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Some Harsh Words About "Guided Reading"
EdArticle.com ^ | Sept. 17, 2012 | Bruce Deitrick Price

Posted on 10/30/2012 2:22:36 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice

A reading teacher commented on the Internet: “The situation in the local public schools is getting worse. This year they switched to Guided Reading. Take a look at Pinnell & Fountas. This is a perfect example of 'how not to teach reading.'"

Curious, I asked a teacher in Chicago what she knew about Guided Reading. Here’s her indignant response:

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“HA!!! Fountas and Pinnell!!!!! They created Guided Reading (I think). These are two women who are obvious whole language experts. They publish their stuff at Heinemann.

Let me explain how Guided Reading goes. You know, Bruce, in a whole language classroom, students are never allowed to do round-robin reading. In other words, they never get to read out loud. It is the forbidden fruit.

So here is your typical Guided Reading period....There are two or three teachers in the room at one time. Each teacher has a group of four or five kids at a time. You give out these cheap little books to the kids. You do a "picture walk" explaining page by page what is happening in the story. You ask the kids to make predictions from the pictures as to what they think the story is about. You do things like make them point out to you, page by page, where all the punctuation is. You talk about periods, exclamation points, and question marks. 

Then you ask all the kids in the group to read out loud at their own speed. You now have five kids reading aloud and each one is on a different page according to their speed. The teacher is supposed to be listening to all five kids at the same time. I can't describe how insane this is. The whole thing lasts 15 minutes. Then, you take another group for another 15 minutes and do the same thing.

The books they read are leveled books. They have no story line. These books are for idiots. They only contain the Dolch words the kids have memorized. These kids are NOT really reading, but if you didn't know better, you would think they are.

Kids in grades 1 and 2 are only supposed to learn 150 Dolch words per year. Those same 150 Dolch words are repeated over and over again in these books. And they have the nerve to tell me that I ‘drill and kill’????? 

The best part of this is something Fountas and Pinnell call ‘running records.’ You put a ‘fresh read’ in front of a kid and as they read, you are writing check marks over each word they read correctly. Now...if they get a word wrong, you make a different mark. This goes on and on. I have always refused to do these running records. They are a waste of time, but I have observed teachers doing this with kids who just can't memorize those darn Dolch words. It is awful for the kid because he sees all those awful check marks over each and every word. I have literally pulled kids away from teachers who do this. This is why many of my ESL students tell me they feel stupid. 

I could go on and on. Kids who read get knocked down in scores because of something they call ‘fluency’. According to these idiots, if a kid isn't reading with feeling or emotion in his voice, he gets a low score. Sometimes, he fails for the year. Also, if a kid can't ‘retell’ these idiotic stories from beginning to end, he's deemed a failure. 

If you think whole language is fun for kids, you are wrong. Their self-esteem is knocked down time and time again in these classrooms.

I still teach Flesch phonics with my ESL kids (and other kids who I find can't read). I've had so much success and I won't stop, but my principal wants me to sit in these rooms and do nothing. They are stopping ESL teachers from teaching spoken English to immigrant students, and they don't want these kids to read in English either. That's the truth!

These politicians have figured out that they can make money in education now and they are using poor and immigrant children as scapegoats. This is really disgusting. I just try to save them one kid at a time. The administrators hate me and I do phonics right in front of them now. They can all go stand on their heads for all I care. I KNOW I am doing the right thing.”    

email from: Louise T.

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GENERAL COMMENT: Keep in mind that phonics texts cost virtually nothing. Publishers can’t make any money. There’s a terrible pattern of people creating big, elaborate, expensive packages that are supposed to work miracles. Reading Recovery was very expensive and not helpful. There’s always a lot of mumbo-jumbo, the main point of which seems to be to hide the fact that phonics has again been driven out of a school.

For a list of phonics programs, see “42: Reading Resources” on Improve-Education.org.

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Are some of you doubting that things have really gotten so bad?? Here's the ultimate wake-up call, sent to me last week by YouTube:

Comment on your video: Are Public Schools Designed To Fail?

"This video is true! I am a sophomore in high-school and I notice that in my English classes, most of my peers can only read aloud about 5 words per minute, in HIGH-school. Seriously. When we have to read a story (kind of, taking turns in way?) out of the English textbook, I get so frustrated at how it take them 5 minutes to say "corporation", God forbid we get one of Poe's poems. Seriously America, what in Hell happened?"

