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Old 8th June 2019, 01:03 AM   #41
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
My first grade experience (Dick and Jane and whole words) was in the school year of 1953-54. It would not surprise me if the faculty there were filled with new ideas, and truly believed they were at the forefrongt of something.

I could write a lengthy essay on how awful the Detroit public school I went to was. Among other things, the classes were arranged so that students had to troop from room to room for different subjects. So we spent much of our time in the halls, where we were strictly enjoined to travel in single file and to take every corner at a precise 90 degrees! We had no arithmetic at all, but did have "science" which was mostly movies. I remember a really inspiring depression-era movie about malaria, and another rouser about rural electrification. We had frequent assemblies where movies were shown about the nuclear threat, and air raid drills in which we would go to the basement to "duck and cover." Hell was paid if you ducked and covered with the wrong arm on top. The school was large, and the basement, to a five or six year old, an awesome place filled with huge rumbling machinery, a veritable hell on earth. Along with the Dick and Jane books, they had huge easel-sized Dick and Jane books which the teacher would flip at the head of the class. We had a music class too in which we were required to bang on blocks. They were dedicated musical blocks and no doubt expensive. There was a lunch room, but students who lived within a mile were not allowed to bring their lunch and had to go home. We had an hour, so on a good day we had about ten minutes to slam down lunch at home before hurrying back. It remains a bit odd to think that a school dedicated to the welfare of children had no qualm about to find his way home and back again in the streets of urban Detroit. I once missed my trip home for some reason, and looked into the lunch room. It was nearly empty. They sent everyone home. There was a recess too, where we were essentially tossed out into a paved playground to stand there for a while or get into fights. When I entered another school in Massachusetts for second grade, I got into brief trouble because in Detroit we were required to write in huge print, the capitals about an inch high, and I was briefly taken for an idiot before the teacher realized that all she had to do was say " Here we write smaller,"which I was happy to do since I never wrote so ridiculously large except at school.

Crazy times.
This is a very informative post but one suggestion - include a few paragraph breaks for readability. Your experience is a pretty good primer on how not to teach.
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Old 8th June 2019, 05:08 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by SocioThoth View Post
I have a younger sister, and she has been taught baby sign language, the usefulness being that she could tell us whether she wanted milk or water, things like that. However, as a long term thing it's utterly useless, she's not even two and now that she can say all of the words that she was taught in baby sign language, she has stopped using it entirely, because speech is more convenient. So it becomes a non issue something like 10 months after it's even possible for them to learn it. Garbage.
Wait. So for the period that the baby can sign but not talk -- maybe a year -- she is able to communicate her basic needs without crying and without parents trying to guess. That's hardly garbage. Nobody says simple signs are supposed to replace spoken language forever.
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Old 8th June 2019, 08:52 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Wait. So for the period that the baby can sign but not talk -- maybe a year -- she is able to communicate her basic needs without crying and without parents trying to guess. That's hardly garbage. Nobody says simple signs are supposed to replace spoken language forever.
Besides which - communicating is rewarding and why not set that experience up sooner rather than later? You're exercising the baby's brain, just the sort of thing that parents are urged to do to start building neural connections. IMO it's bizarre to see that as wasted effort.

Like anything newish it can be oversold as a fad. Your link claims a lot of benefits and I'm not sure how rigorously the claims have been evaluated. You also have a confounding effect - do studies prove these techniques "work," or is it just that parents who use it are making a more conscientious effort across the board?
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Old 8th June 2019, 09:59 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Besides which - communicating is rewarding and why not set that experience up sooner rather than later? You're exercising the baby's brain, just the sort of thing that parents are urged to do to start building neural connections. IMO it's bizarre to see that as wasted effort.

Like anything newish it can be oversold as a fad. Your link claims a lot of benefits and I'm not sure how rigorously the claims have been evaluated. You also have a confounding effect - do studies prove these techniques "work," or is it just that parents who use it are making a more conscientious effort across the board?

I think everybody agrees that babies are always better off with conscientious parents, which, tragically, is not a universal experience.

