I saw a tweet by Dr. David Dzyngier this morning and decided to write this post.
The 5 e’s have been used for many years to teach science. I feel it is just as applicable to learning to read.
The 5Es are an instructional model encompassing the phases Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate, steps which educators have traditionally taught students to move through in phases.
The first activity is to engage students. This phase should include making connections between their preexisting knowledge base and the new ideas that are to be taught by the teacher.
Herein, lies the biggest problem faced by all kids who have been taught the pronunciation of phonemes of consonants wrongly.
As Thorndike had stated in 1913 the initial input is important. You can read it here.
When students have been taught the pronunciation of phonemes of consonants wrongly how are they going to make the connections between their preexisting knowledge and what is next taught?
“Engage” should help students reflect on what they already know and scaffold to what is newly taught. But, this is not possible when what they had been taught initially is incorrect.
For teachers to ‘explain’ the kids need to ask questions as well. But, we all know, kids who are unable to read avoid shame and will not ask questions in a class setting. I have been fortunate to have had the kids questioning me because I had taught them on a one on one basis, which is how I learned what I have written on my blog.
How do most teachers explain something that they themselves are unaware of? How many teachers know that the pronunciation of phonemes is taught wrongly?
How do we evaluate kids on comprehension and vocabulary when the foundation itself is not firmly laid?
When a teacher is teaching grammar, vocabulary and comprehension most kids are still figuring out how buh-ah-tuh is to be read as bat.
The model itself may not be accurate as it is taught in a linear progression. Is engaging separate from exploring and explaining … but we will not go into that.