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Mainer

Convince a colleague that structured literacy is the way to go

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I've been in my new job in public school for a few months now. In many ways, public school (at least, this particular school) is awesome! As a special education teacher, I am lucky to be able to observe how many teachers teach. It's fun to see what goes on in the different classrooms. 

Not so fun - people don't know much about how to teach struggling readers. At my last school (private), everyone was 100% OG focused. There were no questions about which direction to go when teaching dyslexic kids. Teachers in public school don't know ANYTHING about dyslexia, or about any reading programs for kids that don't learn typically. Teachers seem uncomfortable when I mention dyslexia, like it's some strange and untouchable phenomenon. As far as I can tell, phonics instruction is done thoroughly through second grade, third grade gets some phonics, and then in fourth grade, you're on your own. I wonder if it's the same in other public schools - when does serious phonics instruction end?

Part of my job involves RTI, which has until this point been using guided reading/leveled literacy almost exclusively. I am starting to see the benefits of guided reading for students who need just a little decoding practice, but major comprehension instruction. It's great for these kids, and comprehension scores have gone up! All good. From what I know, which admittedly isn't overly much, guided reading involves some "word work," and about 75% of the session is kids taking turns reading aloud, and then discussion about the book. For the most struggling readers, 25% of a 30 minute session being devoted to phonics is NOT ENOUGH. Not to mention that a struggling reader listening and waiting while another struggling reader reads aloud is... less than helpful. It's making me crazy that these kids are getting so little instruction in their weakest areas. 

I technically have the power to decree a change to "structured literacy" for students who need it. I have voiced this opinion many times, and we have made some gradual changes, but it's quite awkward for me as a newcomer amongst long-time colleagues. If I absolutely need to, I'll just pull rank and say this is how it is. As the newbie, though, it's SO uncomfortable to do this! I would love some really convincing information to give to my colleagues in RTI, some of whom are very convinced that we need "balance" in a reading program, and that comprehension should always be a big part of any reading lesson. My thing is, if a kid comprehends just fine, but can decode like squat... why not drop the comprehension and focus entirely on READING THE WORDS correctly? These kids get comprehension all the time in their classrooms anyway.

Administration is very supportive. They have no clue about teaching reading either, but are fine with whatever I say. (That's a new and welcome phenomenon! Also scary. But awesome.)

Arg. I'm getting all worked up when I should be relaxing and waiting for a snowstorm 🙂 

Any super convincing articles or websites I could use to convince my skeptical colleagues?

Edited by Mainer
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Sally Shaywitz — Overcoming Dyslexia or maybe her website. 

Anything about the DIBELS maybe?  

The Barton reading website maybe?  

Book by Louisa Moats?

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For Louisa Moats, I had this book from the library.  https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Facts-Dyslexia-Reading-Problems/dp/089214064X/ref=mp_s_a_1_2/145-5068227-1470124?ie=UTF8&qid=1547936390&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=Louisa+Moats&dpPl=1&dpID=51fsQWhPl4L&ref=plSrch

I am surprised to see it for $44!  But as a library book it would not cost $44 😉

Overcoming Dyslexia is in several editions now, I bet it is cheaper.  

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Also here is a tip (ime) for saying dyslexia.  They may think it means a child you don’t expect to learn to read.  

They may not be used to seeing kids make a lot of progress. 

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I think you should post this on the SpellTalk forum and get advice there. It's an issue that comes up and there are high clout people who could direct you right away. They've had threads on the "balanced literacy" issue and why it seems to great (we're balanced) when it's imbalanced away from the intervention that needs to happen. So yeah, go post there.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

I think you should post this on the SpellTalk forum and get advice there. It's an issue that comes up and there are high clout people who could direct you right away. They've had threads on the "balanced literacy" issue and why it seems to great (we're balanced) when it's imbalanced away from the intervention that needs to happen. So yeah, go post there.

I wish I could figure out how to do that! I joined, and can read their posts... but how to post myself? I feel like an idiot, but I can't figure it out!

