Sunday, October 29, 2006

A few more group one questions

1. Brandt writes that many people have positive experiences learning to read, but learning to write is often difficult and traumatic. Does this resemble your experiences at all? Why do you think this is the case?
2. Brandt writes that analysts of literacy in schools often oversimplify the problem (169-170). Do you think her argument takes too much focus away from literacy institutions? How are libraries implicated in literacy gaps?


At 11:14 AM, Blogger casey t. said...

I have one "traumatic" experience with learing cursive writing in the thrid grade. My teacher made several students cry because they could not properly write the cursive capital "H". We spent one hour on this letter alone which involved a lot of yelling. The following day the teacher brought his daughter to class to help us get it right by circulating the class and assisting us with our many problems with this letter. I am sure the only reason I remember this is because it was a negative experience.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger hannahirene said...

In response to my own question, I loved reading I have learning disabilities that made it extremely hard for me to learn to write (small motor control). Most of my memories having to learn to write have to do with not very understanding teachers who made me feel bad about my abilities.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I'm not sure whether or not this matches my experience. I don't remember much about learning to read or write.

I do remember I received poor marks in handwriting when I was young, but I don't really remember the process of learning to write as being particularly "traumatic." All I remember about how I learned to write is the seemingly endless worksheets on which we practiced making cursive letters. I do, however, remember practicing writing when I got bored during class, so I think I probably enjoyed practicing writing.

I learned to read at a very young age because my parents read to me on a regular basis. I still remember evening storytime fondly. Perhaps, reading seems less "traumatic" because we learn by watching and hearing someone read to us. I liked the stories my parents read to me. It didn't seem like a chore; I simply picked it up over time. Writing, however, required endless solitary practice. It requires the formation of muscle control. It may be that the physical nature of writing combined with the tedious repetition makes it seem more "traumatic" to students.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Jill PD said...

My experience in learning to write was very traumatic. I went to Catholic school, and I suffered from the "sin" of left-handedness.
My first grade teacher will forever after this be referred to as the Evil Sister Eda. She was known to break rulers over kids' fingers!
Fortunately, my mom intervened between this harridan and me and I was spared the rod, for the most part. Sister Eda still wanted to tie my left hand to the desk, but my mom wouldn't let her.
Aside from this, I think that the ambivalence about writing and teaching writing as opposed to reading is because reading is essentially a passive, reactive activity while writing is a proactive and provocative activity. Writing is dangerous! It changes the locus of control away from that which is already written and makes the writer a creator, not a sponge.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Belle And Sebastian said...

Reading was easy for me, because my parents read to me from birth, but writing was harder because I too didn't have the greatest moter control. Ironically, learning how to type increased my motor control because it increased the strength in my hands and it also increased the eye hand coordination. So I can identify with Hannahirene. Now I'm a really fast typist and I have legible handwriting, so I guess it all worked out. I hope to employ the same creativity in helping people learn how to read as teachers employed to increase the strength in my hands when I was younger. Who knew that typing could help writing. Thats some cutting edge research! Go reading!

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

It's so interesting that so many of us had negative experiences learning to write. It's a really difficult skill to teach because it involves bringing together so many challenging pieces (fine motor, spelling, production of ideas, organization of thoughts and words), and it doesn't really help kids when we look at what they've produced and just give them a grade. I think many teachers are mystified about how to make kids better writers. For me, in-class essay tests were the absolute bane of my life. I can't remember any teacher ever teaching me HOW to write them. Most of us (especially as kids) don't share our failures; it can be very isolating. When children come to the library to get help with research on a particular project, I think they're often looking for writing guidance too; certainly, helping them choose (and limit) sources can help them organize their writing.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger lasthannah said...

Its interesting to think of writing as medium comparable to sculpture or other forms of art which do not use WORDS (always). It makes sense then that writing is more of a rebellious form of expression, much as art is. Though art is more abstract and so someone could be expressing something horrific but its percieved differently depending on the vs writing.
maybe??? just a thought.


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