All guess, no check

Back when C. was in middle school, and we were dealing with the math program, we had him memorize an all-purpose response he was to use on any and all explain-your-answer items:

“I searched for a pattern, then I used guess-and-check.”

Naturally we thought guess-and-check math was bad, but apparently the situation in English was even worse:

Ken Sheck: I spent hours today with a high school sophomore who, two years ago, struggled to read, and did not like to do it. I know this because I was his 8th grade English teacher. For the past two years, he and I have been working together to improve his reading. 2/X

Sheck goes on:

“I realized he was doing what I’d seen too many other adolescent readers do, but didn’t have a name for it: he was word guessing.”

Apart from the obvious objections to teaching kids to guess their way through a text, what I’m asking myself is: is guessing & then assuming you’re right actually guessing?

All guess and no check . . .


And see:
All guess, no check
Not a potted plant
No guess, no check

4 thoughts on “All guess, no check

  1. Welcome to the extended consequences of Whole Word Reading. When you’re doing pattern matching on whole words rather than syllables, errors end up with the wrong word rather than mispronunciations. And mispronunciations are, IME, easier both to notice and correct.

    How ’bout them Ed. school experts, hmmm?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s