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Assessing Accuracy and Fluency – Helping a Child Grow in Early Reading Skills

Posted in 2nd grade phonics, basic phonics rules, Five Big Ideas for Reading, Homeschool Reading Curriculum, phonic, phonics curriculum, Phonics Help for Parents, phonics lesson plans, Phonics vs Look/Say, teaching phonics, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Assessing Accuracy and Fluency – Helping a Child Grow in Early Reading Skills

 

There are FIVE BIG IDEAS involved in learning to read.

These FIVE BIG IDEAS are:
 
Phonemic Awareness
Alphabetic Principle
Accuracy/Fluency 
Vocabulary
Comprehension.

This Article on Phonics will discuss the third of THE BIG FIVE – Accuracy and Fluency. 

ACCURACY AND FLUENCY IN READING are vital skills for our children to possess. 

The folks at Candy 4WAY Phonics recognize that a reading program must include every essential step to achieve those crucial abilities. 

In order for our children to survive in this fast-paced, high-tech society, they must be able to look at a page of text and easily read all the words printed, completely understand all the material presented, accurately draw conclusions from all the facts given, and comprehensively make inferences from all the details specified. 

An accurate and fluent reader should have the ability to read selected text accurately, smoothly, effortlessly, and with appropriate expression and meaning.

The goal of attaining accuracy and fluency in reading is:  to learn to read through the words on a page easily and smoothly in order to increase the likelihood of understanding the meaning of the words.  

The National Reading Panel (Berninger et al., 2006) found that the following sequence of steps are necessary to lead students into fluency and onto comprehension:

Step 1) Phonemic Awareness 
Step 2) Phonics 
Step 3) Fluency 
Step 4) Vocabulary 
Step 5) Comprehension

However, there is a difference between assessing a student’s accuracy and fluency in reading and improving a student’s accuracy and fluency in reading.  Many teachers, for example, believe that practicing repetitive reading passages does both. 

For example, many teachers believe that having a child practice repetitive reading on the same selected text over and over and over again will help a child to read more fluently.  In turn, after the child has practiced a particular reading passage, teachers record the student’s rate of speed and use that rate assessment to determine the child’s reading fluency. 

In reality, though, having a child repeat the same text over and over again in order to gain speed:
a) does not assess that student’s overall reading accuracy
b) does not assess that student’s overall reading fluency
c) does not improve that student’s overall reading accuracy
d) does not improve that student’s overall reading fluency

 

What’s do I mean when I say “overall” accuracy and fluency in reading? 

Let’s take a child, for instance, who has been taught to read using the look-and-say reading approach.  If his teacher gives him the words:  baseball, hockey, run, game, and win, and asks him to read those words over and over and over again,  he will, indeed, be able to read those words faster and faster with less and less effort and more and more smoothly.

However, tomorrow when that child encounters the words: sports, athletics, sprint, competition, and  succeed, unless he has learned to sound out words from left to right, he won’t have a clue what those words are, and he will not be able to read them smoothly and effortlessly.

Reading a selected text over and over again will enable a child to learn phrasing, to follow punctuation marks in order to know when to pause and when to stop, and to gain a great knowledge of what a complete sentence “sounds like.” However, there is so much more needed in order for a child to attain accuracy and fluency in his reading.  There are at least four more skills necessary in order to attain strong accuracy and fluency in reading. 

First, a child must have the skills to approach words he has never seen before and to read those new words correctly

Second, the child must be given the opportunity to read a wide variety of printed forms on a regular basis. 

Third, the child must be exposed to greater and greater numbers of complex words and phrases.  

Fourth, the child must be given opportunities to read aloud selections in order to defend a thought or opinion he may have about that selection during a discussion. 

Most reading assessments for accuracy and fluency are performed on a weekly basis using material at the child’s grade level.  However, if we were to be more than generous in assessing a child’s ability to read accurately and fluently, we could take both a third grade look/n/say reading student and a third grade phonics-first reading student and assess their reading accuracy and fluency using reading material they each studied two previous school years ago (in the first grade).

If we did that, though,  we would soon see that there is a stark difference in the number of complex connective words and phrases contained in the sentences that each of these two types of students read during their first grade school year.

Let’s take a look at this sharp disparity between the words found in a first grade look/n/say story reader and the words found in a first grade phonics-first story reader by viewing text selections taken from both. Upon close examination, it becomes obvious that the measure of accuracy and fluency for a look/n/say reader is far behind the measure of accuracy and fluency for a phonics-first reader.

