Indicate whether the following statements are a Myth or a Fact. Then describe why.
Learning to read is a natural process. Myth or Fact?
Myth. Learning to read is one of the most unnatural things that humans can do. Learning to read is not like learning to speak. Learning to understand speech is a natural process and even children that do not grow up in a language-rich environment will find a way to create a language of their own. However, learning to read is something that requires instruction (Pressley, 2005).
Learning to read is closely tied to learning to talk and listen. Myth or Fact?
Fact. Learning to talk and listen is closely related to learning to read. When families, teachers, and caregivers talk and listen to children, they help them develop knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures. For example, when a child points to a cookie and says “cook” a caregiver can expand that child’s vocabulary by responding, “Do you want a cookie?” The child learns that “cookie” rather than “cook” refers to the object she or he wanted. When children are exposed to rhymes and word games, they learn to recognize the different sounds in words (phonemic awareness) (NELP, 2008).
If you can’t spell, you can’t write. Myth or Fact?
Myth. The truth is, good writers write down all of their thoughts and ideas first as they plan for writing. After they’ve laid out their ideas and written a first draft, then they can begin working on revising. Once they are happy with what they have written down they can then start to edit, focusing on spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and word usage (NCTE, “10 Myths about Learning to Write).
You have to know what you are going to say before you begin writing. Myth or Fact?
Myth. Not necessarily. Sometimes, writing down your thoughts helps you figure out what it is you want to write about. Outlining or brainstorming can be an important part of writing. In fact, planning, in a written format, is a key step in the writing process. As you write out your ideas in an outline form, you begin to think deeply about what you want to say (NCTE, “10 Myths about Learning to Write).
Kids hate to write. Myth or Fact?
Myth. This is far from the truth. It is true that some children come to hate writing because they’ve had bad experiences in school. However, all children have the potential to love writing. Kids in general love to tell or make up stories and create songs and poems (NCTE, “10 Myths about Learning to Write).
I wasn’t good at math, so I can’t help children learn it. Myth or Fact?
Myth. For infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, much of their math learning is embedded into the world around them, and should be taught through hands on experiences (such as splitting a banana for a preschooler and using the word “half”, or saying, “All gone!” to a toddler who has finished her cereal). For school-agers who may need help with math homework, you can learn alongside the child to work on math. It is never too late to learn, and you can be a role model for children.
- National Council of Teachers in English. 10 myths about learning to write. Urbana, Illinois: Author
- National Early Literacy Panel. (2008). Developing early literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Washington DC: National Institute for Literacy.
- Pressley, M. (2005). Reading instruction that works (3rd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.