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Sensible approach to literacy teaching

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mashabell, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. I find it strange that after so many posts there is still so much misunderstanding about 'my' approach which is nothing more than the idea that what it takes to develop higher leverl reading skills is simply 'lots of reading' practice.


    Rigorous academic standards’ has been a favourite
    piece of teacher trainers jargon for the
    past six decades – it is interesting that the annual number of illiterate
    school leavers (100,0000) remained
    unchanged over the same period. Could
    there possibly be any connection? <font face="Times New Roman">Plus &ccedil;a change, plus c'est la m&ecirc;me chose</font>


    LEA are regarded by government as the main
    barrier to progress in literaacy over
    the past six decades, hence the move to &lsquo;free schools&rsquo; and academies&rsquo; as a
    means of wresting control of schools from LEA


    Because
    I read my daily newspaper from the
    screen of my iPad does not mean that I do not assimilate its intellectual
    content or that this reading experience is any less effective than reading it
    from sheets of churned up woodpulp .nIt matters a great deal who a child reads
    a passage TO because that is an expressive human and therefore social interaction. It matters not one iota what anyone reads
    text FROM because that is the opposite of a social interaction &ndash; it is a passive,
    silent, receptive anti-social activity which I call &lsquo;reading&rsquo; whether it read from paper, a computer
    screen, a gravestone or the icing on a cake.

    There seems to be an unwillingness to appreciate what &lsquo;my
    approach&rsquo; is about. There is (1) &lsquo;reading&rsquo; which is receptive ie. retrieving
    meaning and there is (2) reading TO someone &ndash; avery different activity
    altogether &ndash; reading to someone is the opposite of a receptive activity &ndash; it is
    an expressive activity involving the communication of the meaning to others. My
    strategy involves both of these activities &ndash; it involves reading from a screen
    and reading TO a human being &ndash; that is why it is so successful.


    Reading is reading whether it is from a
    computer screen, a page of churned up wood-pulp or a gravestone &ndash; as long as
    retrieving meaning is involved - it is reading.


     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think it is because we do understand about "your" approach which is nothing more than the idea that what it takes to develop higher level reading skills is simply 'lots of reading' practice.
     
  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I presume there is evidence to show from well-respected research that lots of reading practice ( as opposed to inappropriate struggle) does make a significant difference?
     
  4. the idea that what it takes to develop higher level reading skills is simply 'lots of reading' practice.
    And do you disagree with that idea?
    My approach does not 'enforce' that regime - the children, evern formerly reluctant readers, actually do the enforcing by putting pressure on their teachers to be allowed to read stories from the Electronic Library.
    I have just received a very interesting proposal 'off-forum' but relating to 'my' approach which might just be what I have been wanting for a long time. It is interesing that we have so many 'lurkers'
    Watch this space!
     
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If only it were that simple ...

     
  6. I presume there is evidence to show from well-respected research that lots of reading practice ( as opposed to inappropriate struggle) does make a significant difference?

    Well there is there is the ';evidence' that the world is flat - no proof of course - but like synthetic phonics - lots of 'evidence!'
    I know of -no hard 'evidence' that lots of reading makes a good reader - it just seems like commonsense to me.
    I know that lots of piano practice makes a good pianst.
    I know that lots of jugglish practice makes a good juggler etc etc
    And of course there is the 'evidence' from my own pilot project and the 'evidence' from the 100 schools currently using the approach - not 'proof' of course - just damned good 'evidence'!.
    Scary! isn't it!
     
  7. If only it were that simple ...
    Now there's where we differ. I believe that it really is that simple and I believe that I am on my way not to just providing evidence of that - but on the way to actually #proving'it. I really do prefer 'proof' to 'evidence'
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I know you do but then you have never taught 6 year olds.
     
  9. I believe that it really is that simple I know you do but then you have never taught 6 year olds.

    I have had five 6 year olds of my own and ten 6years old grandchildren. I have also been a headteacher. I also worked for almost a year exclusively with 6 year olds devloping the resources for one of my current projects.
    I admit that 6 year olds are not my main target group but my Literacy Suite has dedicted reading and writing materials for Years, 4, 5 and 6. I know that Y2 teachers can readily indentify the 100,000 children who leave school illiterate and feel that this knowledge should not be squandered - it should be exploited to reduce this terrible statistic.
    It can be done therefore it should be done!

     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    That is where I disagree
     
  11. I know that Y2 teachers can readily indentify the 100,000 children who leave school illiterate That is where I disagree
    Where then do the 100,000 illiterate schoolo leavers come from if not from the 100,000 identified at KS1 as being significantly behind in literacy skills. I have akse dthis question before but no-one has answered it. I presume you agree that they must have come from somewhere?
    Perhaps you think they came from the 80% who performed well at KS1?
     
