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Learning to Read or Reading to Learn

m.steinfeld's picture

This past week I have spent a significant amount of time asking others and myself, how do you teach reading? I realized that in my placement in first grade I am constantly asked to help the students learn to read. But what does that really mean? How am I supposed to help them? My main question was, when do I give the student the word and when do I let them work through it? I got answers from Alice, Amy (our guest speaker) and my field placement teacher.  I got similar but slightly different answers from each. However what I took from what everyone said and my own experience is that there is no right way to teach reading; it is all dependent on the child’s needs and personality and what the goals of the reading are. Are the student learning to read or reading to learn? Do I want them to learn how to sound out words or do I want them to learn how to get a story out of a book? Each case I would have to handle differently, which is true about each of the kids reading. Some will get frustrated quickly and so I’ll have to be quicker to give them the word because I don’t want them focused on their frustration I want them focused on the words, but if they can handle struggling a little longer than I can wait to give it to them (suggested by my field placement teacher). I am excited to get back into my field placement and try my new found teaching techniques with the students. I hope to find that I can learn the needs of each student and adjust my teaching accordingly. I also am excited to ask the teachers in Ghana how they teach their students to read and learn about the specific needs of the students in their classrooms.