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I'm student teaching in a public school first grade class that uses Fountas and Pinnell, and honestly, it's a miracle if any child ever learns to read.  Between the amount of time spent on testing, the sight words, and the belief that all problems will be solved if kids just point at words as they read the story (that they cannot decode) and look at the pictures, I want to scream.  

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The American Public Media documentary is a good place to start for public school teachers

https://www.apmreports.org/story/2017/09/11/hard-to-read

The follow-up documentary focuses specifically on the science of teaching reading and how teachers are taught, so really good for teachers to listen to

https://www.apmreports.org/story/2018/09/10/hard-words-why-american-kids-arent-being-taught-to-read

Further reading here

https://www.apmreports.org/story/2017/09/11/further-reading-hard-to-read

Maine ( I am assuming you are in Maine, so forgive me if I am wrong) passed a law in 2015 defining dyslexia, requiring dyslexia screening and the appointment of a dyslexia coordinator. No funding provided, of course, but it's a start and specifically uses the term dyslexia to refer to a host of reading difficulties.

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'Structured Literacy' was developed by the IDA (International Dyslexia Association).
So that if you want to introduce Structured Literacy to your school.  Then you could contact IDA for any support they can offer.
Here's a link to 2 downloads they have, which could be helpful:
https://dyslexiaida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DITC-Handbook.pdf

https://app.box.com/s/21gdk2k1p3bnagdfz1xy0v98j5ytl1wk

 

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15 hours ago, Lecka said:

For Louisa Moats, I had this book from the library.  https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Facts-Dyslexia-Reading-Problems/dp/089214064X/ref=mp_s_a_1_2/145-5068227-1470124?ie=UTF8&qid=1547936390&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=Louisa+Moats&dpPl=1&dpID=51fsQWhPl4L&ref=plSrch

I am surprised to see it for $44!  But as a library book it would not cost $44 😉

Overcoming Dyslexia is in several editions now, I bet it is cheaper.  

I'll go check out that Louisa Moats book. Thanks!

Problem is, the teachers are understandably overworked, so reading a book is probably off the table. 😞  I'm reading a good one now, Reading at the Speed of Sight, by Mark Seidenberg.

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9 hours ago, Terabith said:

I'm student teaching in a public school first grade class that uses Fountas and Pinnell, and honestly, it's a miracle if any child ever learns to read.  Between the amount of time spent on testing, the sight words, and the belief that all problems will be solved if kids just point at words as they read the story (that they cannot decode) and look at the pictures, I want to scream.  

THANK YOU! YES! I agree. I have a group of first grade RTI students, and I took one look at the first book of F&P. It was things like, "The frog likes pizza. The frog likes cereal." Etc. The next book was farm animals, and it was repetitive enough that kids repeated the first part of each sentence, then scanned the picture for the right animal, then stuck that in. Ugh. We switched to Fundations right quick 🙂 We're also doing P.A.L.S. You might check that out, just for future reference. It's great!

It's so cool that you're student teaching! I'd love to hear more about that! 

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2 hours ago, hepatica said:

The American Public Media documentary is a good place to start for public school teachers

https://www.apmreports.org/story/2017/09/11/hard-to-read

The follow-up documentary focuses specifically on the science of teaching reading and how teachers are taught, so really good for teachers to listen to

https://www.apmreports.org/story/2018/09/10/hard-words-why-american-kids-arent-being-taught-to-read

Further reading here

https://www.apmreports.org/story/2017/09/11/further-reading-hard-to-read

Maine ( I am assuming you are in Maine, so forgive me if I am wrong) passed a law in 2015 defining dyslexia, requiring dyslexia screening and the appointment of a dyslexia coordinator. No funding provided, of course, but it's a start and specifically uses the term dyslexia to refer to a host of reading difficulties.

Thanks - I've read these, but sending them out is a great idea.

I'm new to PS, so I'll check out the law about dyslexia screening. There are a lot of regulations in PS, so I just go around trying not to put my foot in my mouth! 