The Mayo Clinic seems to have good words about it, with, of course, some reservations.
Quote:
Limited research suggests that baby sign language might give a typically developing child a way to communicate several months earlier than those who only use vocal communication. This might help ease frustration between ages 8 months and 2 years — when children begin to know what they want, need and feel but don't necessarily have the verbal skills to express themselves. Children who have developmental delays might benefit, too. Further research is needed, however, to determine if baby sign language promotes advanced language, literacy or cognition.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l...e/faq-20057980

As I think about it, I wonder if baby signing would be especially useful for infants that go into day care, as many do. Conscientious parents might learn to understand the subtleties of their baby's whimpers, but for a baby in day care, being able to communicate "hungry," "thirsty," "wet," "cold" etc. to any caregiver could be powerful.

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Old 8th June 2019, 10:40 AM   #45
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Here is a fine example and reminder of how difficult it can be to learn reading, especially for those new to English and those with reading difficulties.

The reversal and poor quality are intentional. Read the story as is and answer the questions. You may enlarge it as needed.
You have 10 minutes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg trogs - reading buddy program test challenge.jpg (42.4 KB, 54 views)
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Old 8th June 2019, 10:41 AM   #46
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Okay, so it's intentional.

What's the intent?
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Old 8th June 2019, 11:25 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm curious: is this a new attitude? My sister didn't want her kids being taught to read before they started real school. (They start kindergarten in fall.) But she and I are Gen X, born in the 1970s, and we both learned at age four. It wasn't unusual then, and it certainly didn't harm us any. Was there a change in attitude since then? What are the reaons for preferring a delay in reading?
Parenting fads change faster than fashion. On the one hand people think focusing on academics to get kids started early is best. On the other hand people think focusing on social development will pay off more in the long run. Both have research backing up their respective assertions. Both side's "research" boils down to a professional kid wrangler saying "yeah, I guess that makes sense." Unadmitted by either side, the strongest childhood indicator of future achievement continues to be being raised in a wealthy zip code where parents have the luxury of fretting about things like whether their kids learn to read a word or a syllable at a time.
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Old 8th June 2019, 11:42 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Okay, so it's intentional.

What's the intent?

***Shakes head*** Bluggy trogs!!
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Old 8th June 2019, 04:36 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Here is a fine example and reminder of how difficult it can be to learn reading, especially for those new to English and those with reading difficulties.

The reversal and poor quality are intentional. Read the story as is and answer the questions. You may enlarge it as needed.
You have 10 minutes.
a, glob, c, a, a. Question 2 is a setup: Only globs are listed as catchable by stegs. It can HOLD orrets or little animals, but catching them is not specified.
Two minutes.

Yes, I flipped it.
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Old 8th June 2019, 05:55 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm curious: is this a new attitude? My sister didn't want her kids being taught to read before they started real school. (They start kindergarten in fall.) But she and I are Gen X, born in the 1970s, and we both learned at age four. It wasn't unusual then, and it certainly didn't harm us any. Was there a change in attitude since then? What are the reaons for preferring a delay in reading?
I see that no one actually responded to the highlighted.

There was a study done sometime in the 80s or 90s that "proved" that early readers were likely to become axe murderers. Not really but that was the breast-clutching reaction of devotees of the topic.

The theory was that early readers were missing out on the most important parts of pre-school and kindergarten, the socialization. If Becky couldn't handle the pressure of trying to solve a relationship problem with Timmy and Rashad, or didn't want to be bothered, she could bury herself in a book, effectively avoiding the conflict and conflicted emotions. The kids who couldn't read were forced to work through whatever the problem was and learned the value of compromise and the transient quality of most disputes.

The belief (bias, when you get down to it) was that the quiet little reader-nerds were budding sociopaths. The upshot is that when they actually went and checked back on some of the subjects, the early readers caught up to the non-readers in social skills and the non-readers caught up to the readers in reading and cognitive skills... by about the 3rd or 4th grade.

As to the general theme of the thread? I've gone through a "by-the-book" phonics program with my son. By the fourth grade he couldn't read. With a lot of work by his dad and convincing the school that they had to put in an hour or two (or more) of remedial reading, he was reading at fourth grade level by the end of the term (February this year.) (Heck, he was barely able to do Dick and Jane level stuff at the beginning of the term but was reading Harry Potter by the end.)

