How NOT to Teach Reading: Make a Connection

I Guess Not!

Part Six of a 12-part video series showing the flaws of common word reading strategies taught in schools– Moral: Do not teach struggling readers to guess!

Make a ConnectionCrabby the Connector Strategy:

This strategy is similar to strategy #1: Chunky Monkey. This strategy teaches that when a child is faced with an unfamiliar word s/he should recognize that the word is connected to other structurally similar words they already know. For example, having prior knowledge of the word round would help a child read the word sound.  The problem with teaching word connections as a strategy is that, unless the child has first been taught how to identify specific word structures, their attempts may be haphazard and confusing.  For example, the <ou> letter sequence is not always associated with the same vowel sound (e.g., Compare <round>, <soul>, <young>).

It is important for readers to make connections between similar words, but they need to be taught how to make these connections. It is often not intuitive.

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Jennifer Salisbury

In 2004, Jennifer joined Teach for America as a special educator where she taught kindergarten through fifth grade. Her passion for reading instruction led her to be trained in a program based on the Orton-Gillingham method. After achieving significant results with her students, she began conducting trainings to help strengthen other teachers’ reading instruction. “My motivation as a teacher is to share my love of learning, and my gift has been working with struggling readers. There is no better feeling than to help someone become a strong reader and independent learner.” Jennifer earned a B.A. in Global studies University of California Santa Barbara and M.S. in Special Education from Lehman College.