Skillful decoder. Misreads the SMALL, non-content words.

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cartwheel
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Skillful decoder. Misreads the SMALL, non-content words.

Post by cartwheel » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:16 am

How does one help a child (originally taught to use guessing "strategies") who can now decode unfamiliar multi-syllabic words quite well...., but who "reads" the small words (e.g. she, when, the) incorrectly. I.e. she is skipping right over them and throwing in whatever seems to come to mind.

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:25 pm

The 'notched card'! Originated by Hilsie Burkhardt of the Promethean Trust and much used by members of the BRI list.

Basically it is just a small piece of card which covers the word and is used to disclose the graphemes one by one to ensure decoding. (I always used a finger, but hey, technological progress can't be ignored...)

That, and insisting every time that the child returns to the misread word and reads it correctly. Most of them get very fed up with having to repeat read a word and start taking care to read it correctly in the first place.

Rewards for absolute accuracy in passage reading? I sometimes play a 'beat the teacher' game where I score points for every misread word and the child score points for every correctly read sentence.

You are trying to establish a habit of paying attention to every word; I'm sure that there must be other ideas.

Does the child understand what she is reading?

I have a theory that many of these persistent guessers are truly 'barking at print' (or perhaps just 'barking', as they're not actually reading exactly what is on the page!) and that they probably don't expect what they are reading to make any sense.

jenny
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Post by jenny » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:34 pm

I don't really see how the notched card would help here with irregular words although I find it very useful for pupils who guess at decodable words. My own theory about these kinds of errors is that they arise as a result of the child being given a collection of 'tricky' words to learn as sight words in the initial stage of learning to read. I have come across children who persistently misread words - often apparently making bizarre guesses but, as I eventually realised, confusing words which were somehow 'linked' in their mind from having been taught at the same time- one child even persistently read 'and' as 'the' despite being a reasonably good decoder. I don't know the solution apart from repeatedly drawing attention to the errors which slows down fluency and impairs understanding.

mtyler
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Post by mtyler » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:36 pm

You could use the notched card word by word, rather than spelling by spelling. This could help focus attention appropriately.

I have found some value in having my daughter read spelling by spelling, with a finger underneath, without actually blending the sounds together or trying to get content, for a couple of sentences before reading. This seems to help the general propensity for skipping small words and word endings.

Melissa
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maizie
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Post by maizie » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:59 pm

I don't really see how the notched card would help here with irregular words


But the words cartwheel mentioned aren't 'irregular'.

I would agree with jenny that they have probably been taught as 'whole' words. no doubt she has always been encouraged to read for 'meaning' and these errors just not picked up on as long as what she read made some sort of sense.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:34 pm

The 'notched card' approach is surely better for word by word reading as the 'reader' is the one that has to make decisions regarding recognising 'graphemes' which may consist of more than one letter within each word.

It is this skill of both recognising known graphemes and making decisions regarding the splitting up of the printed word which a reader needs.

I, personally, think the wrongly read 'small words' is often about the adults' over-emphasis of 'reading fluently with expression' whereby many learners may be expected prematurely to read text which is beyond their true alphabetic code knowledge and blending skill - or even ahead of their intellectual skill when they 'can' read quite well.

This inevitably means that multi-strategy (guessing) reading takes place by default and readers resort to making-up (deducing) considerable chunks - including the small words.

Interestingly, such readers often make up some kind of semi-plausible sentence (even if it doesn't make total sense) and because this is their 'approach' to reading, there is nothing within them to ask themselves if 'it makes sense' because they are not fully aware that they ARE making up the words and phrases in the first place.

One frustrating scenario is trying to explain to other teachers (not of the SP inclination/experience) that children who can apparently read quite sophisticated 'text' level material actually need to return to at least 'some' much simpler text level material to focus on 'accuracy' and left to right tracking!

Such children are often much better 'readers' than they are 'writers' because their multi-cueing background may well have enabled them to access text at a relatively high level but it invariably leaves them struggling with how to spell and write ambitiously.

