Writing Article Response Beyond Words: The Relational Dimensions of Learning to Read and Write By Judith Lysaker The article that I have chosen to discuss is called, "Beyond Words: The Relational Dimensions of Learning to Read and Write" by Judith Lysaker. The article was wonderful and brought insight to my thinking about children's learning of language arts. The article is about a young boy who is not reading or writing in class. He goes along with what the other students do, but cannot read a single word from the classic book, Clifford, the Big Red Dog.
An adult comes into the class two times a week for eight weeks to tutor the boy on reading and writing. When the eight weeks are up, the boy has learned to read and has "published" his first piece of writing. He is always ecstatic when his tutor comes in and prepares a certain spot for them to work at. When she is tutoring him she notices that he remains physically close to her. When he doesn't know a word he taps her on the leg. When he reads, he keeps his arm touching hers.
The adult tutor concludes that learning to read and write may not be a cognitive and linguistic process for some kids, but rather a personal and social task learned through relationships. As I mentioned above, this article brought insight to the way that I looked at learning to read and write. For me, it seemed like such a fun and easy process. I believe that my elementary school in Jordan District had a phenomenal reading program that enabled me to develop my writing skills. Reading can be a horrible experience for so many children because they do not have the skills that are necessary for them to improve. If teachers can recognize that each child learns in a different manner, then more could be done to help the kids that are struggling.
Just as there are visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners, there are also kids that learn through their emotions. The boy in this article needed the physical closeness to encourage him to learn to read and write. More teachers should bring in tutors to help students instead of labeling them "learning disabled" or sending them to resource. When I was in elementary school I had peers that went to resource that were slow readers and needed help in their writing, but now I wonder if they just needed some different instructional methods that the teacher could have implemented into the regular classroom instead of sending them to the resource room. After reading this article I want to be careful in my future classroom and try every possible method of teaching reading and writing to my students before I try to label them. I would like to spend time each week reading with each student individually.
If I do not have time for this or my class is too large, then I will ask for parent volunteers to come in. I also want to have a spot in my class that is designated for reading and writing only. It will be a cozy environment that will make the children feel accepted and want to read and write. In this spot they can free-read or write in their personal journals. It will be a private place for them to go to each day for fifteen or twenty minutes to unwind and relax..