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1 hour ago, geodob said:

'Structured Literacy' was developed by the IDA (International Dyslexia Association).
So that if you want to introduce Structured Literacy to your school.  Then you could contact IDA for any support they can offer.
Here's a link to 2 downloads they have, which could be helpful:
https://dyslexiaida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DITC-Handbook.pdf

https://app.box.com/s/21gdk2k1p3bnagdfz1xy0v98j5ytl1wk

 

Thank you! I like that second link in particular. I'll share it around!

 

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1 hour ago, Mainer said:

THANK YOU! YES! I agree. I have a group of first grade RTI students, and I took one look at the first book of F&P. It was things like, "The frog likes pizza. The frog likes cereal." Etc. The next book was farm animals, and it was repetitive enough that kids repeated the first part of each sentence, then scanned the picture for the right animal, then stuck that in. Ugh. We switched to Fundations right quick 🙂 We're also doing P.A.L.S. You might check that out, just for future reference. It's great!

It's so cool that you're student teaching! I'd love to hear more about that! 

 

Having been a parent helper in an F&P classroom -- the students are supposed to using their letter of the week phonemic knowledge and the illustrations to figure out the correct word. It is not supposed to be wagging or guess and check, its an invite to crack the code.

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My dd has this class she takes that was encouraging her to read for prizes before she was ready to read on her own. I was at first trying to look up a books level that she could read to find others but I realized that these books are not leveled at all based on decodeability and I needed to wait until she had enough phonics patterns down to do books like Frog and Toad. I was looking for examples of kids reading and found lessons from various schools of guided reading groups. There were a lot teachers telling kids to look at the picture or to think of context especially in the early levels. Teachers were going over words before the lesson by sight not by sounding them out and teaching the pattern. Then they searched there books for these words then read. They did have the kids read through some of the words by sound and teach sounds but it was very hodge podge and they did encourage guessing from context especially in the early levels. I am surprised so many kids do learn to read under these circumstances and it is not surprising that so many do not. In the later levels they not are not looking at pictures to guess words but they preteach the story line and read as group so it is hard to catch the kids who are still guessing a lot. 

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/02/677722959/why-millions-of-kids-cant-read-and-what-better-teaching-can-do-about-it

I have seen another article like this that is longer that I can try to find. It is good that you have backing by the admin to do what you want. I know how hard it is to change things up but you will be helping so many kids who are not being given the tools they need to learn to read become successful readers by using structured literacy. 

 

Edited by MistyMountain
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1 hour ago, Heathermomster said:

Can these issues be addressed during teacher in-service training?  Or is that the plan?

 

Well, my plan is to make a switch for certain kids ASAP. We have the materials for both guided reading and structured literacy, but I'm trying to get some buy-in from the other RTI teachers. As far as general ed teachers, it would be great to have some education around what structured literacy is, and what struggling readers need in order to learn. Maybe at staff meetings, in-service, etc. 🙂

A big part of the problem is that everyone is so busy that there is a limited amount of time for teachers to learn new things. Actually, they're already so overloaded doing what they need to do in order to run their classrooms, that I think it's asking a lot for them to go do research, which is why I'm hoping for some basic info to pass along and hope they read it. The APM/NPR articles are a great start.

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I've been in your shoes, as a special ed teacher returning to teaching after homeschooling my own for 15+ years. (So I have seen many changes, and not all good.)  I was hired as an RTI teacher.  The way we did it was to benchmark the kids and grouped according to need. We had several pull out groups during the day, often 15-20 minutes long (except for a gr. 5 comprehension group, which was 30).  Kids were put into groups either phonics/decoding or fluency/comprehension.   You could see the phonics scores change more rapidly than the comprehension, I think because the comprehension was so low and it took more time to increase.  

One thing I didn't like about about the new way to read (let them read whatever they want for free time at their level).  I am talking here about gr. 1-2, where they are learning to decode. Kids often were guessing at words, which were often wrong, then as they came upon those words in the stories, they were reinforcing and learning the wrong words.  Grrr....Once we had a new 2nd grader who came from another district. Upon hearing him read and 2 different teachers testing him, I remember commenting that he certainly wouldn't need intervention.     A month down the line, I listened to him read one of his silent reading books he had chosen, and he had done the exact same thing I described above.  Lo and behold, his scores dropped as time went on and he ended up needing help with decoding. It was a very sad thing to watch!

