kitchen table math, the sequel: welcome to Kindergarten

Thursday, August 9, 2012

welcome to Kindergarten

CT's experience meeting her daughter's Kindergarten teachers:
Recent anecdote. My daughter is starting kindergarten (part-time) this year, and she and I just met with the kindergarten teachers. When I was talking with one teacher about something, the other quietly (without telling me she was about to do it) tested my child on the kindergarten sight words, which she read off quickly, having been taught to read already with Engelmann's Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

It was funny to see the teachers' faces change when I told them that my child had never done sight words. You'd think sight words were some sort of absolutely indispensable part of learning to read. A good phonetic reader can read most sight words without ever seeing a sight word flashcard; the rest can be taught as they come up in other reading instruction.


Auntie Ann said...
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Auntie Ann said...

With one of our kids, sight word flash cards made a big difference. We'd been working on phonics, and he could read most things. But he read very slowly, sounding out every word. Finally, a family friend was reading with him and noticed that he didn't read any word by sight. The light bulb went on in my head, I pulled up the Dolch word list, and began to flash them at the kid. In no time he began to sight read a ton of words.

Maybe he didn't realize that he was allowed to do that, or maybe he just needed to see them a bunch more time, but regardless, his reading improved dramatically fairly quickly. We never got through all the levels of the Dolch words, because he started sight reading without them soon enough.

The side-effect was, he went from laborious reading to reading fluently and being able to enjoy the story more quite quickly. That made it more-likely he would stay focused, not get frustrated, and spend more time with books.