WASHINGTON – Beats. Ayana Smith called as she carved the alphabet carpet in front of the station pupils at Garrison Elementary School.
“Yes! Ihh! ” The class responded in unison, performing karate slash motions as they sounded each letter. During the 10-minute lesson, the students cut and worded a series of words:
Peak. “Give it! Ah Ah! Puh! »
I’m gonna say, “Wow! Ih Goh! “
Delivery Oh Puh! »
Reading Mrs. Smith’s exercises seems like a normal way to teach reading. But for decades, many teachers have adopted a different approach, convincing them that it is more important to treat students like Dr. Seuss and Maya Angeli than to drill them into phonics.
Block student performance and new relevant researchHowever, some teachers have encouraged ABCs to read reading instruction. After that, their efforts became more urgent last year’s national test scores showed that only one-third of American students mastered reading, widening the gap between good and bad readers.
Now members of this voice minority, those who call themselves “reading science”, are gathering on social media and exchanging lesson plans to avoid creating “educational losses” – students who have not been taught effectively and who will continue to struggle in adulthood. , unable to understand medical forms, news stories, or job listings.
For these educators, the Bible is a body of research prepared by linguists, psychologists, and cognitive scientists. Their discoveries have prompted some states and school districts to make major changes to how teachers are trained and taught.
The science of reading contradicts the theory of “balanced literacy.” many teachers are educated in schools. This theory says that students can learn to read under the influence of a wide range of their writing books without too much emphasis on technically complex texts or phonetic words.
According to many scientists, ophthalmology and brain studies show that the opposite is true. Learning to read, they say, is a deliberate practice of how to quickly link page letters to page letters with the sounds we hear every day.
The evidence “is as close to a conclusion as research into complex human behavior.” writes Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive neurologist and reading specialist at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Phonetics has been in and out for decades, and there is a clash of ways to teach reading that occurred during the war of the 19th century, the last war. The main impetus for President George Bush’s teaching of phonetics through a federal program called Reading First, did not produce widespread achievements are being raised, raising questions about whether ongoing efforts can succeed.
The boosters of Phonics say they now know more about what works, and phonics alone is not the answer. In addition to larger portions of recording, they want students to work with more advanced books so they do not fall into a cycle of low expectations and boredom. Some schools spend more time on social studies and science, subjects that help build vocabulary and knowledge in ways that can make students a stronger reader.
States have adopted laws demanding that schools use phonics-centric curricula and students borrow for more aggressive reading tasks, or even restrain them who fight the most. In January, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos resolved education colleges that describe as “useless science” about reading.
But it is the institution of education pushing backConcerned that many lessons like Mrs. Smith’s can be overwhelming; a poor substitute for a teacher who reads aloud from Shel Silverstein’s book of poetry or guides children through the lively illustrated stories of Ezra Jack Keats. They blame students’ poor performance on factors such as inexperienced teachers, school funding inequalities, and homes that do not have books or parents spend time reading to their children.
Balanced literacy advocates admit that phonetics is in place. They rely on their own classroom experiences as a result of brain scans or laboratory tests, and say that many children have seen them overcome reading problems without recording exercises. They appreciate that children choose the books they are interested in and are concerned that generating more complex texts for students may completely discourage them from reading.
Karen K. Wilson, author last report Warning that too many phonetics could harm children, the new rifle called it “incredibly scary, naive.”
Growing demand for phonetics
In the classroom of Mrs. Smith in Washington, 5-year-old Madison Hall-Ons showed her progress by reading aloud a short story about picking apples that she wrote and illustrated for her.
“It’s not frustration,” said school principal Brigham Kiplinger about the phonics curriculum. “That’s happy.”
Washington is just one of two jurisdictions, along with Mississippi growth Average Reading Scores for the “National Tests of Educational Progress” Assessment between 2017 and 2019. Both have done so despite the extremely poor student population, and both require more phonetics.