Sometimes I think there is nothing wrong with our old basals at the lower grades where vocabulary is controlled. At least the kids are taught the right words and can build from there. I know I will probably get a lot of flack on this opinion. But if you should see the crap they are letting the kids read (because it interests them!).  Not to mention some of the comic type where the print is so darn small, their eyes are not ready for that yet...

Susan Barton e CTOPP for everyone younger grades, especially kindergarten. (My district did not).  You might try looking at her sight: https://www.dys-add.com/freeVideos.html  as well as check the tabs along the top on 'what is dyslexia'.  

Like you, most other teachers have no clue what dyslexia is, nor do they often seem to want to do learn how best to help these kids in the class. There is a lot you can do to bring up awareness (check out the site), without them having to read books.  But, administrators need to be supportive. 

I would like to know what you use for comprehension that you are getting such good results? 

Ours used leveled readers in their classrooms, but most books in their series were left untouched...We used Read Naturally, as well as the A-Z books in intervention.

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2 hours ago, MistyMountain said:

My dd has this class she takes that was encouraging her to read for prizes before she was ready to read on her own. I was at first trying to look up a books level that she could read to find others but I realized that these books are not leveled at all based on decodeability and I needed to wait until she had enough phonics patterns down to do books like Frog and Toad. I was looking for examples of kids reading and found lessons from various schools of guided reading groups. There were a lot teachers telling kids to look at the picture or to think of context especially in the early levels. Teachers were going over words before the lesson by sight not by sounding them out and teaching the pattern. Then they searched there books for these words then read. They did have the kids read through some of the words by sound and teach sounds but it was very hodge podge and they did encourage guessing from context especially in the early levels. I am surprised so many kids do learn to read under these circumstances and it is not surprising that so many do not. In the later levels they not are not looking at pictures to guess words but they preteach the story line and read as group so it is hard to catch the kids who are still guessing a lot. 

 https://www.npr.org/2019/01/02/677722959/why-millions-of-kids-cant-read-and-what-better-teaching-can-do-about-it

I have seen another article like this that is longer that I can try to find. It is good that you have backing by the admin to do what you want. I know how hard it is to change things up but you will be helping so many kids who are not being given the tools they need to learn to read become successful readers by using structured literacy. 

 

Thanks for this. 

I know the earlier guided reading books are more about associating spoken words with written words (1-1 correspondence) than decoding. That's fine. I just don't think the books give enough systematic practice as the levels increase. With OG programs, everything a kid learns is reinforced constantly as they learn new concepts. In guided reading, it seems to me that there is not enough practice of previously taught skills. A struggling reader needs to practice the 'ea' vowel combination 20 times per session, not 2. The intensity is just not there in guided reading. Comprehension can be taught separately, if the decoding and comprehension are at different levels. 

I liked this quote from the article you linked. It pretty much sums up my opinion on guided reading:  But balanced literacy is basically whole language with some phonics mixed in, says Tim Shanahan, a literacy expert who served on the National Reading Panel. "Balanced literacy began as the notion of a different attempt to try to settle the reading wars. It's supposed to be the best of both worlds."

 

 

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6 minutes ago, ***** said:

I've been in your shoes, as a special ed teacher returning to teaching after homeschooling my own for 15+ years. (So I have seen many changes, and not all good.)  I was hired as an RTI teacher.  The way we did it was to benchmark the kids and grouped according to need. We had several pull out groups during the day, often 15-20 minutes long (except for a gr. 5 comprehension group, which was 30).  Kids were put into groups either phonics/decoding or fluency/comprehension.   You could see the phonics scores change more rapidly than the comprehension, I think because the comprehension was so low and it took more time to increase.  

I like this idea a lot - separate groups for fluency/comprehension and for decoding. It makes so much sense.

