Are we teaching reading for kids or for tests these days? This is a critical component of the communication domain and supports the foundations of literacy.
Do you ever feel like we might be destroying the love of reading in our quest for the top marks on mandated achievement tests?
There can be a balance - there has to be.
for kids is part of the CPA domain. Being able to use comprehension
strategies and improving academic content vocabulary are the pieces to
the critical link between learning and thinking.
reading comprehension, teachers must be able to effectively teach and
intervene with all of the components of reading, without killing the
sheer joy of getting into a great book.
We also use games, iPad aps, and anything else we can think of to interest kids and develop early literacy skills.
This is all good, but the question comes when teachers wonder exactly what area of reading is the root of a child's difficulties.
This can be more easily answered by using a Classroom Performance Assessment.
Reading is part of the communication domain. There are components of reading for kids that support foundations for literacy. They are:
"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."
This is the foundation of teaching reading strategies. Emergent
skills in reading means a student understands the alphabet, has sound
and word knowledge and understands how print works (left tonight,
purposes for types of reading/print).
Without strong emergent literacy skills, a student is at risk for future reading and writing disabilities.
Awareness is the next step. Without this, a child will not be a
successful reader. There is only so far a student can go with sight
words. Phonological Awareness refers to "the manipulation and usage of
the structure of words, syllables and sounds (this is apart from the
meaning)," (NRP, 2000).
The student should:
Reading vocabulary has two parts: Word Analysis and Reading Vocabulary Knowledge (generally Tier 2 vocabulary words).
skills means that students can understand apply alphabetic principles
to decoding. This ability to decode leads to enhanced vocabulary as
they begin to use root words (base words) to make meaning in new words.
It also applies to being able to use syllabication skills to break a
word down and derive meaning from parts of the word.
refers to known words that are necessary for effective reading
comprehension. We use different types of vocabulary for different
In order to make meaning from text (which is the purpose of reading), children must be able to understand high frequency words and phrases (such as those found on the Fry Lists) and more complex words and phrases like idioms and multiple-meaning words.
Reading Comprehension and Applications are part of the domain of
Reading Strategies. This is the interaction between the text and the
reader. To comprehend a text means that the student can purposefully
monitor understanding while reading and use experiences to extend
Applying strategies is how readers connect
information within a text, as often we read something that we have
little experience with. This is where using critical thinking skills comes in.
After identifying exactly where a student is experiencing reading communication issues, an intervention can be put in place.
Reading Intervention Specialists or Speech Therapists can provide many strategies to help develop literacy skills.
But you, as the classroom teacher, have to take all of this "stuff" and keep it real. In our quest for developing skills, make sure you are teaching reading for kids, not for tests.