.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Reference; Society
KEYWORDS: k12; learning; literacy; phonics; reading; sightwords; teaching

1 posted on 10/30/2012 2:22:46 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I’m so glad I homeschooled.

Phonics all the way. My son was reading at a college level by 7th grade.


2 posted on 10/30/2012 2:35:42 PM PDT by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Sounds like a bastardization of route memorization....

Perfect to keep a future generation enslaved and thinking like robots...

They don’t teach critical thinking skills anymore, just mindless repetition.


3 posted on 10/30/2012 2:40:23 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
My kid's school isn't doing this at all. They are doing the old school 5-7 kids round robin reading. That is what I do when I volunteer in the class. We read around, no giggling aloud. When a kid has troubles pronouncing something and i hear a snicker, mr./mrs snicker gets to read the word and give a definition.
4 posted on 10/30/2012 2:42:14 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

My grandson is homeschooled. Learned to read with phonics. Reading at a 7th grade level. He is almost 8. Nuff said.


5 posted on 10/30/2012 2:44:10 PM PDT by irishtenor (Everything in moderation, however, too much whiskey is just enough... Mark Twain)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I could read before entering kindergarten at the age of 5 and a half, so I never understood why we were wasting all that time on beginning reading lessons.

Considering the widespread availability of computers that could easily teach children to read at a first grade level without any supervision, it’s really unconscionable that we’re having to teach beginning reading skills to 6 and 7 year old kids in a formal school setting.


6 posted on 10/30/2012 2:47:07 PM PDT by RatSlayer
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To: Marie

Marie, phonics is the ONLY way - there is no other. Hundreds of years of phonics success emphatically proves it.


7 posted on 10/30/2012 2:52:19 PM PDT by Ron C.
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I learned to read when I was very young. I even used to go to the library and check out books my self. They were mostly fiction but because I enjoyed reading them I read.

If I didn’t know a word, I asked my mother to pronounce and explain it.

While I was in first grade I was measured at 120 words per minute with full comprehension.

The unfortunate result of all the very young reading was that I needed to wear glasses at a very young age. In fact, I had my first eye exam while in the first grade and the eye doctor told my father that I was so near sighted he should send me to a school for the blind.


8 posted on 10/30/2012 3:22:35 PM PDT by dglang
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I learned to read when I was very young. I even used to go to the library and check out books my self. They were mostly fiction but because I enjoyed reading them I read.

If I didn’t know a word, I asked my mother to pronounce and explain it.

While I was in first grade I was measured at 120 words per minute with full comprehension.

The unfortunate result of all the very young reading was that I needed to wear glasses at a very young age. In fact, I had my first eye exam while in the first grade and the eye doctor told my father that I was so near sighted he should send me to a school for the blind.


9 posted on 10/30/2012 3:22:40 PM PDT by dglang
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To: Ron C.

I totally agree with you, Ron C.

How do we approach teaching reading in English to second language students.

So many of our urban schools are struggling to teach these children, who have negligent, uninvolved parents. Teachers get so quickly burned out, stuck with every edu fad that comes along, none of which work very well.


10 posted on 10/30/2012 3:29:05 PM PDT by jacquej
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To: Marie

I don’t know why they don’t do phonics, and I don’t know why they don’t do more multi-sensory reading programs. Multi-sensory reading programs will help kids with dyslexia and they won’t hurt kids that easily learn how to read.

My daughter has a brain injury that caused speech problems. It affected her reading. The school kept on saying she was fine because she knew her Dolch words and she passed her spelling tests. I know she was good at memorizing.

I knew when she came to a word she didn’t know that she could not sound out the word. I also knew that being able to memorize words well would only get her so far.

In 4th grade, we put her in a private school that had a pull-out for and Orton-Gillingham reading program (Barton Reading). She became a great reader after that.


11 posted on 10/30/2012 3:40:35 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: RatSlayer

Some kids really do need help. The ones with dyslexia need help, and computers will not work with them.


12 posted on 10/30/2012 3:43:20 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: jacquej

They could easily teach Barton reading or one of the other Orton-Gillingham methods of reading. I think they would be very beneficial to ESL kids.

