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"Learning to Read" vs "Reading to Learn"


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oh, my. :lol: that blog post is so lovely and organized -- though I think it would terrify me to try and implement!!! (that's why the LOL) ...


Maybe b/c Button started to learn to read relatively "late" for these boards -- he couldn't read well when he started first grade -- and b/c we use some CM methods, our "reading to learn" has been wrapped in since the beginning. Here's how we've approached it:


First, we used Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways. When we hit sentences, esp. the pyramid sentences in RP, I often pause and ask a bit about what we've just read, and/or what we think will happen next. Or we just stop and generally comment on the sentence. It is pretty easy with these books b/c they are meant to be interesting to adults, too, so the sentences have discussion-worthy content.


Did the same thing with our early readers, starting with Reading-Literature's "Primer".


When he started reading, he spent some time going over books with interesting content -- astronomy and earth science pop-up books, for ex.


Now he gets regularly assigned lite reading :) (okay, okay, it's twaddle. sigh) and narrates back to me afterwards. He's doing a lot of "Third-Grade Detectives" (sheer twaddle) right now and some "Magic Treehouse" (which this board has okayed as non-twaddle, thank goodness).


I will say that we've adapted our curriculum strongly to support his comprehension level. For instance, we dropped SOTW: he doesn't understand the readings well enough to narrate them back well (I do these as read-aloud). I think they are just not a good fit for him: there are some logical/narrative jumps, and the things that make SOTW stories suitable for young children make them also a little disjoint (for us -- clearly they work well for most!). He's doing much better with Our Island Story, which I read in chunks small enough for him to hold onto the gist and tell it back. Which is to say that when we overshoot his comprehension level, we (eventually -- this took me about a year to figure out) bring it back to a challenging but doable level.


... but I do think our books should be organized into a usable library ... :D


ETA: I've started using Evan-Moor's "Read and Understand Science" to more explicitly teach the skill of pulling specific information out of readings ... we're very sporadic about this, but I am glad to be using some standardized-feeling materials to get him used to that presentation ..

Edited by serendipitous journey
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I guess we started exploring the language arts parallel at the same time that I taught him phonics and sight words. * Online I see posts about kids reading and I really think there's a huge stretch of being able to read. *First there was pre-reading, and then early reading, and emergent reading, and fluent reading, next will be the love of reading. *Right now it still takes a tiny bit of effort so there's no love. *He likes it. *A lot of times he likes it. *He often reads without being reminded to, and he sounds fluent. *But with a little bit more practice it will be effortless and even unaware; then he'll lose himself in books and love reading.


I started teaching handwriting the same time I started teaching phonics. *I ask comprehension questions. *I ask him to answer in a complete sentence. *We just watched Charlottes web on the tv. *I googled a list of comprehension questions. *I asked him to rephrase his answers in complete sentences. *Somehow he's learning about sentence structure that way because he knows exactly what I'm asking for. *We're starting to construct paragraphs, diagram sentences, learn parts of speech. * This will help him comprehend whatever text he reads.*I think education makes you better able to organize your thinking. So... Does he comprehend better because he's getting an education, or have I been teaching him these things because he's able to comprehend them? It happened for us like it did for y'all, he was learning to learn while he was learning to read. Leaping into the love of reading soon enough, already kindled the love of learning.

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I'm in that "in between" stage with my 1st grader right now, and I'm actually not sure if I agree with your premise or not. :) I do agree that the things you have available could be fun and/or helpful in learning. I'm not sure/convinced that fluency and "reading to learn" are something you can cause.


I wanted to teach my daughter to read last year, and it just wasn't clicking. She wanted to learn, but just did *not* get blending. Then, one day, she could blend. She read CVC words for quite a while. Longer words were painful. Then, we left it alone and just read books together and I'd point out something here or there... Now she can read. I wasn't systematic. She isn't "fluent", but she's in-between.


So, do you have anything by way of research or an explanation of the understanding of literacy to convince me that these things are necessary? I'm really not trying to be snarky or negative at all. I feel in some ways like I *should* be doing these types of things, but when I have tried at our earlier stages it just didn't seem fruitful.


ETA: I should say that a few of the things you suggest are just part of our family lifestyle, so maybe that is why my DD has seemed to naturally progress on her own when I wasn't "teaching" her about reading (reading aloud, kids "reading" in bed before sleep, having books around their level and above/below on hand).

Edited by Tjej
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So, do you have anything by way of research or an explanation of the understanding of literacy to convince me that these things are necessary? I'm really not trying to be snarky or negative at all. I feel in some ways like I *should* be doing these types of things, but when I have tried at our earlier stages it just didn't seem fruitful.





Since I gave away all of my teacher credentialing books about seven years ago to make room for kids’ books, no. :tongue_smilie:

But there is a TON of research to support the things I do at home, because I'm basically just copying what I learned in teacher training. If you Google "Balanced Literacy Instruction", "Guided Reading", "Fountas and Pinnell", "Leveled Books", etc. you will see what I mean.

You can also check out page 344 of The WTM and find JW and SWB talking about how in the shift between the Grammar to the Logic stage, you need to teach children to be able to converse and carry on a dialogue about books. That's the whole point of what I try to do too.

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