Posts Tagged phonics vs look/n/say

Parent/Teacher Conferences – Reading Problems – Changing Struggling Readers into Fantastic Readers!

Posted in 2nd grade phonics, basic phonics rules, homeschool phonics, homeschool phonics curriculum, homeschool phonics program, homeschool reading, Homeschool Reading Curriculum, homeschooling your preschooler, how do you teach a child to read?, how to teach an older child to read, older children who struggle in reading, phonic, phonics curriculum, phonics for english, Phonics Help for Parents, phonics lesson plans, phonics lessons, phonics rules, Phonics vs Look/Say, teaching older children to read, teaching phonics | Comments Off on Parent/Teacher Conferences – Reading Problems – Changing Struggling Readers into Fantastic Readers!

 

MANY OF US have chosen to homeschool our children. 

Yet, there are many parents across America who are just now approaching this year’s wave of parent/teacher conferences. Sadly, too many of those parents are braced to hear bad news especially when it comes to hearing their child’s progress in reading.

Parents should be concerned about their child’s reading grades because, regrettably, only 70% of U.S. schoolchildren will actually graduate from high school.

 

It’s a well-researched but often heartrending fact that reading ability severely affects lifelong success?

 

We know this because the surveys and numbers tell us that approximately 48 out of every 100 American households are living below the poverty level because the breadwinners in those households cannot read?

That means that almost HALF of American adults grew up as children who struggled in reading.

 

I don’t know about you, but I find that troubling!

 

I suppose some would have us believe that most of those households are made up of adults who grew up as struggling readers because either:

A) they had a reading problem due to an uncontrollable behavior problem

B) they had a reading problem because they belonged to a minority group

C) they had a reading problem because they were an “at risk” child

D) they had a reading problem because they had an ADHD Disorder

E) they had a reading problem because they were Dyslexic

 

I have to ask, does this really make sense?

 

A) Behavioral Problems – There is a definite question as to whether behavior problems cause low reading skills or whether low reading skills cause behavior problems? However, behavioral problems cannot be blamed as a primary reason for American children to fail in reading because according to a Williams & McGee study in 1994 and a more recent Lane, O’Shaughnessey, Lambros, Gresham, and Beebe-Frankenberger study in 2001, poor reading skills lead to problem behaviors while increased training in phonological awareness brings a decrease in disruptive child behavior and negative social interactions on the playground.

B) Minority Problems – Are the brains of Hispanic and Black children made up differently than those of Caucasian children? In other words, if all the Caucasian children moved to Mexico, would their brains become impeded because they would turn into minority children? You see, even though it is true that minority students in America do need extra instruction to actually speak the English language, being a minority student cannot be a primary reason for American children to fail reading because according to the National Literacy Panel on Language, systematic phonics instruction is very effective in teaching minority children to decode and read words.

C) “At Risk” Problems – Are the brains of “at risk” children less intelligent than the brains of “normal” children? To answer that, consider who these “at risk” children are. At risk children make up two groups:

GROUP ONE consists of the children living in the 48 out of the 100 American households surviving with incomes under the poverty level. This also covers the children on welfare. However, this cannot be a primary reason for American children to fail reading because according to Samuel Casey Carter, a Bradley Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, over 100 principals of schools that scored in the top one-third in national exams tell us that more that 75 percent of those student scores came from children living in low-income families.

                    or

GROUP TWO consists of the children who live in a home where one or both parents are absent. Apparently, the assumption made by our educators is that the one parent who is present is so busy earning a living that his/her child’s reading ability is impaired because that parent does not have enough time to be involved in their child’s daily school work. However, this cannot be a primary reason for American children to fail reading because those same children are in school for most of their daytime hours, and it’s during those daytime hours that they have their reading lessons.

D) ADHD Problems – Children with ADHD have a brain disease that affects their dorsolateral frontal lobes. Moreover, it’s been shown that the brains of ADHD children mature in a normal pattern but lag about 3 years behind the normal brain. However, this cannot be a primary reason for American children to fail reading because the statistics tell us that only 14% of children have ADHD.

E) Dyslexic Problems – Children with dyslexia have a gene on the short arm of chromosome #6 that causes their neurological problem. In addition, these children have a larger right-hemisphere in their brains than those of normal children. However, this cannot be a primary reason for American children to fail reading because the statistics tell us that only 8% of children have dyslexia?

 

I’m certain that others have thought of these questions.

 

I’m certain that parents everywhere have asked the question,“Is it really possible that almost HALF of the children in America cannot read because THEY have a problem?”

I’m certain that even more parents are asking, “How come my mother and my grandmother could read, but my children cannot read?”

