Assignment #1

February 18th, 2010

Question #1

Come up with major points that connect the article “What is Reading” to the video we saw in class.

 Question #2

Fadiman writes about repeated misdiagnosis. Do you think teachers  “misdiagnose” their students?

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15 Responses to “Assignment #1”

  1. Jillian Pearsall on February 19, 2010 9:48 am

    Question 1:
    A.) Goodman states, “…you can’t escape the work of making sense of it yourself, of constructing your own meaning.”
    The nine year old girl worked really hard throughout the entire story to make sense of the text by constructing her own meaning which is apparent when she retold the story.

    B.) Goodman states, “Mistakes have to be part of the process of making sense of print.”
    The little girl made plenty of mistakes but did those mistakes affect her understanding of the story. By analyzing her re-telling and answers to the follow-up questions her mistakes did not affect her comprehension.
    Continuing with miscues, Goodman wrote “…they were combining language cues from the printed story with what they knew about how language works.” I believe the little girl has trouble with how language works because she substitutes words that don’t make sense in the sentence. Throughout most of the reading, she substitutes words that have the same beginning sound for example, better for between, inside for instead, wanted for went, speak for squeak, spot for sneaked, etc. but do not make sense in the sentence. She is also having trouble with her sight words because her word substitutions are sight words as well as the words she replaced were sight words, for example, was for saw, see for sleep, went for wind, his for its, come or go for move, etc.

    C.) Goodman wrote, “Readers use all kinds of cues at the same time, I had to develop a taxonomy of miscues, a way of analyzing each miscue at several levels and in several aspects.”
    For this little girl, her miscues were a low quality for this reading which didn’t affect her comprehension of the story, but if you continued studying her miscues throughout several levels and aspects would the quality of her miscues change? I believe the quality would change depending if you gave her an easier or harder text. I believe as the quality of miscues increases her ability to comprehend the story will faultier.

    D.) Goodman touches upon identifying words in the article, “…children can read words in stories that they can’t identify from lists, and I found overwhelming support for that belief…in reading the story they could draw on both semantic and syntactic contexts, while in lists they had no cues other than those in the out-of-context words themselves.”
    This is another way to test the little girl’s abilities by testing her word knowledge by using a list as well as identifying words within a text. I wonder if you took words out of this story and placed them in a list, would she be able to identify the same words? I believe this little girl did use the context of the story to help her understand certain words as well as the overall comprehension of the story.

    E.) Goodman states, “I’m convinced that there’s a single reading process-just one way of making sense of print-regardless of differences in language and orthography.”
    The little girl uses her reading strategies to help her make sense of print for example identifying initial sounds in words, self correcting, repeats words in a sentence, and looks at the beginning of words to substitute the word for a word she knows. Even with the many mistakes, she was able to use her strategies which helped her make sense of the print.

    I wonder if you studied her miscues during other texts would her strategies stay consistent and would she continue making sense of print?

    I feel that this girl would have to be studied several times to identify common miscues to improve her reading strategies and her overall reading ability.

    Question 2:
    Teachers are like nurses and many other professions where you have set ideas about how you look at people and make diagnosis. You can be distracted by looking at things one way and not being open to what the real problem is. Some teachers may have a preconceived problem in their head so they are not just listening and observing your student you are bringing your own philosophy of looking at students but it is important to be open to learning. Some teachers are so focused on looking at a particular problem so they are not realizing the whole picture and seeing each student’s problems individually. Some teachers are quick to identify a problem so that they can produce a solution that the teacher is more familiar with rather than what is really best for the child. Some teachers can get into a comfortable routine without noticing the detriment to their students. A problem may arise if the student is an ELL or ESL due to a language barrier therefore making it more difficult to diagnosis a problem rather than a miscommunication. It is important to continue your education to learn knew techniques and strategies to use in the classroom. To avoid misdiagnosis teachers should observe and test students several times as well as in several different situations this will reveal a supported problem by the results collected.