One thing I didn't like about about the new way to read (let them read whatever they want for free time at their level).  I am talking here about gr. 1-2, where they are learning to decode. Kids often were guessing at words, which were often wrong, then as they came upon those words in the stories, they were reinforcing and learning the wrong words.  Grrr....Once we had a new 2nd grader who came from another district. Upon hearing him read and 2 different teachers testing him, I remember commenting that he certainly wouldn't need intervention.     A month down the line, I listened to him read one of his silent reading books he had chosen, and he had done the exact same thing I described above.  Lo and behold, his scores dropped as time went on and he ended up needing help with decoding. It was a very sad thing to watch!

I feel the same!

 Sometimes I think there is nothing wrong with our old basals at the lower grades where vocabulary is controlled. At least the kids are taught the right words and can build from there. I know I will probably get a lot of flack on this opinion. But if you should see the crap they are letting the kids read (because it interests them!).  Not to mention some of the comic type where the print is so darn small, their eyes are not ready for that yet...

Well, there's probably nothing wrong with the old readers! Even though decodable readers are, well, boring... they do the job, at least for teaching phonics.

 Susan Barton e CTOPP for everyone younger grades, especially kindergarten. (My district did not).  You might try looking at her sight: https://www.dys-add.com/freeVideos.html  as well as check the tabs along the top on 'what is dyslexia'.  

Like you, most other teachers have no clue what dyslexia is, nor do they often seem to want to do learn how best to help these kids in the class. There is a lot you can do to bring up awareness (check out the site), without them having to read books.  But, administrators need to be supportive. 

I would like to know what you use for comprehension that you are getting such good results? 

Our kids' comprehension scores have improved with guided reading. Their decoding skills have not increased as much as they need to. I also like Reading A-Z (Raz-Kids), for both decoding and comprehension, but especially for comprehension. Their classroom teachers are also really good at teaching comprehension.

 Ours used leveled readers in their classrooms, but most books in their series were left untouched...We used Read Naturally, as well as the A-Z books in intervention.

It's nice to know there are other people in my shoes 🙂

 

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For decoding (I had gr. 1-2), I used my Barton knowledge and we often played games to reinforce certain sounds (ar, er...).  I got many ideas on:  

http://www.fcrr.org/resources/resources_sca.html

sightwords.com

I also used manipulative letters with small groups.  We did very short lessons from Patricia Cunningham's 'Systematic Sequential Phonics They Use". This was very effective with beginning readers. See a sample: https://www.dedicatedteacher.com/samples/DDTr/csd2409ebs.pdf        Someplace else on the internet was this same thing, but with more word lists that you could use.  We did this for awhile, reinforcing the sounds they were learning in their class, then switched to simple games.

Yes, the A-Z books were the leveled literacy books. My co-workers used these more than I did, as they were doing the fluency part.  

 

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Yeah, I like the IDEA of balanced literacy.  But my idea of balanced literacy is instruction that includes rigorous phonemic awareness and phonics/ decoding practice both in isolated words and in decodable texts AND includes lots of read alouds to build listening comprehension and vocabulary, allows students to spend time reading books of their own choice even if they aren't at their level.  I tend to not do a lot with reading comprehension until around grade three, by which time decoding should be pretty solid.  If they've been given lots of listening comprehension activities, there's not much of a gap, with the exception of kids with language disabilities or English language learners.  

However, that doesn't really reflect the reality of balanced literacy classrooms, in which the teachers don't know enough phonics to teach it effectively.  

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16 hours ago, Terabith said:

Yeah, I like the IDEA of balanced literacy.  But my idea of balanced literacy is instruction that includes rigorous phonemic awareness and phonics/ decoding practice both in isolated words and in decodable texts AND includes lots of read alouds to build listening comprehension and vocabulary, allows students to spend time reading books of their own choice even if they aren't at their level.  I tend to not do a lot with reading comprehension until around grade three, by which time decoding should be pretty solid.  If they've been given lots of listening comprehension activities, there's not much of a gap, with the exception of kids with language disabilities or English language learners.  

However, that doesn't really reflect the reality of balanced literacy classrooms, in which the teachers don't know enough phonics to teach it effectively.  

