Educator Patricia M. Cunningham says in "What Research Says about Teaching Phonics," for example, that children do profit from systematic phonics instruction. However, there is more than one effective way to teach phonics. Positive results are the result of a high level of interaction, classroom management, explicit skills teaching, curriculum integration and a great deal of enjoyable reading and writing practice.
Gambrell, L.B., Morrow, L.M., Pressley, M., & Guthrie, J.T. (Eds). Teaching children to become fluent and automatic readers. Journal of Literacy Research 38(4): 357-387
Morrow, L.M., Gambrell, L.B., & Pressley, M. (Eds) (2003) Best practices in literacy instruction. New York: Guilford Press.
Reutzel, D.R. & Cooter, R.B. (1996). Teaching children to read: From basals to books, 2/E. Upper Saddle Ridge, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
A balanced literacy program is a very effective means for enabling children to become successful, independent readers and writers. As part of this process, teachers provide a comprehensive program by incorporating curriculum in reading, writing, listening, viewing, speaking, language and literature. As they promote positive reading and writing skills, the teachers inter-relate abilities and strategies across the literacy spectrum.
At the same time, they also integrate other disciplines such as social studies, science and mathematics in research, discussion, problem solving, journaling, and presentations. The whole goal is to enhance the power of thinking on one's own with the knowledge provided. Offering such experiences ensures children will have a balance of supportive and challenging learning opportunities.
Level II. Readers
Recognize that print offers an important message.
Pair spoken and written words
Can read fluently without decoding many words.
Know the concepts about print, such as left to right and top to bottom
Understand and begin using more vocabulary words.
Regularly uses cues to understand message.
Follow reading behaviors, such as intonation and pauses.
Use cues such as phonics, meaning and structure to know meaning of a text.
Relies on the text information for message.
Copy language patterns in familiar books.
Show knowledge of print, including punctuation, type face, etc.
After hearing/reading story is able to retell, summarize, and infer meaning.
Learn all letters either by sound, words that start with, etc.,
Start using reading strategies for a variety of texts.
While reading to self, can self correct.
Begin writing with initial sounds of words.
Summarize in detail and relate in order text read or heard.
Can understand meaning through deduction, inference and personal experiences
Tell stories and retell what has heard.
Start self-monitoring when reading to self
Read strategically from various materials.
Explain the meaning behind a short story or book.
Use drawings and personal experiences to enhance meaning of text.
Ability to hear/read story and then ask questions on what was heard/read.
good reader is not only a student who knows the skills, such as letters and sounds. It is also someone who uses specific strategies while reading to enhance meaning and knowledge gained. This person does not only read the material, but applies higher-level thinking skills, inferring and problem solving in the process. Someone who just learns the mechanics but not application and enhancement will not grow on the skills acquired. Experience is an essential aspect of reading strategies. A teacher will help the students incorporate their other knowledge and experiences in and out of the classroom with what is read.
Strategies for each of these areas:
Reading strategies -- decoding
Context and picture cues
Sounding out Recognizing patterns
Reading strategies -- comprehension
Writing strategies -- encoding
Word spacing and other conventions
Writing to express meaning
Goodman, Y. (1996) Reading Strategies: Focus on Comprehension. Katonah, New York: Richard Owen
Mooney, M. (2000) Read it again! Portland, ME: Stenhouse
Rasinski, T. (2000) Effective reading strategies. Princeton, NC Merrill.
Reutzel, D. (1999) Balanced reading strategies and practices. Princeton, NC, Merrill
Waver, C. (1998) Practicing what we know. Urbana, IL NCTE
Literacy proficiency is essential to successful learning in school and in life, especially during the 21st century. Literacy, goes well beyond reading. It is an all- inclusive form of both oral and written communication skills, and within those two larger categories smaller subcategories of learning areas and strategies. Literacy entails both conventional forms of learning, such as listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as newer ever-changing formats that rely on innovative technology that accesses information and makes it available immediately. Being literate in this day and age means going beyond reading and writing and having the skills to take the information gained, synthesizing it and applying it to new uses.
This entails teaching the categories of importance of general reading and writing skills along with the goals and parameters of the No Child Left Behind Act. Not only should information be taught, but it needs to be integrated so it holds more value to the students and can be more readily applied to solving problems.
Thus literacy needs to have a comprehensive approach that includes both instruction and real world, hands-on application. Students must be taught in a way that moves them being dependent on skills to learning new ways of being an independent learner. Most important of all in Kindergarten, since this is the first time that children have had the opportunity to observe and be a part of the learning process, they have to see the value of what they are learning. The teacher has to continually show the students application and usage. Why are the students learning what they are? What is the purpose? What are the goals? What is the value of acquiring this new knowledge? Children are eager to learn, but they get bored and frustrated early if they do recognize the need for pursuing the…