Thursday, November 30, 2023

Do educators know the importance of foundational skills?


On 30.11.23 Cameron Carter @CRCarter313 Tweeted the following:

Every educator knows the importance of foundational skills, and of building student engagement and ownership while teaching these skills.

I then Tweeted as follows:

'Every educator knows the importance of foundational skills'.

This is Bullshit! Stop spreading disinformation.

Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7 then replied to my Tweet.

? Sorry you feel that way.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Jennifer Serravallo and P.D. Pearson on phonics and reading


Yesterday, 21.11.23 I read a blog post by Jennifer Serravallo. A large portion of the post was on comprehension. My blog focusses on decoding. I leave comprehension to experts like Jennifer.

Here are extracts and my comments.

Jennifer Serravallo:

Yeah, nobody denies how important phonics is, but if we're taking a ton of time, then that's the time kids aren't getting to practice other things like you said, fluency or having read aloud or getting to play with each other or all the many other things that they need to develop oral language and literacy skills and things like that.

Friday, November 17, 2023

"The solution to poor reading scores is not simply better instruction"- Emily Hanford (Part 2)


Here is a response from Jani Wright. As expected there is no reply from Emily Hanford, the so-called literacy expert.


Jani Wright @thewrightjungle

Poor Tier I curriculum, poor MTSS, F&P fans at the DO, lack of training for teachers, laws that allow each district to operate with local control, and a state DOE that hasn't prioritized reading using evidence-based practices. No accountability.

These are all too general.

i.                    What exactly is poor tier 1 curriculum?

ii.                  Why has nothing been done since 1972 (the year since when data is available)?

iii.               Why has the reading proficiency level remained the same since 1972?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

"The solution to poor reading scores is not simply better instruction"- Emily Hanford (Part 1)


Here are some Tweets of Emily Hanford, Jani Wright and me on 15.11.23 (Part 1)

Emily Hanford @ehanford

"The solution to poor reading scores is not simply better instruction, it is also better assessment—an assessment that is matched more closely to what is taught in the classroom." - Hugh Catts    

I then tweeted:

You continue barking up the wrong tree. Since 2017 I have told you that the problem is in decoding. Check the kids who fail the assessment and you will find that it has nothing to do with understanding but an inability to decode. You can't be that naïve can you?

Monday, November 13, 2023

Reading Comprehension - Tweets discussion with Dr. Sam Bommarito


Here is a Twitter discussion between Dr. Sam Bommarito and me.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel Nov 8

Dr. Sam Bommarito, the simple view of reading says:

   Reading comprehension = Word Recognition X Language Comprehension.

Almost all of my students were unable to answer comprehension questions found at the back of the book when they read the passages. But all of them could answer when I read to them.

Is it a language comprehension problem or a word recognition problem?

If it is not a Language Comprehension problem, then where does the Reading Comprehension problem come from?

How is it that kids who have gone to school for 2 or 3 years have a word recognition problem?

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Tweet exchanges with Catlin Goodrow - Evidently Reading


On 7.11.2023 I read a tweet by a SoR advocate, Catlin Goodrow. Here is part of her tweets and my replies.

EvidentlyReading @EvidentlyR

I'd like to address another misconception, however. The article begins with an anecdote about a striving reader who is being assessed by one of the authors.

They argue that, because this reader knows letter-sound correspondence, but has trouble reading "after" and "insect" she needs some other instruction than phonics. In fact, they claim this is evidence that "phonics" failed this reader.

But letter-sound instruction is not all there is to phonics! It IS something that will be taught in a structured literacy environment, usually in kinder and/or early first grade. But phonics (or, more accurately, foundational skills) is so much more!

 For example, "after" includes an r-controlled vowel.  Phonics instruction explicitly teaches these vowels, as well as vowel teams, syllable types, etc. We also teach how to blend sounds into words/syllables, and strategies for decoding longer words. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

P David Pearson talks about various literacy issues


Here are extracts of the interview of P David Pearson by Dr. Sam Bommarito and my comments.

We take people's temperatures but we don't assume that the only thing you do once you've taken the temperature is to do everything you can to raise or lower the temperature directly you look for a cause and you try to root out that medical cause for it and then see if the temperature goes down so I think that the first task facing the child is transforming graphemes letters into phonemic names sounds and that's what you should focus on.

Teachers and educators are doing exactly this. They do not look at the causes of why many kids are unable to read at the end of Grade 1. These are the kids who get into higher grades and misbehave due to shame avoidance.  

Telling kids not to use context clues when they are figuring out what a word says is like telling leaves not to fall or dogs not to bark. If you are in a problem situation and you cannot figure out what the word says you are going to use every resource at your disposal to figure it out if you are a decent learner.

This has been my mantra for more than a decade. Use all the tools available. In my book, Teach Your Child to Read, I use all the tools mentioned by David Pearson. I use Systemic phonics, analytical phonics, word family phonics, memorising Dolch Words (not mentioned by David), context clues, patterns (not mentioned by David), analogy and ways of figuring out new words.