They teach phonics rules. They teach how the different sound combinations work (like eight).

It’s simple, but very effective.


13 posted on 10/30/2012 3:46:59 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

You can’t read a book by its pictures.


14 posted on 10/30/2012 4:11:55 PM PDT by DallasDeb
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To: GraceG
This actually is very close to the ‘reading instruction’ that the National Socialist regime tried to institutionalize in the General government rump polish state. While the war kept it from being completed because of lack of many specially printed books the program consisted of having children instructed in memorizing a few hundred words and about a hundred German cognates. The reading primers that were designed for this look like black and white version of ‘Dick and Jane’ except the situations in them dealt with practical matters such as being punctual and working hard for the German overlords. The goal was other than in specific technical areas such as wood working or engine repair to keep the learning level at about third grade and produce an obedient dumbed downed mass of serfs to serve the Reich. Sounds familiar doesn't it.
15 posted on 10/30/2012 4:29:10 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

As the parent of two children who went through public school, and was very active, volunteering in the classroom, on the PTA board, etc. I can say that the schools are designed to NOT teach children to read.
The teachers don’t understand that they are being used to “dumb down” kids, they are just teaching what are supposed to be the “most effective” methods.
What they are actually doing is teaching kids to hate reading. People who read can get lots of different opinions and form their own conclusions. Something the powers that be aren’t always in favor of.
If you’ve never heard of Charlotte Iserbyte - she has a web site with a free download here:

http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

I read her book a few years ago, and it stunned me because it confirmed all these weird things I’d been seeing in the classroom but couldn’t understand.
By the way, my kids learned to read before kindergarten using nothing more than Dr. Suess books and a set of phonics flash cards that I happened to pick up at the dollar store. It just isn’t that hard. But if you have young kids, don’t count on the schools to do it!


16 posted on 10/30/2012 4:33:29 PM PDT by thefoundersrock (Democrats - Destroying the family, the Constitution and the economy since the 1930's!)
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To: thefoundersrock

You’re right. I was fortunate to have read Charlotte’s book, and books by Sam Blumenfeld and John Gatto, before I had kids. Fortunately, I was able to convince my wife to homeschool.

I can’t think of a single positive aspect of mass, compulsory schooling.


17 posted on 10/30/2012 4:41:56 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: RatSlayer

Totally agree.

I also read before entering kindergarten. My parents read to me, I followed along and I really don’t recall ever not being able to read.

I was taking adult books out of the library at age 7. The librarians challenged me, so I began giving them detailed oral book reports of the maximum 10 books a week I was allowed. After 2x of this, they told me:”We know you read them.” and with my parents signature, I had free run of the library.


18 posted on 10/30/2012 4:50:25 PM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Thanks for many good comments.

Want to mention this: “...teachers said she was fine because she knew her Dolch words.” All the phonics people say this is cause for great alarm.

Memorizing sight-words actually gets in the way of learning to read phonetically. The brain tries to recognize shapes OR it tries to sound out. Two very different processes.


19 posted on 10/30/2012 4:50:25 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice (education reform)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I learned to read with the Dick and Jane books and it gave me a great sense of accomplishment to have memorized the entire wordlist at the back of the book. Our teachers supplemented this with phonics, sounding out word groups, there was a spelling book that had a lot of phonics in it, and we did round robin reading thru the fourth grade. Fifth and six grades were private readings from color-coded cards and answering questions on the content.


20 posted on 10/30/2012 5:44:15 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I learned to read with the Dick and Jane books and it gave me a great sense of accomplishment to have memorized the entire wordlist at the back of the book. Our teachers supplemented this with phonics, sounding out word groups, there was a spelling book that had a lot of phonics in it, and we did round robin reading thru the fourth grade. Fifth and six grades were private readings from color-coded cards and answering questions on the content.


21 posted on 10/30/2012 5:44:21 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

Yes, some can do this. Takes good memory and discipline. But the key event, which kids don’t even think about, is that they are figuring out the phonics inside all the words. So they move pass sight-words. Soon they can read all the words.

But many kids are not verbally clever and they remain permanently at that point where they have memorized a few hundred sight-words. That’s it. These people are called functional illiterates.


22 posted on 10/30/2012 7:55:37 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice (education reform)
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