Posts Tagged ‘ utility ’

Sorting Things Out – An Update

Jun 24th, 2012 | By

Organizing is hard-wired into our brains – our brains love patterns and repetition.  The concept of similarity, or sameness, is a basic organizing strategy . . . a way to be aware of and recognize common characteristics of things seen, heard, or felt.  With the awareness of sameness comes the awareness of difference, another basic organizing strategy. Information that is sorted out through the process of comparing & contrasting (thinking about the similarities and the differences) has high storage strength, and as a result, also has high retrieval strength. The underlying cognitive constructs of polarity, category inclusion and exclusion, are part of the brain’s hard-wired organizational default.  In education, we use the terms “alike”, “same”, “go together” and “not different” to teach and reinforce “sameness”, while the terms “different”, “don’t go together”, and “not the same” teach and reinforce “difference”.  Other ways to express the idea of inclusion include “goes with” and “belongs”, while exclusion can be expressed by “doesn’t go with” or “doesn’t belong”. These very basic concepts of inclusion and exclusion can be infused into the literacy process of connecting sound to print through the use of Visual Phonics hand shapes and symbols, beginning as early as pre-school.  [...]



Utility Is the Key

Apr 7th, 2012 | By

Utility directly impacts the lasting recall of Visual Phonics hand shape cues and written symbols. Thoughtful and purposeful use of hand shapes and written symbols can be plugged in to daily dynamic routines of review, daily reinforcement activities involving coding with Visual Phonics symbols, and the use of visual references/charts. Utility is established for teachers when the Visual  Phonics cues become an effective teaching tool . . . and for students when the cues become an effective learning tool. Teachable moments – those unexpected instances when students appear confused, provide a “wrong” answer, or perhaps just don’t know -  provide excellent opportunities to connect sound and print with either Visual Phonics hand shapes or written symbols, and are often more powerful learning experiences than planned lessons. The decision about when, how much and how often to use Visual Phonics is based on how well teachers know their students and how observant teachers are relative to student understanding and response. Visual Phonics written symbols can be easily integrated into Word Walls, Sound Walls, Word family posters, and Sight Word displays. Specific information on implementation ideas can be found in a collection of articles under the Visual  Phonics tab on the Home [...]



We’re Lost But We’re Making Good Time

Jan 13th, 2012 | By

By Dave Krupke The title is one of the many famous quotes from Yogi Berra. I remember watching Yogi play for the storied Yankees of the 50s. Baseball was different then, as were many things. Life was simpler in the 50s, education was pretty basic, and many of us did OK. At least where I grew up in rural America, I would say most of us did OK . . .  because I do remember a few kids in my school who really had trouble learning and there didn’t seem to be any extra help for them. My, how things have changed today. We have Title One, Learning Strategists, Literacy Coaches, Resource Teachers, Reading Specialists, Interventionists, RTI Consultants . . . just to name a few. Education has endured – or should I say that students have managed to survive – numerous shifts in educational philosophy in the 50 years since I was a student in school. I was lucky enough to learn to read easily and have many fond memories of riding my bike to the library and going up what seemed to be an endless and steep staircase to the library – it was above the fire station [...]