How to teach Reading

Pre-kinders to 4th Grade

TOP SECRET: Most important teaching technique for reading

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Phonics Approach

  • Analogy phonics

    Teaching students unfamiliar words by analogy to known words (e.g., recognizing that the rime segment of an unfamiliar word is identical to that of a familiar word, and then blending the known rime with the new word onset, such as reading brick by recognizing that -ick is contained in the known word kick, or reading stump by analogy to jump).

  • Analytic phonics

    Teaching students to analyze letter-sound relations in previously learned words to avoid pronouncing sounds in isolation.

  • Embedded phonics

    Teaching students phonics skills by embedding phonics instruction in text reading, a more implicit approach that relies to some extent on incidental learning.

  • Phonics through spelling

    Teaching students to segment words into phonemes and to select letters for those phonemes (i.e., teaching students to spell words phonemically).

  • Synthetic phonics

    Teaching students explicitly to convert letters into sounds (phonemes) and then blend the sounds to form recognizable words.

Whole-Word/Language Approach

In the simplest terms, the “whole language approach” is a method of teaching children to read by recognizing words as whole pieces of language. Proponents of the whole language philosophy believe that language should not be broken down into letters and combinations of letters and “decoded.” Instead, they believe that language is a complete system of making meaning, with words functioning in relation to each other in context.

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What's Best???

Balanced Literacy Approach

Using a variety of methods of literacy instruction creates a balanced literacy approach. You are teaching to all students strengths and providing multiple experiences for the teacher to gradually release responsibility from teacher instruction to student independently owning their learning. It also is the use of writing, reading, and listening intermingled for literacy development.

Emergent Reading Levels

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Emergent readers need enriching and enjoyable experiences with books, especially picture books. Students can become comfortable with books even before they can read independently—recognizing letters and words and even language patterns. They are able to work with concepts of print and are at the beginning stages of developing the ability to focus attention on letter-sound relationships. Sharing books over and over, extending stories, relating experiences to both print and pictures, and guiding students to "read," helps children begin to make predictions about what they are reading.

Early readers are able to use several strategies to predict a word, often using pictures to confirm predictions. They can discuss the background of the story to better understand the actions in the story and the message the story carries. It is this time in the reader's development that the cueing systems are called upon significantly, so they must pay close attention to the visual cues and language patterns, and read for meaning. It is a time when reading habits of risk-taking, and of predicting and confirming words while keeping the meaning in mind are established.

Transitional readers often like to read books in a series as a comprehension strategy; the shared characters, settings, and events support their reading development. They read at a good pace; reading rate is one sign of a child's over-all comprehension. At this stage, children generally have strategies to figure out most words but continue to need help with understanding increasingly more difficult text.

Fluent readers are confident in their understandings of text and how text works, and they are reading independently. The teacher focuses on students' competence in using strategies to integrate the cueing systems. Students are maintaining meaning through longer and more complex stretches of language. An effective reader has come to understand text as something that influences people's ideas.

Teaching: Phonemic Awareness

Children learn and notice and manipulate the SOUNDS of oral language. (Pearson)

Rhymes--Riddles--Word Play

  • Sound-Matching Activities
  • Sound-Isolation Activities
  • Sound-Blending Activities
  • Sound-Addition and Substitution Activities
  • Sound-Segmentation Activities

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What Is Phonemic Awareness? | Reading Lessons

Teaching: Phonics

The set of relationships between the sounds of speech (Phonemes) and the spelling systems (Graphemes). (Pearson)

  • Blending into words
  • Phonograms
  • Phonics Rules
  • Explicit Instruction

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Teacher Tipster (Cup Stackin' Phonics)

Teaching: Spelling

  • Segmenting the word and spelling each sound, "sound it out"
  • Spelling unknown words by analogy to familiar words
  • Applying affixes to root words
  • Proofreading to locate spelling errors in a rough draft
  • Checking the spelling of unfamiliar words in a dictionary or a classroom chart
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Teaching Kids 3 Ways to Practice Spelling Words

Teaching Reading to: English Language Learners

  • BUILD BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE: Every student in your room has different past on these and broaden their horizons!
  • Small-Group work
  • Read Alouds
  • Authentic Literacy Activities
  • Use Familiar and Meaningful Words
  • Explicit Instruction on difference and similarities between home language and English
  • Understand their home/first language (how you teach them English will differ depending on the child's first language)
  • Label everything and emphasize new and common words and phrases
  • Celebrate their language
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Meet the Author


Thank you for visiting my flyer! I hope it helps you in your journey of teaching reading. I believe reading is the absolute most important skill we give to children, so I am very passionate about it. If you have any questions about information on my flyer or have resources to share please contact me.