Here is the piece in Education Week Teacher
on the same topic:
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teachi ... 4a94bc4fb3
Lucy Calkins Says Balanced Literacy Needs 'Rebalancing'
By Sarah Schwartz on October 19, 2020
Mixed Signals on Cueing
The Units of Study for Teaching Reading, the TCRWP curriculum for reading instruction in grades K-5, is one of the biggest players in the early reading market. A 2019 Education Week Research Center survey found that 16 percent of K-2 and special education teachers use the Units of Study to teach reading.
But as APM Reports noted, the curriculum has faced increased scrutiny, including from reading researchers. Some states and districts have reconsidered its use.
The curriculum doesn't include systematic, explicit teaching in phonemic awareness or phonics in the early grades, as Education Week has reported. The company started publishing a supplemental phonics program in 2018, but marketing materials for the new units imply that phonics shouldn't play a central role in the early years classroom. "Phonics instruction needs to be lean and efficient," the materials read. "Every minute you spend teaching phonics (or preparing phonics materials to use in your lessons) is less time spent teaching other things."
But it's not only that the materials sideline phonemic awareness and phonics—they also teach reading strategies that can make it harder for students to learn these skills.
Calkins' materials promote a strategy called "three-cueing," which suggests that students can decipher what words say by relying on three different sources of information, or cues. They can look at the letters, using a "visual" cue. But they can also rely on the context or syntax of a sentence to predict which word would fit, the theory goes. Reading researchers and educators say that this can lead to students guessing: making up words based on pictures, or what's happening in the story, rather than reading the words by attending to the letters.
This new document seems to signal a major change in instructional theory from the organization.
It emphasizes the importance of foundational skills, recommending that students in kindergarten and the fall of 1st grade receive daily instruction in phonemic awareness, and saying that all early readers could benefit from frequent phonics practice. It recommends decodable books—those with a high proportion of letter-sound correspondences that students have already learned—be a part of young children's "reading diets." And it suggests regular assessments of phonemic awareness, as problems in that area can indicate reading difficulties.
Especially notable, the document seems to do an about-face on cueing. Students should not be "speculating what the word might say based on the picture," the document reads. Instead, teachers should tell children to "respond to tricky words by first reading through the word, sound-by-sound, (or part by part) and only then, after producing a possible pronunciation, check that what she's produced makes sense given the context," it reads.
The statement on cueing contradicts advice Calkins was giving less than a year ago. In November 2019, Calkins released a statement pushing back on those whom she called, "the phonics-centric people who are calling themselves 'the science of reading.'"
In that statement last year, Calkins said teachers shouldn't encourage students to guess at words. But she did say that students could create a hypothesis based on the context of the sentence.
In a response to Calkins' statement, reading researcher Mark Seidenberg wrote at the time, "Dr. Calkins says she disdains 3-cueing, but the method is right there in her document."
Do follow the link to read the whole piece.