A different conference

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FEtutor
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A different conference

Post by FEtutor » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:15 pm

Anyone feeling rich and perhaps ready to put the case for decodable reading schemes?

http://krm-per.com/conference.php

Advertised in the Guardian yesterday.

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Susan Godsland
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Re: A different conference

Post by Susan Godsland » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:20 pm

Ah, a Real Books conference :mrgreen:

I don't think anyone will be permitted to put the case for decodables though:
As a result the conference will not at any point revisit past debates about the relative merits of 'phonics' versus 'whole language' or 'synthetic phonics' versus 'analytic phonics' and will concentrate instead on the respective role of real books and reading schemes in enabling children to read for pleasure, enjoy stories and experience success in learning to read.
Here's why they think decodables are bad:
The disadvantage is that the language they contain is restricted and so may convey little meaning and potentially fail to motivate some pupils or develop a desire to read.
So much mis-information tied up in one sentence :evil:

chew8
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Re: A different conference

Post by chew8 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:44 pm

I wish they could see how some of the weaker infant-school children I work with have moved from utter confusion and lack of enthusiasm about reading when they were expected to read 'real books' to confidence and real enthusiasm when they were given books that they could decode.

Jenny C.

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Re: A different conference

Post by JIM CURRAN » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:42 pm

KRM together with Victoria Park Books (Hackney) are holding a conference to look at the role of stories in teaching children to read. Although there has been considerable debate recently about the importance of synthetic phonic skills in learning to read, there has been far less discussion about the contribution of real books and reading schemes in: reinforcing children's phonic knowledge; broadening children's vocabularies; developing a love of books; reading for pleasure and raising standards.

If we ask children in 2011 about reading in schools are they more likely to talk about the literacy hour, phonic games, comprehension exercises, and SATs extracts or their favourite authors and stories or the next chapter in the class novel? Is it the case that children know their target to become a 'secure level 4b,' but would struggle to name their all time top ten books?

The conference addresses the dilemma faced by teachers when trying to raise reading standards, particularly with children from language impoverished homes, many of whom leave school being unable to read and write fluently. The tension then for teachers is how best to support children's acquisition of phonics skills while at the same time ensuring they have the chance to read their favourite books. On the one hand they are encouraged to use schemes so that children achieve early success through reading books that are phonically regular, are sequenced in order of difficulty and can be decoded with 100% accuracy. The disadvantage is that the language they contain is restricted and so may convey little meaning and potentially fail to motivate some pupils or develop a desire to read.

The alternative is to use real books where children share books and read all the sections for which they have the appropriate decoding skills and for teachers to read the rest. Children are encouraged to apply their phonic and sight word reading skills with 100% accuracy and although they will not read the complete book independently, they will encounter good stories and a wide vocabulary. The obvious disadvantage is that real books cannot be sequenced in order of difficulty and in the early stages of learning to read, children cannot read the entire book from cover to cover and so experience the same sense of success that they gain from reading schemes.

It is readily acknowledged that it is absolutely essential that children are taught synthetic phonics systematically and consistently. Equally they also need to be able to read a relatively small number of phonically irregular, high frequency, words on sight. As a result the conference will not at any point revisit past debates about the relative merits of 'phonics' versus 'whole language' or 'synthetic phonics' versus 'analytic phonics' and will concentrate instead on the respective role of real books and reading schemes in enabling children to read for pleasure, enjoy stories and experience success in learning to read.

We have brought together four distinguished speakers that represent different perspectives on these issues. They are Julia Eccleshare (Guardian's children's books editor and Director of CLPE), Charles Hulme (Professor of Psychology, University of York), Michael Rosen, (author and poet) and Greg Wallace (Executive Principal, Best Start Federation) who was the executive headteacher of Woodberry Down Primary School, that was described in the Ofsted report, 'Reading by Six: How the best schools do it.'

