Friday, August 28, 2009

saying goodbye to good books & an old friend

this makes me so sad.

so sad that i can't even put into words everything that is wrong with why they are ending reading rainbow.

anyone in education knows the magic word these days is balanced literacy.

sure phonics is important, but why bothering learning the phonics? because reading brings us meaning! trust me- against a world of nintendo games, tv, movies, and anything you want at your finger tips on the internet- us kindergarten and first grade teachers don't stand a prayer unless we convince our little ones that they'll actually love reading once they can do it.

the article states:
Research has directed programming toward phonics and reading fundamentals as the front line of the literacy fight. Reading Rainbow occupied a more luxurious space — the show operated on the assumption that kids already had basic reading skills and instead focused on fostering a love of books.

i was a struggling reader. if i hadn't realized how much i would love books i don't think i ever would have learned to read. i didn't have those basic phonics and reading fundamental skills-but i was determined to be able to read- and part of that is from reading rainbow. i have such distinct memories of watching books open up worlds for me during the show (and being bitterly jealous of the kids who got to book talk their favorite books on tv).

grant it, my parents lied to us and told us we only got pbs and the news on the tv in our house (and we had no remote to prove them otherwise), so i watched more pbs than the average child.

i'd argue that a love of books is the first important reading skill before we can even begin to teach phonics. how else will children understand that print contains meaning, that we read books left to read, that print reads left to right, and that all those letters put together make up words, and those letters put together with spaces in between them make up sentences?

this morning at my friday morning book club i sat with three fourth graders who adore reading. they gasped with excitement at the idea of re-reading because of winn dixie. that excitement of the book itself is what reading rainbow brought us. i would understand cancelling the show because of a drop in ratings- but to drop it because of the idea it teaches a love of stories instead of phonics- i feel physical pain.

i'm in mourning.

in the show's memory i'm off to read a book for pleasure.

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