Learning to read is a process that begins at birth, when your child first hears sounds and words. As they grow, he or she must develop skills to learn how sounds, letters, and words work together. You are your child's first and most important teacher!
Reading can be separated into five key components. Below you will find a description of each piece of the reading puzzle.
Recognizing and using individual sounds to create words is known as phonemic awareness. Children need to be taught to hear sounds in words and that words are made up of the smallest parts of sound called phonemes.
Understanding the relationships between written letters and spoken sounds is known as phonics. Children need to be taught the sounds individual letters and groups of letters make. Knowing the relationships between letters and sounds helps children to recognize familiar words and decode new words.
Learning the meaning and pronunciation of words is important for vocabulary development. Children need to actively build and expand their knowledge of written and spoken words, what they mean, and how they are used.
Developing the ability to read a text accurately and quickly is known as reading fluency. Children must learn to read words rapidly and accurately in order to understand what is read. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. When fluent readers read aloud, they read with expression. Fluent readers are able to focus on reading comprehension rather than decoding.
Acquiring strategies to understand, remember, and communicate what is read is part of reading comprehension. Children need to be taught comprehension strategies or steps to make sure they understand the text. Students who are in control of their own reading comprehension become purposeful, active readers.