Thursday, October 2, 2008

Edutainment!?! (Repost from THT)

I'm getting irritated with "educational" television today and rather than pointing out my pet peeves to the little man as he enjoys his favorite show, I thought I'd vent with some other Moms.

This morning on a new show on Public T.V. called "Super Why" (which was a really big hit with the Little Man) they were teaching reading. Cool. However, one of my biggest beefs with most shows that teach reading is that they always show uppercase letters and teach the names of the letters. I am always left wonderin' a super WHY??? Hello! Those two things make learning to read MORE DIFFICULT! (Yeah, it was a big revelation to me too.)

When I finally discovered a program called Zoo Phonics, it was a big "Aaaahhhha" moment. I was always into phonics, but I always taught letter names first too, because that's the way I'd seen it all my life.

Here's what the brilliant ladies at Zoo Phonics say:

"One of the primary premises of Zoo-phonics is that we teach the lowercase
letters and their sounds first. That is because they are both needed 95% of the
time in reading and writing. ..when dealing with letters, it [preschool] is too
early to show children two different forms for the same letter sound (B and b).
Multiply two times 26 and you have 52 differrent shapes to master. It is just
too much right now for young children. Be patient - it will all come - they will
have wonderful mastery of these concepts, rather than confusion."

(and NO, this is not an ad.) Princess S's kindergarten teacher used this program, and she learned all her letter sounds in 1 month! She was reading in the first quarter of kindergarten. With no help from Mom, because I'm not really that kind of mom - plus I was Teaching Full-Time at the same school she was attending. When she started reading to me, I had to go ask her teacher what she'd been doing to get those amazing results.

I started doing it with my special ed kids, 4th - 6th grade mostly w/ Down Syndrome, and they had the letter sounds down in about 6 weeks. Anywhere from 40 - 96%!!! Plus, they retained it. When I tested them the first day back from Summer vacation, with no review, every child was at almost the same percentage they left at. Unbelievable results!! Especially considering that many of those kids had been drilled on letter names for years and just weren't getting it! (Want to know why? Email me at lotsostuff at hotmail dot com, and I will gladly expound on my theories. LOL!)

Well, Duh! It totally makes sense doesn't it? Look at this sentence and count the capitals, then count the lowercase letters used. Be real, you don't need to count it to see that we use a HUGE amount of lowercase compared to uppercase. So why is just about every letter set you purchase comprised completely of uppercase letters? WTH!?! Also, why did those idiots who wrote/produced Super Why? choose to spell out
instead of sounding out

Okay, moving on to Go Diego, Go! They taught the small children to say "Pigmy Marmaset" and then when baby Pigmy Marmaset sustained an injury, they frickin' called it a BOO-BOO!!!!! WTH!?! I despise baby talk words. If they can say Pigmy Marmaset, they can say scrape, cut, puncture wound, or pulminary embolism. Keep it clear and concise, but baby talk is just idiotic!

On a happier note...If you thought that my toddler kitchen project (part 1, part 2) was cute, check this one out! I saw it at Costco yesterday! Holy cow, it's darling! If I were rolling in dough, I'd dump my project and snap this baby up in a second!


Jaina said...

I love zoo phonics, my brothers both did great with it. :) And that kitchen set is adorable...but I think yours is going to be even better!

Kimberly said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog. I can't wait to check out zoo phonics it sounds great and right up my alley.

Mother Goose said...

i have heard about zoo phonics I used the method how to teach your baby to read! it is awesome.

Michelle said...

I remember reading this post way back when and agreeing with what you said. But I never did check out zoophonics. Caleb started learning zoophonics on his very first day of kindergarten this year and loves it. Sounds like it's been around a while and has had proven results.

Love the kitchen. Maybe if I had girls I'd consider buying something like that.

Mamarazzi said...

Finally!! i love the zoophonic's explanation. MY curriculum teaches lowercase first too. i dont know WHY people don't get it!! it just makes sense (which is usually how i explain it...cuz i am lame like that)!!

your kitchen is gonna be cuter.

Are You Serious! said...

♥ Zoo phonics sounds great and I'm definately checking it out! LOVE the kitchen!!! the Red really sets it OFF! :)

Jules said...

Zoo Phonics sounds like a well thought out program. More than once I've wished for a re-do with Sydney & Spencer's intro to reading. Any suggestions for reading comprehension help?

BTW the kitchen is so cute!

ps at least superwhy isn't spongebob. :)

Octamom said...

We have also loved the Leap Frog Letter Factory--they also make a strong case for phonics--but they do use a mix of upper and lower case letters--however, those videos have really streamlined my phonics lessons with my younger set of kiddos...

So glad you liked my TP collection! Thanks so much for your generous comments! And just realized--hope you noticed my TP phonics! Oh, wait...used all capital letters and used the letter names...nevermind....


Killlashandra said...

I wouldn't stress about the costco kitchen. I bet yours is ten times more durable than that one. :)

Interesting take on phonics too.

ValleyGirl said...

"If they can say 'pygmy marmoset,' they can say pulmonary embolism!" ~ hahahaha, you crack me up!! You're so right. I don't mind Go Diego, Go, but I absolutely despise Super Why. Which I why I force my kids to watch Teletoon Retro. You know, wholesome, good ol' days cartoons like The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, Woody Woodpecker, Fraggle Rock, and The Smurfs.

That kitchen is VERY cool!!

Candace Taylor said...

My little girl just barely missed the deadline for kindergarten and has been so eager to learn. I am totally going to check out zoo phonics. And thanks for sharing about that cute kitchen set at Costco(I loved the one you built too)!! We are getting one in our area (Well, about an hour away)opening at the end of the month. I just love your blog!

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