Monday, November 16, 2015

Learning How to Read

During the primary years, young students learn to read. “Reading is the process of constructing meaning from a written text. Effective early reading instruction enables all children to become fluent readers who comprehend what they are reading, can apply and communicate their knowledge and skills in new contexts, and have a strong motivation to read.” (Early Reading Strategy: The Report of Expert Panel on Early Reading in Ontario, 2003). 

The three mains goals of reading instruction, which are fluency, comprehension, and motivation to read, are all interconnected and imbeded in reading instruction strategies. There are many skills and strategies that early readers need to acquire. (See for example: Guide to Effective Instruction to Reading, pp 2.8-2.11) Primary teachers know that early success in reading is critical for children. The Guide to Effective Instruction to Reading (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2003) provides many excellent practical tips for educators to succeed in a good early literacy program for all their students. 

There are four basic instructional strategies for reading literacy:
  •         Modelled reading (e.g. read-aloud)
  •         Shared reading
  •         Guided reading
  •         Independent reading
Modelled reading, in which teachers read a book to the class, should occur daily in the classroom. The teacher should select a book that is beyond what students can read on their own, and read it with intonation and pleasure. The main goals of modelled reading are to promote a love of reading, and to model reading strategies by thinking aloud and demonstrating them. In my Primary qualification class, I designed a modelled reading lesson for grade 1 students. You can access it here, and as usual, I am open to comments and improvements. Happy reading!

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