CRITICAL ASPECTS of Skilled Reading:

The foundation of reading

Cracking the code

Speed matters

Knowing lots of words

Digging for Meaning



Thoughts to inspire and motivate when you're
feeling down about reading.

the foundation of reading

Written by THRIVE Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 11-04-2014

Words are made up of sounds. Scientists call them phonemes. There are twenty-six letters in the alphabet and each one makes at least one sound. There are also a bunch of other phonemes that are spelled with more than one letter — like the /ch/ in chat and the /th/ in bath.

If children understand that words can be divided into individual phonemes and that phonemes can be blended into words, they are able to use letter-sound knowledge to read and build words.LDOnline

In total, there are more than forty different phonemes. Phonological awareness can be defined as the ability to notice, think about and work with these sounds. Solid research over the past few decades has proven that phonological awareness is one of the key building blocks of solid reading skills. Many children who struggle with reading do so because of weaknesses in this area.

While the work may be hard, the good news is that phonological awareness can be developed even by children for whom it does not come easily.

START LISTENING TO POETRY

It would be hard to find a better way to grow your love of language than to spend time listening to Shel Silverstein perform some of his wonderful poems. Or try this site:

A button leading to the Poetry4kids website.

TRY TO SOLVE CRYPTOQUIPS

For example, each letter in the following sentence has been substituted for the real letter. Try to work out this one:

Q PQDC QFC FSCTE

You can find more here or here or by typing cryptoquips for kids into a search engine.

This activity was suggested by
Professor Linda Siegel at UBC.

USE THE ACADEMY OF READING

While the work can be difficult, many of the activities students do in this program focus on improving their phonological awareness.

A picture of the cartoon character that narrates the Academy of Reading software.

Clip art of a bunch of children singing.
LEARN TO SING OR JOIN A YOUTH CHOIR

When you sing, lots of great things happen in your brain — and improved phonological awareness can be one of them. Plus, it can be a whole lot of fun! Does your school have a choir? Join it! Maybe there's a guitar club. Or you could just sing along to your favorite songs on your MP3 player.

This image was found on the wonderful ClipArtBest website.

Teachers, tutors and parents who are looking for more details and guidance in this area may want to check out this page, too.