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Old 09-05-2011, 06:21 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,501,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Do you know of any school that DOESN'T encourage that, at least in theory?
The trouble is that our modern environments and lifestyle typically pose resistance to all the theoretical encouragement coming from schools (read for pleasure!). You really can't tell someone to do something for pleasure!

Pleasure in itself (if the child does experience it during the process of reading) is a good enough motivator without additional cheerleading.
The problem comes when reading (for pleasure) starts to compete with the pleasure coming from electronics, TV and computer games etc. The latter is almost invariably much more intense for most children.
I think there is a tremendous difference between schools that provide encouragement and resources and those who merely pay it lip service. I agree that it's impossible to tell someone to do something for pleasure, but schools (and parents) should provide ample opportunities for a student to discover the joy of reading by setting aside time for it to happen. It won't happen until a child is a proficient reader, and for that to occur careful instruction is necessary, but once a minimal level of competency is reached I think children really respond to the freedom of exploring books independently.

Our family does something called D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read), which was inspired by a national program of the same name. The kids had so much fun with it at school, we had to integrate it into our daily lives. And with a large stack of books and periodicals on our coffee table at all times, it's never hard to find something to read around here.

Today, I found my son reading an elementary chemistry book he borrowed from his classroom, which led to a fascinating discussion about atoms, elements, and radiation. Is his teacher doing a lesson on chemistry? No, he simply picked it up during free reading time. Later, he'll probably want to discuss the Star Wars graphic novel he borrowed at the same time. He is after all a nine-year-old!

As for the competition with screen time, I'm not sure what that has to do with the effectiveness of small group reading instruction.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 09-05-2011 at 07:02 PM..
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:56 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 13,791,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Wow. Just - wow. Amazing how that just flies right on past people here. I guess I won't be so surprised when it happens again with a teacher at the counter. Lack of reading comprehension, PLUS lack of counting skills. Very sad.
Wow yourself. That's pretty darned rude. Let's take a look at your original post, shall we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
True story:
Last week a teacher came to my register. The total was something and 79 cents. The change would have been 21 cents. He gave me a nickel because he wanted a quarter back. In his head there were 4 cents standing between himself and a quarter, so if he gave me 5 cents that would cancel out the 4 cents.
Nowhere did you say that he wanted a quarter and ONLY a quarter. No, you said he wanted a quarter because "in his head" that would cancel out the four cents. Well, you know what? It DOES cancel out the four cents, and leaves an extra penny for the container on the counter.

Instead of insulting an entire profession, you should have said that he asked for a quarter and ONLY a quarter. Then there wouldn't have been any confusion.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,334,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
It's not hard at all. Students spend 30% of the reading time in more "individualized" instruction (still with 4-5 kids in the group) and 70% with unqualified staff or parents doing something else then methodical reading instruction (often just being baby-sat).
There is your scenario.
Not to quibble, but 4-5 isn't individualized. Trust me, I know individualized ed.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:20 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,941,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
I think there is a tremendous difference between schools that provide encouragement and resources and those who merely pay it lip service. I agree that it's impossible to tell someone to do something for pleasure, but schools (and parents) should provide ample opportunities for a student to discover the joy of reading by setting aside time for it to happen. It won't happen until a child is a proficient reader, and for that to occur careful instruction is necessary, but once a minimal level of competency is reached I think children really respond to the freedom of exploring books independently.

Our family does something called D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read), which was inspired by a national program of the same name. The kids had so much fun with it at school, we had to integrate it into our daily lives. And with a large stack of books and periodicals on our coffee table at all times, it's never hard to find something to read around here.

Today, I found my son reading an elementary chemistry book he borrowed from his classroom, which led to a fascinating discussion about atoms, elements, and radiation. Is his teacher doing a lesson on chemistry? No, he simply picked it up during free reading time. Later, he'll probably want to discuss the Star Wars graphic novel he borrowed at the same time. He is after all a nine-year-old!

As for the competition with screen time, I'm not sure what that has to do with the effectiveness of small group reading instruction.
It doesn't. The problem with small group reading instruction is that it leaves children spending a significant amount of time with an unqualified person like a volunteer parent.

