When teaching Reading it is important to recognize that students learn in different ways and in synchronization with their own personal growth and development. Reading development, as with all human development, is at an individual’s own pace.
The stages of reading development can be used as general reference guidelines. In no instance should guidelines become reasons to judge a student’s ability to learn nor should they be a reason to hold a student to curriculum that is no longer challenging.
As part of the normal growth process, children pass through stages of reading development. Advancement through these stages may differ from child to child. For example, a family may have one child who begins reading at age four while another does not begin to read until age six. Parents may be surprised to notice that both children are reading quite well at age eight. In other words, a slow beginning simply may indicate the child is not yet ready to read and nothing more.
The quality of reading is not measured by how soon a child begins to read but how well he or she reads when ready.
Reading development is enhanced when parents, family members, and friends read to children. It also helps if children observe their parents and other important adults reading and discussing the written word.
Having books of all types around the house tells children that reading is important. It is always a good idea to make sure that each student has a vision and physical examination before beginning instruction. Most doctors have a list of resources on hand to assist parents and caregivers in connecting with community specialists and school agencies if glasses or other support is required.
Pre-reading: Birth to Kindergarten Children learn to understand the spoken word, enjoy having books read to them, recognize letters, and perhaps write their name. They may also pretend to read books aloud and talk about the pictures.
Kindergarten and Grade One Children learn the names of the letters and the concept of sound/symbol and symbol/sound relationships. They learn linguistic patterning, the blending of sounds, and recognize certain sight words.
Grades Two and Three Children enhance and expand decoding skills, learn advanced skills for obtaining meaning from texts, and increase reading fluency.
Grades Four through Eight Children learn information that goes beyond their life experiences, they increase their basic vocabulary, and they apply that vocabulary to new reading and writing experiences.
Grades Nine through Twelve Students develop complex language structures, interpret multiple points of view, learn advanced vocabulary, and construct their own meanings through analysis and synthesis.
Excerpt from How to Use Rhoades to Reading.
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