Spring 2007 Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas Volume 4 Issue 3 The 5 BIG Ideas for Reading Instruction *Based on information from National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read and Put Reading First: The Research Building Block for Teaching Children to Read As educators, we all have had students who are struggling with reading. Having a student who is below grade level in their reading abilities causes great concern for both the teacher and the parent. We all know that reading failure has long term consequences for the child in developing self-confidence, motivation to learn, and in school performance. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers or quick solutions for students who are struggling with reading. In 2000, the National Reading Panel reviewed more than 1,000 scientifically based studies on Reading and published information regarding what we know works for helping students become successful readers. The National Reading Panel breaks reading instruction into five categories: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension. This article will briefly summarize the 5 big ideas for reading. 1. PHONEMIC AWARENESS is the student’s ability to hear, identify and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words. Phonemic awareness is critical because it improves the child’s ability to read words and comprehend meaning and it also is a key factor in helping children learn to spell. Phonemic Awareness instruction should focus on helping the student to notice, think about and manipulate sounds in spoken language. Activities to teach phonemic awareness include: Phoneme isolation- recognizing the individual sounds in a word. Teacher: What is the first sound in dog? Children: The first sound in dog is /d/. Phoneme identity- recognizing the same sound in different words. Teacher: What sound is the same in can, call, and cat? Children: The first sound /c/ is the same. Phoneme categorization- recognizing a word in a set of three or four words that has the “odd” sound. Teacher: Which word doesn’t belong? dig, dog, tug Students: Tug does not belong, it does not begin with /d/. Phoneme blending-students listen to separately spoken phonemes and then they combine the phonemes to form a word. Then, they write and read the word. Teacher: What word is /g/ /o/ /d/? Children: /g/ /o/ /d/ is God. Teacher: Now let’s write the sounds in God: /g/, write G; /o/, write o; /d/, write d. Teacher: Write God on the board, then read the word. Phoneme segmentation- students break a word into its separate sounds, saying each sound as they tap it out or count it. Then they write and read the word. Teacher: How many sounds are in rug? Children: /r/ /u/ /g/. Three sounds. Teacher: Write the sounds in rug: /r/, write r; /u/, write u; /g/, write g. Teacher: Write rug on the board. Read the word rug. 2. PHONICS INSTRUCTION helps the children to learn the relationship between the letters of the written language and the sounds of the spoken language. Phonics instruction is important because it leads to the understanding of the alphabetic principal. To maximize the impact of classroom phonics instruction it should be systematic and explicit. Systematic instruction requires careful planning for instruction of lettersound relationships that are organized in a logical sequence. In addition, phonics programs should provide explicit instructions for the teacher on how to teach lettersound relationships. It is essential that students are provided with many opportunities to apply what they are learning about letter sound relationships to the reading of words, sentences and stories. 3. FLUENCY is the ability to read text accurately and quickly. When students are fluent readers they have the freedom to understand what they are reading. Reading fluency growth is most significant when the students work with the teacher. Therefore, silent reading is not an effective classroom strategy to increase student reading fluency. Fluency develops as a result of many opportunities to practice reading with a high degree of success. How can you help your students to become more fluent readers? Model fluent reading, then have the students reread the text independently. Have the students repeatedly read passages aloud with guidance- student/adult reading, choral reading, tape assisted reading partner reading, and readers’ theatre are all effective strategies to practice repeated reading in the classroom. 4. VOCABULARY refers to the words that we must know to communicate effectively. Vocabulary is critical to the reading process for two reasons. First, beginning readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words they seen in print. Second, readers must know what most of the words mean before they can understand what they are reading. Scientific research on vocabulary instructions reveals two important findings. First, most vocabulary is learned indirectly, through everyday experiences with oral and written language. Second, some vocabulary must be explicitly taught by the teacher. Children learn word meaning indirectly in three ways: They engage in daily oral language. Students need to have conversations with adults where new and interesting words are used by the adult and the vocabulary words are repeated often. They listen to adults read to them. Reading aloud is most helpful when the reader pauses during reading to define an unfamiliar word and engages students in a conversation about the book. They read extensively on their own. Specific word instruction can deepen student’s knowledge of word meaning and help the student to understand what they are hearing or reading. Word learning strategies include: Using dictionaries and other reference aids Knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, base words and root words Using context clues 5. TEXT COMPREHENSION is the reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. Text comprehension can be improved by utilizing the following strategies: Graphic organizers – maps, webs, graphs, charts, or frames Semantic maps/webs Question-answering instruction- guiding student learning through teacher/text questions. Generating questions- teaching students to ask their own questions to integrate information from the text. Recognizing story structure- setting, initiating event, internal reactions, goals, attempts, and outcomes. Summarizing- synthesizing the important ideas in the text. To order a FREE copy of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read (2000) or Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read (2003) go to www.nationalreadingpanel.org. Look in this book of the LORD and read; No one of these shall be lacking, for the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there. Isaiah 34:16 Did You Know? Did you know… Students must learn 3000 to 4000 new vocabulary words a year to acquire an average adult vocabulary… Fourth and fifth grade students encounter about 10,000 words a year that they have never seen in print before… Students have a one in twenty chance of learning a new word in context… *Based on information from the International Reading Association www.reading.org. Transition Reminder Maintain and document communication that may occur with public school special education professionals with whom you may be working (resource teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists). Maintain (and document) communication with parents regarding student’s progress. Document any new accommodations and modifications and their effectiveness. Upcoming Training Opportunities *This is not to be considered an endorsement of these in-services, merely a listing of upcoming in-service opportunities. Student Improvement Team Training April 16th and 17th Lecompton, Kansas $75.00 per person To register go to www.studentimprovementteam.org Strength Based Strategies for Students with ADD/ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome April 11, 2007 Ramada Inn Downtown Topeka For more information go to www.SDE.com.