It does - insofar reading proficiency is rarely a predictor of reading for pleasure. There are way too many people out there who are super proficient readers but who do not read for pleasure. Same with the kids. You can be the most proficient reader ever, if the song of the TV or the computer game siren is calling, or anything else, it won't matter how well you can read.

Yes, I agree with setting up just the right environment (lots of books around, electronics off) - but that will only go so far. It's almost as if they smell you are setting them up to do something they don't necessarily want to do.

My son will turn 6 in a week, he reads well above K level (though not perfectly fluent yet), he does NOT have any electronic sirens around during the week, he is surrounded by books, we bring tons of books from the library all the time, he is read to every night and often twice a day, he is expected to have down time in his room where only books are available (a D.E.A.R kind of moment) ...and yet, I simply do not sense in him the germ of reading for pleasure. He will read something if I out a book in his hand and I tell him I expect him to read it to me later, after downtime.

Many have told me that I might expect too much too soon, that he is still very young and that granted he is still at the text deciphering/decoding stage, independent reading still feels more like a chore than pleasure.

I can't wait for him to reach that stage where he will be able to read fluently books that are exciting enough to make him grab them, immerse himself in them and not want to put them down. He now reads beginning readers / "I Can Read" type of books but those are quite boring for his listening/comprehension level. So I never see him really excited about grabbing one. The more sophisticated kind of books - I have to read them to him. Yet I am looking forward to the day when he will get as crazy about grabbing a book (Harry Potter or whatever) as he is when he is about to watch that darn Jurassic Park - which I should have never allowed him to watch in the first place.

I just feel like a book will never be able to compete with the TV as far as ability to induce pleasure in this child.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:22 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,941,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Not to quibble, but 4-5 isn't individualized. Trust me, I know individualized ed.

Exactly!!
So not only is this division in groups of 4-5 kids not individualized, but it also requires volunteer parents to act as baby sitters for the rest of the class and it only exposes each child to the teacher's instruction a limited amount of time; so I am not sure we're at odds here.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:33 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,501,488 times
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From my perspective as a parent of a son just a few years older than yours, I do think you are expecting too much, too soon. Neither my oldest or youngest really had any interest in reading for pleasure by themselves until the beginning of third grade. They really took off the summer prior to fourth grade. Even today, both of my kids are thrilled to sit down and listen to me read aloud to them. Their favorite book, by far, is Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck. Very funny and just as much fun for adults as kids.

Anyway, I don't think you have anything to worry about just yet. Keep modeling reading for enjoyment to him, and, most likely, he will soon join you in you as a lover of literature.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:38 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,941,719 times
Reputation: 3819
Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
From my perspective as a parent of a son just a few years older than yours, I do think you are expecting too much, too soon. Neither my oldest or youngest really had any interest in reading for pleasure by themselves until the beginning of third grade. They really took off the summer prior to fourth grade. Even today, both of my kids are thrilled to sit down and listen to me read aloud to them. Their favorite book, by far, is Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck. Very funny and just as much fun for adults as kids.

Anyway, I don't think you have anything to worry about just yet. Keep modeling reading for enjoyment to him, and, most likely, he will soon join you in you as a lover of literature.
I appreciate your encouraging words. Sometimes I just fear he will end up not liking to read for pleasure, maybe because his father is not much of a reader for pleasure. He is a great professional and an intelligent man but somehow he always ends up preferring the screen to the printed word (he loves movies).

I, on the other hand, tend to be a voracious reader; but frankly speaking the kids don't get to see me doing this that often as I am always overwhelmed with "to do" lists during the day. I often stay up late at night to read after everyone has gone off to bed - which is not exactly healthy, I agree.

Some people have told me that no matter what you will do, some children will just NOT be avid readers. I so much hope this is not going to be the case for my children as I really do believe that the ONLY way anybody can become truly educated is to be a voracious reader and to enjoy reading for pleasure. By "educated" I don't mean professionally successful or academically dutiful (as in the Asian model - hard work for top grades always).