We had to glue the phonics lessons back together and get him onto whole word recognition. He still uses the phonics when he can't work out a word, but he no longer stumbles over the forty-something prepositions and other commonly used/seen words but assumes them from the first letter or two, the length and the configuration.

Looking back, I remember now having to constantly explain to him when studying his spelling words (they start with a weekly spelling test in the first grade here and continue through primary school) "Hey, that's English! We just like to **** with your head." There are so many exceptions to phonetics that the learning needs to be Pirates of the Caribbean --- uh, well, it's more of a code, really - not a rule.

If I had to choose, I'd go for a gestalt plan. Phonics as the play-group fun method to get some of the sounds understood, but tie-it-into word recognition at the same time. My son's first couple of years of phonics lessons had lesson after lesson of "sounds" but they didn't tie the sounds back into usable words.
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Old 9th June 2019, 11:03 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
It is to me. I was reading before starting primary at 4, and read Arran 18 year level when I was 10.
My niece was reading before 4 (she's 19) and certainly her mother, who's an educational psychologist, wasn't surprised or disapproving.
It wasn't formal teaching, but my mother was teaching me to read from the time I could follow a moving finger on a book, I have a fragmented memory of my nursery school teaching the very early stages of writing. I do remember getting in trouble when (having run out if assigned reading and invited to bring my own books in) I was called up to read out loud to the teacher and she found I'd brought 'Lair' by James Herbert. Mothers were called, conversations were had and suitable books were then provided. I would have been 9 or 10 I think.
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Old 10th June 2019, 02:47 PM   #52
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32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read.

With kids learning to read at age 4, they surely are going to mess up these statistics.
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Old 10th June 2019, 03:35 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
It wasn't formal teaching, but my mother was teaching me to read from the time I could follow a moving finger on a book, I have a fragmented memory of my nursery school teaching the very early stages of writing. I do remember getting in trouble when (having run out if assigned reading and invited to bring my own books in) I was called up to read out loud to the teacher and she found I'd brought 'Lair' by James Herbert. Mothers were called, conversations were had and suitable books were then provided. I would have been 9 or 10 I think.
The most controversial book choice I gave my kid was "O, Jerusalem", a very dramatic, and balanced, story of the Israeli War of Independence. He was 11, I think. The reason it was controversial is that he attended a Jewish school. They weren't really into "balanced" when it came to Israel.

In kindergarten, they were encouraged not to read at all in the public school, which is one of the reasons he ended up at the Jewish school in the first place. The Jewish school encouraged him to read as much as possible very early. He was already a voracious reader. I think he read The Hobbit at age seven, although it might have been eight.

I don't know when the best time to teach someone to read is. I doubt that there is a truly "best" time, really, at least not within the range of prevailing opinions. (i.e. I've never heard any educator say that kids should wait until they are ten years old.) I doubt if there is any harm in teaching a four year old to read, if they can. I doubt there is any harm waiting until the first grade. Of course, phonics is the best method to teach. I can't believe there is any debate on that subject today.

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Old 11th June 2019, 09:59 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
I think they used to do phonics and now they teach whole word. My guess is that there is no right or wrong way and everyone should steer clear of people who say their method is the best. But I hated phonics so what do I know?
My parents read to me from an early age and I pretty much picked it up and started reading before I was in school. I don't really remember how I learned it. I know I was taught phonics in school, but it was pretty much stuff I had already figured out for myself at this point.

It seems to me that kids are individuals, and the teaching method that works best for one may not be the one that works best for all of them. The phonics vs. whole word debate has been going on for decades, and I suspect that if one method was clearly superior to the other it would have been settled by now.
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Old 13th June 2019, 02:37 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
My parents read to me from an early age and I pretty much picked it up and started reading before I was in school. I don't really remember how I learned it. I know I was taught phonics in school, but it was pretty much stuff I had already figured out for myself at this point.

