Comprehension & Learning to Read

What is Reading Comprehension? - If you are like most parents, you have probably forgotten that reading comprehension is a "learned skill".

The Reading Skills Pyramidillustrates a typical sequence for acquiring reading skills for use by parents for homeschools and enrichment. The reading skills are organized using the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) system.

The "What Works?" Report found that the five key areas in learning to read are phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency.

Learn to Read online with Time4Learning.It isa comprehensive educational enrichment and entertainment service for children ages 3-11. It combines educational enrichment with a safe internet service in a single system. Time4Learning is an advertisement-free online service providing a mainstream prekindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum, great games for kids, and progress reports for parents. Children like the lessons, they love the playground. Parents love the convenience and effectiveness.
 

"My child reads but she doesn't seem to really "get it"?"
The Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates that there are many steps to becoming a proficient reader. Generally, the skills can be split into two halves: one half is word decoding which is made up of phonemic awareness and phonics (discussed in a previous article). The other half is made up of a set of skills that falls into three categories: vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.
 
The easiest of these skills for most parents to understand is vocabulary. To read effectively, children must achieve a familiarity with a large vocabulary and have the skills to work around and to master new unknown words. These skills include guessing at a new word's meaning based on its context, on its roots, and on other clues. They include the habit of noting new useful words and techniques to integrate the new words in a children's reading, spoken and written vocabulary.
 
Reading comprehension skills separates the "passive" unskilled reader from the "active" readers. Skilled readers don't just read, they interact with the text. To help a beginning reader understand this concept, you might make them privy to the dialogue readers have with themselves while reading.
 
Skilled readers, for instance:
  1. Predict what will happen next in a story using clues presented in text
  2. Create questions about the main idea, message, or plot of the text
  3. Monitor understanding of the sequence, context, or characters
  4. Clarify parts of the text which have confused them
  5. Connect the events in the text to prior knowledge or experience
 
To give your child a window into the self-monitoring that skilled readers engage in as they read, demonstrate them while you read aloud with them. Periodically stop and ask questions demonstrating one of the skills above. If you are reading a confusing passage, stop and say, "I didn't understand that. Did you?" And after listening to their interpretation, say: "Interesting, Let's check and read this part again." Reread the passage and then discuss your new understanding.
 
With Time4Learning, these comprehension skills are taught and reinforced in a number of ways. There are exercises which helps students understand how skilled readers approach, read, and interpret text. They are designed both to increase the pleasure of reading, their skills in reading, and to prepare them for the tests that will punctuate their progress. To learn more about Time4Learning or to sign-up for a membership.
 
 
SEDL provides some of the most useful online information for understanding the reading process in their online library of electronic publications.
 
Product Recommendation. Listening to audio books on tape. in the car together provides a great opportunity for parents to read and discuss literature with their children. You can both develop your reading comprehension skills and use it to launch discussions of other questions such as ethics, values, or psychology that are raised in the literature.

Software and on-line reading programs can also provide great opportunities for children to follow along in the text as the program reads aloud and for timed readings. Here is an example of a read-along story used by Time4Reading. With Time4Learning, these fluency skills are taught and reinforced in a number of ways. Start a trial membership today.

For more information on how the reading skills are developed, look at the Time4Learning Reading Skills Pyramid. For more information on the NCLB Reading First findings

Vocabulary Games    interactive homeschool curriculum   spelling tests


The Reading Skills Pyramid

Key skills and dependencies

Phonics & Learning to Read

Phonics is a critical step in learning to read. Yet teaching phonics without children having phonological awareness and phonemic awareness or basic print concepts, will fail. The steps in learning to read include phonics as one of many critical steps. The Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates a typical sequence for acquiring reading skills for use by parents for homeschools and enrichment. The reading skills are organized using the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) system. See below for more details.

The Reading Skills Pyramid visually depicts the patterns of concept acquisition that children follow in becoming successful readers up through third grade. We recommend a high level of parent involvement in this process by providing high quality educational materials, establishing a pattern of daily reading, creating a rich language environment, and discussing your child's progress with teachers and following up on their recommendations. While most children follow the same sequence of acquiring literacy skills, they do so at their own pace. All children are different: if you have questions or concerns about your child's progress in reading, contact his or her teacher.

Time4Learning www.Time4Learning.com is a comprehensive educational enrichment and entertainment service for children ages 3-9. It combines educational enrichment with a safe internet service in a single system. Time4Learning is an advertisement-free online service providing a mainstream prekindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum, great games for kids, and progress reports for parents. Children like the lessons, they love the playground. Parents love the convenience and effectiveness.

The Reading Skills Pyramid and a range of educational and entertainment issues related to parenting in an electronic age are discussed in a FREE Weekly Newsletter.

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Note  
This Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates the analysis of skills and grade level targets determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Curriculum differs from state to state and many children will develop faster than these targets These norms represent average levels of reading achievement.