View Full Version : Teaching young children to read

02-11-2009, 04:59 AM
Now, I love my daughter's kindergarten teacher. I really do. And my daughter is just blooming under her care.


they've started this program where they send the kids home with these little classroom printed readers, stapled down the side for binding, as an inexpensive supplement to their regular reading primers. These booklets feature line drawings with a loose storyline, and the text is made up of more unusual words than you'd find in Dick & Jane, but still easily sounded out. So, the premise makes sense.

But if you have to gerry rig the sentence:

The hog straps figs to his hips.

you are simply trying too hard.

I'm sure Miss M has never contemplated how this shit is going to come back to me in my dreams. I'm afraid to go to bed tonight.

02-11-2009, 05:32 AM
i can totally see a hog doing that. Pork is good cooked with fruit like apricots so why not figs? maybe it's a cookbook in disguise.

02-11-2009, 05:40 AM
i can totally see a hog doing that. Pork is good cooked with fruit like apricots so why not figs? maybe it's a cookbook in disguise.

"Don't get on the ship! It's a COOKBOOK!"

And the hog image is just :ROFL:

02-11-2009, 05:45 AM
Not to mention trying to trip up kids with nonsense that'll make their heads spin. That's not cool. Make a good story, simple. That's all you have to do to get kids to read. That sentence you gave sounds more like one of those sucko typing lines from Typing101...the ones that boggled you so much, the info wouldn't go from your brain to your fingers...so you failed the damn typing test. Good story, simply told...that teaches kids to read.

02-11-2009, 05:51 AM
Well, yeah, that's what I thought. The whole thing is bizarro. A frog gets hit by a falling fig. So, the dog tells him, "Go into your log. Drag a rod to the figs." At this point I'm wondering if something was a little past its prime in my dinner.

Then he tells him to grip the rod, and prod the figs. Which, I think you'll agree, is just weird. The all of a sudden there's this pig, strapping them on. I think I'm going to cry.

02-11-2009, 05:52 AM
Disgraceful. Really, it is. They are over-thinking things and are only bound to confuse children, not ignite them. Tongue twisters are for older kids.

02-11-2009, 06:29 AM
My gutter mind just can't get past the euphemisms, let alone trying to comprehend what is actually happening in the story!

Clair Dickson
02-11-2009, 07:39 AM
If I had a kid who was reading this, I'm sure I'd have a hard time not laughing or repeatedly uttering, "What the hell kind of story is this?"

I'm not entirely sure I should ever be allowed to have kids... ;-)

02-11-2009, 07:46 AM
Oh you can have kids, if that's your biggest speedbump. We laughed and made face WTF faces through the whole thing. My daughter has a great WTF face.

I couldn't think of what else to do. Wouldn't want her to think it made any sense at all. She's weird enough without it.

And yes, chevbrock, I had the same inappropriate giggles.

Crazy friggin' book.

02-11-2009, 07:57 AM
Crazy friggin' book.

Sounds like something PA might publish.

02-11-2009, 09:52 AM
I don't know. Maybe it's a location thing cause I am with chevbrock and have no idea what is going on or what that sentence is suppose to mean :Shrug:

02-11-2009, 10:04 AM
It's an exercise in sounding out "words" :D

It's NOT supposed to make sense - If you tried to find the story, but my apologies - you failed!

Marian Perera
02-11-2009, 12:54 PM
I'm pretty sure the first reader I had in school said,

Jip the cat and Ben the dog sat in the tin pot. "The tin pot is old. Can we live in a new house?"

Oh good. They weren't being cooked.

02-11-2009, 01:08 PM

02-11-2009, 05:18 PM
Take another look at them, Perks. My daughter is in Kindergarten and she's bringing home the same kind of booklets. It looks to me that each one is designed to highlight specific sounds and consonant combinations. Some include unusual spellings that have those same sounds. They may not be written for story content, but for phonetic reading value. There have been academic arguments about the best way to teach a child to read, and one side holds that a phonetic approach is best, even if real words are not initially formed in the children's minds (very loose interpretation of that approach). These little booklets may be a compromise, a blended approach to learning to read.

Reading is just starting to "click" for Fizzette, like with your little one, and it's so much fun to watch. She's now sounding out signs when we drive in the car, and her shrill shout-out when she gets one prompts an in-car celebration. Fizzette beams.

02-11-2009, 05:23 PM
My kids have never seen a fig and would be hard-pressed to tell you what one even is. I suppose there's a place for nonsense in children's stories, otherwise no one would have heard of Dr. Seuss, but the nonsense has to go somewhere, have some kind of theme or point.

Don't worry too much about it, though Perksy. These "readers" are unlikely to permanently damage your little one. :)

Soccer Mom
02-11-2009, 05:24 PM
I have a first grader and he loves the silly nonsense rhymes and surreal stories in those little booklets. I like the fact that they don't just scream READING IS SERIOUS AND IMPORTANT AND NOT TO BE ENJOYED. Usually, the last page gives you the specific phonics lessons that were incorporated into the booklet.

02-11-2009, 05:28 PM
If we have to have books that promote strange sounds and rhymes, why can't it be something fun instead of something just completely pointless?

If I was the kid I'd feel cheated and/or bored.

02-11-2009, 05:29 PM
Oh yeah, I know, NF. You're probably right. And I think since the jury is still out (and may always be) on which is better, phonetics or whole language approach, that they should do a bit of both. My only complaint is that the content is so, um, psychedelic.

It's fine and we all get a good laugh at the 'stories'. Ultimately, I can hardly complain. She's doing really, really well. And if you've the time, you may get a kick out of setting up a gmail account for your kindergartener. I filled her contacts list with family and close friends and she sends us the most hilarious emails. It's giving her a lot of confidence to just relax into reading and writing. And I get things like this (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3259075&postcount=86) to keep forever for use later as blackmail.