And, sadly, many parents are asking, “Why was I told in my last parent/teacher conference that my child needs to improve in reading? Why isn’t my little one learning to read?”

 

Very, very, very, very seldom do educators entertain the idea that children are struggling in reading because the reading method they’re using is flawed!

 

For instance, did you know that the United States Department of Education actually advises our schools to use a systematic phonics approach to teach reading? 

Even so, American teachers continue to rely on their old stand-by, dastardly, look/n/say methods sprinkled with tiny bits of embedded phonics.  Why is it that our teachers and elementary schools and colleges refuse to make phonics their primary reading method? 

 

Honestly, I don’t know. I could guess.

 

It could be because most of our elementary teachers have had very little, if any, phonics training themselves. People usually tend to stubbornly stick with even unproductive strategies and methods just because they feel comfortable with them.

It could be that it costs money and time and effort to retrain our teachers to use systematic phonics instruction.

It could be that American school teachers believe that they already are teaching phonics. However, the phonics that our American educational establishment presents is not explicit, systematic phonics. Rather, it is “embedded” or “implicit” phonics.  (Note: to read more about what is meant by embedded phonics and how it completely differs from 4WAY Systematic Phonics, please click here.

 

IS THERE A SOLUTION?   There sure is!

 

When parents are willing to become fellow learners with their children and teach their own children to read using a correct, systematic 4WAY Phonetic system, a system that includes daily step-by-step lessons, rhyming phonics charts, sequenced phonics story readers, rhyming flashcards and so much more – a SYSTEM THAT COSTS just $9.97 – then children all over America will learn to read every word on every page.

At Candy 4WAY Phonics, we believe that children deserve to learn to read everything put in front of them so that they can move up to other necessary skills like comprehension and inferential thinking – lifelong skills that will give them jobs with an adequate income – lifelong skills that will move them into households far above the poverty level.

While it may be true that almost HALF of American adults grew up as children who struggled in reading, YOUR child doesn’t have to join that statistic.

 

Your child CAN learn to read!

 

Sincerely,

Carol Kay, President
Candy 4WAY Phonics
www.candy4wayphonics.com

Assessing Accuracy and Fluency – Helping a Child Grow in Early Reading Skills

Posted in 2nd grade phonics, basic phonics rules, Five Big Ideas for Reading, Homeschool Reading Curriculum, phonic, phonics curriculum, Phonics Help for Parents, phonics lesson plans, Phonics vs Look/Say, teaching phonics, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Assessing Accuracy and Fluency – Helping a Child Grow in Early Reading Skills

 

There are FIVE BIG IDEAS involved in learning to read.

These FIVE BIG IDEAS are:
 
Phonemic Awareness
Alphabetic Principle
Accuracy/Fluency 
Vocabulary
Comprehension.

This Article on Phonics will discuss the third of THE BIG FIVE – Accuracy and Fluency. 

ACCURACY AND FLUENCY IN READING are vital skills for our children to possess. 

The folks at Candy 4WAY Phonics recognize that a reading program must include every essential step to achieve those crucial abilities. 

In order for our children to survive in this fast-paced, high-tech society, they must be able to look at a page of text and easily read all the words printed, completely understand all the material presented, accurately draw conclusions from all the facts given, and comprehensively make inferences from all the details specified. 

An accurate and fluent reader should have the ability to read selected text accurately, smoothly, effortlessly, and with appropriate expression and meaning.

The goal of attaining accuracy and fluency in reading is:  to learn to read through the words on a page easily and smoothly in order to increase the likelihood of understanding the meaning of the words.  

The National Reading Panel (Berninger et al., 2006) found that the following sequence of steps are necessary to lead students into fluency and onto comprehension:

Step 1) Phonemic Awareness 
Step 2) Phonics 
Step 3) Fluency 
Step 4) Vocabulary 
Step 5) Comprehension

However, there is a difference between assessing a student’s accuracy and fluency in reading and improving a student’s accuracy and fluency in reading.  Many teachers, for example, believe that practicing repetitive reading passages does both. 

For example, many teachers believe that having a child practice repetitive reading on the same selected text over and over and over again will help a child to read more fluently.  In turn, after the child has practiced a particular reading passage, teachers record the student’s rate of speed and use that rate assessment to determine the child’s reading fluency. 

In reality, though, having a child repeat the same text over and over again in order to gain speed:
a) does not assess that student’s overall reading accuracy
b) does not assess that student’s overall reading fluency
c) does not improve that student’s overall reading accuracy
d) does not improve that student’s overall reading fluency

 

What’s do I mean when I say “overall” accuracy and fluency in reading? 

