Here’s a little Road Map to Reading. Although the road to reading is a fairly complex process fraught with much tension and much work, there is hope. At my last site, I had an awesome Literacy Coach who gave me these steps to reading. So, without further ado, here they are:
**Phonemic Awareness- Simply put, phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate sounds and words. One of my favorite p.a. activities is to use word families (i.e., -an). If you place a /b/ in front of it, the word is now ban. Place a /c/ in front of it, and it’s now can. Place a /d/ in front of it and it is now Dan, etc.
Concepts About Print- Does the child understand that print goes from left to right.
Explicit, Systematic Instruction in Phonics- Letter/sound correspondence, i.e., “A” makes the Long /a/ or ah sound. For each letter, there is a sound or corresponding sounds.
Decoding- While writing is described as encoding (Putting into the secret language), reading is described as decoding (deciphering & making sense of the secret language). Just think about it, learning to read is like deciphering a secret language. In essence, children are secret agents deciphering the code. So, if you put the short /i/ sound with the /f/ sound, it will make if.
Fluency/Automaticity- Again, simply put, does the child read in a human-like way (very naturally) or like a robot, taking time to sound out and pronounce every letters.
Explicit Instruction in Comprehension- This is where many students get “tripped” up on the CSTs. Since they take so much time Decoding, that barely leaves any time for comprehension. I had much success. I’m not sure how other teachers go about doing this, but, as always, I keep it very simple. Once you work on all of the above, their fluency/automaticity will increase. This will leave more time for comprehension.
I read to my students every day. Now, come very close and I’ll share a very simple secret with you. While reading, I asked them questions, we discussed the story & I had them sum it up in their own words. Okay, you can leave now. That’s it. That’s the secret to increasing comprehension. That’s my explicit instruction in comprehension.
** Taken from UC Davis, School of Education website**
I found a nice website for Phonemic Awareness
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