• Stephanie Yewdell

A trip down memory lane: Part ten


Thanks to Facebook memories, I was reintroduced to my first literacy blog I created for a grad school assignment. I am going to be reposting my old posts here. They are a reminder of why I became a teacher. They are a reminder of how I developed my teaching style. They are a reminder of my pedagogical philosophy. Many of the posts I have reread, still ring true to me and are embedded in my daily practice as a teacher.

Originally Posted on "I'm Making Readers & Writers For Life," February 7, 2012.

Last week, I gave what I consider an awful presentation on decoding. Why was it awful you may ask? Well after a week from hell where my computer self combusted I basically left the burden up to my partner to complete the assignment. So maybe because only my feet were wet and not all the way up to my neck, or the fact I really could not grasp what decoding was and how it looked for students. Or it was awful because I made a huge fool of myself in front of the class because of my inability to personally decode. In the kitchen of screw ups, there was a dash of both ingredients. So now I know that decoding is breaking up words into its various sounds. I never really got to experience students decoding in my last practicum because it was a 6th grade placement. My students then were all at a level of high fluency. I spent the majority of my time with them working on comprehension.

This semester I am tutoring a struggling reader who I know will give me plenty of opportunities to help her decode. At least I think so, I am still administering tests to have a better grasp on her abilities. But I digress from the reason why I came out of hiding to write this post. Today, while working on a math lesson in my new practicum placement my student was reading a word problem aloud. He was having trouble with the word macaroni. Without even thinking (well I lie again, I saw my decoding opportunity and pounced) I stuck my finger over "aroni" and had my student break apart the syllables. He was able to get mac, then we moved onto "ar" and so on. He pushed the syllables together and there it was "macaroni." I thought about pointing to the pic of mac and cheese in the textbook, but knew that by using decoding the student would have a more concrete understanding of the words and use that strategy next time he comes to a stop in his reading. It was not explicit that I was teaching reading, I am just happy I was able to start mastering a method I was previously so uncomfortable with.

#ChildrensLiterature #Decoding #Reading

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