In the previous article, I mentioned the importance of answering ‘why’ first, allowing ‘how’ to follow organically. When educators build resources, ‘why’ must always be answered first so that clear frameworks can be designed; otherwise, teachers will have gaps to fill.
When designing the framework for my collection of Emergent and Transitional Readers, ‘why’ was the first question I had to answer. The reason for creating the resources was to help children learn how to read in the purest and most fundamental way, with ‘reading’ basically defined as decoding words for meaning. That was my vision and my purpose, and with ‘why’ in mind, I mapped out the framework to meet that vision, as shown below:
When I designed the framework that would be the prototype for my readers, I ensured there were no gaps in progression, and that from one level to the next, vocabulary was slowly scaffolded with sight words.
The above framework answers ‘why,’ and once the readers have been completed, the how tos can also be resolved. Activities and lessons for how to teach and assess reading would be designed based on the books and the above framework, and ideal practices for how children learn could also be incorporated.
Resources designed around first answering ‘why’ allow teachers to teach without having to plug in the gaps, and students to have materials that align with what they are learning – the ideal situation in education.