Teacher's Guide / Reading Skills
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Language, Listening and Writing Skills contribute to the development of reading readiness. There are also other skills and abilities which must be developed along the way.

The sequence in learning to read includes:

  1. Become familiar with written words in the environment and in written materials.
    • Become familiar with written words in the environment and in written materials.
    • Post environmental print everywhere and notice it on field trips.
    • Label equipment in the classroom.
    • Have a well stocked library.
    • Place appropriate books in learning centers (ex. books on building in the block area; cook books in the housekeeping area).
    • Write with the children and keep these books on the shelves.
    • Keep finger plays and other information on file cards and let the children see you read from the cards.

  2. Develop a love for books through being read to and seeing others read.
    • Encourage parents to read to their children each day and to let the children see them reading other material (books for pleasure, cookbooks, etc.)
    • Read to the children each day in school - individually when possible.
    • Read predictable books that the children can "read" back to you.
    • But That Wasn't The Best Part is a good example of a predictable book.
    • Keep finger plays and other information on file cards and let the children see you read from the cards.
    • Place books in all learning centers to go with the materials or theme found there.
    • Take several field trips to the library each year.
    • Have a listening center in your classroom.
    • Make class books and place in the library.
    • Let children dictate original stories to you and place them in the library.
    • Save samples in the child's portfolio and let them look at their portfolio when they ask.
    • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: See our Book Reviews and Recommendations.

  3. Become familiar with the rhythm of the language. This will help them read with some animation in their voice instead of just a monotone. It also helps them develop rhyming skills.
    • Use nursery rhymes in the classroom. You could post a new one each week.
    • Use finger plays. These have the added bonus of active involvement.
    • Share music with strong rhythms and songs with rhyming lines.
    • Play a variety of music during free choice time.
    • Play classical music during nap time. Mozart is especially good for development of time and space concepts and thinking skills in the brain.

  4. Develop good eye-hand coordination and visual discrimination.
    • Art activities like collage making and drawing.
    • Provide stencils.
    • Cut shapes from play dough and then let the children trace around them.
    • Have a box full of different sizes and colors of toy cars.
    • Use songs like "Sammy" which include crawling (good crawlers make good readers).
    • Make fishing games where children can fish for a certain color or size of fish or a certain shape of fish (they can also fish for shoes or vegetables, etc.).
    • Ball throwing and catching activities.
    • Set up a soda bottle bowling alley.
    • Stringing beads.
    • Lacing cards.
    • Cutting activities.
    • Riding a tricycle or scooter.
    • Putting together puzzles.
    • Woodworking projects.
    • Play lots of sorting games.

  5. Develop tracking skills.
    • Read to the child daily and let them see you tracking the words across the page from top to bottom and left to right and turning the pages from right to left.
    • Provide lots of books and the time for children to explore them.
    • Patterning activities help develop tracking skills.
      Pattern blocks.
      Make patterns with beads or with colored counting bears.
      Play hopscotch.
    • Outside, point out birds or airplanes for them to track across the sky.
    • Talk to each child individually about books. Sit with them and let them watch you track across the page while reading the words. Let them track while you read, too.

  6. Develop cognitive readiness.
    • comprehension skills must be developed.
      Discuss a story before you read it (prediction) and then after you read it.
      Ask questions about a short paragraph to the child to see if they understood.
      Ask riddles.
    • Problem solving abilities must be developed.
      Do word problems with a small group and have them act out the problem.
      Encourage finding many ways to accomplish a task.
      Use puzzles at many levels of difficulty.
    • Reasoning skills must also be developed.
      Block building.
      Simple board or card games.
      Ask open-ended questions.
      Use recall activities like sequencing the events in a day.
      Explain what you are doing and why things happen the way they do .

  7. Become physically ready to read.
    • Talk with parents about the child getting enough rest.
    • Encourage (but do not force) each child to eat and to try new foods.
    • Offer activities to develop fine motor and gross motor abilities.

  8. Become linguistically ready to read.
    • Talk to and listen to each child often.
    • Introduce new words and play word games.
    • Explain what you are doing and why things happen the way they do (broaden their knowledge through language).
    • Take field trips and go on neighborhood walks.
    • Talk, talk, talk and listen, listen, listen.

  9. Begin to recognize letters.
    • Post environmental print.
    • Label all materials in the room.
    • Have name cards available.
    • Encourage parents to let the child pick out letters at home.
    • Work one-to-one finding and naming letters with the child who shows interest.
    • Talk about the letters in the child's name.
    • Play letter lotto.
    • Look for the letter in words in a book.
    • Look for the letter around the room.
    • Do pattern poems with words using that letter.

  10. Hear a sound and connect it with the appropriate letter.
    • Look for the letter in the words of a story and say those words together .
    • Encourage child to make the sound of the letter.
    • Post a paper with the letter written at the top and that day record all of the spoken words in which you hear the sound.
    • Play letter lotto.
    • Read alphabet books. Here's a list of great ones.

  11. Realize letters form words.
    • Point out individual words and repeating words.
    • Find repeating phrases in predictable books.
    • Use the pocket chart to match words to a sentence.
    • Match word cards.
    • Play a word match lotto game.
    • Read alphabet books.
    • Take dictation on a story roll (11X14 sheet turned the long way), post it, and reread often. Children can pick out matching words.

  12. Realize sounds combine to make words.
    • Use pattern poems (the same word repeats in every line) and sound out the letters in the repeating word.
    • Use books with only one word to a picture and sound out the word.
    • Use word cards so the child can use the picture to make the sounds of the letters.
    • Read stories with lots of sound words like Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
    • Read alphabet books.

  13. Realize a word says the same thing each time you see it.
    • Reread favorite stories.
    • Reread posted dictation.
    • Reread the child's dictated stories.
    • Look for the same word in another sentence and read that sentence aloud - the child will pick out the matching words.
    • Take dictation on a story roll (11X14 sheet turned the long way), post it, and reread often. Children can pick out matching words.

  14. Realize words go together to form sentences.
    • Read to each child individually, letting them see you track the sentences and pausing between sentences.
    • Point out beginnings and endings of sentences.
    • Make sentences for the pocket chart.

  15. Reading ability improves through practice and positive feedback.
    • Encourage all efforts to read.
    • Send books home with the child from the lending library.
    • Sit with the child and listen to him/her read.
    • Create sentences together and post them to be reread frequently.
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1998, 2018, Susan Jindrich. All rights reserved.