Also, the "balance" can happen throughout the day. Reading comprehension can happen in many different lessons, but phonics instruction usually only happens in one dedicated lesson per day. That's why we have to make it count.

It's too bad that teachers don't feel equipped to teach phonics. I think the prospect of teaching every skill is daunting, but in reality, you just do one step and then the next... and all of those "next steps" are less challenging because the foundation is solid. At least, that's the goal! 

I'm with you on the use of decodable texts. Love them so much. 

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Are you on twitter?  I follow the author of Hard Words and a few others on twitter, they will have ideas. She has an intriguing thread recently, here is the first tweet: 

I'm auditing an online class on the science of reading. Here are some things my classmates are saying on discussion boards: "I felt so angry and guilty when I was finally taught the basics of reading science. I thought, 'how did you let me teach literacy without knowing this?!'

If you're not on twitter, I can post the question for you and get back here with replies.  There was a good pamphlet someone posted with great brain pics, I will see if I can find it.  
 
I have a brain video list:
 
Stanislas Dehaene has some good papers that are shorter than his book. 
 
Here, from my sight word page:
Recent brain research has found that the adult brain of good readers does not process words as wholes, but instead, as Stanislas Dehaene explains in his article, The Massive Impact of Literacy on the Brain, by analyzing the individual letters and letter teams at the same time in a "massively parallel architecture." [1] The speed of this parallel processing led early researchers to believe that the brain was processing the words as a whole, but recent brain research using more powerful technology has found the opposite.
 
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Also, the chart on page 18 showing correlation between number of words missed on the MWIA level 1 phonetic portion (easy but low frequency phonics words) and comprehension:

http://donpotter.net/pdf/richardson_shaywitz.pdf

I've found the MWIA a very powerful tool for assessing students, use the MWIA 1 for younger students, MWIA 3 short for older students, tests linked at the bottom of my syllables page:

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

Also, I had two 5th grade students who were thought to be suffering from poor comprehension.  They were at grade level using the school tests, but one grade behind on the NRRF test.  This was a large group class so I only had a change to give the MWIA to one of them; the boy missed 6 words of 220 on the Phonetic MWIA level 2, 1 word on Holistic (sight word) section of test out of 220, but read the phonetic words 28% slower than the Holistic words.  After tutoring, they both gained 4 grade levels and their supposed "comprehension" problems disappeared. After remediation, he missed 0 holistic words and 2 phonetic words out of 220. If you fix up the foundational level of phonics first, there are less problems with higher levels.

The girl wrote fine after that, but the boy had problems writing, I showed his mom a copy of Writing With Ease and explained separating narration and dictation for a while; he then recorded his thoughts on tape before writing a paper until he learned to integrate the two.  Mom was funny when asking what would help, she said something along the lines of "he sounds like a high school or college student when he talks but sounds like a caveman when he writes." 

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On January 20, 2019 at 6:36 AM, Mainer said:

I'll go check out that Louisa Moats book. Thanks!

Problem is, the teachers are understandably overworked, so reading a book is probably off the table. 😞  I'm reading a good one now, Reading at the Speed of Sight, by Mark Seidenberg.

Seidenberg's book is great!!  That and Dehaene's "Reading in the Brain," which most libraries have.

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On January 20, 2019 at 6:51 AM, Terabith said:

Yeah, the whole idea seems to be kids memorizing stories.  It’s ludicrous.  

Yes, it is ludicrous.  Then, when parents complain, "But we do teach phonics."  Right, 2 seconds of phonics per month after a ton of whole language practices that encourage guessing habits.

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On January 21, 2019 at 7:50 AM, Mainer said:

Also, the "balance" can happen throughout the day. Reading comprehension can happen in many different lessons, but phonics instruction usually only happens in one dedicated lesson per day. That's why we have to make it count.

It's too bad that teachers don't feel equipped to teach phonics. I think the prospect of teaching every skill is daunting, but in reality, you just do one step and then the next... and all of those "next steps" are less challenging because the foundation is solid. At least, that's the goal! 

I'm with you on the use of decodable texts. Love them so much. 

