Assessing and Teaching Reading
By Kaila Barrett
The Expanding Research Base in
Basically what this is means is that
there is continuous research being
done on base reading, and this
means that people are looking for
ways to help expand reading and
what needs to be taught when doing
this. There are many successful
programs that have worked in the
past and even present but they are
trying to add to the research. The
development of essential reading
sills requires phonological reading,
phonic skills, fluency, and different
comprehension strategies. There are
a lot of other skills that they take into
consideration such as instructional
experiences, and reading problems.
Components of Reading Instruction
There are five essential components of effective
reading instruction and those are listed below.
Phonological Awareness Training
”Phonological awareness training was found to have potentially positive effects on
communication/language competencies for children with learning disabilities in early
education settings.” This can include words, syllables, onsets, rimes and phonemes. I also
believe that this is when the students know and understand that words/ language is made
up of sounds. Students should exhibit identify, hear, and manipulate these individual sounds
in spoken words. Research I have found is controversial on this topic because some people
think it is extremely important where others don’t think that it is that important and that
students can learn without it. I personally think it is important because this is when the
students can manipulate sounds. Some ways that I have found that can help with this is to
scaffold blending and segmenting through explicit modeling, integrate letter and sound
correspondence once learners are proficient with auditory tasks, focus first on the auditory
aspects of words, and to move from explicit to implicit segments of language. I think that if
you were to follow those it would honestly work great. I like the fact that focusing on the
auditory aspects first because that is the actual sound of the letter or word.
This begins when print is introduced and
paired with their corresponding sounds. In
normal terms this is basically saying that
there is a relationship between letters and
sounds. Through my experiences I have
found that some students really struggle in
this area and teachers have to find a
different method of instruction. This is also
normally when the students learn their
ABC’s and the sounds that go along with
them. Through all of the reading I have
done on phonics I have found out that
based on research systematic and explicit
phonics instruction provides a lot of
different opportunities to practice.
There are six phonics instructional approaches to
take into consideration.
• Analogy based phonics teaches students to
decode unfamiliar words.
• Analytic phonics teaches students to analyze the
letter sounds relationships in known words to help
with unfamiliar words.
• Embedded phonics teaches students letter sound
relationships during the reading of text.
• Phonics through spelling teaches students to
segment words and then write those sounds.
• Onset-rime phonics instruction teaches students to
identify the sound of the letters before the first
• Synthetic phonics teaches students to convert
letters into sounds and then blend them together.
I personally cannot explain how important phonics
are for students. I teach a lesson during the day that
usually has phonic awareness tied into it. It is so
important for students to learn and work at phonics
because this will help make them successful when it
comes to reading, writing, and spelling.
Fluency is the ability to read quickly but it being accurate and fluency
is usually covered with phonemic awareness, letter naming, sound and letter
associations, sight words and oral reading. I honestly thinking that rapid
reading can predict the beginning reading success with students. Some
students get it right away and some students struggle a lot with this. I see this
a lot working at the daycare as well as working in the schools with
kindergarteners and a lot of the students who are in special education lack the
ability of accurate fluency skills. The rationale for fluency helps to promote
memory and applications. I believe that fluency and comprehension play
corresponding roles with one another. This also brings up the topic of all of the
different theories that go along with fluency some of the theories that I like the
best are the sight word efficiency because this is what I do every day with
students. These people believe that sight words are a must know when it
comes to fluency and I help student with that every day. Of course this isn’t the
only theory out there but it is definitely my favorite and I do agree with it!
There are also different stages of fluency and these include:
• Prereading is when students focus more on the pictures, colors, and
shapes of a book.
• Decoding is learning to read emphasis. In other words students learn to
sound out words, learn consonants and vowels, they also blend words and
• Confirmation and fluency is reading to learn emphasis. The reader can is
when they can read and their fluency increases greatly.
• Reading to learn is when the reader adds new sight words and vocabulary.
They also learn to think and construct knowledge with words.
• Reading for multiple viewpoints is when the students adding new sight
vocabulary and then they construct knowledge and words.
• Reading to construct new knowledge is basically the same thing as the last
two, which is adding sight vocabulary and to construct knowledge using
This brings me to talk about the fluency rate and this is different for all
students, some are fast and some are average and then the lower levels.
There are different factors to take into consideration and those are reading
genre, maturity level of the reader, purpose of the reading, and the grade
level. This is basically how many words correct per minute.
