Reading

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Reading is a complex process that starts with recognizing shapes and sounds and grows into understanding the meaning of those shapes and sounds.  There are many factors that impact reading, and we begin with assessing students’ reading in order to best understand individual reading needs.  We review and assess results and determine the best plan of action to help develop student’s reading skills.


Unlike schools that adapt a reading curriculum and stick to it, we customize our instruction to support your child’s specific needs.  The five pillars of reading (below) guide our instructional approaches for reading.  They are all important factors that contribute to reading success.  


Phonemic Awareness


What it is:

The ability to hear, identify, manipulate, and substitute phonemes (sounds) in words


What it means:

Teaching phonemic awareness means instructing students to identify and manipulate sounds within language.  Students begin by learning individual phonemes, then joining phonemes, and finally, building words from those phonemes.


Why it matters:

Phonemic awareness is a strong predictor of long-term reading and spelling success.  Phonemic awareness development is the building block for phonics instruction.  Research shows that teaching sounds along with letters of the alphabet helps students better understand how phonemic awareness relates to their reading and writing.


Phonics


What it is:

The ability to understand phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters) in order to associate the letter with the sounds.


What it means:

This is where students begin to “crack the code” on reading. Phonics instruction helps students build the relationships between the letters and sounds to build words.


Why it matters:

Phonics helps students create a system for remembering how to read, spell and recognize words instantly.

 


Fluency


What it is:

The ability to read text accurately, quickly, and expressively, either to oneself or aloud.


What it means:

Fluency is the ability to read smoothly and with expression.  It includes the ability to make sense of what one is reading without needing to stop and pause to decode words.  


Why it matters:

Developing fluency is critical for a confident reader. When students struggle to sound out letters and words, reading can become a laborious and exhausting task, and students may begin to perceive reading as a negative activity. As fluency develops, students also begin to understand how reading is chunked and they learn when to pause and stop when reading as well as changing their tone when reading.

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