The process of reading is an intense one. Before children can begin to read a word, they must first hear its parts. Before hearing its parts , the must know that each letter makes a distinct sound.
Here is where the fun begins. Reading is made up of 5 main components
Alphabet-recognizing each letter and knowing each letter in its correct order
Phonetics- that each letter makes a sound. “Learning to read begins in your child’s ears, not their eyes.” Peggy Miller
Word Work- Letters can be put together to make up a word. Words carry meaning.
Fluency- The ease with which a child can call a word determines how fluent he or she has become in reading. I must warn though that
children can call words and have no clue what they are saying the key and the final component is , in my humble opinion , the most important
Indulge me for a moment
Jim has a cat. His cat climbed up a tree. Will the cat get down? Mom will help the cat. Now Jim has his cat back.
I have left out all the gory details of how Jim’s cat got up the tree in the first place. I have left out what mom uses to get the cat down. I have left out Jim’s emotion. But because you understand that cats can climb up trees, they sometimes have a difficult time getting down, your imagination fills in all the rest.
Most children know what a cat looks like. They know cats can climb trees. When I asked the children who the cat belonged to, all of them said…Jim! (This is what I call a surface question but it highlights the child’s ability to see that the Cat is Jim’s)
When I asked what happened to the cat, most of the children were able to rely on context to identify that the cat was in fact stuck in the tree and that mom used a ladder to get the cat down.
Context is important for comprehension.
So in the coming weeks, I hope to document the process of learning to read in our kindergarten class.
Here are a few pictures to highlight the process
picture sorts “put all the b’s in a basket”
There are letters in my name too!
What does that letter look like again?
You say the word, then let me find it.
M-A-T “mat” right George?