Let’s take a child, for instance, who has been taught to read using the look-and-say reading approach.  If his teacher gives him the words:  baseball, hockey, run, game, and win, and asks him to read those words over and over and over again,  he will, indeed, be able to read those words faster and faster with less and less effort and more and more smoothly.

However, tomorrow when that child encounters the words: sports, athletics, sprint, competition, and  succeed, unless he has learned to sound out words from left to right, he won’t have a clue what those words are, and he will not be able to read them smoothly and effortlessly.

Reading a selected text over and over again will enable a child to learn phrasing, to follow punctuation marks in order to know when to pause and when to stop, and to gain a great knowledge of what a complete sentence “sounds like.” However, there is so much more needed in order for a child to attain accuracy and fluency in his reading.  There are at least four more skills necessary in order to attain strong accuracy and fluency in reading. 

First, a child must have the skills to approach words he has never seen before and to read those new words correctly

Second, the child must be given the opportunity to read a wide variety of printed forms on a regular basis. 

Third, the child must be exposed to greater and greater numbers of complex words and phrases.  

Fourth, the child must be given opportunities to read aloud selections in order to defend a thought or opinion he may have about that selection during a discussion. 

Most reading assessments for accuracy and fluency are performed on a weekly basis using material at the child’s grade level.  However, if we were to be more than generous in assessing a child’s ability to read accurately and fluently, we could take both a third grade look/n/say reading student and a third grade phonics-first reading student and assess their reading accuracy and fluency using reading material they each studied two previous school years ago (in the first grade).

If we did that, though,  we would soon see that there is a stark difference in the number of complex connective words and phrases contained in the sentences that each of these two types of students read during their first grade school year.

Let’s take a look at this sharp disparity between the words found in a first grade look/n/say story reader and the words found in a first grade phonics-first story reader by viewing text selections taken from both. Upon close examination, it becomes obvious that the measure of accuracy and fluency for a look/n/say reader is far behind the measure of accuracy and fluency for a phonics-first reader.

 

FIRST, here is the type of first-grade text that a well-trained look/n/say reader at the end of his third grade year should easily be able to read with accuracy, smoothness, and little effort.  The following paragraphs were taken from a first grade look/n/say story reader:

“Morris the Moose wanted candy.  He went to the wrong store. The man in the store said, “We don’t sell candy. Can’t you read?”

Then he showed Morris the candy store.  The man in the candy store said, “What would you like?”

Morris looked at the candy.  He liked the gumdrops.  He said, “Give me some of those.”

The man said, “They are one for a penny.  How much money do you have?”

Morris looked.  He had six pennies.  “I have four pennies,” he said.

The man laughed. “You have six!  Can’t you count?  Don’t you go to school?”

Morris asked, “What is school?”

 

SECOND, here is the type of first-grade text that a well-trained phonics-first reader at the end of his third grade year should easily be able to read with accuracy, smoothness, and little effort.  The following paragraphs were taken from a first grade phonics-first story reader:

“Little Sammy Saver trusted in the wise saying of:  A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.

At the first of each week, Sammy Saver collected one hundred pennies. He collected those pennies as payment for jobs he did. Sammy thought that most of the pennies he got each week should be earned pennies.

Sammy earned his pennies by searching for jobs to do all year long. In the summertime, Sammy rose early in the morning, went outdoors, and grew his own vegetable garden. When his vegetables were large and ripe enough to eat, Sammy sold them at a vegetable stand that he set up on his front lawn. 

Anxious to do more jobs, Sammy often walked his neighbor’s pet poodle. For the elderly, he mowed their lawns, raked their leaves, did their shopping, and cleaned out their garages. He joined with one other ambitious boy to wash cars.”

 

As we return to the goal of attaining accuracy and fluency in reading, which is:  to learn to read through the words on a page easily and smoothly in order to increase the likelihood of understanding the meaning of the words, it’s important to realize that when a student reaches fourth grade and beyond, he has a grave need to be able to: a) read every word on every page, b) understand the basic facts presented in each paragraph, and c) draw inferences from the conclusions he reaches.   

When children are able to sound out words, as are children trained to read using a systematic phonics reading method, their measure of accuracy and fluency will carry them through elementary school textbooks, junior high school textbooks, high school textbooks, and college level textbooks. 

This is why the people at Candy 4WAY Phonics  offer a COMPLETE Systematic 4Way Phonics Program at the affordable price of just $9.97.  We want children to be able to read every page on every page, accurately comprehend meaning from every sentence, and decisively draw conclusions from every paragraph.

After all, isn’t that why accuracy and fluency in reading are such vital skills for our children to possess? 

Sincerely, Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics