PHONICS TALK: The Dorbooks Newsletter
Volume 61 ~ October 2013
by Dolores G. Hiskes


PHONICS TALK: The Dorbooks Newsletter
by Dolores G. Hiskes
VOLUME 61: "Fix it, FIX IT!"
October 2013

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FIX IT! FIX IT!

MULTITASKING -- hmmm?

ZEITGENOSSEN

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

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When my husband was an electronics technician in the Coast Guard his supervisor was constantly sending him all over California, with the booming command to *FIX IT! FIX IT!* regarding broken radios at various stations up and down the coast.

This is the time of year when I get similar messages from
desperate parents whose children are still not able to read
after trying just about everything from special ed classes
to tutoring. The programs they used were either incomplete,
or way too complex with confusing directions.

They have decided to try Phonics Pathways and needed to
know where to begin with an older child. He may be reading
but struggles, guessing and misspelling all along the way
and falling farther and farther behind. So, where to begin?

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*FIX IT! FIX IT!*

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Here is what I do when teaching older students:

(1) Use the review pages as a test, and begin with the very
first review on page 16. They should be able to read these
short-vowel sounds easily and accurately. After they are
able to read them, try dictating these sounds and have
them write the letter under the correct heading on a copy
of *The Short Sheet of Vowels* on page 256.

(2) The next review page if *Two-Letter Blends* on page
37. Students need to be able to blend these sounds together
smoothly, and write the blend from dictation under the
correct heading on "The Short Sheet of Vowels"

Proceed in this manner with every review page in the book.
Keep going until your student begins to slow down or struggle.
That is the place to begin lessons!

(Note that many review pages double as games as well. Playing
these games is an excellent way to reinforce learning, and is
fun besides!)

(3) If you don't have Reading Pathways I'd suggest trying it.
While Phonics Pathways is a complete text that stands on its
own, Reading Pathways was written to provide extra practice
and develop fluent reading skills while you are learning
with Phonics Pathways. Check out "Free Downloads" at
http://www.dorbooks.com and print out the guide for how to
use both books together.

(4) For added reinforcement consider Phonics Pathways Boosters.
Besides games, it features flash cards with pictured letters
and phonograms, and a CD containing all the sounds of English.

(5) Finally, print out a copy of "The Short-Vowel Stick" on
page 4 of Phonics Pathways. All five short-vowel sounds are
pictured and illustrated. Students should have one face up
on their desk at all times until this knowledge is auto-
magic. They can see at a glance what sound the vowel makes
by the picture. (It's a bit like having name tags for adults
-- something I always appreciate when I'm meeting new people!)

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MULTITASKING -- hmmm?

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Which of us has not had to do two (or maybe three!) things
at once? Partial attention is what happens when people's focus
is continuously split.

But when we pay attention to one item while constantly scanning
for other things it results in mental exhaustion. Trying to do
too many things at once has a debilitating effect.

A study done at the University of London found that constant
emailing and text-messaging reduces mental capability by an
average of ten points on an IQ test, an effect similar to
missing a night's sleep.

The problem isn't doing two things at once so much as doing
two conscious mental tasks at once. The scientist Harold
Pashler showed that when people do two cognitive tasks at once,
their cognitive capacity can drop from that of a Harvard MBA
to that of an eight-year-old!

This wear and tear from fight-or-flight stress hormones creates
an artificial sense of constant crisis. It's great when tigers
are chasing us, but how many of those two hundred emails a day
are tigers?

Conclusion: Best practice is to focus on only one thing at a time!
(delancyplace.com - http://delancyplace.com 8/23/13)

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ZEITGENOSSEN

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The German language has its own share of wonderful, untranslatable
words that cannot be described in any other way. For example,
*schadenfreude* means taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune.

The word *Zeitgenossen* is particularly apt for the moment. On a
simple level it means *contemporaries,* those who happen to live
in the same day and age. The spirit of the time. The taste and
outlook of a period or generation.

But it means much more than that. it means a shared responsibility
toward one another as well as toward the age we live in. It's an
attitude that sees languages and states as complementary, not
competitive, and sees the world as a continuum of cultures rather
than a set of distinct borders.

*Zeitgenossen.* Translated, *Why can't we all just get along?*

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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

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Many of you know how I love proverbs. Here's one of my favorites:

*When you meet with an obstacle do as the wind does -- whistle,
and go around it!*

With that bit of sage advice I'll bring this issue of *Phonics-Talk*
to a close. It's so very good being in touch with all of you again!

My best,
Dolores

Copyright Dolores G. Hiskes 2014

 

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