Guest Commentary: The educational myth about reading and learning

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News Article

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In a recent article, “Colorado legislature, school districts debate effectiveness of having struggling students repeat a grade,” about third grade retention, this statement was made: Conventional wisdom says that students learn to read from grades K-3, after which they “read to learn.” Myths about education abound and are often hard to dispute, but the myth about learning to read and reading to learn is one that cannot go without comment. The notion that K-3 students only “learn to read” while 4-12 students are only “reading to learn” is incorrect and can leave our students underprepared for success.

Kindergarten and first grade teachers can show many examples of emerging literate students using their new reading skills to learn about the world; to gather, discuss and opinionate about how the world works. These classrooms are full of books and magazines about animals, insects, planets, dinosaurs, the ocean, the community and more. Children are reading about, talking about and writing about their ideas in order to learn and share their learning with others.

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