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Sight Words Are So 2016: New Study Finds the Real Key to Early Literacy

This is a really interesting article that speaks to literacy. I found this particularly relevant because of all the time I have spent in a kindergarten classroom this semester. I fall into this pattern of wanting to correct the student’s spelling. It was my belief that by showing the students the correct way to spell, with an explanation, and assistance with sounding the words out, that they would have a better understanding and better spelling in the future. This article speaks to why I was wrong. The article talks about how children’s abilities haven’t really changed from the past, but what has changed is the educational standard which the students are held to. “With the introduction of Common Core Standards, kindergarteners are now required to read, write, and even participate in research projects.” I know this is crazy, I have even seen more focus on academics in early childhood education, preschool and even in kindergarten, rather than play, like how I remember it. The article goes into talking about Dr. J. Richard Gentry studies, as he “suggests that children should be allowed the time and space to piece together invented spellings using their own knowledge of letters and sounds.” Learning about this, I wonder what the structure of kindergarten should be? From my observations, kindergarten is so much of teaching and learning about behaviors, social interactions, and how to be in a classroom, rather than academic learning. For me it seems key, that as an educator you must encourage self exploration of words, let the students learn at their own pace, because with time they will succeed. This is a great article to help remind me the impacts my teaching practices have on the students.


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