They can watch my one lesson "Super Speed Syllables," how to teach phonics to a 12th grade level video!!  Actually, if they would commit to teaching the whole series of 10 lessons to struggling students and see differences in MWIA and reading grade level before and after, they would learn while helping students.  You do have to retrain all the multi-cuing habits, though, making sure they don't tell a word, that they focus on L to R blending, that they make students look up a sound on their chart, guiding them through the process at first, etc.  My inner city Moms and Grandmas train in how to teach phonics easier than teachers with years of multi-cuing teaching habits to undo.  But, my teacher volunteers find giving the tests easy, the parent volunteers find that hard.

The 1 video super speed syllables class is linked from my syllables page:

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

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59 minutes ago, ElizabethB said:

The amplify pamphlet has a part 2, on page 49, it shows a graph between word recognition and comprehension, it is highly correlated, r = .89.  

https://go.info.amplify.com/hubfs/Primer II/Primer2_2018_Final.pdf

Hi, Elizabeth! Thank you so much for the detailed responses! I will go through them more carefully this weekend.

I'm really liking Reading at the Speed of Sight. Even for a person with a master's degree in special ed, I'm finding it challenging to fully absorb. It's going to take many readings. On the SpellTalk forum, someone posted that the author was disappointed that it was deemed "too hard" to read by teachers. I can kind of see their point, though! It's not a light read, but I'm learning a lot.

Thank you again for your suggestions! I'll be back once I digest them 🙂

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I don't know if this will be of help for you, but I thought I would post in case. Earlier this school year I was trying to help a friend figure out what type of reading program her dd's public school was using (turns out it was Balanced Literacy) and I read a ton of things on local districts' programs while researching for her. This article stuck out in my brain because I was happy to know some districts still use phonics- the majority don't. Anyway, I thought the parts of how they gained the support of the staff might be helpful for you, although it's brief. I'm no reading expert, so hopefully this isn't a bad program they're touting! 

https://www.languagemagazine.com/2018/09/20/implementing-a-strong-phonics-program/

 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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12 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I don't know if this will be of help for you, but I thought I would post in case. Earlier this school year I was trying to help a friend figure out what type of reading program her dd's public school was using (turns out it was Balanced Literacy) and I read a ton of things on local districts' programs while researching for her. This article stuck out in my brain because I was happy to know some districts still use phonics- the majority don't. Anyway, I thought the parts of how they gained the support of the staff might be helpful for you, although it's brief. I'm no reading expert, so hopefully this isn't a bad program they're touting! 

 https://www.languagemagazine.com/2018/09/20/implementing-a-strong-phonics-program/

 

Awesome, thank you! I love learning about what other schools use.

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The focus on the comprehension thing is crazy.  Here is a good article about it.

Quote

And they teach comprehension day after day, year after year—sometimes through high school. But studies have shown that after only two weeks of strategy instruction, students stop getting benefits.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nataliewexler/2019/01/23/why-were-teaching-reading-comprehension-in-a-way-that-doesnt-work/#7767fe9f37e0

The full thing is worth reading and worth sharing, she also has a podcast with a lot of thoughts about the same subject if your colleagues would prefer to listen instead of read, it's longer but you can cook or do laundry while listening.

https://www.teachthought.com/podcast/the-teachthought-podcast-ep-149-is-constructivist-education-addressing-inequality/

The thoughts about inequality and constructivist education practices being especially damaging to disadvantaged students are interesting, the podcast has info about comprehension but also a lot more, it was a wide ranging interview.

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On 1/24/2019 at 2:18 PM, ElizabethB said:

The focus on the comprehension thing is crazy.  Here is a good article about it.

 

It depends on the audience...second grade now seems to be a lot of beginning, middle, end - sequencing work.  It seems that repetition is very necessary for students who come from unstructured  homes.  The very concept of time is being taught by immersion, with the repeated 'lesson' giving the children the language.

My own dc as fluent readers enjoyed 2nd-4th very much because, before common core, reading groups were formed by instructional need. Their comprehension instruction was on literary symbolism, which led them to research skills. Now, common core has many many students in groups that are instructionally inappropriate.

