Wednesday, January 11, 2006

This and that

Hey everyone,

Couple things of interest in the news and blogosphere.

1. For those concerned about my favouring C.S. Lewis over J.K. Rowling - Big A little a has a bunch of information on what Ms Rowling has been up to. Apparently, among other things, she has written a book for younger readers. If you like that post over there, there are also a collection of others on the author.

2. Over on Cachibachus (a blog which focuses more on illustrations for childrens books) there is a link to a good article about the importance of illustrations in childrens books (how they help kids learn etc...)

3. For those intersted in literacy statistics, there is some new information out on the 2003 IALLS Study here. It focuses on the literacy and labour force implications of the findings of the study which measured adult literacy and numeracy in Canada. I've done a previous post on the issue HERE and Frontier College has an interpretation of the study HERE.

4. Piece of interest in the Globe and Mail below on elementary school teaching in Ontario.

5. Trent Students for Literacy is hosting its annual literacy conference on Saturday, January 21. There will be a link in our main links list to their page. Anyone interested in attending should talk to Lyndsay. Remember our conference is this coming Saturday!



DATE: 2006.01.11
SECTION: Letter to the Edit

Balanced teaching
EMILY NOBLE president, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario Toronto Margaret Wente is right: Ontario teachers do use a balanced approach in teaching literacy (The Proof Is In The Phonics -- Jan. 10). Teachers -- just like doctors who treat cancer -- use a variety of approaches to achieve the desired result.

Research shows that all children learn differently and that they need many skills to help them read and understand what they read.

They need to be able to integrate comprehension, phonics and an understanding of sentence structure.

One approach does not fit all. Phonics alone is not enough. Would phonics help a child decipher a word like "the" or "enough"? Would we want children to be able to sound out words but not understand context? The skill of the teacher lies in understanding what is causing a child difficulty and in tailoring instruction to meet the child's needs.

Teacher federations do not determine reading policy in Ontario.

We do work with the Ontario Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat to improve reading instruction in our schools. That work is based on the best available research and practices.

Student teachers do learn how to teach reading as part of their curriculum. If they need extra support once they are in the classroom, they can avail themselves of any number of courses and workshops offered by the federation and by their school boards.


At 1:40 AM, Blogger christina said...

As a teacher who taught durng the 70's, 80's 90's and post mill. I beieve that younger folks have serious misconceptions about some terms being tossed out : "phonics" (vs phonics-base, "balanced literacy" and likely "whole language"(and the miltitude of WL terms). Understanding the brief history and what went on in education in these days, and clear definitions of these tems would be helpful to understand the situation today.

However, "Why put a roof on an empy barn" So if anyone wants some assistance, I'm here. Christina

At 1:41 AM, Blogger christina said...

Please excuse lazy-brain typing.


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