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Ability-Grouping at Lake Harriet Community School #2

Subj:      Re: [Mpls] ability group and zip codes.
Date:     11/18/2002 7:51:33 PM Central Standard Time

In the reading program for high ability-learners at Lake Harriet Community
School (first grade, 1997-1998 school year), higher order reading skills were
taught, and the expected outcome was that the kids would learn higher-order
reading skills. The phonics instruction in that program was effective, i.e.,
the students acquired knowledge of phonetic rules and developed the ability to
use that knowledge to sound out words with a fairly high degree of accuracy.  

In the reading programs for low- and medium-ability learners, lower order
reading skills were taught and lower order reading skills are what the
students were expected to learn.  They did not receive effective phonics

I think that just about all children in the Minneapolis Public Schools can
learn higher order reading and math skills, including many of the kids who are
diagnosed as developmentally delayed.  It's done in some of the suburban
and out-state school districts in this state.  It's done in some high-poverty,
high-minority public schools in the US.  A lot of progress was made toward
that goal in the 1970s and 1980s across the US.

Subj:      Re: [Mpls] Teaching Methods
Date:     11/19/2002 4:32:42 PM Central Standard Time

In a message dated 11/19/2002 6:07:22 AM Central Standard Time,
jim mork  writes:

> Doug Mann:  What is this jargon you are using?
>  What are the "orders" of reading skills? I mean
>  to sound words is not reading.  So, anyone who
>  merely teaches people to sound words is not
>  really teaching reading.  So reading words and
>  comprehending is the only reading skill I know
>  about.  What can the suburbs do that is a "higher
>  order" than that?

Teaching people to sound words is really teaching reading.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary (1994), "1 read\:reading"
means "1 to understand language by interpreting written symbols for
speech sound."  

'A higher order skill' is educational research jargon connoting a skill
that permits one to function at a higher level in some area, such as in
reading, math and writing.  For example, the ability to read advanced
college textbooks is generally not acquired without effective phonics
instruction.  According to the Merriam Webster Thesaurus (1989),
'order' is a noun that may mean "9 state with respect to quality,
functioning or status."