“For us this is a matter of social justice,” Mr Kiplinger said. The majority of Garrison Elementary students come from low-income families. If parents are concerned about the new curriculum, she invites them to visit Mrs. Smith’s classroom and see the difference.
Similar results are being sought by parents in suburban St. Louis. More than a third of third-graders at the Lindbergh School District kindergarten last spring were tested for “risk” of dyslexia after mandatory screening in Missouri. Residents of the angry district have sent open letter on the school board in November, demanding that the district adopt the science of reading.
The district says a new sequence of elementary sounds has been added to elementary classes and retrained by some teachers. But that is in line with his more balanced literacy approach, which, he said, gives teachers autonomy in adapting students at all levels.
That’s not enough for parents like Diane Dragan. A lawyer who has three children with dyslexia, Ms Draga said good parents living in her area regularly pay thousands of dollars for their children to learn intensive phonetics in private education centers.
“It is ironic to me that a secondary school teacher who delivers balanced literacy during the day conducts moonlighting for children who are unable to read,” said Ms Draga.
In Mississippi, all future elementary school teachers are now required to take a reading test, including phonics. The state has also sent literacy coaches to struggling schools.
More controversial2013 a law has been passed that requires third-graders to be recalled if they do not meet the final-year reading test; last year, about 10 percent of them have been preserved because reading difficulties or other reasons.
Some reading experts question Mississippi’s recent achievements, arguing that by preserving many of the lowest-rated third graders, the state has stigmatized students and produced higher-level test colleges. But Shenson D. Whitehead, principal of McNeese Elementary School in Canton, Mississippi, supported the state’s decision to toughen.
Her school began a sequence of phonetics that continued through fifth grade, and began to produce more complex literature, including the poems of Langston Hughes. It hosts early-morning, after-school and Saturday classes for students at risk of failing state tests. Points have been modestly improved.
How sad it can be for a child to say they have to repeat a year, Dr. Whitehead said. “To ensure that our students can compete in the world, we need a system of accountability.”
The curriculum guru (some) is changing
One of the most popular reading curricula in the country, used in about 20 percent of schools, including the Lindbergh district of St. Louis, was developed by Lucy Calkins, a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She is widely admired for helping students develop a love of reading and writing.
But his curriculum, which follows a balanced model of literacy, has passed rising fire critics who say it takes too little time to practice phonetics and give teachers and students too much choice in what books to read, which will allow them to avoid more complex texts. Earlier this month, Oakland County Public Schools told staff that the district would be moved after Professor Kalkins’ materials to the city’s N.A.A.C.P. chapter and parent activists requested to use “Proven research” strategies.
In an interview, Professor Kalkins denied what he called a “feeling of hostility and distrust” among the camps. He acknowledged that many teachers need more training on how to teach phonetics effectively and said it works with schools in his network.
But he turned away from the key argument of many phonetic activists: The fact that all the children in the classroom do not notice any error in getting the type of repetitive practice in the letter and voice interactions that the readers need.
“There is no way we can get a whole class at the rate of 5 percent of those with dyslexia,” he said. “Other children need understanding, writing instructions, and analytical thinking.”
Phonologist Wiley Blvins, who considers himself at the center of the wars of reading, admitted that teaching phonetics is often poorly done. He said students who help students learn sound letter combinations can be boring and even pointless.
Ideally, elementary school students will spend half of their time reading and writing on phonetics, she says, using quality materials. If that happened consistently, after third grade, most students would no longer need clear phonetics.
Even some leading reading science researchers, including Professor Seidenberg, recognize that studies have not yet identified specific teaching materials that will be most effective in teaching phonetics.
“The science you need to know is good,” he said. “The science of how to teach it effectively is not.”
Mrs. Smith, a kindergarten teacher in Washington, received her school’s new focus on phonics, which she said involved both low- and high-school students.
She reads favorite children’s literature every day for her lesson, such as Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series. But she says that simple phonics texts have done their utmost to boost students’ confidence, as they can read them accurately over time to high schoolers.
“They will reach the end of the sentence and see a time,” he said, “and they will leave their face.”