Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Don't push, just support

Early reading skills are a moving target!  Within a range of a couple of years, pretty much all children will develop the ability to read and write.  Researchers have found that early reading is not correlated to later school success or higher intelligence.  Late bloomers can be some of the most passionate readers and writers!

Supporting readers where they are on their path seems to be the best technique.  Responsive to all of our developing readers at Parker, Pre K and K-1 teachers use about 1,000 (my highly scientific guesstimate) strategies.  I remember a former Parker student, Kumi, who read the phone book every day in Pre K 3!  He loved picking out the alphabet letters.

New York Times article, Reading At Some Private Schools is Delayed, gives an interesting view about the pressures in New York City schools.  When parents get worried that their emerging readers aren't being advanced quickly enough, they sometimes panic.

When early readers and writers have support and encouragement - they thrive.  And those who take a little longer (and their parents) can take heart.  As a kindergartner told a visitor yesterday, "We can read some of these Valentine hearts, and some we can't.  We're just learning."

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