4 Smith claims, “All methods of teaching reading can achieve some success, with some children, some of the time” (5).Do you agree?
5 Smith would argue that “children cannot be taught to read Smith would argue that “children cannot be taught to read. A teacher’s responsibility is not to teach children, but to make it possible for them to learn to read” (7).What is the difference between teaching them to read and making it possible for them to learn to read?
6 A teacher must understand: MethodsMaterialsHis/Her StudentsReadingHow children must learn to read
7 You will only have one glance at the following letters You will only have one glance at the following letters. How many can you remember?Are you ready?
13 25 Random Letters: the eye can only move fast enough in that short amount of time to “see” 4-5 letters.25 Letters Arranged into Random Words: you see as much, but prior knowledge of letters allows you to “see” around 2 words or letters.25 Letters Arranged in a 4-5 Word Sentence: you “see” as much, but prior knowledge allows you to “see” the entire sentence.When letters are grouped into chunks of information, we can “see” more at a faster pace because we can access prior knowledge in the brain. If we do not possess that prior knowledge, we are merely seeing letters, or more simply, shapes.
14 Smith calls this “tunnel vision” and claims that it is caused by too much visual information and too little non-visual information to help the brain understand and store the information.**You can’t “read” German (visual info.) if you don’t understand (non-visual info.) the language.
15 The short-term memory can hold six or seven items at once. Jenny, right?The short-term memory can hold six or seven items at once.What if you were asked to remember a list of words that had no relevance to you at all? Would you be able to remember them?
16 Smith believes that students’ short term memory inhibits them from reading because they are forced to read each and every word correctly instead of reading for the meaning. He believes that some students end up having the expectation that what they read will not make sense.“Being able to recognize words on sight is a skill that comes with reading, not a prerequisite. Like any kind of sight recognition—birds, stars, cars, airplanes, trees—it comes with experience” (41).
17 Long-term memory is “organization” of information Long-term memory is “organization” of information. Smith considers putting new info. into long term memory a method to destroy comprehension.New info. must be relevant to prior knowledge in order to be “organized” in the long-term memory.**Committing large amounts of information that are irrelevant to the reader to long term memory does not aid in comprehension. They have simply memorized random information.
18 Eye sea too feat inn hour rheum. DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE?
19 Students who learn to read with phonics, according to Smith, “are likely to develop into disabled readers, the type of secondary students who are condemned for being ‘functionally illiterate’ because they do exactly what they have been taught and try to read by putting together the sounds of letters” (53).DO YOU AGREE?
20 Smith’s point can be made quite easily with the following example from his book: How do you pronounce the letter combination “ho?”hot, hope, hook, hoot, house, hoist, horse, horizon, honey, hour, honest
21 “Meaning is directly related to the spelling of words rather than sound” (56). Smith reiterates his point that through experience students learn spelling and phonics. They learn to recognize certain words and what they mean, as well as, how they are pronounced.
22 So if spelling doesn’t matter and the sounds of the words don’t matter, what matters? How does a student understand, or comprehend the text that s/he is reading??
23 Theory is necessary for prediction Theory is necessary for prediction. Prediction is necessary for comprehension. Comprehension is necessary for reading.You cannot simply have a theory of what the book may say before you read. You must have a theory of the past before you can make predictions about the future. You must make predictions before you can comprehend. Once you can fully comprehend then, you can read.Smith declares that a reader must have a theory of the world before s/he can read.
24 Experimentation=Reading Smith then goes on to say that beyond reading, a student has to learn, and in order to do that, the student must experiment.Experimentation=ReadingThe more you read, the better you get at developing your theory and your ability to predict and comprehend. The better you can do all of those things, the more you are going to learn.
25 Now that we have looked at how everything functions, let’s take a look at where the teacher fits in to the equation. Smith claims there are 9 things that a teacher should NOT do. They are:
26 “AIM FOR EARLY MASTERY OF THE RULES OF READING.” According to Smith, there is no set of rules for reading, so this is merely a hindrance.
27 “ENSURE THAT PHONICS SKILLS ARE LEARNED AND USED.” We have already talked about phonics and Smith’s idea that they don’t work.
28 “TEACH LETTERS OR WORDS ONE AT A TIME, MAKING SURE EACH ONE IS LEARNED BEFORE MOVING ON.” If the information is irrelevant, reading becomes irrelevant.
29 “MAKE WORD-PERFECT READING A PRIME OBJECTIVE.” A reader is not maximizing non-visual info when s/he is concentrating solely on visual info.
30 “DISCOURAGE GUESSING; INSIST THAT CHILDREN READ CAREFULLY.” If a reader has a theory, then they can predict. If they can predict, then they must comprehend. If they can comprehend, they can read. If they are not allowed to experiment, they do not become better readers.
31 “INSIST UPON WORD-PERFECT READING.” Experiment, experiment, experiment!
32 “CORRECT ERRORS IMMEDIATLEY.” If you correct too soon, then the reader relies on the instructor every time a word is difficult.
33 “IDENTIFY AND TREAT PROBLEM READERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” The label creates anxiety and separation.
34 “USE EVERY OPPORTUNITY DURING READING INSTRUCTION TO IMPROVE SPELLING AND WRITTEN EXPRESSION, AND ALSO INSIST ON THE BEST POSSIBLE SPOKEN ENGLISH.”Spelling and speaking are not the primary elements of reading.
35 Smith truly believes that teaching a child to learn to read is more beneficial than teaching them to read for 3 reasons:They will “understand the functions of print.”They will “gain familiarity with written language.”They get the “chance to learn.”
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