  2. Kristyn O'Brien on February 19, 2010 3:11 pm

    Assignment # 1
    Question # 1
    While reading his book, Goodman thought it was important for his readers to “construct their own meaning.” Each reader will construct their own meaning “employing their own values, understandings and experiences.” The fifth grader from the movie brought in her meanings and her understandings. It is also important to remember that “no reader’s meaning will ever completely agree with the writer’s meaning.” Goodman makes a significant point by stating that “Texts are more than collections of letters and words.” As teachers, it is important to teach the letters of the alphabet and then the patterns of the letters that make up words. But even when our students can view these letters, sound them out, and visually recognize the patterns, does this mean they are reading? And from the opposite perspective, if they can’t recognize the letters, sounds, and patterns, but can construct their own meaning of the text and give a detailed response, does this mean they are not readers? The girl from the movie substituted her own words for the words in the text and made up words. However, her detailed response and summary to the text she read was amazing. She definitely impressed me. Her miscues were very low quality miscues. She did not let her miscues get in the way of constructing the meaning of the text. Goodman also states that “the sense you make of a text depends on the sense you bring to it.” For someone just observing this girl, one would think she brought little to no sense to the text. She proved that she was bringing a great deal of sense to the text, and she made perfect sense of it.
    Goodman makes an important point when he states “..we can’t assume that perception of letters and words in the process of making sense of real meaningful texts is the same as recognizing letters and words in isolation or in highly reduced contexts. And we can’t assume that comprehension follows successive recognition of words.” The girl in the movie proved his point. Comprehension did not follow success in recognizing the words; in fact, comprehension came after an unsuccessful recognition of the words. These mistakes or miscues “are part of the process of making sense of print.” Efficient reading is “using just enough of the available cues, given what a reader brings to the reading, to make sense of the text.” This is a valid point. The girl from the movie made sense of the reading even through her miscues. She was effectively and sufficiently “reading.”

    Question #2
    I believe some teachers do misdiagnose their students. Making assumptions and judgments of your students before getting to know them and truly understanding where they come from is wrong. Many teachers also talk to each other about their students and those students are prejudged and labeled. I also believe sometimes teachers misdiagnose students with a disorder. Most teachers are brilliant, loving, caring, and kind. They are not, however, trained psychiatrists who can determine a child who can not sit still with ADHD or a moody child to be Emotionally Disturbed. I also think language and cultural barriers may bring on a misdiagnosis. It is hard to understand why students act and speak the way they do without knowing their cultures and beliefs. In some cultures it is disrespectful to look at an adult in the eyes, so as American teachers we may say “please look at me when I’m speaking to you.” Teachers should accept the students the way they are and try their hardest to research and learn more about each child’s culture and customs. It will be a learning experience for all.

  3. Margaret C. Bena (Kelly) on February 19, 2010 5:53 pm

    Question 1:
    The question than is “What is Reading”? After reading Goodman’s article and discussing it in class, is there an answer that everyone can agree upon? My response is “No”.
    Goodman states on page 1 “However hard I work to make my text sensible for you, you can’t escape the work of making sense of it yourself, of constructing your own meaning.” What I believe and understand as reading will be different from everyone in class. Goodman also states this in his article on page 2 “Each of you will construct your own meaning, employing your own values, understandings and experiences as you do so.”
    Now, how does this apply to the video. Watching the young girl read the text aloud was very interesting. When the class was polled if they would stop her from reading because of the many miscues, many in class said that they would stop her. Myself, I would not have stopped her. The reason, being because in my opinion the young girl was comfortable reading. Goodman, states on page 2 “…I have to stress two important points: Texts are more than collections of letters and words. Making sense of texts involves complex control, by both readers and writers, of how language works and how texts are constructed.”
    The young girl according to Goodman was able to make sense of what she was reading, because as he stated on page 2 “… the sense you make of a text depends on the sense you bring to it.” The young girl had simplt enough sense of what she was reading, to understand the text. Even with the miscues.
    As an educator, I would have let her finished the text and then asked her the retell the story. Had, I stopped her because of the all of the miscues, she would not have been able to demonstrate her knowledge of what she had read.
    Many teacher,s top students when they have so many miscues, however, if they are allowed to read, (as long as they are not frustrating with the text) it could show that have a greater undersnating of the text that they are reading.

