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question about relying too heavily on phonics Messages in this topic - RSS

Amy10
Amy10
Posts: 2


7/22/2019
Amy10
Amy10
Posts: 2
My district has been working in a balanced literacy framework for awhile now. However, recently there is a big shift in our district to focusing more on phonics and OG. I was just wondering if there is current research to defend this shift? Should we be doing less teaching of the strategies or tools that we have been using to help children figure out unknown words (ie. look for smaller words or word parts in bigger words, skip and read around it and then come back to it, look at the picture, etc.). Our current PD is telling us to have kids try to sound it out or give them word if they can't. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this and would love to hear from the professionals on what is current best practice. While we do have some kids that have dyslexia in our district, we also have a lot that don't and I am just wondering if we need to use the same practice for everyone. Thanks!
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Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 685


7/22/2019
Amy10 wrote:
My district has been working in a balanced literacy framework for awhile now. However, recently there is a big shift in our district to focusing more on phonics and OG. I was just wondering if there is current research to defend this shift? Should we be doing less teaching of the strategies or tools that we have been using to help children figure out unknown words (ie. look for smaller words or word parts in bigger words, skip and read around it and then come back to it, look at the picture, etc.). Our current PD is telling us to have kids try to sound it out or give them word if they can't. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this and would love to hear from the professionals on what is current best practice. While we do have some kids that have dyslexia in our district, we also have a lot that don't and I am just wondering if we need to use the same practice for everyone. Thanks!



You have made some great points that show your understanding of Fountas and Pinnell's values. A question you might ask is what about your work with children is not working? Start your investigation there and seek to find out why and what can be done to ensure the success of all children. Dr. Fountas has said "We don't have to be bad teachers to get better."


As is usual every few years the lobbyists and publishers of programs seem to thrust major campaigns "against" what many know really works with most children. Fountas and Pinnell have remained constant with the message to teach children not programs and the belief that there is no one program that fits every child. Reading is a complex process that cannot be simplified as some might attempt to do. Phonics is critical to reading but not more than understanding the message of the text being read. Reading written language involves using multiple sources to gain meaning or understanding. We can't focus on isolated phonics lessons that do not help students apply or use those principles in real reading and writing (search for and using information, monitor and correct using multiple sources, solve words in flexible ranges of strategic actions, read many words with fluency and automaticity, adjust to solve and speed up again).




Many entities try to link funding with particular researched programs which can be a problem for schools that rely on the funding source. The money issue may cause some administrators to shift the focus whether they truly understand the reasons for the shift or whether it is truly best for children. You can find the research for all of Fountas and Pinnell's systems and materials under the EXTEND tab above. There are many articles, blogs, featured posts, white papers, webinars, etc. under that tab as well in the Resources Library or Blog links. Fountas and Pinnell's professional books can be located under the EXPLORE tab. Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition would be a great resource to answer your questions. You are smart to seek information to respond to the direction in which your district seems to be moving. Your students need you to be their advocate for what will benefit them in becoming lifelong literate beings.

Some links to valuable information follow.
http://www.fountasandpinnell.com/resourcelibrary/id/293 Core Values

http://fpblog.fountasandpinnell.com/the-importance-of-guided-reading-within-a-multi-text-approach
http://www.fountasandpinnell.com/resourcelibrary/id/430 Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day: From Vision to Action in Literacy Learning


Best wishes as you continue to seek for answers!
Debbie
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