The research on reading is crystal clear:
Students must read well to take advantage of educational opportunities and achieve success in our competitive world.
Starting with the basics then systematically developing skills, our program aims for mastery in all vital aspects of reading.
First Basic Skills, involve “simply” being able to read the words on the page. While it seems like an easy task, students who do not master the Basic Skills fall farther and farther behind when attempting to learn more sophisticated reading skills.
These skills include but are not limited to phonemic segmentation, decoding & encoding (spelling), vocabulary development, advanced word analysis, and metacognition.
Fluency is a combination of your child’s reading accuracy and rate. It is shaped by the use of basic reading skills and how quickly the text is read. Sometimes a child’s fluency is impeded by weaknesses with reading basic skills or comprehension. Or, perhaps the problem is really with executive functioning. After determining the real root of your child’s challenges, we improve fluency by working to strengthen basic reading and speed of reading until mastery level for their age-group is reached.
After mastering the Basic Skills, students learn Comprehension Skills. Just as important as being able to know what a word looks and sounds like is knowing what a word means. It is important to understand its meaning so as to apply it in context.
Once comprehension skills are added to basic skills, students build vocabulary, practice problem solving skills, learn how to learn (metacognition), and become active successful readers.
Signs Your Child Should Be Tested
When should your child’s reading skills be evaluated to determine any problem’s cause and solutions? When any of these warning signs are seen:
Kindergarten through 4th Grade
Has difficulty sounding out single words
Slow to learn letters and sounds
Confuses small words: at, to, said, and, does, goes, the
Makes consistent reading and spelling errors
Letter reversals: d for b, as for in, dog for bog, on for no
Word reversals: tip for pit, saw for was
Inversions: m for w, u for n. b for d
Transpositions: felt for left
Substitutions: house for home
May transpose number sequences and confuse arithmetic signs (=, -, x, /, +)
5th through 8th Grade
Usually reading below grade level
Reverses letter sequences
Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other reading and spelling strategies
Difficulty spelling, spells same word differently on the same page
A slower reader
Any signs from the list above (K-4)
8th through Adult
Often characterized by slow reading
Complains of needing to reread the same passage for comprehension and memory
Does not read books for fun
Regularly starts but does not finish books
Any signs from the lists above (K-8)
A student who makes 6 errors in a 100 word sample is not considered a successful reader.
Want to see our World of Reading program in action?
Contact us to schedule a free 10-minute demonstration.
Common Questions about World of Reading
What are basic skills?
Basic skills are those required to accurately read words on a page.
What is fluency?
Good reading fluency is reading with just the right speed and accuracy. Misreading words or reading too fast or slowly interfere with comprehension.
What is comprehension?
Comprehension is understanding and remembering what is read.
- 1st: Students must have good basic skills and good reading fluency. Dr. Carol Utay always says, “If a student cannot read the words on the page, they have no chance of understanding the text.”
- 2nd: Students must read quickly to remember what is read.Then, we can move on to comprehension skills. The most common reason parents call the center for tutoring or testing is problems with reading comprehension. Then, as a result of our evaluation process, we often discover that is not the root problem!
Difficulties with basic skills, fluency, attention, memory, language, even not sleeping well or anxiety, can all impact reading comprehension
- 3rd: Students must understand individual words.
- 4th: Students must understand the language used, the main idea and supporting details, sequence and make inferences.
What are strategies parents can use to teach basic skills?
- Read your child rhyming poems and encourage him/her to finish rhyming words. It will help your child become aware of phonemes – the smallest units of sounds that make up words.
- Play with letters. Help your child learn both the sounds and the names of the letters. Only do a few at a time. Start with the letters in your child’s name.
- When they move on to words, label everything at your house. Place printed words on the objects they name. For example, make a label “TV” and put it on the television. Make a label for the door, sink, and more.
- Read to and with your child. With easy books, the old, “You read a page then I’ll read a page,” can work wonders.
- Read books aloud that are too difficult for your child to read to expose higher-level vocabulary and train the ears to hear the rhythm and nuances of written language.
What are strategies parents can use to teach fluency?
For Younger Kids:
- Try reading the same book out loud at the same time as your child and just a tiny bit faster. This will help your child both learn the way to read the words while practicing themselves.
- Reading the same book over and over is an effective way to improve fluency but not a good way to measure it. Why? In a way, it is cheating; of course a child’s reading ability and speed will improve after many repetitions of the same passage, but what happens “in the real world” when asked to read and understand something novel?
For Older Kids:
- Read the same book your child is reading and discuss it with them. This develops good reading habits, and can also bring you closer as a family.
- Download electronic books. Listen to a book in the car or as a family activity. Many children focus better if they draw what is happening in the book as they listen.
- Encourage your child to participate in oral reading in the classroom. Some schools even engage in Readers’ Theater programs, encouraging students to build their fluency through performance.
- Have your child read to their younger siblings or relatives. This practice can encourage even the most reluctant students, because younger students are usually nonthreatening.
What are strategies parents can use to teach comprehension?
Good readers are able to think about what they read. Either parents or students themselves should ask questions about what they are going to read. In the middle of reading time, parents should check for understanding. Finally, after reading, parents should again check for understanding.
Graphic organizing, also known as webbing, can be used to help a student keep track of the main and supportive ideas. We love the Inspiration software!
Summarizing skills help students to:
- Identify main ideas
- Make connections with main and supporting ideas
- Eliminate unnecessary information
- Remember what they read
What is an Orton – Gillingham Reading Program?
Orton-Gillingham is an instructional approach intended mainly for students who have difficulty with reading, spelling and writing often associated with dyslexia. It is most properly understood and practiced as an approach, not a curriculum. Research shows its success with all students with basic skills of reading challenges, particularly students that read with a dyslexic pattern.
If the strategies listed above are not working quickly and effectively, do not panic! Contact us and let’s find out why together.