    Question 2:
    I feel that many teacher “misdiagnose” their students. My feeling is based on my own experiences as a student, as well as working with teachers who are quick to refer a student without attempting to understand what process the student is going through to read the text.
    What some teachers have seemed to forget is that learning, is a process. That not all students are going to learn in the same way shape or form. Allowing students to processes information in many different avenues, will create a better student.
    It then becomes the idea that this “student” needs special services. In some cases that is tre, I am not saying it is not. However, that is not the case for every student that is in their classroom.
    In my opinion, some teachers have to go back and realize why they became teachers int he first place. Teaching is an art form that many do well, and stduents will learn from. However, the teacher that have “burned out” or are “done”, they should not be in the classroom anymore. The students are the ones that are going to suffer. Some will be able to bounce back the next year, but their are some that will never enjoy school again.

  4. Erica Menchin on February 19, 2010 6:01 pm

    Online Post # 1

    I believe the article entitled “What is Reading” and the video we watched in class are similar in many ways. Goodman defines reading as “a process of making sense from print.” ( page 3) Although it wasn’t quite clear when the child in the video was reading Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, she did understand what she was reading. It became evident during her re-telling of the story that she had a high level of comprehension. Therefore, in her own way, she was “making sense from print.”( page 3) Upon understanding the text however, she made many miscues. As Goodman states in What is Reading states though, “…mistakes are part of the process of making sense of print.” ( page 5) These mistakes allowed us to understand what type of reader the little girl was. We were able to determine what she needed help with and also suggested several possible mini lessons we would carry out with the child. This experience was similar to how Goodman states in his piece that everything he learned about reading, he learned from children.

    Online Post #2

    I do think teachers “misdiagnose” their students because they often diagnose them too quickly in the first place. I have noticed this misdiagnosis quite a bit this year as I am teaching in a Cooperative Team Teaching classroom. As I got to know my students over the first couple of weeks of school, I was able to notice that a few of the special education students didn’t seem to belong in special education. I think teachers are sometimes too quick to refer a child for special education. Instead of recognizing that a child may just have a type of social, emotional or learning disability and trying different strategies of working with these children in a mainstream classroom, some teachers simply place these children in a special education class perhaps prematurely.

    In addition, teachers sometimes “misdiagnose” their students as “poor readers, poor writers or poor mathematicians.” This could be due to a number of things including various reading, writing and math assessments or simple classroom observations. They are too quick to misdiagnose these students who might be simply struggling in a particular subject area. As a result, some teachers give up hope on properly assessing these students. It becomes easier for them to focus on their areas of strength rather than to work with these students in areas they are lacking.

  5. Judy Feder on February 20, 2010 1:58 pm

    Question 1:
    In “What is Reading” Goodman explains that real world observations of children reading are necessary in order for us to understand what reading is (p.5). By paying attention to a child’s miscues we can learn how he/she is making sense of the print, and what areas in that child’s understanding of reading need to be further developed. In listening to (and analyzing) the miscues of the girl in the video, we are able to see how she is making sense of the print, according to Goodman. This will then aid her teachers in knowing which areas she needs help.
    The girl in the video was making sense of the text in her own way, which Goodman describes as part of the process of reading. In speaking of the young students he observed while reading, Goodman states, “They were making sense, and to do so, they were combining language cues from the printed story with what they knew about how language works” (p.5). This is what the girl in the video was doing as we observed her in the reading process. She was using language cues, such as letter-sound relationships and context clues to try and make sense of the print. I also think that her knowledge of story structure (perhaps since she was read to a lot at home) aided her a great deal in her ability to comprehend the text.
    Finally, I believe that Goodman’s characterization of reading as “psycholinguistic guessing” (p. 7) highly relates to what the girl in the video was doing. She was using her own knowledge and experiences to try and make sense of the print. We saw this when she said “stone” for the word “pebble.” She was using her own thoughts/knowledge to try and make sense of the story here.

