Talking to teacher about reading

refinNovember 10, 2006

I like almost everything they are doing in my 5yo's K class, the teachers are super but there seems to be a lot of time working on reading: sounding out words, sight words, etc. I am starting to wonder if I should speak up and ask the teacher to address other aspects of reading (comprehension, etc). My 5 yo is already reading easy chapter books so I realize she is somewhat advanced but there are many other kids that are reading well also. From what I understand, about 2 hours a day are spent on some aspect of reading. My child isn't bored. Should I approach the teacher and, if so, what should I say? I feel like I am asking them to change the class for my kid but I think there are other reading skills these kids need to learn as well or is 2 hours a day typical?

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Is your child in a half day or full day program? I'm not quite sure why you think the teacher is not addressing the other aspects of reading. Most likely state standards are being addressed and covered in a curriculum guide that the teacher is using. I wouldn't expect that your 5 year old will come home and tell you that today we covered sequencing, patterns, details in stories, we also talked about clues in the story and made inferences. Good teachers will differentiate the lessons so that all students will benefit from lessons. Write all of your concerns down and the best time to adddress them with the teacher would be at a scheduled conference which usually takes place after the first quarter. Also, you should ask the teacher for specific things you can be doing with your child at home. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 11:19AM
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One of the many problems with No Child Left Behind is that students tend to have the most testing on word level reading skills such as sounding out words, making rhyming words, etc., and little/no testing is focused on a deep levels of reading comprehension. Schools and teachers are being held accountable mostly for teaching the word level skills. While word level reading skills are important, reading comprehension is definately taking a back seat to these skills. The result is that many students can say the words on a page beautifully but they really don't understand what they're reading. The emphasis on reading short bits of reading that is a part of teaching to the test also often results in students not being able to tackle longer pieces of text. Even when students have basic comprehension of text, they often struggle with deeper comprehension like being able to identify the viewpoint of the author.
The US Department of Education is currently working on revamping No Child Left Behind. Now is the prime time to make your voice heard. You could e-mail the USDE with your concerns about the lack of reading comprehension instruction and the focus on basic skills.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 10:12AM
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You could ask if enrichment is available in your school and when they start. When my son was in elementary school, the public school he went to started enrichment in third grade, they now start in first grade! They offer reading and math at our school. My son was in both programs since third grade, he is now a high school senior. Even with the enrichment classes he was placed in (two class periods a day) he still felt that the math classes moved too slow, so we did more work at home. There are teaching stores where materials are available, Borders and Barnes and Noble also carry useful materials. While it may be that you expect your child to receive the best education possible, a teacher does have to follow a curriculum within their district, and teach at a level that will reach the most students. If your child is at the leading edge of her class, it will probably be up to you to make sure she gets the extra attention she needs. This should easier since she excels at reading. Provide good books for her to read, and then ask her about them! If you do have teaching supply store nearby, they sell books that have stories and reading comp. questions about the stories, these are great for practising.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 1:14PM
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