Showing posts with tag fluency Show all posts >
Tim Rasinski is on a mission to change minds and he shares that mission with us in his webinar, “Keys to Increasing Reading Comprehension in the Age of Common Core.”
What’s Hot, What’s Not
Rasinski laments the fact that reading fluency has been ranked “Not Hot” for years in the annual “What’s Hot, What’s Not Literacy Survey” in Reading Today. Worse, he says, is the fact that the reading experts surveyed said that fluency should not be hot.
Fluency is one of the key skills, says Rasinski, that increases comprehension, the real goal of reading. So he wrote an article called “Why Reading Fluency Should Be Hot!,” which was featured in last May’s Reading Teacher magazine.
Building a Bridge to Reading Comprehension
Rasinski likens reading fluency to a bridge that connects accuracy in word study (phonics, decoding, spelling, and vocabulary) to comprehension. When students do not pick up the connection intuitively, educators have to teach it. But, if educators do not see fluency as an important component of reading instruction, the bridge to comprehension may never be built.
Teaching fluency means developing automaticity in word recognition, so learners can devote their available cognitive energy to comprehension. When that limited energy is spent on word recognition, there’s often not enough left over for the difficult task of deriving meaning from the words that have been read.
Ways to Develop Fluency That Really Work
Rasinski outlines what he calls “the essentials” of developing reading fluency:
Anyone interested in helping students become eager and capable readers should take the time to watch the full webinar and hear Rasinski’s thoughts on these points in his own words. It’s a topic he’s thoroughly studied, and he brings his extensive knowledge and passion to the discussion.
The online Reading Assistant program, as Rasinski points out, supports classroom teachers by delivering these five essentials—including real-time corrective feedback—to any number of students simultaneously.
Reading comprehension all comes down to meaning, says Rasinski, and teaching reading fluency ultimately helps learners get better at deriving meaning from any text.
Doesn’t that sound “Hot!” to you?
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Reading aloud with expression is a foundational reading skill students should be developing between grades 1 - 5, according to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (2012). It is pretty easy to recognize when someone skillfully reads aloud in an expressive manner. However, to effectively teach or assess this skill, a closer examination of its features, development, and relationship to other reading skills is needed.
Prosody, the defining feature of expressive reading, comprises all of the variables of timing, phrasing, emphasis, and intonation that speakers use to help convey aspects of meaning and to make their speech lively. One of the challenges of oral reading is adding back the prosodic cues that are largely absent from written language.
Researchers have found strong links between oral reading prosody and general reading achievement. For example, after comparing students’ reading prosody in first and second grades with their reading comprehension at the end of third grade, Miller and Schwanenflugel (2008) concluded that, “early acquisition of an adult-like intonation contour predicted better comprehension.” Another study, which included more than 1,750 fourth graders participating in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), found a strong correlation between prosody and overall reading achievement (Daane, Campbell, Grigg, Goodman, & Oranje, 2005).
In the context of oral reading, prosody can reflect linguistic features, such as sentence structure, as well as text features, such as punctuation. Skilled readers pick up on these features, and respond to them when reading aloud, as when they pause briefly at relevant commas, pause slightly longer at sentence boundaries, raise their pitch at the end of yes-no questions, and lower their pitch at the end of declarative sentences.
While punctuation provides some cues to prosody, young readers can be misled by it. For instance, they may pause at every comma, even when the grammar of the sentence does not call for pausing (e.g., “He made his usual egg, cheese, and tomato sandwich.”). As young readers move toward adult proficiency, their pauses increasingly respect the grammar of the text rather than doggedly following the punctuation (Miller & Schwanenflugel, 2006).
Prosody can also reflect aspects of meaning. For instance, slight fluctuations in pitch, timing, and emphasis can change a simple question (e.g., “What did you do?”) into an expression of censure. Learning to read dialog in a manner that reflects the intentions and emotional states of the characters is a great way for adolescent readers to delve deeply into literature. However, younger students may not understand this use of prosody well enough to apply it to oral reading (Cutler & Swinney, 1987). Notably, in the NAEP study, only 10% of fourth graders were judged as reading aloud with this level of expressiveness.