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22 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

It depends on the audience...second grade now seems to be a lot of beginning, middle, end - sequencing work.  It seems that repetition is very necessary for students who come from unstructured  homes.  The very concept of time is being taught by immersion, with the repeated 'lesson' giving the children the language.

My own dc as fluent readers enjoyed 2nd-4th very much because, before common core, reading groups were formed by instructional need. Their comprehension instruction was on literary symbolism, which led them to research skills. Now, common core has many many students in groups that are instructionally inappropriate.

I'm just experiencing common core now. There is a super lot of emphasis on meeting "grade level targets." It's cool that struggling readers get to tackle comprehension, but... phonics instruction seems to end early (3rd grade), so by 4th grade, if you can't read well, you're in a lot of trouble. Not to mention that a lot of struggling decoders are also struggling comprehenders.

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3 hours ago, Mainer said:

I'm just experiencing common core now. There is a super lot of emphasis on meeting "grade level targets." It's cool that struggling readers get to tackle comprehension, but... phonics instruction seems to end early (3rd grade), so by 4th grade, if you can't read well, you're in a lot of trouble. Not to mention that a lot of struggling decoders are also struggling comprehenders.

 

when phonics begins and ends is a local decision.  In my district, it goes like this: kindy struggler -- is screened for hearing and vision, family put in touch with social worker and appropriate aids found, FM mic system training begun, if needed.  (kindy is full day). ENL continues.  First grade:  begin remediation, which is phonics based (OG).     Second -12th:  remediation continues, at level of need, includes vocab development (program differs based on ENL or not),OG, and audio books as well as the remediation material from the common core lit resources.   At some point in there dyslexia may be tested for, may not depending on the parent push.

This is a radical change from preNCLB, when ALL students received phonics instruction and were grouped by instructional need.  So now, if parents don't privately tutor, a student who does not qualify for remediation is stuck -- there won't be any remediation of just a few lesson objectives missed.  We see it in the outcome stats...but with the ban on small group instruction for non-at risk students, there is no way to reach that subgroup and move them up from 'just barely on grade level'. 

Edited by HeighHo
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1 hour ago, HeighHo said:

 

This is a radical change from preNCLB, when ALL students received phonics instruction 

I don't know where you are/were, but I don't think all students received phonics instruction pre NCLB. I received phonics instruction as a kid in the 70s, but only because I was at a Catholic school for first and second grade, and even there it was combined with Dick and Jane. It has to be 100 years since most kids received any systematic phonics instruction.

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2 minutes ago, hepatica said:

I don't know where you are/were, but I don't think all students received phonics instruction pre NCLB. I received phonics instruction as a kid in the 70s, but only because I was at a Catholic school for first and second grade, and even there it was combined with Dick and Jane. It has to be 100 years since most kids received any systematic phonics instruction.

 

The first phrase in my second sentence is "In my district"...that means I am writing of what has happened locally in my subsequent text.

Edited by HeighHo

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Just now, HeighHo said:

 

The first phrase in my second sentence is "In my district"...that means I am writing of what has happened locally in the subsequent text.

Sorry, that wasn't clear.

If so, you are lucky

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Just now, hepatica said:

Sorry, that wasn't clear.

If so, you are lucky

How would you make it clearer? 

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Just now, HeighHo said:

How would you make it clearer? 

It's ok. It just wasn't clear to me. Not worth getting upset over.

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Upset?  

I was asking for clarification in case there was a new custom in writing I was unaware of. My intro sentence included the phrase 'local decision; with the next phrase 'in my district' seems to be sufficient narrowing down from general to specific  to me, but it wasn't to you.  Did you not read carefully and jump to a conclusion, or is my writing poor , or is it something else?

Edited by HeighHo

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I have to disagree. If you are going to jump on another poster, then follow up with "not worth getting upset over" you have made it important. If you want to walk away without clarifying why you jumped, or issue an apology feel free. But consider how the people you jump on feel when you ghost. I hope the rest of your day goes better.

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