I teach a scripted curriculum which will remain unnamed. Generally, it works for me and I have spent enough time with it that I can take what is on the page and still make it my own. I also see its benefits in classrooms with less able teachers. But any tool is only as good as its application. We are expected to “fully implement” the program that we teach. There have been times in the past that administrators observing in classrooms have demanded to follow along in the Teacher’s Guide at any and all moments of instruction.
Today our oral blending lesson was a list of short-o words (most lessons generally follow a sound or spelling pattern). A little purple box on the side cautioned teachers of English Language Learners to, “Make sure that children understand the meanings of the words that you are using for blending. Use pictures, realia, and pantomime.” Now for the fun part! Here is the list of words that we used today:
First of all, to assume that only English Language Learners would need clarification of these words is simply naive.
Secondly, oral blending is an exercise to build phonemic awareness, not vocabulary. For many students, adding an additional lesson is distracting and confusing.
And finally – bond? fond? Is that a joke? No one actually thought this made sense when they wrote it.
–guestblogger Alice in Eduland