What Is Reading?
Very simply put, reading is being able to decode words to ultimately get meaning from printed words and text. Although this definition of reading is a simple one, and very easy for adults to understand, it is quite complex and requires children to progress through multiple steps. Before a student can read for meaning, they must master certain skills throughout the learning process. The process is very similar to a baby learning how to walk. Typically, an infant can't just one day, all of a sudden stand up and start walking. The baby rolls, sits, crawls, pulls him/herself up, and then ventures to taking steps in order to begin to walk. All of those activities take time. This is also very true for learning to read.
What Are Some of the Major Areas Involved In Reading Instruction?
- Phonemic Awareness (being able to identify and manipulate the smallest units of sound, blending and segmentation)
- Phonological Awareness (the awareness of sounds structure in spoken words)
- Print Concept (punctuation, sentence structure, grammar, etc.)
- Sight Word Recognition (words that we know by looking at them, rather than decoding them)
- Word Building and Direct Instruction
- Guided and Independent Reading Opportunities (done in small and large group settings)