We're Ready To Read!
Posted on 3/4/2017
When we as parents and teachers understand the basics of how to learn to read, we know what to do to support our children to learn to read.
Most importantly, for parents, reading to and with our children on a daily basis prior to school and across the school years makes a huge difference for their success in school.
Parents who read to their children from “infancy through the elementary school years” significantly raise their child’s chances of becoming successful readers and graduating from high school.
What are the basics of learning to read?
How do we help our children to learn to read?
Make A Difference
When youngsters arrive to school unprepared to learn to read, the effect is disastrous – impacting their academic achievement throughout their educational years.
Research indicates that perhaps a few as 30% of students arrive to preschool and/or kindergarten ready to learn to read! Parents need to be educated and/or re-educated, committed and/or recommitted to take ownership of doing what is required to prepare their child to learn to read.
The most effective thing parents can do to get their child ready to learn to read is to read to and with their child on a daily basis. Reading to a child for as little as 10 to 20 minutes a day can make all the difference in the world. Other simple learn to read strategies include the following:
> When reading a book to a child, pretend to not know a word and model connecting sounds to letters to sound out words.
> When reading a book to a child, model reading aloud smoothly with expression.
> When reading a book to a child, model how to make meaning by pausing from time to time to think aloud about what was read (read between the lines and put two and two together).
> When reading a book to a child, model vocabulary development by pausing from time to time to think aloud about new words.
The following terms represent the basics of learning to read and reading intelligence. When we as parents and teachers know, understand, and apply these ideas when reading to and with our children, we are better prepared to become intentional in our efforts to support our children to become successful, lifelong long passionate readers.
1. Phonological Awareness (Mastering Sounds)
Reading to children and engaging them in conversation with new words grows their awareness of the sounds of the English language. This phonological awareness is critically important to get them ready to read.
2. Phonics (Matching Sounds to Letters)
Phonics and decoding occur once readers achieve phonetic awareness. In this next step, readers learn to read by connecting sounds to letters or groups of letters to sound out words.
3. Reading Fluency (Smoothness, Accuracy, Expression, and Pace)
Once readers learn how to sound out words, they develop their ability to read with fluency and prosody, that is, accurately, quickly, with expression and pace.
4. Reading Comprehension (Making Meaning)
At this stage, readers grow their ability to make meaning: to read a text, process it, summarize what is explicit, and interpret what is implied.
5. Critical Thinking (Problem Solving)
At this stage, readers learn to skillfully exercise thinking processes to deepen understanding, such as making connections, generating questions, visualizing, making inferences, gaining perspective and empathy, identifying cause and effect, analyzing and synthesizing, determining importance, and checking understanding.
What if these terms were not seen as “intimidating” or "academic" by the public, but important andt understood by all?
What if through such understanding more parents became committed and intentional to applying these basics of learning to read when reading to and with their children.
Let’s make it happen. Rather then sending 30% of children to school ready to learn to read, let’s flip it and send 70% (if not 100%!) of children ready to learn to read.
Everyone can learn to read. The key is arriving to school ready to read.