# Quite possibly the strangest reading worksheet I've ever seen

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This worksheet came home in ds's "completed work" folder. He attends public school (special ed kindergarten). I had to have his teacher explain part of it to me, as both dh and I were completely baffled by it.

The front is innocuous enough, even if it's strange that they chose that spelling for that particular phoneme, which has nothing to do with the rest of the sheet :

The back, however, left us scratching our heads.

According to the teacher, the top part is a puzzle. The teacher repeats several times, "Glasses, /m/," and then the kids are supposed to write the /m/ letter in the box beside the glasses. Same thing for the "Bell, /s/," section. :huh:

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What? Why is there an "m" by "glasses"m? Huh?

Honestly, I don't get the front side, either. How do the s and the m go with the er? I'm confused.

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What? Why is there an "m" by "glasses"m? Huh?

Honestly, I don't get the front side, either. How do the s and the m go with the er? I'm confused.

LOL, that's almost word for word what I said when I pulled the sheet out of his folder!

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Weird. My only "solution" is that the picture is of what sometimes is called an "eyeglass frame" (which includes the m sound). This, however, does not explain the bell!

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According to the teacher, the top part is a puzzle.

Well, *I'm* puzzled.

:laugh:

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That has to be a publishing mistake. It makes no sense. And it is completely wrong, isn't it? Unless the sound they are going for with the er is ear? That line over the e is the universal symbol for long e. My DD in K would be completely confused. She knows er says er, and she knows the line means long e.

I don't understand the puzzle either. Are they trying to confuse the kids or is it a listening activity to see if you can pay attention to oral directions that differ from written cues? Kind of tricky for K.

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The teacher told me that for that sheet, they say the word glasses. I completely and totally fail to understand what sense that makes, other than simply mindlessly following the given pattern. If that's the point, why not choose a picture that actually begins with /m/?

I'm worried that this is going to confuse ds. He mastered all the Kindy sight words, and can locate CVC words from a list if I say something like, "Show me the word that says /p/ /a/ /n/." He can't speak (for reasons unrelated to his autism), so it's easy to overlook what he DOES know.

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That worksheet is completely baffling. Seriously. It makes no sense.

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Could it be that the glasses and the bell work at "Question #1" and "Question #2"? DS5 just took the K CAT and instead of numbering the test questions, they used pictures of things like boats and houses. So you'd say "Move your marker down to the clown (clown standing in for whichever number you're on) and look at the row of letters. Find the letter that makes the same sound as in the beginning of "farmer".

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Sounds like a great way to really confuse the kids about letter sounds. Very weird. Do you know what program it's from? Maybe there's more information that explains why they are doing it that way. Or did the school buy an edition that was misprinted because it was cheaper?

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Sounds like a great way to really confuse the kids about letter sounds. Very weird. Do you know what program it's from? Maybe there's more information that explains why they are doing it that way. Or did the school buy an edition that was misprinted because it was cheaper?

It says at the bottom that it's from SRA/McGraw-Hill. I've seen a few of these sheets come home from time to time, but none have been this bizarre. The sad truth is that there isn't really a standard curriculum for his class. The teacher herself told me that she just prints stuff from various sites off the internet, and uses these workbooks that she got from another kindergarten teacher. She's a new teacher, and well....let's just say I'm looking forward to summer, when I can find something that works for ds and move him forward as he deserves.

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That seems a good way to confuse kids. I'll vote for the "standardized test prep" idea though-certainly some of THOSE questions are bizarre.

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That's just crazy. My mind is blown. Why would they do that to little kids? Way to mess up their letter associations.

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The first one made me think, "Harry Potter, mmmmagic. M for magic.". :). I got nothin' for the bell.

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Could the glasses stand for see? See + m = seem?

Bell + s = bells?

Eta: what's with the picture of the kids jumping rope? How is that related? Ohh, it's for tracing, duh.

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:confused1:

And that would be why public schools do such a bad job of teaching children something so basic as reading.

And there's no excuse for it, either. There are a number of excellent true-phonics publishers that all public schools have access to, but they consistently choose drivel like this.

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The arrow makes it look like they're trying to combine sounds. Bell + s = bells

Could the glasses = see? See + m = seem

That worksheet should come with a warning. MAY MAKE NO FREAKING SENSE. ATTEMPTING TO MAKE THIS LOGICAL CAN RESULT IN HEADACHE, FRUSTRATION, AND ANGER.

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The whole thing is a hot mess. What's the point of the front of the page? Mere? Sear? The activity on the bottom is "cross out the As." What does that have to do with anything? And the back? The back looks like something that is purposefully designed to make parents think that teaching their own children is beyond their grasp.

"Honey, I considered homeschooling but I don't think I'd be able to handle these kindergarten worksheets. Better leave them in school."

