Yesterday, Iowa Reading Research Center posted a very good blog article by Anna Gibbs, M.S., Deborah K. Reed, PhD, and Leah Zimmermann, M.Ed., on the necessity of including phonics in reading instruction because “understanding of how language sounds are represented in letters is a necessary part of making sense of written words (Ehri, 2014); and direct instruction of sounds because “Unfortunately, the letter-sound correspondences in English are not as obvious or consistent as in other alphabetic languages like Italian or Finnish (Seymour, Aro, & Erskine, 2003)….”

The sequence of instruction included in the post aligns with ours, and we use a reading program composed of proven-effective materials by some of the most respected names in the field. In short, the ideas behind this post and sample lessons hit home for us, and we hope you will also find them edifying.

We think a lot about component skills, which are the many small skills that add up to a composite skill. If you think of a skill you would like your child to have–reading, writing sentences, adding 3-digit numbers using the renaming algorithm, etc.–you are likely thinking of a composite skill, one comprised of many smaller skills that need to be in place in order for the composite skill to be secure (and transferrable) and long-lasting. Queens Paideia was built on this thinking, and has only grown stronger because of it.

Give us another day or two. We’ve been thinking and writing in this vein about math over the Thanksgiving break and are eager to share those thoughts, too.


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