Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Writing Road to Reading

The value of writing in learning to read could hardly be overstated.

Reading and writing are learned best when learned simultaneously. They go together like north and south.

Think of reading as traveling north:
Reading asks us to see symbols, hear the sounds those symbols represent, connect those sounds into words, and understand what the writer was trying to convey.

Writing takes us along the same path but in the opposite direction, south:
Writing asks us to understand what we want to say, break that statement into words, break those words down into the sounds we hear, write down the symbols that stand for those sounds.

The neural pathways for reading and writing in the brain are the same pathways

Here's another way to think of it:

In reading we go from eyes to ears to mouth. 

In writing we go from mouth to ears to eyes.
(Writing adds the challenge of fine-motor control, especially difficult for some five year olds, especially—dare I say this?—Boys.)

So moms and dads and aunts, uncles and grandparents, if you want to help a beginning reader learn to become a better reader, go get a pencil and paper and ask your loved one to write something for you.

Here's some work handed to me Friday by two of the students in my room.



Anonymous said...

I would like to use a portion of this with my homework for my kids in the directions to the parents on how they can help. I recognise that much of your blog is for the parents of your kids, so I'm reluctant to send extra traffic your way without your permission. Would it be OK to quote some of this? (and would you prefer to NOT have a link?)

Dan Gurney said...

Quote away, and you can send me all the traffic you wish. Link preferred.

Dave King said...

Good to hear someone speaking sense on this subject again. It sounds like something from the days before government initiatives. More power to your keyboard!

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Dave.