Thursday, September 07, 2006

Reading Is FUN-damental

Put this one on your reading list: "The Pet Goat" by Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner. It's just one of the stories that can be found in "Reading Mastery II: Storybook 1," part of the thirty-one volume Reading Mastery series published by the SRA Macmillan early-childhood education division of McGraw-Hill. It uses the direct instruction teaching style.
At the school I work at, we use the Open Court reading curriculum, which is also created by SRA. Five years ago, I was the computer teacher, so I don't have a specific story to connect me to the events of September 11, 2001. If I had been teaching fourth grade back then, I would have been just beginning my first unit, themed "Risks and Consequences." I suspect that we may have been reading about a little elephant who gets separated from his mother called "Toto."
But, as I said, I was the computer teacher, and on that day I sat in my room and watched television. None of the classroom teachers were sending their kids to my room, or anywhere else. That's what happened at our school. Students at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School have the historical distinction of knowing exactly what story was being read to them that morning. "A girl got a pet goat. She liked to go running with her pet goat. She played with her goat in her house. She played with her goat in her yard. But the goat did some things that made the girl's dad mad. The goat ate things. He ate cans and he ate canes. He ate pans and he ate panes. He even ate capes and caps." And now, five years later, those little minds are scarred for life. Why didn't the President of the United States stop reading, get up, and go do something about all those terrible things that were happening? Was he scared? Was he confused? Did he want to find out how the story ended?
It hasn't ended yet. That goat is still out there, running and eating. God help us all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And President Pinhead is still... well... being a pinhead.