The Goodman’s “Making Sense of Making Sense” video lecture is about seeing the development of language as a whole language approach, the different methods of teaching, and the influence Miscue Analysis continues to have in the classroom. In addition, it touches on the importance of incorporating experience into the curriculum which gives meaning to the subject matter.
In the video, The Goodman’s further discuss how today’s teachers sometimes forget the importance of language, and instead focus too much on written words and letters. Miscue Analysis is a running record that is used to figure out students’ specific struggles in certain areas, as well as their reading accuracy, the rate at which they read, and their behaviors. The Goodman’s describe it as a fault in every system. Their words on Miscue Analysis connect to an activity that we did in class, in which we followed along as a child read “Wayside School is Falling Down”. The child made substitutions for words: including replacing “comfortably” to “comfortable”; and made omissions of words: “My parents think he’s (such) a little angel!” The student also repeated sentences often inserted new words into a sentence: “For Friday everyone had to write a report and read it (out) to the class. The child inserted the word “out” because it made more sense to them that way
.Although the student made some mistakes along the way, I would still consider them a good reader. When reading, you have to test a child’s comprehension, and not just how well they are performing orally. Just because a child can read the words out loud, does not necessarily mean they are understanding what it is they are reading.
In my personal experience, “popcorn reading”, or randomly assigning students to read aloud to the class a certain excerpt in a story, was stressful for me. I would be so focused on what section I was going to have to read that I would start reading that specific section beforehand. When it was time to read it out loud I would focus so hard on not making any mistakes that I wouldn’t absorb what it actually was that I read.
The Goodman’s also discuss the integration of three levels or cueing systems into the systems of language. The list these three levels as “the ability to predict and make inferences, the ability to sample and select cues from the text, and lastly, the ability to self-correct when necessary.” The three cueing systems that we touched upon in class are as follows: Semantics, syntax, and graphophonics. Semantics refers to vocabulary and word choice. Does it make sense? Syntax refers to structure and grammar. Does it sound right?
And finally, Graphophonics refers to decoding. Does it look correct? Whenever we read, we read we use semantics and syntax.Yetta Goodman discusses literacy (meaning making) in the video, she makes two points that really stood out to me. In regards to literacy, Yetta Goodman states that “These roots are absolutely necessary for the development of literacy. The more opportunities that are available, the more experiences the child has.” She then goes on to state that “it’s absolutely so important to read to children, to read with them, and to let them read by themselves”.
These two points really stood out to me because as a child, I had the luxury of having many literacy experiences. Growing up, my parents would ready to my sisters and I before bed. As I grew older, I would read to myself. I understand that these experiences acted as “roots” and bolstered my literacy development. Yetta Goodman’s parents spoke a different language, so she may not have had these same luxuries.Through personal experience, I can further understand how lucky I was. My Aunt has been a teacher in Brooklyn for over 20 years, and she has had students whose parents could not afford many books. Often times, she would help them read at school, since they didn’t get the same reading experience at home as I did.
In addition, one of my close friends shared a similar experience when they observed at a school in Hempstead, New York. Since many students were not fortunate enough to have ample reading experiences outside of the classroom, the teacher had to make it a point to read with them often in class. This makes me wonder: How much is a child required to know before being schooled? I immediately think “well, they should know the letters of the alphabet, the order of numbers, and the spelling of their names”. To me, these are the basics. But it is a sad reality when students enter the education system not knowing some of these basic principles because of their situations at home. Reading and writing are not natural abilities, and they have to be strengthened constantly both at home and in the classroom. Kids have to train their brains to recognize letters and the sounds that go with those letters so that they can piece them together and make words. This can put a large responsibility on teachers to not only educate students with the yearly curriculum, but to also handle social and emotional issues on a daily basis.
Near the end of the lecture video, Yetta Goodman talks about how teachers should be incorporating learning and life experiences into the curriculum. I completely agree with this assessment because it’s important for teachers to incorporate these aspects into their curriculum can offer students an alternate perspective when it comes to lessons. Ultimately, it can further improve cognitive development. As long as this integration does not invade the learning process, it can help build background knowledge, make learning meaningful, and allow students to make connections to what they’re learning.