It seems to me that kids are individuals, and the teaching method that works best for one may not be the one that works best for all of them. The phonics vs. whole word debate has been going on for decades, and I suspect that if one method was clearly superior to the other it would have been settled by now.
The evidence is clear.
I wonder when a whole word only disciple will contribute to the thread.
Phonics works for everyone, and dyslexia no longer exists. Our children were taught phonics at age 4, and at school they were seen as freaks because they could read. I asked their one on one phonics teacher if she had experienced a failure and whether she considered dyslexia was a condition. She was adamant the answer to both questions was no.
80% of New Zealand prisoners are functionally illiterate.
Our education minister in 2000, Trevor Mallard, denied the use of phonics in schools despite being confronted by a delegation of 8 who had travelled the world and unanimously called for an immediate replacement of the failing methods with phonics.
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Old 13th June 2019, 02:43 PM   #56
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And right on cue because I introduced the subject to Kiwiblog nis this.

"I have to agree, dyslexia is one of the issues faced by people learning via the Whole Word system. When I entered school they had introduced whole word learning, and it was 5 years (when I was 11) before I actually learned to read, and I taught myself phonetically. In my day dyslexia was unheard of, but my Mum talked about the fact I would reverse words (like “saw” for “was”).
We home schooled 4 kids, using phonetics, and they could all read pretty much any book by the time they were 6. One had read The Count of Monte Christo (unabridged) multiple times by the time he was 10.
Phonics can lead into whole word learning, but not the other way around"

Q.E.D.
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Old 13th June 2019, 02:47 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
My parents read to me from an early age and I pretty much picked it up and started reading before I was in school. I don't really remember how I learned it. I know I was taught phonics in school, but it was pretty much stuff I had already figured out for myself at this point.

It seems to me that kids are individuals, and the teaching method that works best for one may not be the one that works best for all of them. The phonics vs. whole word debate has been going on for decades, and I suspect that if one method was clearly superior to the other it would have been settled by now.
It has to all the firstborn boomers, apparently.
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Old 14th June 2019, 09:18 AM   #58
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I started reading to my sons when they were infants, and never missed a day without books. By the time they turned 4 years old, they were reading. In their 40's now, they are both still prolific readers. How nice to be sharing books with them now.

The thing that is interesting, is noticing my sons early vocabulary, which is still profound.
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Old 14th June 2019, 02:54 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I started reading to my sons when they were infants, and never missed a day without books. By the time they turned 4 years old, they were reading. In their 40's now, they are both still prolific readers. How nice to be sharing books with them now.

The thing that is interesting, is noticing my sons early vocabulary, which is still profound.
A lot of people keep virtually no books in the house. I'm talking about the era when there weren't electronic options. They might have shelves full of DVDs, but no books. I grew up surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of books, plus frequent trips to the public library.

Kids who stop reading for the summer are going to have a hard time making gains in ability, whatever the favored method for teaching/learning.
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Old 15th June 2019, 10:10 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Phonics works for everyone, and dyslexia no longer exists.

What do you mean when you say that "dyslexia no longer exists"?
When I learned to read in school in the 1960s, they taught us the phonics way - corresponding to the Engelmann method mentioned in this article: How I Taught My Kid to Read (The Atlantic, June 6, 2019) - but still some of the children seemed to find it extremely difficult and a few never really got it.

In 2014 or 2015, I visited a literacy centre in Cuba with a group of Danish high school teachers. The Cubans are very proud of the Cuban Literacy Campaign (Wikipedia), for good reason, in my opinion. We heard about the campaign and about how they teach children to read nowadays, but what surprised me the most was that when I asked about dyslexia, they seemed to be surprised by the concept, and when I google "dyslexia in Cuba", this is what I get:

Quote:
Based on the true story of her grandmother in turn of the century Cuba, this historical fiction title for upper elementary school readers is told in verse. Engle’s grandmother, Fefa, has a condition known as “word blindness”. The novel tells the story of Cuban poetry; the history of Cuba (including the brutal Spanish war against Cuban insurgents); and the saga of a young girl learning to write despite her dyslexia, thanks to her mother’s wise approach.
The Wild Book (Zinn Education Project)

