Posted on June 24, 2019


(and the focus is fading…)

Tomorrow is the Geogebra conference 🙂

I’m reading _Multiplication is for White People_  and so much of it is excellent.   Paraphrase of a favorite paragraph about the research about the number of words used and how that’s probably why poor kids don’t do well:   Using a bunch of words does not vaccinate against the oppressive school system.  She talks about studnets whose parents prepared their kiddos for school with specific focus on things like words and letter sounds (which she did) … and how those kids get labeled “smart” when no, it’s not an innate thing, thank you. She talks about school settings with high standards and expectations for everybody…

I’m afraid when talking about older studnets she at one point says something equivalent to “oh, maybe they don’t need remediation, maybe they need to be put in the regular class with a little help!”  (which sadly just isn’t true )   but she does basically say maybe and … that’s not (at least so far) the subject of the book.   Right now I’m at where she’s talking about the corruption of forcing structured phonics programs that Folks With The Right Connections sold … and citing that phonics scores went up but comprehension didn’t … but I would want to know what “up” means.   I suspect that the comprehension scores went up — but perhaps not statistically better than the other programs.   Well, if they did as well w/ comprehension but better in phonics… wait for it … they learned more.   The underlying (false) assumption that understanding the sounds that our written language represents is important would let somebody say “oh, that’s a waste of time.”   It’s not.

On a tangent there was a nice analogy made for whole language / sight word  teaching… where the random code for 8 words were given, and then studnets were given a sentence with one unknown word and asked what it was.   Since there hadn’t been instruction in figuring out an unknown word (besides “look at the picture”), the word (“nwssxer” or something lke that)  was incomprehensible.   I think this *might* be useful for explaining thing sto some folks.

However!   It’s when I really appreciate and like a book that the things that grate … jump out… but this book is *full* of truth as well as examples and ideas for DOING BETTER.   Another favorite snippet:  quoteDelpit

Big Amen.   (Love that the yellow highlation was enough to get me that much of the book online ;))

… but now it’s 9:21 and … QUIET!!!   so let’s try to find a flash drive and make a times tables movie…

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