Monday, November 20, 2006

Reading instruction breakthrough

The Chicago Tribune has a report on innovative reading instruction methods. I expect reading scores to be boosted significantly as a result.

In Leah Coffey's kindergarten class, learning to read means breaking a sweat and getting your hands dirty.

One morning last week, Coffey put in a CD with infectious drumbeats and pupils repeated the names of different instruments. "T-T-T-Tambourine," they sang as they danced and smacked invisible tambourines.

Later, Coffey and four pupils dipped their hands into a can of clay. First, they molded the letter T. They then flattened the clay into discs.

"T-T-T-Tambourine," they said and tapped the clay tambourines against their hands.

Westcott Elementary School, 409 W. 80th St. on the South Side, has joined 17 other Chicago public schools in implementing a curriculum from Reading in Motion, a Chicago agency that uses music, drama and dance to teach reading.

Coffey is sold on the concept. "I think that every lesson should be put to music," she said.

Reading in Motion is one of several organizations supported by Chicago Tribune Holiday Giving, a campaign of Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Tribune Foundation fund.
The way I learned to read way back then was so incidental that I can't even remember how it was done.