A word of caution re the 'notched card' however. I think this has proven to be excellent for beginners and real strugglers - but ultimately readers need to be able to take in overall phrases to make sense of sentences in terms of meaning and therefore the use of such a card needs to be used judiciously.

It is not possible to read at complex sentence level in a fully meaningful way if one cannot have access to the full sentence.

cartwheel
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Post by cartwheel » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:36 pm

About an hour after posting my question, I thought: "NOTCHED CARD!" After all, I had recently posted on another thread that I thought the notched-card approach sounded "brilliant in its simplicity."

Thank you everyone, for responding. Maize, I don't know if you know that you had previously helped my dd in terms of her b/d confusion. You are "a peach!"

Debbie, I agree that this seems to stem from an emphasis on "fluency."

So... I used the notched card yesterday, first going word-by-word (grapheme by grapheme would be too difficult for both of us; she reads advanced code words such as "vacation.") It worked so well that she read 4 pages without a single error.

She complained, however, that it was slowing her down and not allowing her to emphasize words. I explained that this is training her eyes and her brain and that we can concentrate on expression once her eyes and brain are trained. She said something like: "I know. I read the long words really well, but I think the small words are so easy I just don't pay attention."

Anyway, because word-by-word went so well, we then tried line-by-line with the card. It worked great. I didn't keep accurate "notes," before and after, but I would say that she had been misreading 2 out of 25 words previously (in books in which I could expect her to read every word easily) to misreading 2 out of 225. And most of those errors she self-corrected (which she had not previously done). Also, I don't know if I should have done this, but for today's reading, I upped the reading difficulty in that there were more words per line and many more words on each page. Previously dd had been intimidated by books with so many words to a page. The card seemed to hide this from her. When she finished a story (in the ARI-4 series that just arrived in the mail - yea! I am a newcomer to BRI/ARI), I flipped through those pages and said, "Did you know you could read such a grown-up looking book?" Smiles.

Jennie
Last edited by cartwheel on Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anna
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Post by Anna » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:48 pm

Hi Cartwheel,

Welcome to BRI. You'll find the books great. I use them for my younger pupils or those at a more basic level. Have you joined the yahoo group? You'll get loads of useful advice and info there.

I find this is common amongst my older learners - whether they read m-s words well or not. I will use the notched card if they are making errors such as mixing from/for, no/on.

With other children where they are just interchanging 'sight words' randomly, they do 'know' them but are not self-monitoring (Dick's term), as they have been encouraged to read for 'meaning', as others have said. However misreading these words can alter the meaning, which I always point out and say that I expect them to read the exact words on the page.

In this case I will just point to the word and find they immediately correct or I'll get them to re-read the sentence - they then know that they've made an error. I also do this when they miss out small words or misread punctuation. Several current pupils tend to miss out full stops and alter the text/word order etc. I have recently used the card sentence by sentence to help with this and it works well.

I have one pupil who was constantly mixing 'and' and 'the'. I discussed this with her and she said it was because she didn't look at them closely. I said I wanted her to work on this and she is much better now!

Dick has a game with coins where you take one away for each error of this type made. Pupils are usually very motivated to improve on games like like. Once they can decode at whatever level they are working on. I have found this is popular but I use glass nuggets. Again. you only use it whilst you need to.

Re-reading the stories would be ideal as you could then remove the card and your daughter could work on expression and hopefully she will maintain the accuracy too.

cartwheel
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Post by cartwheel » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:35 am

Hi all,
Update: Within 7-10 days of using the notched card to read word-by-word, and then a regular card to read line-by-line, my daughter began to read all through every word without use of anything but her EYES. Her accuracy is about 99% and she self-corrects almost all of the time.

I see my daughter's enjoyment of reading picking up as a result! Thank you!

Jennie

mtyler
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Post by mtyler » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:35 am

That's great to hear, Jennie!

Melissa
Minnesota, USA

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