Saturday, October 31, 2020

Lucy Calkin vs SoR proponents


The SoR proponents keep smearing the good name of Lucy Calkin. What is their basis? I believe it is none other than promoting their SoR products.

To be honest, I have not read Lucy’s book but I have read many who say that her books have helped them to teach their students.

Here is an article by Robert Pondiscio who could/did not respond to my emails to him back in 2018.

This brings us to the week’s second big development. On Friday, Emily Hanford of American Public Media broke the news that Calkins is quietly conceding that materials produced and distributed by the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, which she has led for decades, “need to be changed to align with scientific research.” Hanford, who deserves as much credit as anyone for driving the science of reading conversation over the last few years, got hold of internal TCRWP documents in which Calkins concedes that aspects of her approach “need ‘rebalancing.’”

You may read my post on Robert Pondiscio and my emails to him in 2018.

The article above further states:

If true—and there are good reasons for skepticism—Calkins’s sudden shift could have a significant impact on how American children learn to read. Data from RAND’s American Educator Panels show that nearly one in five (18 percent) of American elementary school teachers report using the “Units of Study” curriculum;

The following is my Tweet in response to the article above that was tweeted by Emily Hanford of APM.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel Oct 23 Replying to @ehanford and @TheAaveMaria

'nearly one in five (18 percent) of American elementary school teachers report using the “Units of Study” curriculum'. If only 18% use these books @ehanford

 how do we explain the bad reading results of the rest of the kids?


As expected the SoR proponents just keep mum when asked relevant questions. Then they will say I am discourteous and aggressive.

I had written to Emily Hanford and APM back in 2017 and though I was promised that what I had written will be looked into neither Emily not APM replied.

You may read my emails to Emily and APM here.

I repeat, it is not curriculum (as far as learning to read is concerned) that is the culprit but the teaching of wrong pronunciation of phonemes of consonants.

If it is true that Lucy is making changes to her books to accommodate current findings, then we should thank her instead of barking at her. I believe what Heraclitus had said "The only constant in life is change”

There were several positive comments on a post on Face Book. I posted the following question and immediately received the responses below.

Luqman Michel:

          Lucy Calkins curriculum

Can anyone here please tell me why they like Lucy's curriculum?

I am writing a post for tomorrow and would be grateful if anyone can vouch for the goodness of her books.

Tina Wagner:

It’s so robust and engaging for the students. My students cheer when it’s writer’s workshop time. They are growing and pushing themselves because they have been given the tools from the curriculum to be the very best writer they can be!

Lora Saunders

Tina Wagner, yes!!! If we get very busy and miss writing....I have a problem. The kids are mad. They want to write.

Amber Kaye Schultz

It really meets the needs of our on-level and above students who are often slighted in other programs. It’s also very engaging and motivating for students. I have seen students who hate to read develop a love of reading with UoS. (Units of Study)

Annette Iacovetti Radogna

Love her units of study. I especially love her units of Study in writing. Have used them for a decade, as they transitioned to including Common core standards.

The growth that students make as Writers is amazing. No matter where they are developmentally growth is seen, both in content in conventions. I love that even within a given genre, nonfiction writing for example, there is student choice in topics. This allows for great student interest because it’s Authentic to them. They have a real voice. They love writing time. And I love that we study books to learn what authors do.

Note: What is going on Twitter and with people like Emily Hanford and Robert Pondiscio and many others reminds me of my primary school days where kids quarrel and say things like ‘My father is better than your father’.

It also reminds me of religious fanatics who deride other religions instead of talking about their own religion.

It reminds me of Jeffrey Bowers and Jennifer Buckingham who continue bickering but do not answer direct questions from me.

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