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By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Reading Instruction.

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1 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Reading Instruction

2 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Overview of Presentation 1.Announcements 2.Consumer’s Guide to Reading Is reading achievement a problem? What is the debate in reading education? What does research say? 3.Our Reading Program What reading program did we select? How will we train teachers? 4.Answer audience questions.

3 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Consumer’s Guide to Reading

4 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Is reading achievement a problem? The National Assessment of Educational Progress reported in 2009 that 67% of fourth grade students and 68% of eighth grade students are not reading proficiently. Only 21% of eighth graders read for fun daily. That’s means most students don’t read well. Reading performance is a serious issue, more serious than math, since all subjects require reading.

5 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Why is reading performance a problem? It has to do with the “reading wars” which go back 100 years, and are well-documented.

6 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Why is reading performance a problem? Educators have swung back-and-forth on a pendulum between phonics and “whole language”, which has also gone by other names. These terms mean “whole language” or are implemented as such in practice. 1930’s “whole-word” or “look say” (example: Dick and Jane readers) 1980’s “whole language” 2000’s “balanced literacy”

7 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. What are these approaches? “Phonics” approaches systematically and explicitly teach students how language works, building from individual sounds into entire words. Literature is also taught. “Whole language” focuses heavily on learning entire words by sight in early instruction, and also on interesting literature, the theory being that students will “naturally” learn to read because they are more motivated. Phonics may also be taught incidentally, but not systematically.

8 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. How can you tell the difference? Read this article, a must for all parents.

9 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Article Summary “Whole Language”SBRR Guess the words based on pictures, context, or other words Sound out the words using directly taught sound-letter correspondences Rejection of phonics, spelling, and grammar Phonics, spelling, and grammar are taught Relying on “leveled readers” to organize instruction Using decodable readers in early instruction so that students can read without guessing Reading Recovery program used as an intervention Interventions that have a solid, scientific basis 60% of students learn to read adequately (but not necessarily well) through just about any method, but 40% of students need scientifically-based instruction to succeed, and all students benefit from it.

10 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. So what happened in the “reading wars” The pendulum shifts were driven largely by philosophical beliefs, not by evidence. From , Dr. Jeanne Chall from the Harvard School of Education conducted research commissioned to put an end to the reading wars. She wrote a book about her findings, “Learning to Read: The Great Debate”, published in 1967 The conclusion: phonics approaches were superior. This fact was largely ignored by schools.

11 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. So what happened next? Dr. Chall continued to research and publish, including consulting for Sesame Street The second edition of “The Great Debate” published in 1983 considered all the new research and reached the same conclusion: teach phonics systematically. It was largely ignored. The third edition, published in 1996, met the same fate. Dr. Chall died in 1999, but fortunately trained many other teachers to evaluate scientific evidence.

12 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. What about other research? Here’s a graph from the largest education study ever conducted in human history, called Project Follow Through, which compared 22 approaches in math and reading. It lasted from The program that used systematic phonics won by a landslide. These results were largely ignored.

13 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. What about other research? The National Reading Panel reviewed the available research (including research conducted by the National Institutes of Health by Dr. Reid Lyon) from They identified five components of scientifically-based reading instruction. When it came to phonics, they said: “systematic phonics instruction is significantly more effective than instruction that teaches little or no phonics” These findings have still not been fully embraced. By now, you probably are seeing the pattern.

14 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. So does good reading instruction=phonics? No. It’s not just about phonics. Good reading instruction is much more complicated. It is a science. (Indeed, rocket science.) 1 The National Reading Panel identified five components of scientifically-based reading instruction. We’ll explain each component to give you a crash course in the science of reading. We’ll focus mostly on phonemic awareness and phonics for time’s sake. Much more could be said. 1

15 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. What are the five components? Phonemics Awareness Phonics Vocabulary Fluency Comprehension We’ll go through each of these in order. These are not the same

16 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate speech sounds. It has nothing to do with printed letters. A “phoneme” is a single speech sound. We write phonemes like this: /k/

17 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness Different languages have different phonemes, but humans have the equipment to produce them all. 1

