We are on Lesson 5 of the Beginning/Struggling Reader Workshop
As you have learned, there are 4 essential elements to teaching reading.
The 4 essential elements are:
1) Phonics, (Here is a link for the phonics lesson)
2) Sight Words (Here is a link for the sight word lesson)
3) Confidence, (Here is a link for the confidence lesson)
4) Fluency. (Here is a link for the fluency lesson)
Today we are going to learn how you can put all of these together and you can teach reading!!
So far you have learned that….
1) Phonics -With phonics we know that letters make sounds and that when we put letters together, we can learn to put the sounds together….and when we put the sounds together, we can read and write words
2) Sight Words – Sight words are high frequency words (words that you see frequently when you are reading). Many times it is hard to use phonics to “sound out” sight words. Also, because these words occur so frequently, you want to be able to read them quickly/fluently without sounding them out
3) Confidence –A confident reader loves to read, a struggling reader is not confident and does not like to read. When you don’t like to read, you don’t want to practice reading and you don’t want to learn to read. This is the most important element of teaching a child to read.
4) Fluency – Stricture and repetition build fluency (accuracy and speed). Fluency builds confidence. .
BUT there is still a HUGE element to teaching reading that we are missing!
The point of reading is meaning (comprehension!!) . In grades K-1, children learn to read. In grades 2+, children read to learn. Children need to be able to read so that they understand what is being read. They need to read to learn!
When children learn to read, they need to learn comprehension alongside reading instruction. So, by just teaching phonics and word building skills, you are not teaching comprehension. Yes, you can help a child learn c/a/t is cat and b/e/d is bed but unless you specifically and explicitly teach “The cat is on the bed”, reading has no meaning. You are teaching words out of context.
When reading is taught alongside comprehension, children learn comprehension skills. They learn that reading has meaning and they learn to love to read. This is why my mom’s Reading Program, Mrs. Karle’s Reading Patch works –because it teaches children phonics, sight words, fluency, and reading comprehension while building confidence.
So, how do you teach phonics, sight words, confidence, fluency and cultivate a love of reading? Let’s look at how we taught other skills to our children…. Let’s remember our examples of teaching a child confidence: In each of these examples you had to explicitly teach your child.
—-Riding a bike: You hold their bike and tell them what they need to do. You make sure they don’t fall so that they don’t struggle.
—-Learning to swim: You hold them up in the water. You show them the strokes. You make sure they don’t become afraid of the water because they have a bad experience in the water.
—-Tying a shoelace: You show your child how to tie the shoelace. You hold hand over hand to practice. You encourage them before they become frustrated that they are doing things correctly.
Now think to different approaches for helping a beginning or struggling reader
—-ABC Mouse / Reading Eggs /Online games: With these websites you are just practicing reading skills.
—-Leap frog letter factory /Youtube videos: Again, watching videos just teach you phonics skills – it is not helping you put together sentences and learning what sentences mean.
—-Sight word flashcards or phonics worksheets are just practicing a specific skill in which the student is struggling.
While these methods help build confidence in skills, they are not helping build confidence with reading comprehension. If a student can’t understand what they are reading, they don’t know how to read. In order to help a child learn to read, you need to explicitly teach so that your child understands what they read!
So how do you explicitly teach your child to read so that they have confidence, read fluently AND they understand what they are reading?
About the Authors:
Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips (Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading, Mrs. Karle’s Reading Patch, and Mrs. Karle’s Handwriting Patch). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created “sunshine moments” to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read.
Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 7 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch. With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles.
The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets. Over the last 7 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.