Vocabulary is all the words that the student has learned and uses to communicate
effectively. There are different amounts of words that students should know at
different levels and/or grades. This is one of the most important aspects and this is
always why teachers teach spelling. Spelling teaches them to break down words,
spell them, and the reuse it in a sentence. This helps to build the students
vocabulary. Vocabulary can be divided into many different categories but generally it
is divided into oral vocabulary and reading vocabulary. However, there is also the
writing and listening portion, no matter what way the students learn it they soak it up
like a sponge. I have learned a lot about vocabulary actually getting to work with a
kindergarten class and most of their vocabulary is taught indirectly but there are
some cases where it is taught directly. I help the special education teachers in the
morning helping teach sight words and no matter how many times you go over the
same words the students learn. I have only worked with these students for a month
and I have noticed a huge difference in some of the students. It makes everything
worthwhile! Now because teachers cannot teach every single word some teachers
put words into categories that are important, difficult and useful words. The teachers
teach them using that strategy. Students with learning disabilities, like I work with in
the mornings, have a harder time remembering and using these words, let along
learning new ones. It is important to have repetition!
• This is a process that helps the students understand the words being read. This is
one of the best definitions of comprehension because it explains it so perfectly
because comprehension is how students read, this is what allows them to read.
While I was researching I came across seven strategies to help students learn
reading comprehension and those include:
• Comprehension monitoring is basically having the students either understand what
they’re reading or having them understand that they don’t understand it and then
using a strategy to help fix that problem. When I think about this metacognition
always comes to my mind because it is thinking about thinking.
• Cooperative learning is students working on defined reading in small groups or in
partners. I think this works great when you can pair up a student in special education
with a peer who is above status it works in a peer tutoring way.
• The uses of graphic and semantic organizers help the students with display and can
really help the visual learners. This also helps the students to see different
relationships on paper rather than just thinking and talking about it.
• Question answering is when students answer questions asked by the
teacher and this also includes the teacher giving the students feedback on
• Generating questions helps because the students can ask their own
questions to the teacher before reading the book. When they have actually
read the book the students will answer their own questions. I personally
love this strategy because I use to do this all time in school and it helped
me pay closer attention to what I was reading because I didn’t want to have
to go back and reread everything that I read the first time.
• Recognizing story starters, in my opinion is basically teaching the students
story structure and then having them recognize this in a book.
• Summarizing is basically retelling what happened in the text but in a shorter
version. The students should focus on telling important ideas and concepts
in a text. This helps teachers to determine if a student is understanding a
book or not.
• When teaching comprehension teachers
need to have strategies that teach it
systematically and explicitly a couple of
ways that I like the best are to:
• Model and explain metacognition.
• Have guided practice to guide students to
assume more responsibility.
• Having the students predict what could
happen in a text.
• Teachers should also be aware that they
cant rely on one comprehension strategy.
Teachers need to use a variety for the
students to learn.
• Teaching comprehension in the context of
academic areas can be effective some of
the time but not always it just depends if the
student has appropriate language and
• There will always be a student who has a
harder time learning comprehension or who
may even have a learning disability and it is
important to keep in mind different strategies
that may be more effective and some of those
• Having the students question what they read
and the story structure.
• The combination of self-questioning and text
specific student enhances comprehension.
• Teachers need to carefully design instruction
and include modeling(extremely important!),
guidance, practice, and feedback.
• Direct instruction helps with positive
• Whole language interventions have the least
Components of Evidence-Based Reading
I must say I did some research on this topic because I couldn’t exactly find the
words to describe it. I came across this definition and I had to share because I
think it is right on! “Generally, objectivity means the state or quality of being
true even outside of a subject's individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and
imaginings.” I love this definition because it explains what objectivity is other
than the “state of being objective” It is being true. I also think that it means a
lack of bias and judgment because no matter what you do a person will
always run into this problem.
Validity means being true or holding truth. If you are taking a test you want it to
be valid or true. Another great word that I like to use in place of valid is
Reliability is something that is dependable. Can you rely or depend on a
teacher when there is a consultation happening? This is an extremely
important aspect because reliability goes a long way in a work force,
especially education (special education).
Components of Evidence-Based Reading
Systematic Data Collection
Systematic Data Collection is a timeframe for planning and follow through for
assessments. This is especially common in special education because this is
how teachers monitor student progress and as everyone should know student
progress is a very important aspect of special education!!
This is basically a person someone is referred for. An example could be in
special education when teachers refer a student for SAT. This could also have
a different meaning in the way that it is someone who is referenced.
Core Reading Program
A core reading program is an instructional too that teachers use to
teach children to read. In other words the teachers use this to make
sure that the levels are being met at grade level standards. Core
reading programs have been around for a while now and I personally
think they are great! I like to think of these programs as a base for
reading. Other strategies can be used but the core program is the