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If you look at the links someone posted very early in the discussion you will see the official figures clearly indicate that some of the 20% are indeed made up of children who achieved above national expectations in KS1.
    You will also see if you look at KS1 figures that considerably more than 80% achieve national expectations ...
     
  13. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Out of interest in term sof the lIteracy framework and all of the different genre types we have to teach them...does this ever get followed up in secondary schools eg by Y5/6 the poor so.ds have to write non chronological reports, persuasive texts, general non fiction, stories with flashbacks, instructions, newspaper articles, explanation, different types of poetry
    I personally think its nonsense, just ticking boxes, 99% of the kids will never be journalists but yet still we have to teach them this, why?? Hardly preparing them for their future lives
     
  14. I agree Red Herring (mmmm interesting user name...). I think we introduce too many genres too early, before the children are able to tackle straightforward narrative. I think being well-read is the key to being able to master genres. Plenty of exposure to a range of reading will help children to internalise the elements of various genres and use them when ready. I know everything is about explicit instruction, these days, but wonder how well children learn and understand elements of different genres from the tick lists and bullet points i've seen used. You're right that not all children will be novelists or journalists, however, they do need to understand different written forms if, as we hope, they will be lifelong good readers.
     
  15. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    I think too many primary teachers are meek and docile people. They never question the 'why are we doing this?' aspect of teaching. I ask this before I teach anthing, if its not relevant, interesting, will have an impact on thier future lives then I dont do it. By Y6 children should be asking this question to thier teachers constantly-I always encouraged my Y6s to do this
     
  16. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I remember my step- children having to learn to write in different "genres" for GCSE English; the Letts study guides did a pretty good job of explaining what was needed for each type. It has then baffled me to see my infant school children going through the same procedures.
    I'm sure in my old English O' level we had to write in lots of different ways. As someone said higher up, being well read was probably the key. I don't remember being taught how to write in all the different forms that might have come up in an o'level paper (other than Dear Sir ends Yours faithfully, and Dear Name ends Yours sincerely) but it was never a problem. That's not to say I was taught the best way, just that the end result for me was fine.
    My gut feeling as an uneducated parent is that it (writing in loads of different genres) could be left a little later than the infant years. Maybe children could just be given more choice about what they want to write. One child might want to write a fairy story that day, and another one might want to write up a recipe for some revolting soup to poison the headteacher with.
    However, I presume with the current NC you don't have any choice in the matter as primary teachers, it's not that you are that meek and docile is it? There certainly seem to be some scary ones on here. [​IMG]
     
  17. I find it terrifying that so many teachers have such a
    limited understanding of the reading process. I have received an off-forum
    message from someone who agrees with the
    earlier poster that mine is just another
    LOOK-SAY strategy.
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    </font>LOOK-SAY was just that! LOOKING and SAYING. My
    strategy involves looking but NEVER saying. If you listen to child carrying out my reading
    exercises, you will hear no &lsquo;SAYING&rsquo; All you will hear is the sound of silence. Silence
    IS the sound of reading &ndash; reading is retrieving meaning and since you cannot
    HEAR anyone retrieving meaning &ndash; you cannot, by definition HEAR anyone reading,
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    </font>Please take note! Reading is a SILENT, receptive, anit-social
    activity. SAYING is never involved.


    &lsquo;Reading&rsquo; and &lsquo;Reading TO&rsquo; someone are different activities &ndash;
    one is transitive and one is intransitive. You can HEAR a child reading TO
    someone but reading TO someone is not retrieving meaning - it is an expressive act - it
    is the act of communicating meaning &ndash; not receiving it. Reading TO someone is not the anti-social
    activity that reading is &ndash; it is a socially interactive activity.


    LOOK-SAY was yet another &lsquo;eureka strategy&rsquo; that was adopted on
    the basis of &lsquo;evidence&rsquo; but no proof whatsoever. Using
    Look-Say resulted in only 80% of children learning to read &ndash; same as all the
    other &lsquo;eureka strategies
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    </font>&rsquo;
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    </font>
     
  18. By Y6 children should be asking this question to thier teachers constantly-I always encouraged my Y6s to do this
    Education is for life - it is supposed to create enquiring minds so that you are right to encourage children to ask 'why?' Reading is not an end in itself - it is merely a tool - a means to and end. It is one of the skills children needs to master in order to better uderstand the world they will grow up in. If they fail to 'catch up' as100,000 do every year, their lives will be greatly impoverished - unnecessarily .
    Every child who will receive L3 for reading at the forthcoming KS2 tests is capable of learning to read to the L4 standard. It is we who are incapable of raising their reading standards to this level. And teachers hould be angry, not defensive about the fact that they are not given the tools to do this critical job.
    ,.
     
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I agree it would be better to teach the skills they need before introducing so many genre.
     
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    but we now teach the different genres to 5 year olds mystery! In reception and year 1 they need to write in narrative, recount, instructions, informal letters, non chronological reports and explanations ... madness!
     

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