Reading is such a complex subject. Helping your child to become a great reader can be an overwhelming task. There are 5 components to becoming a successful reader: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Fluency. Below is an explanation of each component as well as some suggestions for practicing at home.
Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. This is the first set of reading skills taught. These are necessary skills children need before they can read.
Phonics is the system of relationships between letters and sounds in a language. Learning phonics will help your child learn to read and spell. Phonics consists of the skills your child needs in order to sound out words.
A guide to the various vowel sounds: Vowels-Phonics
When your child is reading a book at his/her independent reading level, it is important that your child is using strategies to read words independently. Your child will be taught to use the following strategies whenever he/she encounters an unknown word:
Reading Strategies Bookmark
Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively. Vocabulary is important for readers because:
1. Children use the words they have heard to make sense of the words they see in print.
2. Children cannot understand what they are reading without knowing what most of the words mean.
There are 2 types of vocabulary words your child will be learning in school: High Frequency Words and Robust Vocabulary Words.
High Frequency Words are the words that appear most often in printed materials. They tend to be difficult for children because they often do NOT follow the standard rules for reading. these are words that require a lot of practice because children typically need to memorize these words. Here are some suggestions for practicing these words: Practicing Vocabulary
Reading Comprehension is the understanding of a text that is read. Children must “construct” meaning when they are reading.
Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly. Reading should sound like natural speaking. For reading to sound like natural speaking, students need to do the following:
1. Read words automatically – not sound out every word.
2. Group words when reading to help gain meaning from what is read.
3. Read with expression.
Fluency is important because fluent readers recognize words and comprehend at the same time. Less fluent readers must focus their attention on figuring out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding the text.