Finally, when thinking about prosody, it is critical to remember the other aspects of reading fluency: word reading accuracy and reading rate. Inefficient word reading is the primary barrier to good prosody for most young readers (Schwanenflugel, Hamilton, Wisenbaker, Kuhn, & Stahl, 2004). Children who are struggling to decode individual words tend to pause too frequently and for too long, so that their timing and phrasing are seriously disrupted. Furthermore, they must put so much effort into decoding that they do not have the mental resources left for constructing meaning and conveying it expressively.
Listening to the prosody of a child reading aloud provides parents and educators with a window into many aspects of reading skill. By reading aloud with appropriate timing, phrasing, and end of sentence intonation, younger readers can demonstrate their ability to:
read words accurately;
read at a reasonable rate;
read most words automatically, so that mental resources are available for comprehension;
use grammar and punctuation to help construct meaning;
By reading aloud with increasingly adult-like intonation and expressiveness, adolescent readers can demonstrate their ability to:
use discourse-level features, such as pronouns and signal words, to recognize relationships across and among the sentences in a text;
understand characters and their intentions when reading fiction
understand an author’s purpose or attitude.
Ultimately, all of these abilities must be brought to bear to achieve the ultimate goal of reading with comprehension.
Common Core State Standards Initiative (2012). English Language Arts Standards – Reading: Foundational Skills (Grade 1 – Grade 5). National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO): Washington, DC.
Cutler, A. & Swinney, D. A. (1987). Prosody and the development of comprehension. Journal of Child Language, 14, 145-167.
Daane, M.C., Campbell, J.R., Grigg, W.S., Goodman, M.J., and Oranje, A. (2005). Fourth-Grade Students Reading Aloud: NAEP 2002 Special Study of Oral Reading(NCES 2006-469). U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
Miller, J. & Schwanenflugel, P. J. (2008). A Longitudinal Study of the Development of Reading Prosody as a Dimension of Oral Reading Fluency in Early Elementary School Children. Reading Research Quarterly, 43, 336-354.
Miller, J. & Schwanenflugel, P. J. (2006). Prosody of Syntactically Complex Sentences in the Oral Reading of Young Children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 839-843.
Schwanenflugel, P. J., Hamilton, A. M., Kuhn, M. R., Wisenbaker, J. M., & Stahl, S. A. (2004). Becoming a fluent reader: Reading skill and prosodic features in the oral reading of young readers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 119–129.
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In the recent Scientific Learning webinar "Language and the Reading Puzzle Part 2: Morpheme Awareness and Working Memory," cognitive scientist Dr. Virginia Mann continues the conversation she began in Part 1, this time focusing on the importance of developing working memory and morpheme awareness skills in order to attain the goal of fluent reading (the ability to read at the right speed with no mistakes and good expression).
Morpheme awareness is the ability to recognize and contextualize the basic semantic building blocks of the English language. Here’s an example of how it works:
Can you fill in the blank with the most appropriate fictional word from the multiple-choice list below?
She is very __________.
Most experienced English speakers will be able to select the nonsense word "lorial" (choice b) to complete the sentence above, as it is the only adjective on the list. Completing this exercise also requires working memory, the ability to temporarily retain information long enough to complete a new task.
In her presentation, Dr. Mann compares morphemes to Legos, the interlocking toy building-block system, describing morphemes as vocabulary-building roots for language. One example she gives of a morpheme is the root word “play,” which can morph into the words “plays”, “played,” “playpen,” “replay,” and “unplayfully,” (to name a few) with the help of prefixes and suffixes.
In the webinar, Dr. Mann refers to a study which showed that normally developing children between the ages of 4 and 5 already understand this kind of morphological activity and are able to build new words in this manner. Research has also shown that young readers who do not develop strong morpheme awareness skills can sometimes end up with "frozen" reading skills, typically around the 3rd grade, just before morpheme awareness become central to a student's journey towards fluent reading.
Working memory is also explored in-depth in this webinar. Dr. Mann connects the dots between the importance of working memory and oral comprehension difficulties in school, and clearly identifies the kinds of classroom challenges (e.g., difficulty following directions, problems with multiple choice tests) students with poor working memory skills eventually face.
“If you can’t retain what is said, you can’t comprehend it,” Dr. Mann succinctly states, demonstrating the very real connection between poor working memory skills and diminished comprehension, which are common barriers to fluent reading.
All parents and educators can benefit from a deeper knowledge of morphemes and working memory (even if you selected the correct word in our little pop quiz above). Click here to view the full webinar.
Dr. Mann has collaborated with Scientific Learning on our learning acceleration products since the year 2000, playing a crucial role in the development of the Fast ForWord READING series.
