It’s time to stop debating how to teach kids to read and follow the evidence

Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 06:10 in Psychology & Sociology

On a chilly Tuesday back in January, my 7-year-old son’s classroom in Minneapolis was humming with reading activities. At their desks, first- and second-graders wrote on worksheets, read independently and did phonics lessons on iPads. In the hallway, students took turns playing a dice game that challenged them to spell out words with a consonant-vowel-consonant structure, like wig or map. In another part of the classroom, small groups of two or three children, many missing their two front teeth, took turns sitting on a color-block carpet with teacher Patrice Pavek. In one group, Pavek asked students to read out loud from a list of words. “Con-fess,” said a dimpled 7-year-old named Hazel, who sat cross-legged in purple boots and a black fleece. Pavek reminded Hazel that a vowel sound in the middle of a word changes when you put an e at the end. Hazel tried again. “Con-fuse,” she said. “Beautiful!”...

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