Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thoughts on Reading

So, the state of Michigan requires all teachers to take a reading diagnostics and remediation course in order to move from a provisional to a professional certificate. I have known this for ages, and thought I had it covered with my coursework for my masters in Reading Curriculum and Instruction. Then I found out the course I was taking would not cover the requirement...sigh. So, on July 1, I finished my masters class in Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Difficulties at University of Phoenix, and on Friday the fifth, I began a class in Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Difficulties at Concordia University. Exact same textbook, LESS fieldwork than U of P. Can we say ridiculous? 
On the plus side, I am enjoying taking my first ground course in years, and while I really don't feel that I am learning much that is new to me, it is a good review, and I should certainly have a good handle on remediating struggling students now!

That being said, we had a good discussion about a Shaywitz quote yesterday (I will come back later and add it, we are on the road right now). Essentially, it said that our lowest readers in early el tend to continue to be our lowest readers, and that the gap just widens...basically that no matter what we do, we can't close that gap. We discussed a lot of things--the need for early intervention, the necessity of parental involvement and awareness of reading difficulty,  and how to motivate and engage learners. My arguement is that if an individual is motivated and has the capacity to learn to read, it is only a matter of finding the key to unlock that door for them...  it is not a perfectly organized thought in my head yet, and maybe it is very biased by my careerlong kindergarten focus, where I help children achieve amazing gains...I just have to believe it is possible for everyone. Easy? Absolutely not. Possible? Without a doubt.

That is my opinion, at least. What are your thoughts? I have two more 8 hour classes left...I am interested to see what else gets me thinking. Always good to reflect on teaching and learning, isn't it? 

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