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My ds would have probably debated with the teacher about the illogical-ness of it all and been in trouble for trying to backtalk.. Geez, what a mess. Mess begins with m. Glasses, no m. Bell, no S. confused much.

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I was going to ask if it was SRA... then I saw your later post... unfortunately I saw quite a few worksheets like this... another teacher in my building was fond of them :confused1:

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Well, after much googling, I found this, which might explain it somewhat:

http://www.auburn.ed...urraba/sra.html

The phoneme /a/ is introduced as a sound to be repeated, and then signaled by letter a. The teacher does not use the letter name a, though most children probably know this name, and letter name knowledge is strongly associated with first grade achievement, probably causally. The letter symbol is the typed a rather than the simpler a used in printing, which would allow children to use the letter in invented spelling. The dearth of spelling work also means children do not use guided spelling practice to learn the correspondence, a method well established in research by Ehri and her colleagues. The vowel sound /a/ is taught as an abstract sound by paired association; there is no initial attempt to help children locate the phoneme in word contexts. Children learn to discriminate the symbol a from pictures of a tree, dog, etc., and later from variant forms of a (but not a), which seems rather silly. Meanwhile, children learn blending routines by combining words into compounds, e.g., peanut and butter into peanutbutter. They learn to print the typed form of a by tracing the sequence of strokes along dotted lines, which is unlikely to reveal the critical features of the letter. They also cross out a's on a worksheet and complete and color a dot-to-dot picture, a non-reading activity. The second and third lessons essentially repeat all the activities in the first lesson, reruns. Lesson 4 introduces the phoneme /m/ and letter m, staying with continuants for ease of blending, and repeats previous activities. Lesson 9 adds another continuant, s = /s/. These sounds and routines are reviewed through lesson 18 without ever reading or spelling a single word. In lesson 19, the symbol Ã« (marked with a macron) is introduced for the phoneme /E/; the e alone far more commonly represents phoneme /e/ (short e) in one syllable words typically found in beginning reading texts. In this lesson, children first begin to blend, but they blend pseudowords /sa/ and /ma/ rather than actual words. Their first actual word to blend, am, is encountered in Lesson 28, after more than a month of instruction. This seems an excruciatingly slow pace.

Explanations are extremely clear and simple, modeling is as explicit as possible, and initial practice could not be simpler. These are direct instruction principles carried to their logical extreme, with the result of an extraordinarily slow instructional pace.

Blending method:

SRA Reading Mastery uses left to right, letter-by-letter blending. Blending routines are introduced very carefully and thoroughly. The program stays with continuant consonants, which helps make initial blending experiences successful.

Decodability of practice texts:

No application of reading is presented in the entire first book (56 lessons). Children do not even read sentences, much less stories.

Edit: ACK! I don't know why that copied the quote so tiny! Sorry! I can't seem to copy and paste it without the weird yellow background. However, it is quite legible if you follow the link.

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It really looks like a Funnix worksheet. They have a lot of those "cross out all the As" exercises, and the arrow with dots reminds me of Funnix also. But we didn't stay with it long enough for me to have any idea what ER has to do with S and M.

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Okay, I read the yellow thing. Still doesn't make any sense. This is my favorite quote from that explanation: "The vowel sound /a/ is taught as an abstract sound by paired association; there is no initial attempt to help children locate the phoneme in word contexts."

No kidding.

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It really looks like a Funnix worksheet. They have a lot of those "cross out all the As" exercises, and the arrow with dots reminds me of Funnix also. But we didn't stay with it long enough for me to have any idea what ER has to do with S and M.

We did Funnix, and never saw that worksheet. ;) They did have crossing out letters for practicing recognition and tracing exercises on the worksheets. They did exercises with arrows, which involved doing things in order in the very early stages. After that they were for reading actual words with actual letters. I don't know what this nonsense is, but it isn't Funnix! :lol:

I do a lot of pulling things from a variety of sources to find what I need, but I do that for a reason. Even the way I do that, purposefully, has drawbacks compared to sticking with one philosophy from start to finish. I can't imagine grabbing things from here and there "just because."

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Now this is where I would be taking the newbie ps teacher under my wing, and sharing resources with her. Meaning, coming up with a curriculum she can teach from.

Which I have done before. Sadly.

"Hey, I have a great phonics workbook hanging around here. Would you like to borrow it so you don't have to search around for stuff to use?"

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It really looks like a Funnix worksheet. They have a lot of those "cross out all the As" exercises, and the arrow with dots reminds me of Funnix also. But we didn't stay with it long enough for me to have any idea what ER has to do with S and M.

Yes!

SRA (Distar) is the program that Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is adapted from.

The school where my niece teaches uses SRA. It works really well for them but in order for it to work, it is supposed to be used in a VERY specific way. The teachers go through a lot of training before they start the program. It's not good for just passing out random worksheets.