    Question 2:
    I think that some teachers often misdiagnose their students. If teachers don’t take the time to familiarize themselves with the distinct levels and abilities of each student in the class, the students may not receive the type/amount of instruction and help that they require. The teacher needs to make an effort to try and understand and take interest in the background and home life of each student so as not to write off or misdiagnose certain behaviors, beliefs, or understandings of that child. Just as some doctors initially misdiagnosed Lia because her parents could not communicate that she was experiencing seizures, some teachers may also misdiagnose students of different cultures as understanding/not understanding when they really are/aren’t. Therefore, it is important to create some common mode of communication so that both teacher and student can understand one another.

  6. Jessica McCarson on February 20, 2010 11:58 pm

    Question #1

    In the article “what is Reading,” there are many points that connect to the video. Goodman said that reading is “a process of making sense from the print.” The girl from the video was not able to read on her grade level but she was able to “make sense of the print.” When she was asked to retell the story, she did it without hesitation with even having to look back at the book. She was able to comprehend the story. Goodman also stated that “mistakes have to be part of the process of making sense of print.” The girl in video made many mistakes but even though she made those mistakes she was still able to understand what she was reading. Making mistakes, I feel, is part of learning. In the article, it also says that “as readers use cues from the linguistic text, they bring their knowledge and beliefs about the world to bear on making sense.” The girl in the video took her prior knowledge of birthday parties and applied it to the story she was reading. Instead of reading gifts, she read girls. However, she had read birthday party correctly. Doing this, she knew that at birthday parties you receive presents. So when she was retelling the story, she was able to make sense of what she read by connecting it to prior knowledge.

    Question #2

    I do feel that sometimes teachers do “misdiagnosis” their students. I feel it can be easy to do this. Sometimes teachers make assumptions right away without even really knowing the student. They do not get to know the student before they “diagnosis” them. I also feel that as time goes, you look differently at your students. During the school year, you get to know your students better. You see what affects them and know if your student is just having a bad day or is not acting how they normally do. You get to know their behaviors and I feel without knowing certain things you cannot make an accurate “diagnosis” of a student. It is very easy to make a judgment about a student but your judgment may not always be correct. Unfortunately, I feel that it happens often. I feel sometimes teachers are not even aware that they are doing it. I feel the best thing to do it to really get to know your students and try not to the assumptions you would normally make.

  7. Tami Redler on February 21, 2010 12:21 pm

    Assignment #1-Question 1:
    The article “What is Reading” connects to the movie we watched in many ways. Goodman states, “In reading this book, you have to take your turn at trying to make sense of it. (“Make sense” is a common way of saying “construct meaning.”)” Whenever a person reads something, they have to come up with their own interpretation of what they read and “make sense” of it. In the movie, the girl who was reading the story was trying to make sense of what she was reading by constructing her own meaning. Somehow through all her miscues, she was still able to make sense of the story and comprehend everything that happened. I wonder if she had a story on a 4th grade level if she would be able to retell the story with the same comprehension.
    Goodman also says that “mistakes have to be part of the process of making sense of print.” The girl in the movie made many mistakes, but it seemed as she was reading she was still making sense of the words she was saying. This proves that you don’t have to read every word correctly in order to comprehend a story. As a teacher, if you are testing a child on reading to see where their level is, sometimes you might have to let the student continue reading a story where they are making many mistakes because in the end they might still comprehend the story. This could help you decide whether the level should be a guided level or independent level.
    Another point Goodman made was “As readers use cues from the linguistic text, they bring their knowledge and beliefs about the world to bear on making sense. They ‘guess’ what’s coming, making predictions and inferences; they are selective about use of text cues and they monitor their ‘guesses’ for contradictory cues.” I believe that the girl in the story did just this. She used her prior knowledge to help retell the story and made inferences and predictions about what happened. Most struggling readers would not be able to comprehend a story where so many miscues were made, even if they used background knowledge. Somehow she was able to figure out what she read by the words she said correctly and used inferences to answer the questions the teacher had asked her. If she didn’t have as much prior knowledge, she probably wouldn’t have been able to infer what happened in the story.

