Stages in Becoming a Reader

Prereading Birth to Six This is the pre reading stage. By the time a child enters first grade he/she has about 6000 words in his/her listening/speaking vocabulary. Children at this age will bring more to the reading material than they will take from it. They will often pretend to read, recognize letters, and many learn how to write their name. This stage is very important to becoming a successful reader. Stage 1 Grades 1 - 2 Children develop an understanding of the alphabetic principal and begin to use their knowledge of sound and spelling relationships to decode words. Stage 2 Grades 2 - 3 Further development of decoding skills, additional strategies to decode words and make meaning from text. As this stage ends, children have developed fluency. They can recognize many words quickly and accurately by sight. They are skilled at sounding out words they don't recognize by sight and skilled at using context clues to predict words. Stage 3 Grades 4-8 Kids use reading more as a way to obtain information and learn about values, attitudes and insights of others. Texts contain many words not in speaking/listening vocabulary. Texts draw from a variety of genres, and also extend beyond the background of the children. Stage 4 Multiple Viewpoings Lasts through high school Readers encounter more complex language and vocabulary as they read texts in more advanced content areas. Readers are required to read texts containing multiple viewpoints and analyze them critically. Stage 5 Construction and Reconstruction Not all readers get to this point. At this stage of reading development, the reader can locate information in books and articles without having to read the material in its entirety. The reader constructs his/her own understanding based on analysis and synthesis of information. Strong Predictors of Early Reading Success Knowing the names of letters and the sounds they represent. Understanding that a word is made up of sounds and having the ability to manipulate sounds in spoken words. Children who have poor ability to recognize sound are helped by sight words. Good readers, however, typically have good decoding abilities Fox, Barbara. Word Identification Strategies: Phonics from a New Perspective. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill, c2000.

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