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:confused1:

And that would be why public schools do such a bad job of teaching children something so basic as reading.

And there's no excuse for it, either. There are a number of excellent true-phonics publishers that all public schools have access to, but they consistently choose drivel like this.

At what point do we ask ourselves this question:

"If they wanted to pretend to teach children to read while ensuring that the children will never read, what would that look like?" Or put another way, "Could this be worse if it were deliberate?"

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100 EZ lessons is based on Direct Instruction. My kids did that book for K and then we moved into WRTR. I don't understand this worksheet either. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't be happy to see the long e next to the r. Too confusing. I think KKinVa is onto something that it is part of following directions. Hopefully this new teacher is using the teacher's manual or at least a scripted lesson.

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I think the back is just about reproducing patterns. There is a pattern on the left of glasses and an m, and the child fills in the m in the patterns on the right. 'Cause, you know, someone with a PhD in education once said that pattern recognition is an important component of reading, and if someone said it once, by golly there needs to be a worksheet for it.

That's just really stupid.

Terri

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100 EZ lessons is based on Direct Instruction. My kids did that book for K and then we moved into WRTR. I don't understand this worksheet either. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't be happy to see the long e next to the r. Too confusing. I think KKinVa is onto something that it is part of following directions. Hopefully this new teacher is using the teacher's manual or at least a scripted lesson.

Yeah, when I saw it I thought it looked similar to 100 EZ Lessons.

But it looks like someone took 100 EZ Lessons and had it type-set by monkeys.

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If they're going to put completely inapposite pictures with the lesson, they could have gotten more creative than glasses and bells. And what's with the picture of the children from 1972? It's like a Schoolhouse Rock gone horribly, horribly wrong.

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Yes!

SRA (Distar) is the program that Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is adapted from.

The school where my niece teaches uses SRA. It works really well for them but in order for it to work, it is supposed to be used in a VERY specific way. The teachers go through a lot of training before they start the program. It's not good for just passing out random worksheets.

I've used some SRA Distar stuff, and think it's excellent. Without the Teacher's Guide, the worksheets make no sense. It can't be used without the TG and specific training. This teacher doesn't seem to know what whe's doing.

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That sheet makes 100 Easy Lessons (which I did use for my second child, and it worked fine for him; I'm not sure I love it, but free was free) look bad.

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Yes it is Reading Mastery 1 by SRA. As a special education teacher I was required to use this program about 20 years ago when I taught in upstate NY. The program is by the same authors as 100 easy lessons, but 100 easy lessons is much better written and goes much more quickly. It is a direct instruction program designed for at-risk children. They also have to respond on command (e.g., the teacher says "get ready, what sound" then points to a letter, makes a signal, and the kids choral respond). I don't miss it.

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Yes it is Reading Mastery 1 by SRA. As a special education teacher I was required to use this program about 20 years ago when I taught in upstate NY. The program is by the same authors as 100 easy lessons, but 100 easy lessons is much better written and goes much more quickly. It is a direct instruction program designed for at-risk children. They also have to respond on command (e.g., the teacher says "get ready, what sound" then points to a letter, makes a signal, and the kids choral respond). I don't miss it.

OH. So the boxes aren't necessarily related to each other, but meant to be used while the teacher is giving instructions? Thank God. I don't agree with the method but it is possibly only ineffective and not also insane.

So this teacher needs to be told that she's doing it wrong. :(

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I've used some SRA Distar stuff, and think it's excellent. Without the Teacher's Guide, the worksheets make no sense. It can't be used without the TG and specific training. This teacher doesn't seem to know what she's doing.

OK, this is making sense now. Those poor kids!

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That's hilariously terrible. Learning to read English (which is a language that has a lot of makes no sense rules and exceptions) should definitely be made a puzzle. That'll help.

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OH. So the boxes aren't necessarily related to each other, but meant to be used while the teacher is giving instructions? Thank God. I don't agree with the method but it is possibly only ineffective and not also insane.

So this teacher needs to be told that she's doing it wrong. :(

I hate to say it, but I'm not terribly surprised. This teacher seems to be the queen of "I don't know what I'm doing, and I'm a newb in over my head, so I'll just throw random worksheets at the kids so it looks like we're doing something."

She set my Teacher Sense a'tinglin' the first time I met her. I hoped I would be proved wrong, but alas, I have not. It's a looped class, so she'll be ds's teacher next year as well. :001_unsure:

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The first one made me think, "Harry Potter, mmmmagic. M for magic.". :). I got nothin' for the bell.

Funny, I thought muggle for some reason when I saw the glasses. They are pretty Harry Potter-ish looking.

Perhaps the s is for "shut up when I ring the bell"?

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After looking at it a few minutes, I decided the "glasses" are cues to tell the student to "look" at the teacher for instructions on how to form the letter and then write it, and the "bell" is a cue to "listen" to the teacher as she/he says the sound and write it.

