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Decoding is the ability to use our understanding of letters and speech sounds to figure out unfamiliar words. Students with strong Decoding skills can read more complicated words, and their reading becomes more fluid.
In addition to understanding the relationship between letters and speech sounds, the ability to properly read and pronounce words is dependent on understanding letter patterns. Children must be explicitly taught to attend to these letter patterns.
When children use their Alphabet Knowledge of the symbol-to-sound relationships, they are able to translate the printed words they see into the spoken language they know and understand. Although the English writing system is complex, approximately 80% of single-syllable words in English are "regular" and can be decoded using standard rules of connecting phonemes (the smallest unit of sound in a language) to graphemes (letters or letter combinations that represent phonemes). Skilled readers can generalize these rules to read unfamiliar words and can even correct pronunciations of "irregular" words using their oral Vocabulary knowledge.
Over time, children's reliance on Decoding decreases as they recognize familiar words automatically and understand their meaning, resulting in more fluent Orthographic Processing.
Daily review strengthens previous learning and can lead to fluent recall.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition.
Games help students visualize how to connect one fact to another.
Adding motions to complement learning activates more cognitive processes for recall and understanding.
Spending time with new content helps move concepts and ideas into Long-term Memory.
Independent reading promotes reading development by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
Practicing until achieving several error-free attempts is critical for retention.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Literacy centers with reading games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex reading skills and social interactions.
Providing physical representations of concepts helps activate mental processes.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take in their reading work.
Reading aloud allows students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Visuals help students recognize relationships within words and sentences to develop reading skills.
Reading aloud regularly exposes students to new and familiar vocabulary and texts.
Reading aloud books about skills children are learning provides another model for their development.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Students build their confidence and skills by reading and rereading books.
Books for vision differences support reading development for learners with visual needs.
Books of varying complexity and reading levels are necessary for all students to experience reading success.
Multicultural and diverse books are critical for supporting all students.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Students who have had little exposure to the school's language can benefit from having books in their Primary Language in their classroom.
Books with SEL topics, such as developing friendships and identifying emotions, help teach these skills.
Transforming written text into audio activates different parts of the brain to support learning.
When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they use and solidify their understanding.
Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.
Web-based dictionaries and thesauruses can serve as visual and audio resources for students to expand their Vocabulary knowledge.
Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories.
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