26 Sep
1908 Berry's Writing From Literature Book

1908 Berry’s Writing From Literature Book


A stunning article from the Washington Post caught my attention this week. It is a MUST READ. Interesting timing, because lately I’ve been reading that English majors are disappearing and cursive writing is on the wane. Do we really want that?

Reading, writing, speaking and listening in a tech balanced language arts program seems pretty obvious, but something’s not right. Did the pendulum swing too far?

Why Americans Can’t Write, authored opinion piece by Natalie Wexler shook me to the CORE. She states “You have to add before you can do calculus”. How eloquent. One assumes children know the basics of writing, the “rules”, including capitalization, punctuation and sentence construction.

By knowing the fundamentals of our language, students go on to more complex writing structures, those assessed by standardized testing. “Before students can write a coherent five paragraph essay, they need to learn to write a decent sentence, no matter what grade they’re in.”

This is the same situation with reading. The basic foundational skills of language arts have to be in place before children can accomplish the complex tasks required in Common Core.

I hope with STEM, we still remember the liberal arts. The outstanding research regarding what works is overflowing. Perhaps focus on technology has vastly overshadowed the time-tested building blocks of literacy. I’m not sure.

I trust the NAEP, National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Nation’s Report card. The last report showed 65% of 4th graders reading at or blow a basic level, etc.

Author Wexler reports NAEP writing at only 25% proficient level. Be sure to skim the article for details, think about it, talk with others.

Wexler’s article is worth discussion, whether we agree or not. Afterall, it was just her opinion.

I hope you check out my book, Reading Champs, Teaching Reading Made Easy. It’s really timely, with a couple of pages per basic skill in reading and writing. Not a beach read, busy teachers and parents enjoy a jam-packed ready-to-use resource. Just a bunch of mini-lessons, needed more now than ever.

Please talk with me on Twitter @RitaWirtz and FB. I’d love to hear from you!

Leaving footprints on your reading hearts, Rita


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