Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First grade reading assignments

My daughter, being in the first grade, is learning to read with some proficiency. she is, as I am told by her teachers, near the top of her class which makes me proud. they are doing reading proficiency tests at school this week and the material they have sent the children home with is atrocious at best. The story doesn't go anywhere. We read one page of what they sent home (they sent 8 pages to study from) I looked at her and said, "That was boring. Let's go get a book from the library to read." We picked out a nice Dr. Seuss and she read the whole thing by herself to me. She even got the cadence and inflection down correctly. :)

It baffles me that they want these kids to have a life long love of reading and then give them crap to read. It doesn't make any sense. Let them read Shel Silverstein (she read me The Giving Tree on Saturday) or some Seuss. Make it fun for them. Dick and Jane don't cut it anymore, although I wonder if it ever did cut it.

I was reading comic books in the first grade. I had a blast. It was fun. I still read. Sorry about the rant.


Aaron Polson said...

Elementary schools should just instill a love for things...reading, writing, etc. Leave it to the secondary teachers (moi?) to crush the love out of 'em. Grrrr.

Kidding, of course. She's lucky to have you for a dad.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Aaron, I know they are just going with a standardized curriculum but whoever set that up must lead a very dull life. (We actually got to read some very cool stories in high school.)

Sadly, at a school I used to work for, I remember the 2nd grade teacher arguing with a parent over why their kid needed to learn to read in the first place.

Cate Gardner said...

Slightly different rant... My nephew's set text in senior school was Romeo & Juliet, but the teacher didn't think it necessary to read the play when Baz Lurhmann had kindly made a movie for them to watch. Sigh!

Katey said...

What Aaron said. We had some excellent things to read, and some boring things, but my mom did the same thing you're doing. We'd go to the library and she'd pick a book for me, then I'd pick a book for myself :D

Fox Lee said...

I used to be very into the children's version of "Encyclopedia Britttanica" as a kid : )

BT said...

I took my 10yo daughter out last week with her pocket money. She wanted to buy some latest toy. We walked around a couple of shops and she couldn't find what she wanted so she decided to spend her money on the second book in the Eragon series instead.

I don't buy into all the carry on about it being a rip off and bad writing and all that, I'm just over the moon that I've managed to instill a love of reading into her. I was happy to go halves with her in purchasing a novel for her to read.

In last years state audit of all school kids, she landed in the top 1% of readers - I'm sure your love of reading, and the efforts you're putting into transferring that to your child, will similarly pay off in the long run.

School may teach the basics, but parents need to instill the love...and then hopefully they'll survive the Aaron's of the world ;c)

Arlee Bird said...

The reading must be generic, not reflecting which could be construed as offensive to anyone (which rules out nearly everything) and socially relevant (in whose agenda?). My wife is a teacher in CA where they have the reading program known as "Open Court". She doesn't like the methodology, but goes along with the program so she can collect her paycheck and keep her benefits. The teacher as an individual is stifled.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Cate- that would really piss me off. It is the cadence of the words from the tongue that is the true joy of Shakespeare.

Katey- my mom never even tried to pick out books for me. She wouldn't have had a clue. Although, I probably would have read them anyway.

Nat, which volume? The one with Madagascar was fascinating.

BT, my wife has those books. Although I have never read them she enjoyed them and finally broke down and bought the 3rd one in hardcover last year. Of course all of the Harry Potter books are hers as well.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Arlee, I understand what you are saying and I can see where the schools are coming from (most of the curriculum is thought up at the state level and trickles down to the district level so they have no choice in the matter) but I still don't like it.

Tonight we read Dr. Seuss's I Can Read With My Eyes Shut. Tomorrow I may introduce her to The Stinky Cheese man and other Fairly Stupid Tales.

Danielle Birch said...

I used to love reading Dr Seuss. And Roald Dahl.

Fox Lee said...

All of them. I would reread them over and over. I liked the one about caving : )

Carrie Harris said...

My son is ga-ga over the Captain Underpants books. At that age, like you, I'm just happy he's so excited about reading. And lucky to have a teacher who stuffs the classroom with books that don't suck.

That probably sounds like a neiner neiner neiner, but it's meant to be more of a "yeah, but there's hope." Honest.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Danielle, I didn't read nearly enough Dahl as a child.

Nat, I like going on cave tours. they are actually relaxing to me.

Carrie, I am not sure what they have in the classroom, but the library does a fairly good job of keeping cool book on hand.

K.C. Shaw said...

Good for her, and good for you! I agree that the reading books they supply to lower elementary school kids (usually as part of a package) are pretty horrible. Some of the artwork is good, at least.

Jamie Eyberg said...

K.C., If it didn't cost the state oodles of money to redo the programs I would say lets scrap it and start over.