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Old 09-03-2011, 07:57 PM
 
15,813 posts, read 13,273,834 times
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1. Spelling and reading are two separate and distinct skills. Being a good reader does not make one a good speller and vice versa.

2. Sight reading is the natural way people read. But it is a progression from phonics. Phonics is how we learn to read, sight reading is how we actually read. A subtle but important difference.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:30 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,974,962 times
Reputation: 3823
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
J

I asked her about it. She said that it was 'common knowledge' that too many teachers stressed learning each individual letter and their sound(s), when in her opinion, it wasn't necessary to stress the precise letters... the students should be encouraged to recognize letter patterns and general shapes, and not be so exact.

I don't know which bothers me more... her original post, or the fact that she not only believes the latter but is teaching teachers that it is an acceptable practice to teach young students to recognize general patterns and shapes, and not worry about the conformity of letters or the combination thereof. I mean, seriously, why bother to learn to read or write at all, as long as you believe that you are getting your general point across?
Thank you for making me shudder one more time. The more I learn about the American public education system the more I see our financial health shrinking to anorexic levels in the future. I really hoped we could get away with having our two kids in a "great" public school which should give them an education as good as any private school.

This is shaping up to be a big fat illusion by the day. My son just started K in one such "amazing" public school, in an amazingly prissy and annoying area (oh, how I wish I could have gotten away with living in a more international/diverse/immigrant-populated area ... but how was I supposed to sleep at night when those test scores would come back to haunt me?). Despite all the oomph, hoopla, prissiness and pretense, the area must be inhabited by big enough morons if not one of them seem to be bothered by the school's obsession with fund raising, by its clearly weak curriculum (but how would they know?), by all the PTA geese and by all sorts of weird and highly unnecessary methods of teaching reading, writing and math.
I already see the insidious and perverse signs of the "laissez-faire" style so pervasive in the American public education system and which is most probably promoted and encouraged by cynics all the way up there.

Phonetic writing, "sight" reading, approximation of words, overuse of technology, overuse of colorful, expensive and wasteful materials to teach very basic concepts like numbers (Zero The Hero necklace hanging around the neck? Really? Are you kidding me?...), overuse of parental volunteering in Reading Centers when all it takes is just one well prepared teacher, a disciplined class, and a book...???


These are all horrible and dishonest methods of teaching young children the foundation of academics and I really think someone should be held responsible for all this educational pillage and fraud perpetuated by the public education system.

Granted I know nothing about American private schools and what happens there curriculum-wise compared to public schools - but I will soon embark on a mission to visit some Catholic schools in the area and just see what is going on there by comparison.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:50 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 14,817,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
Phonetic writing is a way to assess phonemic awareness in beginning readers - it is effective in that role and is a temporary practice. As kids acquire literacy, it is phased out and proper spelling becomes the norm. This does not mean that all kids will spell well, but poor spelling is not necessarily the result of invented spelling in kindergarten.

Sight reading? You cannot attain fluency without it. Add to that the fact that the English language is probably as much irregular as regular phonetically. Words like rough and cough would rhyme if they were both read phonetically. Heck, 'wind' can be pronounced with a short or a long vowel, making the ability to use context clues necessary.

As far as technology, why not go back to copying scripture passages on slates or making cross-stitch alphabet samplers instead of using modern books?

I could go on, but won't. Your child just started K, and I can predict that with your attitude about your prissy, pretentious and moronic neighborhood peers and your rigidity of beliefs that the next thirteen years will be frustrating and angst-filled. What is yet undetermined is whether it will be worse for you or for the educators your child comes in contact with. I'm betting the latter.
And employers get college graduates who do not know the difference between 'there' and 'their', the difference between 'to' and 'too', or 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'. I don't know which system is best but I would really like one which produces kids who can spell properly.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,149,583 times
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Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
And employers get college graduates who do not know the difference between 'there' and 'their', the difference between 'to' and 'too', or 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'. I don't know which system is best but I would really like one which produces kids who can spell properly.
Yes, that drives me insane.

Moreso recently because I have been working as a secretary - and the college graduates for whom I work have no conception of spelling, homonyms, synonyms, or grammar. I am constantly having to rewrite their letters. One confessed to me recently that she has no idea of the difference between "take" and "bring". None know when to use "who" or "whom" or when to put in apostrophes.

As I was a professional writer, reporter, and political columnist in a previous life, this base ignorance of so many highly-paid professionals is appalling to me. Shrugging it off or even saying, "Well, that's the way it is!" and accepting it in the output of college graduates, teachers, or even students in elementary schools, is to me indicative of why Americans have lost their focus on education as well as business. It looks like everyone including the DOE and the President have decided that settling for second-best is "good enough" for this country. When cheap and easy (in the guise of the latest educational fads) trump excellence and achievement, is it any wonder that we as a nation really have developed a "Wal-Mart mentality"?
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
1,412 posts, read 2,012,857 times
Reputation: 3289
Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
Phonetic writing is a way to assess phonemic awareness in beginning readers - it is effective in that role and is a temporary practice. As kids acquire literacy, it is phased out and proper spelling becomes the norm. This does not mean that all kids will spell well, but poor spelling is not necessarily the result of invented spelling in kindergarten.