By the way, the Danish word for dyslexia is also "word blindness", ordblindhed.
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Old 17th June 2019, 02:27 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
By the way, the Danish word for dyslexia is also "word blindness", ordblindhed.
I don't know if this makes any difference, but Spanish is almost perfectly phonetic. If you pay attention to how a word is said you will know how it's spelled, and vice versa. The syllables are easy to break down into perfect little phonetic units. I wonder if dyslexia resolves itself differently in such cases. So many words in English, even simple words, become a confusion of bristling consonants and dueling vowels: "height" and "eight," for example. They don't even rhyme, although they are spelled alike except for the first letter. The "ei" sound is different in each. The "g" and the "h" are pointless. It may cause a kind cognitive overload.

Kids are tested so much these days that they're largely exposed to a bunch of reading-comprehension exercises as schools try to prepare them for tests. Reading becomes associated with a limited aspect of life, not something they'd necessarily do outside of school for pleasure or information.
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Old 17th June 2019, 08:47 PM   #62
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My kids were taught whole-word at school. At home we used phonics. We were told not to. We ignored that.

The kids didn't really start reading for real until we stopped reading the video game menus for them. That gave them the incentive.
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Old 17th June 2019, 09:11 PM   #63
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When my wife and I were studying to be teachers, 30 or so years ago, the big thing then was “Whole Language.” It was an approach that was a bit more than what people are calling “Whole Word,” here. WL was actually a mix of sight reading and phonics. Kids are encouraged to recognize words on sight. It starts with logo recognition, then moves on to simple word recognition and so forth. But at the same time, phonics was still part of the WL curriculum. The idea was to give kids as many tools as possible to approach reading. They learn to see words as symbols and recognize them as such; however, they still have the skills to sound out a word if they get stuck

One of the biggest things was teachers modeling reading behavior as a part of everyday routine. In the early grades, in every subject, teachers had big books that they could read aloud and point to each word as they read it. As the kids progress, each kid takes a turn reading from textbooks. If they get stuck, they sound it out and repeat it a few times to reinforce it. The teacher corrects pronunciation as they go. Every subject exposes kids to reading, all the time. I thought it was brilliant but I believe they phased this out rather quickly in favor of some new approach -but I had already moved on from teachingnso who knows what it was.

In the everyday world, it is so crucial to expose kids to books, other reading materials and just overall good use of language. Too much of their time is spent staring at a screen/texting/tweeting consuming mindless drivel that does not model proper speech, grammar , etc. They need to hear people speak properly. They need to be exposed to words. They need to be confronted with language as much as possible.
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Old 18th June 2019, 05:21 AM   #64
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Churchil Park School in Auckland New Zealand has banned paper from the classroom to abate climate change, the students must use only digital devices to record their learning.
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:25 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Churchil Park School in Auckland New Zealand has banned paper from the classroom to abate climate change, the students must use only digital devices to record their learning.
Will they be taught phonics or whole word on those digital devices?
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Old 18th June 2019, 06:01 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Churchil Park School in Auckland New Zealand has banned paper from the classroom to abate climate change, the students must use only digital devices to record their learning.
A coincidental side effect of the move to the digital-only classroom will mean that kids will have fewer back and shoulder problems from carrying books around. I remember what that was like, and it was not pleasant, especially after I was diagnosed with Scheuermann's disease.
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Old 18th June 2019, 08:40 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
A coincidental side effect of the move to the digital-only classroom will mean that kids will have fewer back and shoulder problems from carrying books around. I remember what that was like, and it was not pleasant, especially after I was diagnosed with Scheuermann's disease.
In a way, I think making the kids go all digital is a combination of scholastic terrorism and edgelord humor.
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Old 25th January 2021, 05:00 AM   #68
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And now:

Paywalled article but the drift is clear, there is no doubt our prisons are full because of this failure,
How great New Zealand is not

NEW ZEALAND|Education
Phonics revolution: The new sound of reading in the nation's schools
23 Jan, 2021 05:00 AM
13 minutes to read
Willow Park School teacher Theresa Kinloch wishes she had known how to teach English systematically when her own dyslexic daughter was young. Photo / Dean Purcell.
Willow Park School teacher Theresa Kinloch wishes she had known how to teach English systematically when her own dyslexic daughter was young. Photo / Dean Purcell.
Simon Collins
By: Simon Collins
Education reporter, NZ Herald

simon.collins@nzherald.co.nz
5
Teacher Theresa Kinloch learned how to teach reading systematically too late to help her own daughter.