18 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness Let’s start with an easy example. How many phonemes in this word? cat /k/ /a/ /t/

19 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness How many phonemes in this word? ship /sh/ /i/ /p/ This is a unique sound. It is a postalveolar fricative It has its own symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet: ∫

20 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness How many phonemes in this word? six /s/ /i/ /k/ /s/

21 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness How many phonemes in this word? long /l/ /o/ /ng/ This is a unique sound. It is not a blend of n and g. It has its own symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet: ŋ

22 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness There are 26 letters in English. There are roughly 40 phonemes in English. 1 These phonemes can be spelled over 250 different ways! Learning the graphemes (combinations of printed letters) that spell phonemes is phonics instruction, not phonemic awareness instruction. 1

23 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness There is a logical sequence of instruction for phonemic awareness. 1 I’ll demonstrate some of these. 1

24 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonemic Awareness Phonemic awareness is important. It predicts later outcomes in reading and spelling. Even before a student learns to read, phonemic awareness skills predict which students will be good or poor readers by the end of third grade and beyond. 1 Phonemic awareness is necessary to use the alphabetic code; it is a pre-requisite for phonics instruction. 1 Good, R.H., Sommons, D.C., & Kame’enui. Scientifiic Studies of Reading, 5,

25 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics Once students have phonemic awareness, they can begin to connect the sounds (phonemes) to the letters and letter combinations (graphemes) used to spell them. Students need to understand the “alphabetic principle”, which is the idea that words are composed of letters that represent sounds. 1 1

26 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics The best phonics programs begin with the most common letter-sound correspondences and introduce irregular (or “sight words”) in a limited fashion. Regular words become “sight words” as students develop automaticity with the alphabetic code. 1 1

27 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics The ability to decode words correlates with future reading comprehension. 1

28 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics Words in the English language vary from being 100% “regular” (using the most common letter-sound correspondences) to being truly odd (old words whose pronunciation significantly changed from the original). Only 4% of words are truly odd. 1 But those 4% are the most frequent. There is logic behind how words are spelled. It is based on history. 1

29 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics English has four layers (Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, Latin, and Greek), each of which has contributed spelling patterns to the language. 1 1

30 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics Phonics is not just about sounding out words. Good phonics instruction goes beyond that to cover morphemes (meaningful parts of words, such as the prefix “re” and the suffix “ing”) and word origins. It also covers spelling, which is often neglected. English is a morphophonemic language, and should be taught as such.

31 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics Students’ spelling mistakes can reveal weaknesses with phonological processing, as well as common confusions that are due to the mechanics of producing sound. What does this misspelling of “uncle” reveal? ungl 1 “ Speech to Print”, Louisa Moats, pp An expert teacher would know that this student made a voicing substitution. The student substituted the /g/ sound for /k/. Both sounds are velar stop consonants, and have the same place of articulation. The difference is that /g/ is a voiced sound, but /k/ is voiceless. Depending on the student’s age and other mistakes, he or she may have a phonological processing problem.

32 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Phonics Try this: Explain the spelling and pronunciation of this word. phone /f/ /ō/ /n/ Our students will be taught that words spelled with “ph” are Greek in origin The silent e changes the vowel to the “long” vowel sound, or what linguists call a lax vowel sound. This pattern is from the Anglo-Saxon layer of English.

33 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Vocabulary But phonics instruction won’t work if students don’t recognize the words they sound out. Students must have a corresponding entry in their mental lexicon, or oral vocabulary. Knowledge of words correlates with knowledge of the world. The more words you know, the more things you know about, because words represent ideas. 1 1 “ The Knowledge Deficit”, by E.D. Hirsch,

34 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Vocabulary Students acquire most of their vocabulary informally. 1 The average student knows 6,000 words by grade two. 2 Disadvantaged children know 4,000 words by grade two. Though research does not yet have a proven approach to eliminate this gap, a good core, comprehensive reading program will include vocabulary instruction. Parents should look for a strong vocabulary component when evaluating reading programs

35 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Fluency “Fluency” is the ability to read well enough so that the student can focus on comprehending the meaning of the passage, not figuring out the words. Good fluency instruction does not focus on speed for speed’s sake. There are norms for fluency. Students who are below the norm should receive interventions.