    Assignment #1-Question 2:
    I think that teachers “misdiagnose” their students all the time. Teachers seem to be very quick to make judgments of students without getting to know them. They see one red flag and assume the child has a problem. Maybe the student was just having a rough day or maybe there are problems at home and they are just acting out. I feel though that teachers “misdiagnose” ESL children the most. It isn’t that the child is incapable of doing the work, it’s the language barrier that is affecting them. In their home country they could have been an A+ student, but since they don’t know the English language yet, they are more than likely to struggle. That doesn’t mean that they should be labeled as special education students. Yes, they do need the help to catch up and learn the language, but I feel labeling them is the wrong thing to do. After working w/ those children for awhile, if they are still having trouble, then you could “label” them. It’s important for teachers to look at the whole picture and not be quick to judge students’ capabilities in school.

  8. Meredith Kelleher on February 21, 2010 8:25 pm

    Question # 1
    In the article, “What is Reading?” by Goodman, he tells us his overall view on what he perceives reading to be. He says that “in spite of diversity within, reading is a universal psycholinguistic process, a single way of making sense of written language” (p. 9). When we read as adults, we are constructing meaning and this is exactly what children do as well. Each individual reader will contruct their own meaning of a text according using their prior knowledge, culture, values and experiences. “No two readers will ever produce the same meaning for a given text” (P. 2).
    The process of reading means that one is making sense of print. Readers make miscues and these so called “mistakes” are part of the process to making sense. From observing children’s miscues, Goodman found that by making these miscues, readers “demonstrated much more language sophistication”, he said on page 6. We cannot see children’s miscues as mistakes, but rather as a way of making sense.
    Goodman tells us that by observing children, he found that children could read words in stories, but couldn’t identify those exact words from a list. This shows that “they could draw on both semantic and syntactic contexts, while in lists they had no cues other than those in the out-of-context words themselves” (p. 7).
    Goodman’s article connects to the video that we saw in class because we were able to observe the significant amount of miscues this child was making. She stuck with those miscues throughout most of the story. When it came time to say the word “pebble”, towards the end, she flipped back and forth with the words “paper” and “stone”. This young child was reading and making sense of the story, no matter how many miscues she made. She was using the pictures as a form of making sense. She could have brought her own experiences with her and used her prior knowledge because she was able to give a full and explicit retell of the story, even though she had many miscues and seemed to have trouble throughout reading the whole story. We observed the young reader was not fluent and muffled words. Her low-quality miscues didn’t affect her comprehension. She was confident, self corrected a few times, consistent wit her miscues, had a great retell, sequencing and inferring. Even though she did not say most of the words correctly, her retell showed how she comprehended the story fully.
    After reading the article and watching the video, I learned that reading is not a simple and easy process where one looks at the words and can say them exactly correct and make sense. Not always being able to read the words correctly may not affect a child’s comprehension. After viewing the video, I learned it’s important to observe children’s reading in order for you as the teacher to see what you can work on with that specific child.

