Monday, March 19, 2007

I hate whole language

Today, one of my 1st graders homework assignments was to write her spelling words four times each.

Before she writes them, I insist that she reads them to me first, so I know that she can read them, and isn't just memorizing letter combinations.

I point to the first word [say].

"say", she repeats back to me

Great, I think. She has it.

I point to the next word [pay], thinking it should be easy as well.

"near" she says.

I realize that she is going from memory by now, since the word "near" is word number 3 on her list.

"near??? try again" I say, "sound it out this time."

"pppppppp ...... aaaaaaaaa ....... yyyyyyyy(not the vowel sound)... near."

"Skye, the word is not near... sound it out again, and this time put the sounds together"

"OK, daddy. ppppppppp... aaaaaaaaaa... yyyyyyyyyy........ ppppp... aaaaaa... yyyyy... pair."

After a few seconds of this, I start to feel sorry for her, as well as feel a little frustrated, so I decide to help her out a bit.

"'ay', makes an "ay" sound... like in the word 'say'. What sound does an 'a' 'y' make?"

"ay" she yells.


I point to the "p" while covering up the "ay".

"pppppp" she says hesitantly.

I point to the "ay"

"ay" she says.

"OK, put them together this time."

She tries again... "pppppp ay... p ay... pay"

"Awesome!" I exclaim, "lets do another one."

I decide to skip the word [near] and point to word #4 [May].

"Number three is near" she says with confidence and a big smile on her cute little face.

Did I mention how much I hate whole language?