Sometimes I think I care more about how truly educated my kids will become rather than how professionally successful they will be.
I know the latter puts food on the table, but the former makes you a human - as in clearly distinct from an animal.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:11 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,828,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Exactly!!
So not only is this division in groups of 4-5 kids not individualized, but it also requires volunteer parents to act as baby sitters for the rest of the class and it only exposes each child to the teacher's instruction a limited amount of time; so I am not sure we're at odds here.
Did you not have reading groups when you were in school? I find it hard to get my mind around your silliness on this issue. When I was in school in the 50s and 60s we were divided into reading groups of 4 to 6 children who were on the same level and the teacher taught each group separately. The kids who were not be actively instructed did seatwork while the other reading group was being instructed. I don't remember them having any one *babysit* them. They simply worked on their own.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:27 AM
 
Location: St. Paul
198 posts, read 424,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
I guess the whole "counting change back" stopped being taught even longer ago than I imagined. See - a guy gives me a coin, because he thinks he'll get *a quarter* back. Not a quarter plus a penny. And not four pennies, and not four pennies fewer than he would have gotten otherwise. But rather - a quarter. Exactly a quarter.

So he gives me a nickel - thinking the 5 cents will cancel out the 4 cents - and result in me giving him a quarter. Unfortunately, his math is off - he would have gotten a quarter plus a penny. Which - he didn't understand he would get. Because - he was expecting a quarter.

Wow. Just - wow. Amazing how that just flies right on past people here. I guess I won't be so surprised when it happens again with a teacher at the counter. Lack of reading comprehension, PLUS lack of counting skills. Very sad.
Unless you can read minds, how do you know he was thinking he would get *a quarter* and only a quarter back? Probably he would prefer to have a quarter and a penny than two dimes, a penny, and a nickel (the nickel being the one he gave you). If I was in his situation, did not have four pennies, but did have a nickel I probably would have done exactly the same thing. Quarters can come in handy.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:36 AM
 
12,455 posts, read 27,063,999 times
Reputation: 6946
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
This was posted on an elementary school, teacher-supervisor's page this morning:

"‎7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C34R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15. R3 P057 1F U C4N R35D 7H15

OK, Reading teachers--this just proves that you DON'T need to know all your letters to read; even if it isn't FLUENTLY! "

She thinks it is funny. I - do not.

My daughter attended elementary school where this woman taught. All of my children could read by the time they went to kindergarten. By fourth grade, my daughter - could not. I started examining her tests and homework. On a 10-question spelling test, my daughter had missed four spelling words. She had a grade of "100%" emblazoned across the front of it. Many of her homework scores and grades were of similar 'values'. When I called her teacher to inquire, she told me, "Yes, well, she is really sweet and tries so hard, she deserves those grades!"

Ummmm, how 'bout NOOOO?

I pulled my daughter out of that school, that day. I immediately started her on Hooked on Phonics, and we worked on that all summer. For the next two years, I homeschooled her and her older brother - whom I had discovered that, according to his 6th grade teacher, he was teaching part of the class instead of learning - because, as she said, "He knows more than me!" <sic> I then put them in private school, where my daughter still struggled, and struggled the rest of her life with her grammar and spelling. Even though she was valedictorian of her class, even though she graduated from college and holds an excellent job in her field, it galls me to this day. They put roadblocks in her way that should never have been there, and it makes me wonder how many other teachers have ruined how many other children because of this cavalier attitude.

All of that was 15 years ago. But the attitude of, "It's OK, they don't really need instruction!" obviously still prevails and is promulgated by these teachers, and even their supervisors.

It is this attitude that appalls, even sickens me in some teachers and school systems. Not only the attitude, but the implication of trust that parents willingly give to teachers and school systems, which they casually cast aside as if it were nothing, all a big joke. I'm not laughing.

Teachers, do YOU feel this way? If so, why? If not, why not?
Enough with the teachers being unable to add discussion please.

Syracusa - I have to tell you that only time will tell if your kids will ever read for pleasure. I've raised three kids and only one of them is a voracious reader and that one happens to play more computer games then either of the other two. He also loves to write. All three were in the highest English classes in HS, got similar grades, had to read the same books and were raised by the same people. The other two don't dislike reading but, like many of us, are very busy in their lives and choose to do other things in their spare time. I love to read and do so most evenings. My husband does not like to read books, but enjoys magazines and newspapers. Our house has almost as many books as the library where I work. (kidding) All three are responsible, good, people, one just happens to read more then the other two.
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