    Question # 2
    Yes I feel teachers “misdiagnose” their children all the time. Sometimes we tend to label students, judge based on first impressions, as a conscious act. We have to look past that and learn to focus on the child as a whole and not just negative things we may see. I know that many children are misdiagnosed and placed into special ed, maybe because they are having trouble reading. We must not jump to conclusions and look further to find out why that specific child may be having difficulty reading. As a teacher you must get to know each and every child to your best ability. Their home and family background may have something to do with their performance in school. Especially ESL children, we must understand that they cannot perform as well as English speaking children because of a language barrier. We must learn how to teach and help these students learn, that is our job and main concern!

  9. Jenna Tucciarone on February 21, 2010 8:42 pm

    Question #1
    There are several connections made between the article “What is Reading” and the video viewed in class. As we discussed in class, reading is comprised of several different parts: comprehension, decoding, fluency, etc. It is easy to believe that a child is a reader if they are able to decode words on grade level. However, as Goodman states, “make sense is a common way of saying construct meaning.” Reading is also understanding or making sense of print. Furthermore, Goodman stresses that reading is not the simple act of recognizing letters and/or words. She suggests two main points: the first, “texts are more than collections of letters and words and second, “making sense of texts involves complex control, by both the readers and writers, of how language works and how texts are constructed.” Although, the little girl in the video had difficulty identifying many of the words in the text, she showed a thorough understanding of the story. We were all puzzled as to how the little girl expressed such a great understanding of the story despite the number of miscues she made. Only at certain times the words she thought she was reading made sense in the context of the sentence. Also, she did not appear to be frustrated. Another important point Goodman makes which connects to the video is that, “mistakes have to be part of the process of making sense of print.” It seemed as though the girl used these mistakes or miscues to aid in her comprehension of the text. Despite the large number of mistakes made while reading, the girl was able to successfully retell the story using details. In addition, as we discussed in class, her miscues were of low quality. Her miscues did not significantly affect her comprehension as most of us predicted it would. Good readers monitor their reading which is what the girl in the video did. She thought about the words and their meaning while simultaneously trying to decode them. Lastly, Goodman talks about how the sense gained from text depends on the sense you bring to it. As teachers we become familiar with our students strengths and weaknesses. Since we had no background information on the girl in the video it was difficult to point what strategies she used to aid in her comprehension. She could have very well brought her own sense to the text.

    Question #2
    I believe teachers often “misdiagnose” their students largely because I have seen it done firsthand. As teachers we are eager to help our students in any way possible. If we recognize a problem we tend to use our knowledge and past experiences to make a prediction or form our own diagnosis. Unfortunately, this leads to “misdiagnosis” which can label a child with something they do not have for a long period of time. Consequently, they may be treated differently or not receive the appropriate help they need. Teachers are quick to refer students for special education. It is important to provide students with the help they need before labeling them. There can be several factors that can contribute to a student’s performance in school. I have become a strong proponent of Response to Intervention. Before a child is referred for special education, teachers need to take all the possible approaches to provide students with the tools they need to reach their potential. Then, if they are still unable to achieve the degree of success needed, a proper diagnosis can be made. Cultural barriers may also lead to a “misdiagnosis.” Working in a district consisting of a very large population of Spanish speaking students, attributing a learning disability to unfamiliarity of a language is growing issue. As educators, we need to be careful to avoid “misdiagnosing” our students.

