Structured Literacy or Balanced Literacy?

classroom reading group
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I am a nerd! For fun I read about The Science of Reading. Seriously!?!

Today I spent an hour with Comparing Reading Research to Program Design: An Examination of Teachers College Units of Study. In graduate school, we were all about Lucy Calkins Units of Study (see this New York Times article) and exposing kids to great books and getting them to LOVE reading. But how many kids weren’t learning to read? More than half in my district, and even more as I moved to a special education classroom.

The article discusses what we know about how students learn to read based on the Science of Reading. The authors argue that this widely used reading program fails to give our students the skills they need to make meaning of what they read. Especially lacking is explicit instruction and practice in systematic phonics instruction including phonemic awareness and letter-sound correspondence.

Don’t misunderstand me … I love sharing good books with children! But my job is to teach students how to make meaning of these books on their own. By providing quality instruction using programs based on the Science of Reading – such as IMSE Orton Gillingham or Reading Simplified – and supporting students’ accuracy, fluency, and vocabulary development, I can help your child to become a successful, independent reader.

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