The morning conference will discuss the crucial role of stories in teaching reading, with guest speakers Michael Rosen and Julia Eccleshare. We will introduce our pioneering 'Real Books Database' and 'Reading Maps'. The Database is the UK's first database of written English, compiled exclusively from over 500 well known story books for children aged 5-7. It enables teachers to use real books to teach reading and feel secure that they have a clear of sense of progression, a basis for assessment and framework for meeting parental expectation. Each book has been analysed so that teachers can see the proportion of any book that can be read through the KRM 100 high frequency words, phonically regular words and letter combinations. In addition the database indicates the proportion of any book that can be read through the skills taught in Letters and Sounds, Jolly Phonics, Read, Write Inc. and THRASS. Reading Maps is an on-line personalised reading programme that enables teachers and families to explore the world of books together and allows children the freedom to make informed decisions about their choices of books.

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Susan Godsland
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Re: A different conference

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:38 pm

I've just learnt that Michael Rosen, one of the conference speakers, was on TV CH5 The Wright Stuff programme this morning being very negative about synthetic phonics -no change there then!

I'll put up the clip if/when it appears.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: A different conference

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:50 pm

I find it extremely sad that Michael Rosen abuses his appearances and publicity opportunities to go to quite extraordinary lengths to do 'synthetic phonics' teaching down. He is clearly very unhappy by the government's promotion of SP.

But what I also suspect is that Michael Rosen does not want to conduct conversations where we explain about synthetic phonics - the teaching principles and how these relate to his worries, the reason for government promoting SP for all pupils and welcoming clarification where he has mistaken ideas about synthetic phonics teaching. :sad:

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: A different conference

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:52 pm

I shall be listening with great interest to Michael Rosen's views at the forthcoming conference, however, so that I might be able to understand his worries more fully - and attempt to address them either at the conference or later. :grin:

chew8
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Re: A different conference

Post by chew8 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:29 pm

Debbie wrote:I shall be listening with great interest to Michael Rosen's views at the forthcoming conference, however...
Does this mean that you are going to the KRM conference, Debbie, or that Rosen is coming to the RRF conference?

Jenny C.

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Re: A different conference

Post by JIM CURRAN » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:31 pm

Quote: It is readily acknowledged that it is absolutely essential that children are taught synthetic phonics systematically and consistently.

I think that we are all pretty much in agreement with this statement on the Krm website. If Michael Rosen disagrees with this statement I don’t know why he is involved with Krm.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: A different conference

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:32 pm

Hi Jenny!

I am going to the KRM conference. :grin:

I don't imagine that Michael Rosen would want to set foot at an RRF conference although he would be most welcome of course!

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Re: A different conference

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:51 pm

http://www.channel5.com/shows/the-wrigh ... ode-189-19 -for 7 days only

It's 6.45 mins into the programme.

Be prepared to be very cross if you listen as he relays a load of mis-information about synthetic phonics :evil:

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Re: A different conference

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:09 pm

I've just listened to Michael Rosen when Matthew Wright asked him what 'synthetic phonics' is.

Rosen's description wasn't even synthetic phonics but a muddled attempt at part blending to the point of saying 'b-ed' (onset and rime phonics).

He then went on to say that 25% of the words that teachers give children are 'tricky' and cannot be read by phonics.

What seems to upset him is that the government is saying that there is only this 'one way' to teach reading.


I've written a 'comment' to Wright Stuff and said that Rosen is entitled to his opinion but that his level of misinformation is worrying.

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Vicki Lynch
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Re: A different conference

Post by Vicki Lynch » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:25 pm

I just happened to put the Wright Stuff on this morning whilst having breakfast and nearly threw up in my porridge.
I went on to Mr. Rosen's website and found his personal email address and sent him a message. He replied and we proceeded to have a bit of a discussion where he really just told me to 'drop the patronising crap.'
Charming.

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Re: A different conference

Post by john walker » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:03 pm

I've just watched it, too. There is a simple answer to him, Vicki. It's just, 'Drop the crap!'
John Walker
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: A different conference

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:48 pm

http://www.channel5.com/shows/the-wrigh ... 9#comments

I've just checked out the 'comments' section on The Wright Stuff and mine is nowhere to be seen! Censorship then?

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