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