The Golden Oldies are still important. Resurrecting the tools from long ago happened at our last session on April 8, 2013. The session ‘Building a Bridge ~Linking Reading and Writing’ was well attended by passionate Primary educators. Lillah and I began our teaching using the ‘Ann Ingham’ tool sounds and their stories. We noticed that somewhere along the journey, these valuable tools have disappeared or are often hidden in classrooms. One teacher commented on how she felt relieved that she “doesn’t have to feel bad about using the tools with the stories” with her students. Somehow she felt that these ‘tools and their stories’ were not seen as ‘best teaching practices’. We revived and recreated the tools to be more appealing and updated for today’s classrooms.
Students need to make connections and learn to apply ‘phonetic tools’ to their reading and writing. Explicitly teaching these tools and allowing the students to explore, discover and make inquiries with them is required. Our role as a teacher is to fill the students’ lives with engaging, interactive and developmentally appropriate experiences that are both playful and purposeful. Asking students to fill in worksheets does not meet the criteria. Searching for words, applying the tools, and authentic practice ways allows students to make connections.
Research supports that reading and writing are different processes that share a reciprocal relationship. Understanding this will allow us to scaffold and differentiate our instruction for our learners. By providing them with the right ‘tools’ they will ensure what they read and write makes sense, sounds read and looks right.