Kinloch, the new entrant team leader at Willow Park School on Auckland's North Shore, has been trialling a new set of phonics-based "decodable readers" which are about to be distributed to all primary schools - 2.4 million copies of them.

The 64 new books teach reading in a "structured" way - introducing a few new sounds and letters in each book at first, then gradually adding more words and more complex sentences.

For Kinloch, the structure of the language is a revelation. No one ever taught it to her, let alone trained her in how to explain it to 5-year-olds.

"I have a daughter who is dyslexic, she's 18 now. You see the struggle," Kinloch says.

Play Video
Willow Park School head teacher Theresa Kinloch is working with kids in her class using the new phonics-based reading books being produced by the Ministry of Education. Video / Dean Purcell
"I didn't know this to teach my daughter. It's pretty heartbreaking."

For almost 60 years, New Zealand schools have taught children to read using a set of Ready to Read reading books that have been colour-coded for their vocabulary and complexity, but have not been designed to teach specific sounds or letters....

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/phonic...QACLKELCNEU6U/

Last edited by Samson; 25th January 2021 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 26th January 2021, 10:55 AM   #69
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I don't remember learning how to read. I had two older brothers and I assume we read together as children because we kind of did everything together. I assume my mom read to me and I know I attended a pretty good preschool. Because my mom was the director of the preschool.

What I do know is that it wasn't important to my mom that I learn to read early. In her early years of running the preschool she noticed that kids learning to do things earlier didn't really have much impact down the road. Not learning to read would be a big issue, but learning to read early didn't really translate into anything noticeable five or ten years later.

After decades in that job she became quite jaded by all the "prodigies" and "young geniuses" that came through her school. It was an affluent school, so many of the kids went on to successful careers, that was sort of a given. But, the "prodigies" and "young geniuses" were not noticeably ahead of their peers a decade later. Or two decades later. And many had a cloud of "missed opportunity" or "wasted potential" over their heads because of parents who pumped them up as very young children.

My own kids all learned to read. We dealt with speech impediments, but never reading issues. I can imagine it would be a frustrating thing to see your kid not progress. But that was the genius of the "Hooked on Phonics" marketing campaign: if you spend any time reading with a kid, most of them will learn to read. Success was almost guaranteed, no matter the material. It was like repackaging standard baby food as "Guaranteed Growth Food". Yeah, so long as you don't starve a kid they will mostly tend to grow. The few outliers will hardly damage your reputation.

Anyway, our only reading mishap was when one kid was injured and had to stay home for a few weeks. Reading was the main pastime and an interest in mythology meant that a whole library shelf of books on mythology were devoured. To this day that kid knows the Greek and Roman pantheons like a deck of pokemon cards. But, to this day, that kid (now adult) will mispronounce the names because they were all learned via reading and the pronunciations that were made up in the moment have far more staying power than later learned pronunciations.
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Old 26th January 2021, 01:53 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I don't remember learning how to read. I had two older brothers and I assume we read together as children because we kind of did everything together. I assume my mom read to me and I know I attended a pretty good preschool. Because my mom was the director of the preschool.

What I do know is that it wasn't important to my mom that I learn to read early. In her early years of running the preschool she noticed that kids learning to do things earlier didn't really have much impact down the road. Not learning to read would be a big issue, but learning to read early didn't really translate into anything noticeable five or ten years later.

After decades in that job she became quite jaded by all the "prodigies" and "young geniuses" that came through her school. It was an affluent school, so many of the kids went on to successful careers, that was sort of a given. But, the "prodigies" and "young geniuses" were not noticeably ahead of their peers a decade later. Or two decades later. And many had a cloud of "missed opportunity" or "wasted potential" over their heads because of parents who pumped them up as very young children.

