Instructional Recommendations for the Three Stages of Reading and Writing
Young children move through three stages as they learn to read and write: emergent, beginning, and fluent (Juel, 1991). During the emergent stage, young children gain an understanding of the communicative purpose of print, and they move from pretend reading to reading predictable books and from using scribbles to simulate writing to writing patterned sentences, such as I see a bird. I see a tree. I see a car. The focus of the second stage, beginning reading and writing, is on children’s growing ability to use phonics to “crack the alphabetic code” in order to decode and spell words. Children also learn to read and write many high-frequency words and write several sentences to develop a story or other composition. In the fluent stage, children are automatic, fluent readers, and in writing, they develop good handwriting skills, spell many high-frequency words correctly, and organize their writing into multiple-paragraph compositions.
A list of instructional recommendations for each of the three stages of reading and writing development is presented in the table below.
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