I don't get the relationship of the "m" and "s" to the vowel-combos at all...

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What a real mess. The teacher sounds too stupid to teach. I have looked on the web for worksheets before and I never used one that was confusing like this. There is good and bad out there and you need to choose wisely. What a waste of time.

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What a real mess. The teacher sounds too stupid to teach. I have looked on the web for worksheets before and I never used one that was confusing like this. There is good and bad out there and you need to choose wisely. What a waste of time.

Just makes me recall all the people who said I should leave my child's education to the "professionals".

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If it's this confusing for US, I can't imagine the poor Sp Ed kindy kids trying to learn to read from it. :(

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It really looks like a Funnix worksheet. They have a lot of those "cross out all the As" exercises, and the arrow with dots reminds me of Funnix also. But we didn't stay with it long enough for me to have any idea what ER has to do with S and M.

I agree...at first sight I thought it was a funnix worksheet...except those made sense.

There are plenty of free program's on the web that are better then that. Someone should point that teacher in the direction of progressive phonics.

Sometimes I think kindy teachers really have no idea. My oldest two went to preschool and because my kids were already reading the teachers would come to me and ask my advice on which program to use and how I taught my kids. They got reading eggs into the classroom and my 4 yo DS had to show them how to use it.

When I went to uni for my education degree (I never finished) they never actually taught you how to teach kids to read. They told you to " read the curriculum and find your own resources" and that was the extent of it.

It's no wonder teachers are using a mish mash of rubbish to teach reading...especially if they are new teachers.

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That's just mind boggling. I understand it's supposed to make more sense when used correctly with the manual and within a program... but wow. There are so many ways things are overcomplicated in the schools...

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Okay, I think it's goofy. That said, here's my thought.

Perhaps it's meant to have children notice the ENDING sounds of words, and the teacher did not have the instructions that belong with the page. It makes sense if you can picture them starting their finger under the picture of the glasses and moving across the arrow saying "frame" slowly. As in, "What is this? That's right, do you know another word for 'glasses'? The plastic part is called a 'frame'. Can we say that slowly? Do you hear what it ends with? That's right, an 'm'! Let's say it again and this time we'll write the 'm' that we hear." In the next picture, "bells" is a possibility, but there's only one bell. Maybe it should be "rings". "What does a bell do? That's right, it 'riinngs'. Do you hear the sound at the end? That's right, an 's'! Let's say it again and write the sound."

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The school where my niece teaches uses SRA. It works really well for them but in order for it to work, it is supposed to be used in a VERY specific way. The teachers go through a lot of training before they start the program. It's not good for just passing out random worksheets.

Yes! This!

I actually used these very worksheets when I taught with SRA in spec. ed. It really only makes sense if you have the teacher's guide and use it from the beginning. It gives VERY specific instructions and a word for word script on how to teach it to the children. And, your child's teacher's experience with having to scavenge her own materials was exactly my experience and why I ended up using SRA. It was literally in a closet of materials slated to be trashed. I salvaged it and the teacher's manual just so I would have something to teach from. I ended up buying Explode the Code for the kids I was teaching, too. The teacher can hardly be 100% to blame. Many schools and districts really couldn't care less about spec. ed. classes.

The top part of the front page is pretty straight-forward; practice learning to write the letters. The bottom part of the front page is to help students who have trouble distinguishing between the shapes of the different letters. You would be surprised how many spec. ed. children struggle with this. The teacher calls out /m/ and the students X off the /m/ sound on the page. Eventually, this section will become more difficult in that the /m/'s will be in different typesets and of different sizes in order to teach that an /m/ is an /m/ regardless.

On the backside, the teacher is doing it wrong. The presence of the ball and arrow indicate that the sequence should be read like a word from left to right. These "puzzles" are to get the student ready to blend letters into words. The first one should be see-m = seem. The second one should be bell - s = bells. Some of the first letters that the students learn using the Reading Mastery program are s and m. They also only learn the long vowels for a very long time as well before moving on to the short. Thus, one of the first words they learn to read is "seem." Again, THIS page is just to get them ready to start blending. Eventually you'll see s - ee - m with the long vowel line over the ee and the ball and arrow under the whole thing.

Also, they chose the "ear" sound for "er" on the front because they ONLY teach long vowels for about the first half of the year or more. Eventually they will transition them to ear with the long vowel line over the "e," and the "a" being much smaller than all the other letters. The presence of a smaller letter means that this letter is not vocalized in the correct spelling of the word.

The picture on the bottom of the back page relates to a short story that the teacher reads out of the teacher's guide. It includes the sounds and words learned but I don't remember this one in particular.

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â€¦ It really only makes sense if you have the teacher's guide and use it from the beginning. It gives VERY specific instructions and a word for word script on how to teach it to the children. â€¦

Thanks for the explanation!

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