My own kids all learned to read. We dealt with speech impediments, but never reading issues. I can imagine it would be a frustrating thing to see your kid not progress. But that was the genius of the "Hooked on Phonics" marketing campaign: if you spend any time reading with a kid, most of them will learn to read. Success was almost guaranteed, no matter the material. It was like repackaging standard baby food as "Guaranteed Growth Food". Yeah, so long as you don't starve a kid they will mostly tend to grow. The few outliers will hardly damage your reputation.

Anyway, our only reading mishap was when one kid was injured and had to stay home for a few weeks. Reading was the main pastime and an interest in mythology meant that a whole library shelf of books on mythology were devoured. To this day that kid knows the Greek and Roman pantheons like a deck of pokemon cards. But, to this day, that kid (now adult) will mispronounce the names because they were all learned via reading and the pronunciations that were made up in the moment have far more staying power than later learned pronunciations.

It’s like you are talking about me. I learned to read when I was about 3, mostly because my mom read with me a lot. I was way ahead in school when it came to language arts in general. I remember, when I was in 2nd Grade, being paraded around the 8th graders in Catholic School as some kind of genius because I could read books they were reading. But I wasn’t a genius, I just had one really well developed skill.
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Old 26th January 2021, 02:12 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
It’s like you are talking about me. I learned to read when I was about 3, mostly because my mom read with me a lot. I was way ahead in school when it came to language arts in general. I remember, when I was in 2nd Grade, being paraded around the 8th graders in Catholic School as some kind of genius because I could read books they were reading. But I wasn’t a genius, I just had one really well developed skill.
It's not the kid that is the problem, but those doing the parading.

My mom had memory greats, math geniuses, readers of exceptional youth, music virtuosos, and all number of people who at 5 were doing things that would be amazing for a 15 year old. But that never really seemed to translate into something really cool once they were 20. Or 40.

The weirdest was the kid who was a conductor of great skill at a very young age. I mean, is keeping time well really all that difficult? I always understood the wand waving aspect of conducting to be the least difficult part. Like a soccer coach pacing up and down the sidelines, all the work was done well ahead of game time, a proper pacing stance for a coach isn't really that difficult. Any way, the parents were all in on the parading aspect. I hope that kid got therapy.

As for you personally: you seem pretty sharp. I'd imagine the people who know you ask for you opinion when they have issues and value it for more than comic relief. Reading early didn't prove you to be smart, but it removed an early roadblock to education that can trip up some kids. And getting a lot of reading time in those early years is great for any parent. Lucky mom.
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Old 26th January 2021, 06:48 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The weirdest was the kid who was a conductor of great skill at a very young age. I mean, is keeping time well really all that difficult? I always understood the wand waving aspect of conducting to be the least difficult part. Like a soccer coach pacing up and down the sidelines, all the work was done well ahead of game time, a proper pacing stance for a coach isn't really that difficult.
A conductor is a musician whose instrument is an orchestra. It's more difficult than most people think.
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Old 26th January 2021, 10:25 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
A conductor is a musician whose instrument is an orchestra. It's more difficult than most people think.
True, but the appearance of conducting is probably pretty easy to acquire.

I've seen precocious kids who used their head start and long stayed on the crest of the wave, and others who viewed it as an opportunity to stop and smell the flowers while everyone else was busy catching up. There's something to be said for both approaches, I think.

After all, I have it on good authority that the darling buds of May do not last.
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Old 26th January 2021, 10:32 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
True, but the appearance of conducting is probably pretty easy to acquire.
Only to people who don't understand what the conductor is doing. As a musician, I hate the hell out of video clips and scenes where someone is supposed to be playing an instrument but is obviously not, and in fact just holding it wrong. Like someone holding a flute with both palms facing the same direction, or holding a trombone with a fist around the mouthpiece. It's wrong, and it looks garishly, jarringly wrong.
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Old 27th January 2021, 03:51 AM   #75
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Phonics is pictures.

Cat. Giraffe. Monkey.

