Developing Reading Skills in a Typical Curriculum Sequence
Points to/names upper and lowercase alphabet letters; recognizes some commonly seen words (e.g., STOP, McDonald's, Sesame Street); begins to associate letters with their sounds; matches simple words to corresponding pictures; rhymes; growing awareness of whether words begin or end with the same sound; developing ability to break spoken words into syllables; blends dictated sounds to make a word; recognizes that reading proceeds from left to right and from top to bottom on a page; interprets picture stories; recognizes/compares/contrasts facts in a story; aware of time sequence in a story and predicts outcome; recognizes poetry; distinguishes reality from fantasy
Identifies consonants in all positions in a word; reads long and short vowels, some vowel teams (e.g., ee, ae) and consonant diagraphs (e.g., ch, sh, th); growing ability to break dictated words into individual sounds; reads word families (e.g., cat, hat, rat); growing sight vocabulary; aware of root words, endings, compound words, contractions; recognizes main idea and cause/effect in story; draws conclusions; follows simple written directions; aware of author, title, table of contents, alphabetical order; recognizes a play; interprets maps and globes
Mastery of harder phonetic skills (e.g., kn, wr, gh, ck, lk, ir, ur, oi, au, oa); sounds out unfamiliar words based on individual letter sounds, familiar spelling patterns, root words, endings; identifies words from contextual clues; less confusion with reversible letters; varies in pitch, stress, volume when reading aloud; aware of syllabication rules, prefixes/suffixes, changing y to i or fife to v before adding ending; compares/evaluates information; recognizes character, setting, motive, resolution of a story; uses library for simple research purposes; interprets graphs; uses dictionary
Reading focus shifts from decoding to comprehension; rapid expansion of sight vocabulary and word-analysis skills (e.g., igh, eight); interprets homophones (e.g., way, weigh) and homographs (e.g., grizzly bear, to bear arms); reversals of letters and words generally disappear; reads selectively to locate information; reading speed increases with development of silent reading skills; distinguishes fiction/nonfiction, fact/opinion, synonym/antonym; recalls prior knowledge and relates to new text; recognizes author's purpose; uses index, captions, subheadings, margin notes; uses encyclopedia, telephone directory; interprets diagrams; reads for both knowledge and recreation
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