  10. Gina Genovese on February 21, 2010 9:46 pm

    Question #1

  11. Jenna Favuzza on February 21, 2010 11:44 pm

    I think the article relates to the video in many ways. First of all I think the girl would have a lot of difficulty reading a list of sight words because she could not rely on other cues to help her. The article states, “…In reading the story they could draw on both semantic and syntactic contexts, while in lists they had no cues other than those in the out-of-context words themselves” (7). It is much harder to read a list of words out of context; however, Goodman argues, “…Reading isn’t recognizing words, it’s making sense of print” (7). I have difficulty with this definition because I feel reading is both reading words and making sense of print, but in the sense of the video it does hold true. I think it is very interesting that she was able to do such a successful retelling of the story, while having such a problem with decoding. She clearly uses strategies that she knows to make meaning; however, I wonder how effectively she could be able to gain meaning from a nonfiction piece. Goodman also states, “Efficient reading is using just enough of the available cues, given what a reader brings to the reading, to make sense of the text” (8). While she does sample cues effectively, is she really an “efficient reader”? Like we discussed in class, while she does self correct and reread, she is clearly not a fluent reader. The meaning is there for her in this one situation, but I feel more samples of her reading would need to be looked at. I do believe, as Goodman does, in the importance of miscues. It is hard in this case because her miscues were not consistent as sometimes her substitutions made sense and other times did not. This is more evidence that other running records would need to be evaluated.

    I think today many students are misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, I think there is a small amount of teachers that might think it is easier to refer students instead of trying different instructional strategies. I agree with Jenna and Meredith that it is very difficult to decipher if ESL students have a reading disability or are adjusting to learning a new language. As teachers, we have a responsibility to do all we can to help each individual learner.

  12. Colleen Ferry on February 22, 2010 12:11 am

    Question #1

    According to Goodman, reading is “a process of making sense from print.” In the video we watched in class, although the little girl had great difficulty decoding the words, she was able to make sense of the story. Goodman also states “texts are more than collections of letters and words.” This was evident when the girl was able to retell the story in sequential order, providing details along the way. Although she was unable to pronounce all of the words, she was still able to understand the story. Students need to understand that reading is much more than being able to decode words, but they need to construct meaning out of the words and sentences they are reading. The girl in the video was able to construct meaning from the story, however she did have many miscues along the way. Goodman believes that “mistakes are part of the process of making sense of print.” I agree with this idea. I believe that the girl in the video has learned other strategies in order to comprehend what she reads, due to her mistakes. Not only is it necessary for students to learn from their mistakes, but it is important for teachers too. When we look at where a child is making most of their mistakes, as we did in class, we are able to target what they child needs to work on and where we can begin teaching.

    Question #2

    Unfortunately, teachers “misdiagnose” students quite frequently. Many students are assumed to have a learning disability rather fast, when there are so many other factors to consider. For example, many students who have delays in maturity level, or have a bad behavior, are assumed to need special education services or are thought to be not smart. As a special education teacher I have also seen instances where a child with a speech delay is not being challenged enough academically. This is because teachers may assume that because the child is not speaking properly or clearly they must not be able to read and be on level in other academic areas. As previous students have mentioned, many times teachers are too quick to refer a child for special education services, rather than taking the time to find out if there is a deeper root to an issue or what that particular student needs in order to succeed. This year I had a new student in my class who was struggling greatly in math. He was referred to receive math services. After several weeks, the math specialist determined that the student was actually a strong math student, but he had great difficulty reading the material. In these examples, as with many others, it is sad to think of how much time has been lost on a child’s education when they are not understood.

  13. Jacqueline on February 22, 2010 12:41 am

    Question 1:

    Although I was not last week’s class to see the video, I would like to point out some thoughts that I found interesting after reading the “What is reading?” article. First of all, I could not agree more with Goodman when he says “…you can’t escape the work of making sense of it yourself, of constructing your own meaning. The entire point of reading, whether the reader is being forced to read or is even interested in reading, is to decode words and to make sense of the content, thus one must develop your own meaning of the text. It is the responsibility of the reader to do this. The text cannot construct meaning for you. Simply recognizing letters and words will not get you meaning. You must make sense of the print yourself. “…the sense you make of a text depends on the sense you bring to it,” (Goodman.)

    Next I found Goodman’s explanation on miscues and errors to be quite interesting. “Error comes in if one over-interprets…” (Goodman.) I find this to be true even in my own experiences as a teacher. Majority of the mistakes I see are due to a lack of confidence and due to a lack of over-thinking. Goodman points out that mistakes are part of the process of making sense out of print. I never thought of “mistakes” like this. In this article Goodman puts a spin on the concept of miscues and errors and shows us a different, more positive way of looking at them instead.