36 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Fluency The National Reading Panel recommended repeated readings of the same text to improve fluency. However, beyond four repetitions of the same text is not likely to improve fluency. 1 Fluency is heavily dependent on decoding skill (phonics), which is in turn dependent on phonemic awareness. 1

37 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Comprehension Comprehension depends on two main factors: the ability to fluently decode and background knowledge. Students who can’t fluently decode will use their short term memory trying to figure out the words, not focusing on the meaning of the passage. However, just being a good reader isn’t enough. A number of studies found that poor readers who read a passage about something they know (baseball, for example) had better comprehension than the “good” readers who didn’t understand the topic. 1 1 “Why Don’t Students Like School”, by Daniel Willingham, pp 20-21

38 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Comprehension Studies on reading comprehension show that some instruction in comprehension strategies can help, but six sessions of instruction were no more or less effective than 50 sessions of instruction. 1 Strategies with research support include monitoring your own comprehension, using graphic and semantic organizers, generating questions, using mental imagery, summarizing, and asking questions. 1

39 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Comprehension In addition, students can be explicitly taught story grammar, figurative language, idioms, and unusual sentence structures. Reading comprehension is the most complicated aspect of reading, and involves many mental processes. The best long term strategy for fostering comprehension is a broad vocabulary and rich knowledge base 2, both of which are hallmarks of a classical education. 1

40 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Research Conclusion Modern research (via fMRI) confirms how we read. This is your brain. This is your brain on reading. Sound processing Comprehension Sound-Symbol Correspondence Letter Recognition 1 Derived from LETRS Module 1, page 32 Used with permission.

41 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Consumer’s Guide Conclusion Parents should look for a core reading program that integrates all components of scientifically-based reading instruction. 1 1

42 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Our Reading Program

43 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. How Did We Select Our Program? We started with reading research. We limited ourselves to core, comprehensive programs that taught all five components of scientifically-based reading instruction. We talked with six of the top reading researchers and practitioners in the country. 1

44 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. How Did We Select Our Program? This left us with three choices. We examined samples of each program and sought feedback from our founding families as well as current FCPS employees.

45 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Our Decision There are no perfect programs. All of the programs have strengths and weaknesses. We chose Reading Street because it is close to what SBRR recommends, has excellent oral vocabulary and literature, encourages students to think about “big ideas”, and is very comprehensive, including online components. We’ll supplement it with other resources to address areas where it is not as strong, as would be needed with any of the three final candidates.

46 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. How Will We Supplement the Core Program? We will use several programs from Sopris West to teach areas of the English language that are not addressed as well in the core program. 50 Nifty Activities Primary Spelling By Pattern Phonics and Spelling Through Phoneme-Grapheme Mapping Vocabulary Through Morphemes Teaching Basic Writing Skills School Set

47 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. What About Literature? We will use the follow-on program to Reading Street, Prentice Hall Literature grades 6-8

48 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Teacher Training Choosing a program is important, but choosing teachers is more important. Programs don’t teach students, teachers do. 1 According to the National Council for Teacher Quality, 85% of education schools do not adequately train teachers in SBRR. Our training will address this. 1 LETRS Module 1, by Sopris West, back cover 2

49 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Teacher Training In addition to vendor training, all teachers will undergo LETRS training, which is world-class professional development in the science of reading instruction. Our goal is to produce expertise that is sought locally, regionally, and, eventually, nationally. We plan to have teachers become certified LETRS trainers.

50 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Progress Monitoring Like FCPS, we will use the DIBELS instrument to assess student progress and identify those who may need interventions. The goal is to prevent reading failure before it happens. To do this, we will implement a Response To Intervention (RtI) approach, which we will describe at an upcoming meeting.

51 By Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. Summary We have chosen a core, comprehensive reading program that reflects scientifically-based reading research (SBRR). Our literature program is designed to follow the reading program. LETRS training will provide world-class knowledge of reading. Our supplementary resources are aligned to LETRS training, and our progress monitoring system aligns with SBRR. All of the parts of our program are designed to work together.


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