Six Components of Teaching Reading
Component 1: Reading Aloud
Reading aloud can be done as a full class activity, in small groups, or on a one-to-one basis. It involves an adult reading a piece of text or a book out loud to students. However it is done, it is a teacher-directed activity that requires student participation, as Debra Morrison indicates in Read Aloud and Movement, an ASCD video-based professional development program. Debra reads a book to her students about a cricket who wants to be a butterfly. As she reads, she asks the students questions about the characters and the plot and encourages them to predict what will happen next.
Component 2: Shared Reading
In the shared reading time, the teacher provides whole-class direct instruction while reading a shared text. If you were to walk into the classroom during this time, you might find the teacher in front of the class with her students sitting in a circle on the floor or at their desks actively listening as they read the same piece of text aloud together.
Component 3: Guided Reading
Guided reading may look different depending on the situation, but it is most common for the teacher to work with a small group of students as they practice and apply previously taught strategies and skills using instructional-level text. The text should offer challenges and opportunities for problem solving, but be easy enough for students to read with some fluency.
Guided reading can be used with students who have already gained important knowledge and understand how print works. Because these students can monitor their own reading, the teacher can use the time to encourage them to develop their interests and increase their reading competency.
Component 4: Independent Reading
In an independent reading program, all students read self-selected books that they can and will read on their own. While students read silently, the teacher chooses between meeting with individual students to monitor progress — checking on fluency, strategy use, or book selection, for example — and reading silently by himself to model independent reading.
Component 5: Working with Words and Sounds
Letter-sound correspondences, phonics, spelling patterns, high-frequency word recognition, decoding strategies, word use and meanings — these and many other word skills are what written word knowledge is all about. Becoming fully literate is absolutely dependent on fast, accurate recognition of words in texts, and fast, accurate production of words in writing so that readers and writers can focus their attention on making meaning.
Component 6: Writing
Teaching writing entails providing direct instruction in the writing process, grade-level writing standards and applications, and the traits of effective writing. Beyond direct instruction, it also means providing as much time for students to practice writing and receive ongoing and timely feedback about their writing efforts.
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