    Finally and most importantly, I agree with Goodman’s identification of recognizing reading as being part of a language process. Many people forget or confuse that reading is in deed part of a process and part of language. “…pay some attention to the nature of language and the relationships between oral and written language,” (Goodman.) Goodman refers to this language process as a “psycholinguistic process,” (meaning the factors that allow one to comprehend and acquire different language processes.) Although Goodman points out that reading has not yet been studied as a language process, I think reading has everything to do with the language process. Reading, writing, decoding, speaking and listening are all interdependent of one another.

    Question 2:

    I absolutely believe teachers misdiagnose their students. First, teachers are not certified psychologists, social workers or experts of behaviors and disorders in the slightest. So if and when a teacher makes a diagnosis is not necessarily accurate. They might be basing their diagnoses off common symptoms and signs they have just heard of.

    Personally I do not believe it is the place of the teacher, no matter how experienced the teacher may be, to be making diagnoses. What would be more appropriate and professional would be to follow standard protocol of making a referral to a more trained professional, in that area of expertise. If a teacher were to point out in a parent meeting for example that so and so’s daughter/son may have, what you believe to be…..not good! This is not professional and leaves the teacher in a very sticky situation. The teacher is not going to seem credible either. The parent can easily turn around the take this diagnoses as a personal attack and ask for proof of testing.

    Aside from whether or not it is the place of the teacher to be making these diagnoses, yes teachers do in fact misdiagnose their students. For example, a regular classroom teacher might assume that a child who cannot comprehend text to have a learning disability when it may have nothing to do with that at all. Maybe the student is in fact nervous and suffers from some kind of anxiety disorder or maybe it is as simple as a multiple-intelligence issue, where the child may just need more support to his way-of-knowing as a visual learner. Another problem is that teachers are too quick to put a diagnosis or label on a student. For example, it may be the beginning of a new school year and a new student may not have warmed up to the class environment yet. The teacher may take this delay as a learning or personality issue, when in reality it may be something as simple as the student not feeling comfortable in the class. Maybe he/she does not feel comfortable to make a mistake or go for it quite yet.

  14. Gina Genovese on February 24, 2010 11:02 pm

    Gina Genovese on February 21, 2010 9:57 pm
    Question #1
    As a class we debated “what is reading” some feel if a person is comprehending words while not fully connecting the letters to make a word they are reading. I do not feel this is something that can have a concrete defenition. The ability of reading is a difficult and diverse learning process one that consists ofthe ability to make a lingusitc, visual, and cognitive connection to letters. Once a person is able to do this they will be able to make a connection to these words which will then inturn create the ability to comprehend sentences. As we saw the video on the girl who we all believed was unable to comprehend based on the amount of her consistent miscues throughout the text, we were proven wrong. She was inface able to comprehend specific details in sequencial order. Is she reading? Yes she is reading because she is making connections to letters, words and their meanings. Is she reading on her appropriate age/grade level? No. Her vocabulary and decoding are not adequate for a student of her age. She is however reading.
    Gina Genovese on February 21, 2010 10:06 pm
    Question#2
    Of course at times teachers “misdiagnose” their students. There diagnosis come from a limited amount of research and data. Even when a student is fully researched usually the data is incomplete in some way. Teachers also only know what they see in the classroom and are told from parents. No teacher reguardless of what they believe knows fully what occurs in a students home life let alone their cultural backround. All these factors play a significant role in diagnosing a student. Sometimes it is easy to corretly diagnosis a student when all information is accessiable to the school. Othertimes family members are unwilling to disclose certain information which is crucial in diagnosing a student. We must remember even the best teachers are only human.

  15. improvement Project on April 26, 2017 9:57 pm

    improvement Project

    Assignment #1 at EECE 722 4:30-7:00

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