these skills will see the other students modeling it, and get help from them on any letters they are still struggling with. All of the students want to help each other, so there is no sense (for the struggling child) of feeling like the student who can't get anything right.
After playing many games like these, and through regular private instruction, the student was able to make great strides in his letter recognition. Group games are a great way to allow the students who are struggling to watch other students model the skill for them and to get involved in the process of learning, rather than passively being shown the concepts.
Alexandra Berube, Managing Director
Boston Tutoring Services, LLC
(781) 248-4558
BostonTutoringServices@gmail.com
http://BostonTutoringServices.comhttp://BostonTutoringServices.com

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Post by Jo Marshall


Note from Jacquie: Jo Marshall’s books offer parents and teachers interesting and understandable stories that teach about climate change, extinction, and so much more. Whether sitting by the fire listening to your child read or discussing Twig stories in class, you will find Jo Marshall’s series well worth your time.

Story Behind the Story.
As a literacy tutor for seven years in my daughter’s elementary school in Snohomish, Washington I engaged children in many ways to heighten their interest in reading.  I often used fantasy books because I found they sometimes encouraged a child to try a little harder to understand the words and thus, the story.  It was around 3rd grade my daughter began learning about climate change and its impacts on our region, the Pacific Northwest. Naturally she became distressed over the possible extinction of many species such as the alpine pika, spirit bear (Kermode bear), salamanders, and birds due to a warmer climate.  Ecosystems in our fragile world of old growth forests and glacier-covered peaks certainly were in jeopardy. Changing old light bulbs to energy efficient ones became a crusade for the 3rd graders in her class, yet still the global climate crisis was overwhelming for them and disturbing. It wasn’t a great leap to use fantasy to calm some of that anxiety.  My daughter and I created a collection of stories about tiny, stick creatures called Twigs confronted with a changing climate in their old growth forest.  We focused their battles on specific impacts near our home – millions of bark beetle-infested trees, shrinking glaciers, record floods, extensive wildfires, and the consequent wildlife and plant adaptations.
           
The first Twig Stories novel – Leaf  & the Rushing Waters is about a young, boyish Twig named Leaf whose old tree home is inundated by a glacial outburst flood.  His family is trapped high in the Old Seeder’s knothole.  Leaf and his Twig friend Rustle set off to find a goliath beaver named Slapper, who can build a mighty dam to block the raging torrent.  What I love about Twig Stories is the opportunity to blend science fact into fantasy.  The idea that Slapper and his colony could build such an enormous and effective dam comes from an actual beaver dam in Alberta, Canada.  It is twice the length of Hoover Dam and can be seen from space!

The key message in ‘Rushing Waters’ is beavers are natural control agents to mitigate extreme flood and drought.  Many wildlife nonprofits have made it clear beaver dams are effective tools for flood control, if allowed to flourish.  In many areas, beavers were trapped and hunted to nonexistence, so beaver advocates are dedicated to the reintroduction of beavers into those areas now suffering from disastrous flood and drought due to climate shifts.  In spite of those who believe beavers are a nuisance, many nonprofit groups and researchers have shown that the impact of drought is actually reduced since beaver dams allow a controlled, consistent stream of filtered water during long periods of hot weather.  These periods are growing longer and hotter all the time.

Another critical theme in ‘Rushing Waters’ is we must protect endangered animals.  Beaver dams help create healthy ponds and wetlands, which save threatened species such as salamanders, frogs, birds, and small mammals from extinction.  This benefits large predators, too.  Nonprofit organizations with passionate beaver defenders such as The Lands Council (http://www.landscouncil.org), Martinez Beavers.org (http://www.martinezbeavers.org), and Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife (http://www.beaversww.org) have developed excellent methods to allow communities to coexist with beavers in their parks and private lands.  If necessary, humane relocation of nuisance beavers should be utilized rather than trapping or killing these remarkable, helpful creatures.  This is a very positive message for young students.

It’s been a privilege to have expert guidance for Twig Stories from wildlife biologists, professors, and researchers.  Through their influence the fantastic adventures of Twigs may actually encourage scientific thought.  Perhaps, a child may devise new solutions as to how we could protect our natural world – with all its diversity of species – in the face of a radically changing climate.  Perhaps a Twig might help a young child calm their apprehension, and see beyond the inevitability of climate change.  Instead they may focus on local habitats, and realize we can save many species from extinction, one ecosystem at a time.  After all, we must ‘stick together’ on our journey into climate crisis.

Jo Marshall holds no special credentials in climate change research, biology, or botany.  Her manuscripts were reviewed by the conservation nonprofits’ founders and officers mentioned in this article, and their guidance followed.  She earned a BA in German Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, Europe in West Berlin.  Jo hopes you will recommend her other two Twig Stories novels to your students and children: Leaf & the Sky of Fire and Leaf & the Long Ice.  Please visit her website, http://www.twigstories.com and her Amazon.com author page, http://www.amazon.com/author/jo.marshall




Friday, June 14, 2013

The A-Ha of Learning

The A-Ha of Learning:

Sometimes students can’t accomplish a task because they have never thought of a way to complete the assignment. Sometimes a student may accomplish a task without knowing the steps they went through to complete the task. Teaching inner dialog, or helping the student create a thinking script for actions, often creates thinking connections. An interior script provides a thinking bank for making connections to which the student can refer the next time they have a similar task to accomplish.

Sometimes producing the A- Ha is nothing more than explaining something that seems to be obvious, but which a student has somehow not learned or been taught. For example, a sixth grade student, once referred to this author for consultation, was reading on a second grade level. She was a bright, likeable young woman who obviously had the capacity to be a good reader. Her teacher believed she had the information she needed to read. Year after year she’d been taught the phonetic sounds of letters, and tested 100% on sounding them out.

She had been able to learn some words by sight; a skill that helped her maintain belief in herself up to that point. Her reading problem remained a mystery until I began talking to her about how she went about the task of decoding words phonetically—and discovered she didn’t. The concept of blending phonetic sounds into whole words had never been explicitly explained. While other students in her class were able to learn this skill without an explanation, this student did not make that connection. When taught blending, using a multisensory approach, she easily grasped the concept of blending. Within a few months she was reading at grade level.

It is important to think aloud when teaching skills and concepts. Explain the reasoning behind decisions and ask students to do the same. When students can tell the instructor the thinking behind their answer(s), it is possible to know if they complete a process by rote or they really understand.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Reading Development: Putting Standards in Perspective

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.

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)