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More than ever, parents and caregivers need ways to help young children with their literacy skills, even before they start school. Similarly, children in kindergarten through second grade need to learn how to read by using the most effective approaches, approaches that are proven to help all children succeed. Teach My Kid to Read offers resources and training that enable public and school libraries to implement literacy programs using their own staff or volunteers.
The Roadmap to Reading guides parents and caregivers through fundamental reading skills and provides support, guidance, and troubleshooting for anyone who wants to help children develop strong reading skills and even pre-reading skills (skills acquired before a child learns to read). For children beginning to read (emergent readers) or struggling to read, we provide support and guidance by showing coordinators how to guide parents and caregivers in using evidence-based resources. We offer access to these resources through our website and through link to sites where you can download everything you need.
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The first road or domain on The Roadmap to Reading is language comprehension. Language comprehension is natural: We are hard-wired to speak, and listening comprehension comes before reading comprehension. The best way to ensure quantity and quality is to read aloud to a child as early and as often as possible.
Interactive Read Alouds
Interactive reading uses dialogue between the adult and the child to specifically and intentionally build language and vocabulary. Check out the interactive read aloud from KidsRead2Kids, download our activities and visit their site to see more examples.
Phonological Awareness (Pre-Reading Skills)
Pre-reading skills begin with kids tuning in to the sounds of language. Phonological awareness is an umbrella term that deals with how children identify and work with sounds.Dog on a Log Books offers free phonological awareness activities on their website and they publish pre-readers.
Phonemic awareness is the most advanced level of phonological awareness skills. It refers to a child’s awareness of the individual phonemes, the smallest units of sound, in spoken words, and the child’s ability to manipulate those sounds. While some children possess or develop phonemic awareness without the need for targeted work or exercises, many children require direct instruction in these critical components of early literacy.
Letter Recognition + Phonemic Awareness = Alphabetic Principle
Letters are merely symbolic codes for what we hear. Decoding is sounding out printed words.“Phonics” refers to the knowledge of letter sounds and the ability to apply that knowledge to decoding printed words. One way to improve letter recognition in young children and struggling readers is to use an embedded alphabet. An embedded alphabet inserts letters into pictures. Embedded alphabets help children learn letter–sound correspondence by using the initial sound of a word.
Letter Formation and Handwriting
It is best to emphasize proper letter formation at a young age while children are learning letter sounds. Download the sample from Itchy’s Alphabet to see how to teach letter sounds and letter formations.