What are the Essential Components?
Vocabulary development F F a e
Matching pupils and texts
Access to interesting texts, choice, and
Writing and reading
What are the Major Findings?
Most children need explicit instruction in decoding and
While fluency isn’t sufficient for comprehension, it is absolutely
necessary for good comprehension.
Assessment and instruction are inextricably linked.
Writing, spelling, and reading are highly related, especially in
the early stages of learning to read.
Children should spend more time independently reading and
Children not reaching benchmarks benefit from daily intensive
Changing Emphasis of Big Ideas
with the Code
The Effects of Weaknesses in Oral Language
on Reading Growth/Academic Achievement
Reading Age Level
High Oral Language
5.2 years difference
Low Oral Language
12 13 14 15
Children must become accurate
readers as a first step toward
becoming fluent readers.
Percentage of youngsters in
the school who can read
grade level material
The Reading Gap
The Reading Gap
Target: 85-90% of students can handle grade level material.
Actual: Where schools say they are.
The difference between the Target and Actual levels is the Reading Gap that can only be
closed by comprehensive literacy strategies at the school level.
Importance of Independent Reading
Minutes Per Day
Reading rate is strongly correlated
Reading rate (fluency) is causally
related to reading comprehension.
Reading rate is correlated with many
other student characteristics that also
influence reading comprehension.
Vocabulary = .99
% F/R Lunch = .97
% Minority = .97
% ELL = .96
How much fluency (rate) is enough to
facilitate good reading comprehension?
H & T
Oral Reading Fluency Goals
Grades 1 – 2
Grades 3 – 5
2-3 words per week
1½-2 words per week
The role of vocabulary becomes
increasingly important as students
progress in school.
Kindergarten vocabulary (PPVT) is closely related
to later reading comprehension
End of Grade One -- .45
End of Grade Four -- .62
End of Grade Seven -- .69
The relationship of vocabulary to reading
comprehension gets stronger as texts become
2. Direct teaching of important words
3. Teaching word learning strategies
4. Fostering word consciousness
read per year
For a child who reads 15-200 words per minute,
reading 20 minutes per day will yield 1,000,000
words read in a year.
Anticipated vocabulary growth:
1,000 – 4,000 new words learned
The most basic words
Rarely require instruction in school
Examples: happy, bed, school
High-frequency words for mature
Instruction adds productivity to an
individual’s language ability
Examples: coincidence, absurd,
Words whose frequency of use is
quite low, often limited to specific
Best learned when needed in a
Examples: isotope, lathe,
Prior Knowledge . . .
Better than I.Q. for predicting success
on inferential comprehension.
Types of Prior Knowledge
Text structure and organization
The punter kicked the ball.
The baby kicked the ball.
The golfer kicked the ball.
How did the ball change?
Mary Lou’s heart was pounding as
she stood on the highest portion of the
platform, flanked by a Japanese and a
Rumanian. The last two years had
been worth it!
The batsmen were merciless against the
bowlers. The bowlers placed their men in
slips and covers, but to no avail. The
batsmen hit one foul after another with an
occasional six. Not once did a ball look
like it would hit their stumps or be caught.
Proficient comprehension of text is
Accurate and fluent word reading skills
Oral language skills
Extent of conceptual and factual knowledge
Knowledge and skill in use of cognitive strategies to
improve comprehension or repair it when it breaks down.
Reasoning and inferential skills
Motivation to understand and interest in task and
Three Major Strategies to Teach
Reading a lot
Deep discussions about
books or articles
Competent reader strategies
2. Text structure strategies
The Big Five
Predict and Infer
Monitor and Clarify
Evaluate and Determine Importance
Summarize and Synthesize
The effectiveness of instruction
in comprehension strategies
depends critically on how they are
taught, supported, and practiced.
An explicit description of the strategy and when and
how it should be used.
Teacher and/or student modeling of the strategy in
Collaborative use of the strategy in action to construct
meaning of text.
Guided practice using the strategy with gradual
release of responsibility – scaffolding by the teacher.
Independent use of the strategy.
Meaningful conceptual content in reading instruction
increases motivation for reading and text
Giving students choices of texts, responses, or
partners during instruction.
Have an abundance of interesting texts available at
the right reading level for every student.
Allow students the opportunity to work collaboratively
with ample opportunities for discussion, questioning,