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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,746
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,746
Senior Member

Old 03-02-2019, 05:33 PM
Clip to ScrapBook #4

whole word readers are actually faster in everyday situations than phonics readers.
"Whole word reader" is a bad word in my building . New P came in last year and was all about systematic and explicit direct phonics instruction and we've seen a lot of benefits. The ironic thing is that I've been doing this kind of instruction for years before it became the "popular" thing, and of course I know the benefits of this for most kids, but I am now constantly having to defend the position that some kids just don't read that way.

I'm now dealing with the 3rd case where an entire team (classroom teachers, interventionists, etc.) is wanting me to evaluate a child whose fluency and accuracy are meeting grade level expectations because she's a whole word reader. We do everything in intervention blocks and when we meet as a data team they want these kids in the lowest groups .

They're constantly saying, "But they won't be able to do multisyllabic words when they're older!" I could see that being the case for kids who got some sort of intervention where they were specifically taught words from the Fry list with tons of repetitions (which isn't the case for any of these kids), but not for kids that just seemed to pick it up on their own. Besides that, they're already reading multisyllabic words just fine in the 3rd grade DIBELS passages.

Sorry, that was a tangent!

NewCA, unfortunately her cognitive testing doesn't really show that. She was low average in visual spatial and working memory and average in processing speed. She was just barely 6 when she was evaluated and I'm wondering if it's not that accurate. I have many kids who do have big documented weaknesses in those areas who are ions better than her at these math skills. I've truly never seen anyone struggle so much with this much intervention, including a couple of kids in my first school who actually had cognitive disabilities.

The other thing that doesn't help is that the other sped teacher in the building is all about working on higher level thinking stuff only, and the P has eaten this up. The sad thing is that other sped teacher doesn't always even believe that herself, but she's so obsessed with her eval that she continues to do it to get all of the marks on there (tons of higher level thinking stuff). She will tell others that P "won't let us" focus on basic skills, but the whole reason P believes in this is because other sped teacher has "shown her it's possible." It's a very frustrating set up.
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