Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Topic: Parents and First-grade Reading

10-second review: When children don’t learn to read, it’s too easy to blame the parents. This urban teacher investigated and found the parents to be helpful and determined that their children learn to read.

Title: “Listening to Families Over Time: Seven Lessons I Learned about Literacy in Families.” C Compton-Lilly. Language Arts (July 2009), 449-457. Language Arts is the elementary section publication of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Quote: “I found that virtually all parents are concerned about their children and emphatic that their children learn to read. In fact, it was not unusual for me to find that the same parents other teachers complained about were helpful and supportive in our interactions.”

One of the author’s other findings: Parents and children were overly focused on sounding out words.

Comment: Another frequent criticism I have heard when a student has failed to succeed is that the students “are lazy.” When I investigated further, I found that the students had problems, but one of them was not laziness. They really wanted to learn. In fact, one student who had been labeled by his teachers as “lazy” turned out to be prevented from reading successfully because he was too focused on sounding out words, not comprehending. RayS.

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