kitchen table math, the sequel: a picture is worth a thousand words

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a picture is worth a thousand words

from chemprof:
In the "it is always worse than you think" category, I had someone from the education department recently tell a story where she expressed frustration with a kid for trying to sound out the word when "the picture is right there." Why they think this teaches reading is beyond me.


Catherine Johnson said...

For passersby: "it's always worse than you think" is a family motto.

That and "no common sense-y."

Lisa said...


Catherine Johnson said...

muddled thinking!

Catherine Johnson said...

An expert reader often predicts the meaning of unknown words from context. But we're predicting the meaning, not the pronunciation.

ChemProf said...

Sure, and kids who read a lot early often mispronounce words they've only seen written!

Actually, Catherine, I think you are on to one of the reasons educators like balanced literacy. It speaks to one of their beliefs -- that there is no difference between the way an expert and a novice engage the material. Fluent readers often do only read the first few letters. I know I do, and it gets me in trouble if two characters have similar names, or if I misread a word with a common prefix. However, that doesn't mean it is the best way to teach a novice. This is just another example of wanting students to act like mathematicians or scientists (or the ed school version anyway), rather than like novices.