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Every student seeks to be a confident, competent reader—regardless of grade level or starting fluency—and parents, teachers, and tutors want to help. To be fully functional in our society, we need to be capable of engaging with a variety of texts, some of which may be more technical, more abstract, or in some other way more challenging than our regular reading diet. When encountering an unfamiliar kind of text, even “good” readers need to learn how to read it and practice reading it in order to read it fluently and actually understand it.
Whether the text exists on paper, as a website or even as an e-book, the strategies for developing fluency and comprehension are the same. When students encounter an unfamiliar, difficult, or unusual piece of text, coach them through these fluency and comprehension strategies:
Using a similar approach can be helpful for students today as they endeavor to meet the Common Core Standards that set requirements for reading not only for English language arts, but also for reading in the content areas of history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. This means that students need to be able to read a variety of genres – and not only narrative text, but informational text as well. By doing so, they can gain familiarity with various text structures and elements, as well as literary, cultural and background knowledge that can be applied in their subsequent reading experiences.
Through instruction and practice in reading a variety of texts, students will become fluent and able to comprehend all genres and all school subjects - and achieve the vision of what it means to be a literate person in the 21st century!
In my former work as a teacher, one of the best moments of the day in my classroom took place when I read aloud to my students. It was a magical time for all of us as the words on the page and the characters in the story seemed to come alive right before us as I used different voices and accents. Sometimes I read very fast and other times I created long pauses that kept my students hanging, wondering what would happen next. I wanted them to love reading as much as I did – to enjoy that excitement you feel when you solve a mystery, are saved from catastrophe, or discover a wild and wonderful new world. Sharing this gift with my students was possible only because I am a fluent reader.
In his book The Fluent Reader, Dr. Timothy Rasinski says that fluency is a critical but sometimes ignored link between the basic reading of words and achieving comprehension. With fluency, the foundational skills of phonics and word recognition have progressed to the point that only a minimal amount of cognitive energy is needed for decoding so that the reader can focus on understanding what is being read. When you are a fluent reader, you are able to read easily and efficiently with prosody, or meaningful expression, and that enhances your comprehension.
Students must have some degree of fluency in order to comprehend text, so if you have students who easily understand what is read to them but have difficulty when reading independently, fluency may be the source of that problem. A study of fourth graders sponsored by the US Department of Education demonstrated that the most fluent readers had the strongest comprehension scores. In addition, every decline in oral reading fluency in the study had a corresponding decline in reading comprehension.[i] The study was replicated ten years later with about 1,500 students and had similar results.[ii] In both studies, close to half of the students who were not adequately fluent in reading also demonstrated significant problems with comprehension.
Practice is essential to learning and mastering any skill – sports, music, cooking, etc. - so it makes sense that this also would apply to the skill of reading. By including consistent oral reading practice during the school day, the reading process becomes transparent so it can be observed, examined and supported until students become independent readers. Readers must transition from being tied to the individual words so they can achieve higher levels of comprehension as they read. A great way to encourage this is through repeated oral practice of the same reading selection, which helps students with word recognition, fluency and prosody as well as general reading and comprehension.
There is something special about reading aloud regardless of who does the reading. Oral reading is a powerful tool that can help students not only learn to read fluently but also to experience the joy of reading.
The transition from rote to rapture - that’s what fluency can do for you.
Want to learn more? Check out Dr. Rasinski’s free on-demand webinar on scilearn.com, Teaching Fluency: The Neglected Goal of the Reading Program.
[i] Gay S. Pinnell et al. Listening to Children Read Aloud: Data From NAEP’s Integrated Reading Performance Record (IRPR) at Grade 4, 1995. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/permalinkPopup.jsp?accno=ED378550
[ii]Mary C. Daane, Jay R. Campbell, Wendy S. Grigg, Madeline J. Goodman, and Andreas Oranje. Fourth-Grade Students Reading Aloud: NAEP 2002 Special Study of Oral Reading, October 2005. http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/studies/2006469.asp
A focus on core reading skills has recently been promoted in college coursework for beginning teachers, statewide initiatives for student achievement, and professional development for teachers across the curriculum in all levels of education. One of the five core skills, fluency, is still being heavily debated among the researchers, but is gaining traction as an instructional skill that is necessary to the efficiency of reading. Differences in word reading or naming speed, two aspects of fluency, have been identified as early as kindergarten levels in struggling readers (Wolf, Bally, & Morris, 1986), and can continue to be tracked into middle and high school (Meyer, Wood, Hart, and Felton, 1999). Many students who struggle and are identified as having reading deficits have difficulty with reading speed and accuracy.
