Reading is a science. And the schools miss the lesson


The science of reading underlies a classroom approach called Structured Literacy, which involves deepening foundational K-2 skills, explicit phonemic awareness, word recognition, spelling, and syntax at the level. sentences and paragraphs.

“The whole language approach is easier because it says you will read to your children and they will love it and pick it up,” said local teacher Rachel Platt, who as @mindfulteacherrachel on Instagram and TikTok, gained an following. “But that doesn’t work for a lot of kids. “

For example, Platt said that one of the characteristics of an entire language is that children look for “clues” to guess their way through predictable text. “Because this curriculum relies so much on compensation methods rather than applying phonetics directly to text, third and fourth graders who no longer read predictable text in class with obvious images are suddenly struggling readers,” she declared.

Recent independent reviews have found two of the most popular language programs used by many districts, including across Georgia, ineffective, prompting school leaders to rethink the way they teach reading.

“There are a lot of seasoned and very talented teachers, even new teachers just coming out of school, who have to stop for a moment, think and ask, ‘Did I do in my class? or is what I learned in my teacher preparation program really aligned with best practice? ‘ Said Grant Rivera, principal of Marietta City Schools, who is committed to using the science of reading.

Despite a master’s degree in education, Sherri Lucas-Hall admitted that she lacked essential training in how to teach kindergarten and first grade children to read. While about 35% of children could be considered instinctive or natural readers, Lucas-Hall said most need more explicit and fundamental lessons than those provided by schools. “We believe if you take kids who have never been around books, expose them to books and reading and love to read, they will catch it,” said Lucas-Hall, who directs now Designed to Teach Tutoring Services at Gwinnett.

The science of how the brain learns to read is complex and cannot be distilled into a weeklong training seminar. Schools in Fulton County will spend $ 3.26 million to train more than 3,000 teachers, principals and central office administrators in the science of reading. It’s one of the first steps in Fulton’s three-year, $ 90 million “Every Child Reads” plan to help students who fell behind during the pandemic and to create a culture around literacy.

“We need to make the science of reading accessible to all teachers because our children depend on it,” said Lee-James, who consults with Marietta Schools. “Frankly, when you look at our national data, our country depends on it. “


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