Dislexia is an invented term to excuse those who failed to describe chronology, order of left to right visual assembling.
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Old 27th January 2021, 08:46 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
A conductor is a musician whose instrument is an orchestra. It's more difficult than most people think.
That makes sense, but my understanding is that most of that is done prior to hitting the stage. The violins coming in at the right time is vitally important, but the violins are coming in on time whether the conductor nods to them or not. They are professional violin players and they will not miss their mark just because the conductor didn't point to them on their mark. They practiced the timing for that movement for weeks.

I imagine that so long as the person up front keeps time properly, that person could be any person who keeps time properly once the orchestra has been fully prepared for a piece. Maybe I'm wrong, but that has been my impression from my interactions with musicians.
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Old 27th January 2021, 08:47 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Dislexia is an invented term to excuse those who failed to describe chronology, order of left to right visual assembling.
I never questioned my ability to read until I attempted to tackle this sentence.
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Old 27th January 2021, 09:22 AM   #78
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I was reading pretty early and I think it was a combination of really awesome kids books I wanted to read and watching a lot of PBS, like Sesame Street and Letter People. I remember thinking Letter People was kind of incomprehensible sometimes so I must have gone from not understanding it to getting it during that show.

It was phonics and rules based, and made a big deal about how letters were strongly associated with one or two sounds, but the sound a letter made often depended on what letters were next to it. So like I, G, and H all had their thing but if they all got in a row G and H usually weren’t paying attention anymore and didn’t do their team sound. But if G was at the beginning of a word he was all excited and would always perk up and contribute a hard or soft g. Unless N was there right after him and then he’d be struck dumb because he idolized N. Stuff like that.

Someone had a hooked on phonics kit but I remember disliking it on aesthetic grounds. I had a Sweet Pickles Bus kit I loved though. I probably picked up a bunch from that.

Sight reading without enough phonics is hell. I know a kid who didn’t master phonics before school moved on to sight reading and it’s still a struggle to sound out any words. It’s like he can’t even see all the letters. He just looks at a word and guesses. Doesn’t seem to be dyslexia either.

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Old 27th January 2021, 10:29 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
That makes sense, but my understanding is that most of that is done prior to hitting the stage. The violins coming in at the right time is vitally important, but the violins are coming in on time whether the conductor nods to them or not. They are professional violin players and they will not miss their mark just because the conductor didn't point to them on their mark. They practiced the timing for that movement for weeks.

I imagine that so long as the person up front keeps time properly, that person could be any person who keeps time properly once the orchestra has been fully prepared for a piece. Maybe I'm wrong, but that has been my impression from my interactions with musicians.
Having been one of those musicians, I'll say that the relationship between instrumentalist and conductor is more complex than that. Yes, a lot of the work is done in rehearsal. That's true of any musician. But part of what is done in rehearsal is for the conductor to learn the orchestra's reactions, and for the orchestra to learn the conductor's style.

Sure, there are bits when the conductor is just timekeeping. And there are plenty of performances without conductors. But the conductor literally "plays" the orchestra during performance. It is the conductor's job to be intimately familiar with the piece being performed, to know and understand all of the instruments' parts and how they should interact.

If during rehearsal the flutes consistently have trouble hitting the right dynamic range at the right time, then during performance, the conductor will encourage them a little more. If the conductor wants a bold stroke from the tympani, they will emphasise that. A person in the trombone section can't always clearly hear what the oboe is doing, so relies on the conductor to let them know whether they need to play louder or quieter so that the balance of overall sound is maintained.

An instrumentalist will generally know their own part in a piece very well, to the point where it can be played largely from memory. As such they will sometimes pay more attention to the conductor than to the sheet music in front of them.

Conducting is a very difficult job, requiring a lot of education and training, especially if one is doing it at the level of the well-known symphony orchestras.
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Old 27th January 2021, 11:59 PM   #80
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I have always wondered: When orchestras sometimes let amateurs conduct them, are those amateurs actually conducting or do the musicians just pretend and let them believe that they are conducting, swinging their arms like children?
We had a king 50 years ago who loved to conduct, and eight years ago, there was a kind of reality show where they let celebrities conduct: Maestro.
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