I bet someone taught you: your teacher, your mom, your uncle, your neighbor, your big sister, Big Bird. Many people delude themselves into thinking they were “wired” to teach themselves this complex process. I encourage you to examine your conscience and give credit where credit is due.
I had an interesting conversation with a teacher who grew up in the district where I worked. Since I thought I knew the answer, I asked her how she learned to read. She thought she just did it!
I reminded her that in our district, in every school except one, all kindergarteners learned phonological awareness and beginning phonics from the Open Court Gold Book. In first grade, they solidified their decoding and encoding with the Open Court Blue Book. By 9:00 am every day, except in one school, every child in grades K-2 was chanting the Open Court wall sound cards. With this memory jog, the teacher remembered not only those books but explicit penmanship and grammar instruction as well.
Not every child in our district became a good reader. We had to do lots of additional work with vocabulary and comprehension, but most kids could decode.
All the literacy experts seem to agree that an explicit dose of phonics is good for everyone. The “wired” will learn it faster. Others need more instruction and lots more correct practice.
Let’s not hold children to the standards of our imaginary selves. Let’s just do the job.
If you need help with that, or just a refresher, please take one of our workshops or courses. If you know rising fourth graders who were born in 2010 and are still struggling with reading, please send them to our summer tutoring program, Catching Up and Getting Ahead
Catching Up and Getting Ahead will again take place at the Museum of the City of New York, from July 8 through July 26, 2019, Monday through Friday, from 12:30 to 3:30 pm. There will be a pre-testing/grouping day on June 27th. Each afternoon combines 90 minutes of small group tutoring in phonics and other foundational skills and 90 minutes of hands-on museum education activities related to New York City history and geography. The premise of the program is that students will catch up in reading and get ahead in the fourth grade social studies curriculum for September.
Participants must be rising fourth graders, born in 2010, who are still struggling with basic reading skills. CATCHING UP AND GETTING AHEAD IS FREE, BUT WE PROVIDE NO TRANSPORTATION OR REFRESHMENTS. The instruction is intense and produces excellent results. Good attendance is paramount. Students who are late and/or absent will be dismissed from the program.
The first step is filling out the attached application and returning it to Laura Guerrero, Lguerrero@everyonereading.org. She will set up a brief screening appointment to see if your child will benefit from the program.
If you would like to teach basic reading skills, we have many workshops you can attend. Click below to view and register: