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Big Ideas for Reading

Early reading and adolescent reading can be broken down into five main areas that impact a student's reading ability.

Big Ideas for Early Reading

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual spoken sounds or phonemes within words. It includes the understanding that the phonemes of spoken language work together to make words and can be taken apart to spell words. To benefit from phonics instruction, students must be able to hear phonemes within words in order to identify the letters that correspond with the individual phonemes. The two most critical skills of phonemic awareness are blending and segmenting.

Alphabetic Principle

Alphabetic principle involves an understanding that written letters represent spoken sounds and that letter sounds can be blended together to read words and segmented to spell words. Students learn and apply the alphabetic principle through beginning phonics instruction. Students must develop the skills and habits for automatic and accurate reading, relying on the letters in the word rather than the context or pictures so that all of their cognitive energy can go into comprehending what the text means.

Fluency With Connected Text

Fluency represents the ability to effortlessly read words accurately, at an appropriate rate, and with expression. All three components of reading fluency are needed.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively through listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Comprehension

Comprehension is the result of a student's interaction with text to construct meaning and learn from text. Strong reading comprehension is related to a student’s ability to read with accuracy (decoding) as well as the student’s language comprehension.

Big Ideas for Adolescent Reading

Advanced Word Study/Phonics

Advanced word study/phonics involves continued instruction in the application of more advanced phonics to reading, such as teaching students how to:

  • Identify and break words into syllable types.
  • Read multisyllabic words by blending the parts together.
  • Recognize irregular words that do not follow predictable patterns.
  • Apply the meaning of common prefixes, suffixes, inflectional endings, and roots when reading.

Fluency With Connected Text

Fluency represents the ability to effortlessly read words accurately, at an appropriate rate, and with expression. All three components of reading fluency are needed.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively through listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Comprehension

Comprehension is the result of a student's interaction with text to construct meaning and learn from text. Strong reading comprehension is related to a student’s ability to read with accuracy (decoding) as well as the student’s language comprehension.

Motivation

Motivation is related to a student’s perceived probability of success. We know that adolescent readers often lack the motivation to read, which can negatively impact their academic performance. This is especially true for struggling readers.

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