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high frequency words/tricky words

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mancminx, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. No, it's not of huge importance to me. After all, the whole example of the cat/cart thing was just an anecdote. I was just getting a bit fed up of the wriggling around Msz was doing under scrutiny. If a child has been taught to use initial letters and pictures and then says 'cat' for 'cart' without a picture (also failing to self correct when seeing picture) one interpretation, not Msz's clearly (oh heck, assumption warning), is that there not initial letter recognition and use of picture at work here. There is whole word recognition (thinking 'cart' is the known word 'cat') and that recognition gives some phonic accuracy (making the correct sound for 'c' and 't').
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    thumbie when you asked your inital question many, many pages ago I didn't think you were looking for a detailed example or I would have chosen a child I personally knew well.

  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    as to your last post ... the teacher was able over a period of time based on working with the child, evidence from the child's mum and discussions with the previous school confirm what was actually happening when the child met unknown words ... she guessed!
  4. Was your example made to show me at what stage you thought a person could read an unfamiliar word without sounding it out? That's the only question I can find that I asked. Oh, and, "Did the child learn the words from flashcards used at home?"
    I thought the rest of the discussion was about your attempts to show that phonics was the one and only and that this child had been let down because she hadn't been taught phonics. Now we know that she was taught phonics. Her previous teachers thought she knew 44 GPCs, but maybe what they taught had not been securely learnt.
    Good grief. Well, the journey was fun.
  5. I deduce (guess?) from your explanation that you see guessing as part of the learning process and, from what you have said in the past, as a teacher you actively encourage it. Am I right?
    Whereas I would say that a teacher should be teaching the information which obviates the need for guessing (i.e assuming, presuming ar asserting without sufficient information) and requiring the child to use this learned information to make informed deductions.

    From the way you describe it I would deduce that you are using the word 'guess' to describe the application of knowledge; which to me is a completely the opposite of the meaning of the word 'guess'.
    But over all, I would say that the children 'guess' because it is a strategy they have been actively taught to use (I know, because I ask them) and it is far less cognitively demanding than any other strategy. After 6 years of guessing they really don't really expect what they read to make sense anyway (particularly as they tend to make it up as they go along, what they 'read' is not what the author wrote...). All they're bothered about at the start of Y7 is struggling to the end of a hated chore..

  6. I think you have reverted to the value-laden use of the word, "guessing" here.
    I would say yes, I encourage guessing, because it supports discovery and problem-solving, where the child reaches the answer by themselves or in interaction with others. Guessing is the creative part of science; you make a guess based on some information, you test it out. I don't know at what point a guess turns into a deduction - a bit academic really (informed guess is as good a currency as informed deduction). But it is important to know how much scaffolding to put in place so that the child has the ability to find out, because they are early learners.
    I think we both want the child to be able to reach the 'answer' (obviously). We differ about the proportions and content of scaffolding and skills. But there is a use of the word 'guess' used on this forum and this thread which is meant to discredit approach which is not solely SP.You acknowledge here that a child using phonics will still have to deduce. This is the core of what their task is, and it is the task which they can either succeed in or fail in - be it through phonics or through anything else.

  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    no my answer was in reply to you asking about defining "guessing"
    I like this definition (also from google) to arrive at or commit oneself to an opinion about (something) without having sufficient evidence to support the opinion fully
    the child committed herself to the word "cat" without looking at all the evidence or perhaps not having the skill/knowledge to support that guess.
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    thumbie if only you had asked for a full case study when we began I could have given you the complete history is a single post. I had assumed that you just wanted a friendly discussion but now I see I was wrong. That will teach me not to guess a persons motive [​IMG]
  9. Here you use 'guess' again. Children are not dissuaded from guessing by having their phonic knowledge improved. They are given more information to apply when guessing. In the end, they guess and they test out using what's available. Quite frequently, it's the testing out stage that they fail with, and this is what many young children struggle with (I can't speak for year sevens). Young children fail to test out their hypothesis as to what a word says against meaning. This seems to be sometimes because they don't have the language capabilities (vocabulary/ understanding of grammar), and sometimes because they don't perceive understanding to be part of the task.
    Well, yes they may see it as such, but then they haven't made good guesses, have they? Can I assume that they keep getting it wrong? To me, this would suggest that it is more cognitively demanding to 'guess' than use other strategies (if there were other strategies, which there are not, oh, except for waiting for the teacher to correct you). What they are talking about is making a lazy guess and not caring much whether it is right or wrong because maybe they are not that interested and motivated - something quite different.
    I agree that they need phonics. I also think they need to listen to their voices so they hear words and sentences not just all the right sounds. In addition, they need to listen for meaning and think about what they are reading, ensuring comprehension. This is supported by reading for purpose, whether it be the pleasure of a good story or in order to retrieve information. Phonics alone just does not hit the spot.
  10. Yes, agreed. More knowledge and more advanced skills would result in a better guess.
  11. Well, I'm happy to have a friendly (if rigorous) discussion at any time. It's when rancour and veiled insult slips in that I get a bit tetchy.
  12. I already knew what my understanding of 'guessing' was, as shown above, and was interested in talking about it because it was being used in a distinctly dodgy way in many threads. Note that I did not ask a question. You chose to give an example to show what you thought guessing was, and that was very interesting, but slithery.
    No hard feelings. [​IMG]

  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Luckily you haven't had to resort to that type of behaviour [​IMG]
  14. Well, I thought I had, actually! As necessary. [​IMG]
  15. No I havent!
    I am using the dictionary definition of 'assuming, presuming or asserting without sufficient information'. I am trying to work out what you understand by 'guessing' as it is clearly different from the definitions supplied by me or by Msz.

    As to 'value laden', well, if 'guessing' leads to inability to accurately read the words on the page and so completely lose the meaning of what is written then it can hardly be looked on as a Good Thing, can it?
  16. Oh help! Right I would much prefer not to use the word guess at all. I am using it because you and your chums use it to describe any reading strategy which is not SP. This is why I regard it as value-laden. Basically, you say these strategies constitute guessing and your fantastic strategy of SP is great, 'cause it's not guessing, which is very BAD. Unfortunately I think some people are taken in by this..A little calm reflection shows that what you choose to call 'guessing' is an integral part of all reading strategies. However you would like to outlaw anything other than SP so you don't bother reflecting too much, just continuing to use 'guessing' to discredit any strategy you don't support. In discussing this issue in the context of guessing I am simply meeting you on your own ground. If you want to discredit strategies by saying they involve guesswork then, in effect, you are discrediting your own favoured strategy because it also involves guesswork - get it? So perhaps we can compare different strategies without this whole guessing red herring getting in the way. It might make for a more useful discussion.
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    What word would you prefer we use thumbie?
    The National Literacy Strategy introduced the word "guess" to describe the procedure so I imagine that is why so many teachers continue to use the term.
  18. They probably didn't anticipate it becoming a dirty word.
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    When did that happen?[​IMG]
  20. You probably know better than me. I noticed it when I started browsing this forum a couple of years ago.

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