Sight reading? You cannot attain fluency without it. Add to that the fact that the English language is probably as much irregular as regular phonetically. Words like rough and cough would rhyme if they were both read phonetically. Heck, 'wind' can be pronounced with a short or a long vowel, making the ability to use context clues necessary.

As far as technology, why not go back to copying scripture passages on slates or making cross-stitch alphabet samplers instead of using modern books?

I could go on, but won't. Your child just started K, and I can predict that with your attitude about your prissy, pretentious and moronic neighborhood peers and your rigidity of beliefs that the next thirteen years will be frustrating and angst-filled. What is yet undetermined is whether it will be worse for you or for the educators your child comes in contact with. I'm betting the latter.
The thing is, we don't know how it works in syracusa's district. It's not unheard of for a stereotypical wealthy district to use unconventional (ineffective?) methods where conventional produced perfectly sufficient results. There really isn't a short-cut to producing truly fluent readers and writers. Look throughout the forum. There's myriad errors of every category. One has to be immersed in the language to learn it, and television doesn't cut it. Television uses plausible dialogue the audience can relate to...which is riddled with errors. To speak correctly is to sound stilted. The solution is to READ quality material. It can be books, internet articles, blogs, whatever.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:29 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,974,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
. When cheap and easy (in the guise of the latest educational fads) trump excellence and achievement, is it any wonder that we as a nation really have developed a "Wal-Mart mentality"?
This, this and this - very much this!
1000 reps sent your way.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,421 posts, read 9,605,505 times
Reputation: 8607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelorn View Post
The thing is, we don't know how it works in syracusa's district. It's not unheard of for a stereotypical wealthy district to use unconventional (ineffective?) methods where conventional produced perfectly sufficient results. There really isn't a short-cut to producing truly fluent readers and writers. Look throughout the forum. There's myriad errors of every category. One has to be immersed in the language to learn it, and television doesn't cut it. Television uses plausible dialogue the audience can relate to...which is riddled with errors. To speak correctly is to sound stilted. The solution is to READ quality material. It can be books, internet articles, blogs, whatever.
Agree 100%. Nor is there only one way to achieve fluency, which is why invented spelling, using technology, and teaching sight words are reasonable complements to a strictly sound-symbol approach.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
6,331 posts, read 10,537,919 times
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quote: "Spelling and reading are two separate and distinct skills. Being a good reader does not make one a good speller and vice versa."


I have always found that good readers are good spellers. Seeing the written word makes an impression on the brain in terms of spelling and grammar and is a much easier way to learn both than by instruction.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,835 posts, read 39,635,648 times
Reputation: 48661
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
As I was a professional writer, reporter, and political columnist in a previous life, this base ignorance of so many highly-paid professionals is appalling to me. Shrugging it off or even saying, "Well, that's the way it is!" and accepting it in the output of college graduates, teachers, or even students in elementary schools, is to me indicative of why Americans have lost their focus on education as well as business. It looks like everyone including the DOE and the President have decided that settling for second-best is "good enough" for this country. When cheap and easy (in the guise of the latest educational fads) trump excellence and achievement, is it any wonder that we as a nation really have developed a "Wal-Mart mentality"?
Good luck finding a presidential candidate (or one for any public office) who truly prioritize education among his or her many platforms. You can't get elected by being an "education first" candidate because the public doesn't care (unless the issue is them not having to pay into it). The lack of political attention that education issues get reflects the apathy of the general public towards educational improvement.

I, too, was a professional writer, reporter, columnist, and editor prior to returning to education. I, too, am consistently in a state of disbelief regarding the low level of basic literacy among professionals in all walks (including education). I am in a team teaching situation from time to time, and I cannot tell you the number of times a teacher who is taking the lead in a lesson has turned to me in class to ask for clarification on how something is spelled, if he/she is using the correct word/pronouncing it correctly, etc. Now, I'm glad that these people ARE actually asking for help rather than teaching the students incorrectly, but really, these are things they should know. It's not asking too much to be knowledgeable regarding what you're teaching. Idiots.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,835 posts, read 39,635,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
quote: "Spelling and reading are two separate and distinct skills. Being a good reader does not make one a good speller and vice versa."


I have always found that good readers are good spellers. Seeing the written word makes an impression on the brain in terms of spelling and grammar and is a much easier way to learn both than by instruction.
They are indeed separate skills...but very closely connected. The vast majority (although by no means all) of the time, good readers are good spellers and vice versa, if there are no disabling conditions at play that affect one and not the other.
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