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Old 09-03-2011, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,118,711 times
Reputation: 9523

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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?
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,713,317 times
Reputation: 14499
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?
Actually, you DO need to be able to read all of your letters fluently to do this. Someone who struggles with reading won't be able to read that sentence. Only someone who reads well enough to, instantly, substitute a 7 for a t and a 5 for an S, etc, etc, etc, will be able to do this. If you don't believe me, go show this to a class of 4th graders. I would be willing to bet NONE of them will be able to read this.

I'm baffled as to why anyone would take the ability of a high level reader to make instant substitutions as proof you DON'T need to be fluent in reading. I'd take it as proof that once you are fluent, the human mind is capable of making instant substitutions. Seriously, we do it all the time with different fonts. Different fonts are an issue for struggling readers.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,818 posts, read 39,375,570 times
Reputation: 48613
Hah. You definitely need to KNOW all your letters in order for this particular illustration to work (which is nothing new, BTW). Your brain can't fill in the gaps if you have no concept of what's supposed to go there.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Location: West Coast
1,199 posts, read 2,114,707 times
Reputation: 2098
It was a joke. A person would have to know how to read well to figure it out.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,118,711 times
Reputation: 9523
Joy74, I believe it was a joke - the first paragraph. But for a teaching professional and a teachers' supervisor to post that second line -"OK, reading teachers..."

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? I thought "Ai kan haz cheezburger" was just a fun wordplay and mental exercise for the well-read, now I am not so sure. I tried to explain to her that my daughter's current job as a pathologist dictates exact spelling and grammar - or someone at the least gets treated for the wrong illness, while at the worst, they die. This teaching professional doesn't seem to grasp that concept...
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,818 posts, read 39,375,570 times
Reputation: 48613
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
Joy74, I believe it was a joke - the first paragraph. But for a teaching professional and a teachers' supervisor to post that second line -"OK, reading teachers..."

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? I thought "Ai kan haz cheezburger" was just a fun wordplay and mental exercise for the well-read, now I am not so sure. I tried to explain to her that my daughter's current job as a pathologist dictates exact spelling and grammar - or someone at the least gets treated for the wrong illness, while at the worst, they die. This teaching professional doesn't seem to grasp that concept...
Approaches to teaching reading go in trends and waves...phonics are in, phonics are out, whole language is in, whole language is out, etc. Just like everything in education, there are always approaches and trends that come and go and change with the wind, depending on various research...but anybody who seriously embraces the notion that learning can progress without something as foundational as letter recognition is an idiot.

Pattern recognition is an important early childhood skill, and a developmental milestone that assists in learning to read and grasp arithmetic concepts, no doubt. It obviously goes hand in hand with the ability to decode, and without letter recognition, you can't decode.

I agree with you that the fact that an educator would take a somewhat interesting visual perception exercise out of context and make the kind of statements you're suggesting he or she made in earnest IS a bit disturbing.

I would hope that the commentary is tongue-in-cheek.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: California
29,613 posts, read 31,923,958 times
Reputation: 24741
When my kids went through elementary school "creative spelling" was a phrase I heard often.

When my daughter was in 1st grade I questioned why she wasn't reading well I was told she was just a late bloomer. Finally, at the end of 2nd grade, we had her tested and found out she was slightly dyslexic. Even with tutoring she never could overcome it all. She is a 24 college graduate and gets by thanks to technology but she is still reading for pleasure from the Young Adult section of the bookstore.

My son, 3 years younger, was reading at a college level in middle school so no problems there. He also wrote like a demon and has a fantastic vocabulary. However, he can't physically hold a pen or pencil and write anything legible even though we woked with him with worksheets making the letters over and over like I did when I was a kid.

I can't say if it was lax standards at the schools, my fault, or just their own limitations. All I know is they will have to find ways around it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,818 posts, read 39,375,570 times
Reputation: 48613
I doubt that a physiological problem that affects grasp, motor dysgraphia, or whatever's going on with your son had much to do with lax educational standards or fault (yours or otherwise), but it does surprise me if there was no occupational therapy intervention early on to help address it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: California
29,613 posts, read 31,923,958 times
Reputation: 24741
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
I doubt that a physiological problem that affects grasp, motor dysgraphia, or whatever's going on with your son had much to do with lax educational standards or fault (yours or otherwise), but it does surprise me if there was no occupational therapy intervention early on to help address it.
I've heard that term before. I remember looking it up when he was in school. I was told there was nothing the school could do and to just work with him. The frustrating part for me was seeing that he can take things apart and put things together (he builds computers for example) so I know he can use his hands. I fought with him when he was little and assumed he was just lazy, but he has always been a bit physically awkward and not into sports or anything with that required him to catch or throw a ball. Who knows what it is. We all have our "things" i suppose!
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,636,559 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy74 View Post
It was a joke. A person would have to know how to read well to figure it out.
They'd also need a sense of humor to realize it was a joke.
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