About Reading: An Introduction



By: Diane Henry Leipzig (2001)

It's not an easy thing, learning to read. This article provides a brief overview of what is involved and what parents, teachers, and everyone else who touches the life of a child can do to help those who struggle.

1. How do children learn to read?

Learning to read is complex. Children don't learn one reading-related skill and then move on to the next in a step-by-step process. Instead, they must develop competency in four areas simultaneously: word identification, comprehension, fluency, and motivation.

They begin to develop these competencies by listening to books read aloud. That's one reason why it's so important for children to have experiences with books before they enter kindergarten. However, most children don't learn to read independently until they receive formal instruction in school, which is why good reading instruction is so important.

2. What does good beginning reading instruction look like?

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Do You Read to Your Child?

By: John Edelson

Learning to read is an exciting time for children and their families. Learning to read successfully is the culmination of many steps. And the early stages of the reading process combines two skills that go hand in hand: phonics and vocabulary. Simply put, phonics is the understanding of how letters combine to make sounds and words. And this starts with, what else, the alphabet. Phonics skills grow as students distinguish between vowels and consonants and understand letter combinations.

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Simple Practices to Nurture the Motivation to Read 

By: Linda Gambrell and Barbara Marinak (2009)

Honoring books for self-selection, sharing the excitement of read-alouds, building a balanced book collection, making your passions public, and providing rewards that that demonstrate the value of reading are just a few simple but transformative suggestions that can nurture the love of reading in your classroom.

Research confirms that student motivation is a key factor in successful reading.


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Why Some Children Have Difficulties Learning to Read

By: G. Reid Lyon (2000)

Children may struggle with reading for a variety of reasons. This article provides an overview of these reasons, including limited experience with books, speech and hearing problems, and low phonemic awareness.

Good readers are phonemically aware, understand the alphabetic principle, apply these skills in a rapid and fluent manner, possess strong vocabularies and syntactical and grammatical skills, and relate reading to their own experiences.

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