Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reading "all about me" replaces analytical reading

...codified as early as second grade in this Text-to-Self Connections T-Chart, duly completed by my daughter:

Making Text-to-Self Connections T-Chart

The author said: Tom and Lucy got lost in a dark cave.
That reminds me of: I got lost at the beach because I couldn't find my grandma.
The author said: The Littles went on a hike. It was so far.
That reminds me of: I went on a hike that was faraway too.
The author said: The Littles got stuck in a fridge.
That reminds me of: I got trapped in my room before but not in a refrigerator.
Figuratively trapped in her room by the many assignments like this one, not to mention uninspired and resentful ("Why do they want to spy on us?!"), my daughter nonetheless earned a ☺on this T-Chart.


SwitchedOnMom said...

Dear daughter *hated* this kind of assignment. She is just intensely private and didn't want to go there. Why should kids have to reveal their inner lives to their fellow classmates and adults who don't reciprocate?

Marcy said...

I don't know. Text-to-self is rather ridiculous. I don't know any kids who don't seem to do that automatically.

But I think text-to-text is interesting as the beginning of understanding the bibliographic conversation that happens within fields. And text-to-world is an essential critical thinking tool. I haven't seen my sons' classes focusing more on text-to-self, in fact I think the teachers leave that at the beginning of the school year, as they are getting to know each other.

Beth said...

Wow. I had a ridiculous kerfuffle with my daughter's present school about just this issue. She was reading a book by "Pseudonymous Bosch" and I took the opportunity to show her paintings by Hieronymous Bosch, which the author's name clearly refers to. She had to write "personal connections" to the book and I said "what about Hieronymous Bosch?" She said, "but it's not about me!"

I mentioned this later to the principal, who said, "was that her idea or your idea?" I said, "are you telling me as a parent that I shouldn't teach my daughter a little art history which connects to the book she's reading?"

My daughter loves art and she was genuinely interested in the paintings I showed her. I overheard her later telling one of her friends about it.

Seems to me the purpose of education should be to open kids to the wider world outside their own immediate experience. The insistence on "self" as the barometer of meaningful experience is anti-intellectual.

Liz Ditz said...

I have a more fundamental objection -- to homework in 2nd grade. (1) It doesn't do anything to improve academic performance (2) is a burden on families (3) if it figures in grades, disadvantages low SES families.

Beth said...

what's a "T chart"?

Katharine Beals said...

Thanks, Cranberry, SwitchedOnMom, Marcy, Beth, Liz, Physicist Dave, Vlorbik, and other recent posters. I'm enjoying reading all your comments! Am also in the middle of book-related stuff and haven't had the time to respond individually, but I always make time to read--and contemplate--comments.