Although there seems to be a significant and growing body of research on reading skills, including fluency, there is still much to be learned about the impact of fluency on overall learning. The typical definition of fluency is “the ability to read connected text rapidly, smoothly, effortlessly and automatically with little conscious attention to the mechanics of reading, such as decoding” (Meyers and Felton, 1999). Reading fluency problems of children with reading difficulties, according to Torgeson (2006), are a result of students’ difficulties forming large vocabularies of words that they can recognize “by sight” or at a single glance. If students receive “powerful and appropriately focused interventions many of them can become accurate readers and their reading comprehension improves as a result of being able to correctly identify more of the words in text” (Torgeson, 2006).
Bridges Academy, located in Winter Springs Florida, serves students with specific learning disabilities. The overall purpose of the program is to remediate the learning gaps for the students and to “bridge” them back into mainstream schools with mainstream curriculum. Ninety-nine percent of the students who attend the school have an identified deficit in reading and many are considered to be dysfluent readers. Several years ago, Bridges Academy incorporated a computer-based instructional tool, Reading Assistant software, that provided a highly focused intervention for fluency to address the skill development of reading fluency, as a trial implementation.
For the pilot program, 10 middle school aged students were selected to try the Reading Assistant program. Each middle school student was invited to participate, if they desired to do so, during their homeroom time at the end of the day. Homeroom time, of course, is a very social time and many of the middle school students looked forward to spending some time connecting with their peers before leaving campus for the day. Each of the students was asked to commit to no more than 10 days, so they did not feel that they were giving up their social time for the rest of the school year.
To get familiar with the program and the process, each student was assigned a level of the computer program that was instructionally suited to their present independent reading level. The requirements were straightforward. Students were to listen to a selected story read aloud on the computer a total of three times. Then each student was required to review any words that were unfamiliar to them by selecting the word and seeing or hearing an example of that word in a picture or sentence. After this initial step the students were required to orally read the story selection. Words Correct Per Minute (WCPM) was tracked by the software and students were directed to complete a series of comprehension questions when done. One key component unique to this product was the requirement that the student listen to their own voice recording of the selection after each of the three required oral reading samples.
The interest and enthusiasm amongst these 10 middle school students as the project began was very exciting to the faculty and administration. All 10 students shared information with their parents and their classmates about the project and the way the program worked. During their lunch break, they discussed the various stories that they were reading amongst themselves and shared their present WCPM scores with their peers with tremendous pride! These students would celebrate their promotion to a new story with a “high five” and pored over their data reports at the end of the week to see what types of gains in fluency they were making. What was most encouraging? All 10 of the students chose to work on the program for the duration of the school year, a period of eight weeks. One student even elected to come back to the campus during summer vacation to complete the stories he was reading, so he could reach his own set goal of 200 WCPM!
The impact of this implementation of the Reading Assistant program is now being realized across the campus at Bridges Academy. All students who are reading above a second grade level are provided access to the Reading Assistant program two to three times a week, throughout the school year. Students who are preparing to “bridge” to a new school program are provided the opportunity to work four afternoons a week as an after school option, so that they may increase their proficiency rate with above grade level material in preparation for their move to the mainstream schools. Every January through April, 80% of the students eligible for bridging can be observed working in the afterschool program. What is most impressive is that these students have chosen to participate in this afterschool program!
The assessments, data analysis, and individual summary reports built into Reading Assistant track the overall impact of the program in improving reading skills for student participants. Bridges Academy staff and administration are pleased with the overall improvements in the students’ reading skills and confidence. The students perceive themselves as readers, and parents report that the students are now becoming more confident readers who enjoy reading--many for the first time!
Meyer, M.A., & Felton, R.H. (1999). Repeated reading to enhance fluency: Old approaches and new directions. Annals of Dyslexia, 49, 283–306.
Meyer, M.S., Wood, F.B., Hart, L.A. & Fenton, R. H. (1999) Longitudinal course of rapid naming in disabled and non disabled readers. Annals of Dyslexia, 48, 89-114.
