1.       How did you react to the author’s assertion that the literacy gap is a public health issue rather than an educational issue?

2.       Do you recognize yourself in any of the stories about female teachers’ reactions to boys’ reading interests and writing topics?

3.       Why do you think the synthetic phonics method of reading instruction was so effective with the boys in the Clackmannashire Experiment?  What implications does this have for us and our using Fundations as an intervention?

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I found page 138 to be extremely disturbing. It says that, "kids need to get and stay at grade level (this I agree with); those who fall more than two grade levels behind in reading rarely catch up." "If a student is not reading at grade level by eighth grade, teachers and administrators are already assuming that he (or she) is unlikely to ever wear a cap and gown. If this is true, we have our work cut out for us and we all know that the numbers of students reading below grade level seems to be growing. I have found that the Fundations program that we are using for intervention has been very effective with both the boys and girls. However, I find that most of the students in first grade prefer to use the white boards over the magnetic letter tiles. Do the tiles work better with the younger students?
I wasn't clear as to the type of magnetic letters which were used in the synthetic phonics program. I initially pictured them as being like refrigerator magnets, but then I started wondering if they were like our Fundations magnets.

I think my five kindergarten students prefer the magnets to the white boards, since some of them are still struggling with fine motor skills. However, I find there's more playing with the magnets sometimes.

The 2nd-graders seem to prefer using the white boards, though.

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