The Foundations of Reading

  • Phonemic Awareness- The ability to hear and manipulate individual sounds in words.  This is a critical skill that lays the foundation for phonics instruction to "stick."

    Phonics- The ability to match spoken sounds with written letter symbols and patterns.

    Vocabulary- The ability to understand what words mean.

    Fluency- Fluency is comprised of two components.  

    • The first component is how a student reads with expression, rhythm, and phrasing.  Do they pay attention to punctuation or the mood of the text and reflect that in their voice? 
    • The second component of fluency is automaticity.  This means how quickly and easily we can do something without much additional brain power.  This part of fluency actually weaves through the other components illustrated here with the yellow arrows.  Students must achieve automaticity in these other skills in order to become skilled, independent readers.