Rhythm for Reading - sustainable reading intervention for schools

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Time and Space: From Rockets to Reading development

24 October 2022

Image by Spacex via Unsplash
Image by Spacex via Unsplash

From calculating the magnificence of planetary orbits to the pulse of electrons in the atomic clocks first used by NASA in the 1960s to control space exploration, rhythmic precision has been the focus of scientific research for millennia. In fact, the first mission to the moon was delayed because a lack of reliability among the best clocks of the era, which lacked sufficient precision to guarantee that the Apollo mission would not miss the moon altogether. It was only when the atomic clock was developed that NASA knew that the rhythmic precision of the movement of the caesium electron particles was sufficiently reliable to sustain the controlled trajectory of the Apollo 11 moon landing. This principle can be backwards engineered to apply to reading as well. If the rhythmic element of a child’s reading lacks a strong trajectory, there is insufficient coherence between individual words and syllables. This is why the grammatical structures of the language are not detected by the child while she reads and the message does not land. When this happens, reading becomes nothing more than a frustrating exercise in decoding.

Just as NASA realised that controlling the trajectory of a rocket depended on the regularity of tiny units of time, so must teachers realise that reading is a series of phrase shapes that are guided by rhythm and fuelled by cognitive attention.

Tags: Reading , Grammatical structure , rhythmic precision , electron particles , controlled trajectory , strong trajectory , coherence , scientific research , reading development , time and space

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