Torgeson, J.K. & Hudson, R. (2006) Reading fluency: critical issues for struggling readers. In S.J. Samuels and A. Farstrup (Eds.). Reading Fluency: The forgotten dimension of reading success. Newark, DE: International Reading Association
Wolf, M., Bally, H., & Morris, R. (1986) Automaticity, retrieval process and reading: A longitudinal study in average and impaired readers. Child Development, 57, 988-1000.
As we head into summer break, the farthest thing from most of our minds is the first day of school. That said, that day is surely on its way. And while day one is always unpredictable, the kindergarten and first grade teachers know that better than anyone: you never know what skills those students will have when they come in the door.
While evaluating each student’s capabilities is by no means an easy task, we can get a head start through having a solid understanding of how the brain learns best and under what conditions. If we can understand that, we can more effectively direct children’s learning and give them what their hungry brains need so they learn with optimal effectiveness.
When it comes to reading skills, children show up on that first day of school with an incredible variety of experience. Many have parents who have read to them every day since day one. Many have constant access to books and other materials to promote pre-literacy. At the same time, many have parents with busy lives who have not made that commitment to reading, or parents who simply do not understand the importance of these early literacy experiences and simply to not cultivate these skills. Judgment aside, it is up to educators in these classrooms to apply the latest research-based knowledge to ensure success for each student and bring the class along as a whole as effectively as possible.
Of course, standardized assessments help us to zero in on needs. But even once we understand those needs, how can an educator focus their efforts to cultivate success for a group with disparate skill levels? One way, as stated above, is to understand the brain and how it builds skills. What are the first skills that educators should focus on in terms of reading skills so that students can continue to build success?
A study in 2010 by Young-Suk Kim, Christopher Schatschneider and Barbara Foorman of Florida State University and Yaacov Petscher, all in association with the Florida Center for Reading Research, posed this very question. Their study looked at how growth in oral reading fluency, vocabulary, phonological awareness, letter-naming fluency, and nonsense word reading fluency skills related to reading comprehension skills.
Interestingly, through their study of all these skills areas or “predictors,” they learned that the greatest predictor of a child’s ability to develop comprehension skills by the third grade was their growth rate in oral reading fluency early on in the first grade.[i]
This study tells us that, as early as possible in first grade, educators need to both get a bearing on each student’s oral reading fluency capabilities and encourage development of those skills as quickly as possible to lay the foundation for the development of subsequent skills.
That said, from a practical perspective, what kinds of activities are best for developing oral reading fluency? Here are a few:
Part of the wonder and excitement of being an elementary school teacher certainly comes from that experience of getting to know the new set of students, with all their smiles and faults, talents and deficiencies. If we can focus on—and have some fun with—developing oral reading fluency with our youngest students, research shows that we should be setting each individual, as well as the class as a whole, on the road to reading success.
For more detail on the above methods and access to helpful reading resources and to learn how computers can provide accurate, patient guided oral reading for all students, visit http://www.scilearn.com/products/reading-assistant/.
[i] Kim, Y S. Petscher, Y. Schatschneider, C. Does growth Rate in Oral Reading Fluency Matter in Predicting Reading Comprehension Achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology. 2010. 102:3. 652-667.
As we look ahead to the 2011 webinars and get ready to hear more experts in the field of brain fitness and education, I wanted to take a moment to review the 2010 webinars and share the top 5 points of the webinars that I am still thinking about today.
He gets results! Rescuing the good citizens of Metropolis and instilling hope and wonder in all citizens. Yes, it’s a comical notion but we love to believe in the Superheroes and their ability to get things done!
When it comes to education, we look to our school district leaders to get things done – improved student achievement, high quality schools and low cost education programs that get maximum results. Especially in light of recent reports that show the US lagging behind other countries in reading, math, science and social studies. But there is one district in Louisiana that is getting things done – their results are proof that good leadership, a supporting community and proven education programs can turn a district around, from failing to proficient in a short amount of time.
Once a low performing district, the St. Mary Parish Public School System has achieved significant gains to become a role model for schools looking to make dramatic changes in their performance. After using the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ family of educational software products to strengthen students’ brain processing and literacy skills, students have increased their reading proficiency, and improved their achievement on state tests. In addition, fourth grade promotion rates have increased and test scores for student subgroups have improved, with the district making significant progress toward closing the achievement gap.
During the 2006-07 school year, St. Mary Parish started school-wide use of the Fast ForWord software at eight elementary schools that were in Academic Assistance. During the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, the Fast ForWord program was extended to the rest of the district. Students in grades three through five work with the Fast ForWord products 30, 40 or 50 minutes a day, depending on the school. Since 2008, the district has implemented Reading Assistant software as well. Reading Assistant combines advanced speech-verification technology with the latest reading science to help students strengthen their fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.
From 2006 to 2010 the percentage of fourth graders performing at or above the Basic level on the initial LEAP ELA test increased from 55 percent to 78 percent. In 2008, for the first time in a decade, the district exceeded the state average for the percentage of fourth graders reading at or above Basic on the initial ELA test. In addition, for the first time in years, the district had no schools labeled Academically Unacceptable.
Similarly, from 2006 to 2010, the percentage of fourth graders performing at or above Basic on the initial LEAP test rose from 59 to 79 percent in Math, from 53 to 69 percent in Science, and from 59 to 72 percent in Social Studies.
|Fourth Grade Initial LEAP Test|
*Net Change is measured from the year before Fast ForWord participation to 2010, i.e. 2006-2010 for 4th graders.
Fourth Grade Promotion Rates
In addition to improving LEAP scores, St. Mary Parish collected longitudinal data about the percentage of fourth grade students each year who were promoted to fifth grade. From 2006 to 2010, the district’s fourth grade promotion rate improved from 65 to 85 percent.
Both general education and special education students showed a positive trend in fourth grade promotion rates. Between 2006 and 2010, the fourth grade promotion rate improved from 67 to 88 percent for general education students, and from 33 to 59 percent for special education students.
“Over the past four years, our fourth grade students have made astounding gains, outpacing their state counterparts in English language arts as well as math and science,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Aguillard. “Our fourth graders now rank 14th in the state, signifying a continuance of annual proficiency increases since 2006. As a result, the number of fourth graders who require summer remediation has declined significantly, and students’ self-confidence and motivation have soared. In reading and across the curriculum, our students are clearly benefitting from our ongoing efforts to provide effective, targeted instruction and interventions through the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs.”
St. Mary Parish Public School System is an example of a district that is getting results – making significant gains in reading, math, social studies and science. Providing the standard for making our education system No. 1 in the world again!
According to the Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read Reports of the Subgroups, the capacity to learn and grow as a reader depends on five essential skills:
Foundational Skills for Beginning Readers:
1) Phonemic Awareness: The insight that every spoken word can be conceived as a sequence of phonemes. Phonemes are the speech sounds that are represented by the letters of an alphabet.
2) Phonemic Decoding: The ability to capture the meaning of unfamiliar words by translating groups of letters back into the sounds that they represent, link them to one's verbal vocabulary, and access their meaning.
Skills Needed to Read for Meaning:
3) Vocabulary: Understanding the words in a passage, including the specific dimensions of their meanings or usage that matter in context. For example, knowing that “tree” when reading about a “family tree” has a different meaning from “maple tree.”
4) Fluency: The ability to read with sufficient ease and accuracy that active attention can be focused on the meaning and message of the text and the text easily retained.
5) Comprehension: Thinking about the meaning of each segment of the text as it is read, building an understanding of the text as a whole, and reflecting on its meaning and message.
Teachers today are fortunate to have access to a wealth of scientifically based research into what works when teaching children to read. The links that follow are courtesy of the National Institute for Literacy:
Birth to Early Childhood
Children begin building literacy skills long before they go to school. Even very young children can be prepared to become successful readers later on. Research has identified certain skills that are important for later literacy development; these skills include knowing the names and sounds of printed letters, manipulating speech sounds, and remembering what has been said for a short time. Here are some ways to teach younger children these pre-reading skills.
From kindergarten through third grade, young readers are actively developing all five of the core reading skills from phonemic awareness to fluency and comprehension. Research has shown that teaching children to read successfully during this window requires a combination of strategies and instructional approaches. Teachers must know how children learn to read and be able to tailor instructional approaches to individual children--especially those who are struggling readers. Here are some instructional approaches for the five essential skills.
While many adolescent readers have mastered phonemic awareness and decoding strategies, they are often still challenged to fully understand what they read. In middle and high school, it is common for literacy skills to be developed not only in language arts courses, but also in a variety of different content areas. To prepare students for the literacy challenges of secondary school, language arts and content area teachers need to focus on the last three components of reading: vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Here are some approaches to teaching vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Categories: Reading & Learning