 

FIRST, here is the type of first-grade text that a well-trained look/n/say reader at the end of his third grade year should easily be able to read with accuracy, smoothness, and little effort.  The following paragraphs were taken from a first grade look/n/say story reader:

“Morris the Moose wanted candy.  He went to the wrong store. The man in the store said, “We don’t sell candy. Can’t you read?”

Then he showed Morris the candy store.  The man in the candy store said, “What would you like?”

Morris looked at the candy.  He liked the gumdrops.  He said, “Give me some of those.”

The man said, “They are one for a penny.  How much money do you have?”

Morris looked.  He had six pennies.  “I have four pennies,” he said.

The man laughed. “You have six!  Can’t you count?  Don’t you go to school?”

Morris asked, “What is school?”

 

SECOND, here is the type of first-grade text that a well-trained phonics-first reader at the end of his third grade year should easily be able to read with accuracy, smoothness, and little effort.  The following paragraphs were taken from a first grade phonics-first story reader:

“Little Sammy Saver trusted in the wise saying of:  A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.

At the first of each week, Sammy Saver collected one hundred pennies. He collected those pennies as payment for jobs he did. Sammy thought that most of the pennies he got each week should be earned pennies.

Sammy earned his pennies by searching for jobs to do all year long. In the summertime, Sammy rose early in the morning, went outdoors, and grew his own vegetable garden. When his vegetables were large and ripe enough to eat, Sammy sold them at a vegetable stand that he set up on his front lawn. 

Anxious to do more jobs, Sammy often walked his neighbor’s pet poodle. For the elderly, he mowed their lawns, raked their leaves, did their shopping, and cleaned out their garages. He joined with one other ambitious boy to wash cars.”

 

As we return to the goal of attaining accuracy and fluency in reading, which is:  to learn to read through the words on a page easily and smoothly in order to increase the likelihood of understanding the meaning of the words, it’s important to realize that when a student reaches fourth grade and beyond, he has a grave need to be able to: a) read every word on every page, b) understand the basic facts presented in each paragraph, and c) draw inferences from the conclusions he reaches.   

When children are able to sound out words, as are children trained to read using a systematic phonics reading method, their measure of accuracy and fluency will carry them through elementary school textbooks, junior high school textbooks, high school textbooks, and college level textbooks. 

This is why the people at Candy 4WAY Phonics  offer a COMPLETE Systematic 4Way Phonics Program at the affordable price of just $9.97.  We want children to be able to read every page on every page, accurately comprehend meaning from every sentence, and decisively draw conclusions from every paragraph.

After all, isn’t that why accuracy and fluency in reading are such vital skills for our children to possess? 

Sincerely, Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics 

It’s Second Semester, and Thousands of Older Children are Still Struggling to Read!

Posted in 2nd grade phonics, ADD, ADD and ADHD, ADHD, adult literacy problems in the united states, affordable homeschool reading program, basic phonics rules, best phonics program, best phonics readers, decodable text, decoding, easiest to use phonics program, easy to teach reading program, English grammar resource, ESL, Essays on Teaching, explicit phonics, homeschool phonics, homeschool phonics curriculum, homeschool phonics program, homeschool reading, Homeschool Reading Curriculum, Homeschool Reading Program, Homeschooling, homeschooling phonics program, Homeschooling Reading Program, homeschooling your preschooler, Homework and Study Skills, How can I tell if my child is getting phonics, how do you teach a child to read?, How many children cannot read?, How to know your child is getting phonics, how to teach a child to read, how to teach an older child to read, Illiteracy in the United States, implicit phonics, inexpensive phonics lessons, inexpensive phonics program, inexpesnive reading program, intensive phonics, K-8 Subject Areas, LD, Learning Disabilities, limiting the number of sight words, look/n/say vs phonics, my child can't read, my child can’t read, my child does not have a learning disability, my child does not have ADD, my child does not have ADHD, my child does not have dyslexia, older children who struggle in reading, Oral Language, Parent Involvement, parents resource for preschool education, phonic, phonics curriculum, phonics for english, Phonics Help for Parents, phonics lesson plans, phonics lessons, phonics program, phonics rules, Phonics vs Look/Say, preschool reading curriculum, public school classroom, reading, Reading Problem in American Schools, reading program, Report Cards, School Improvement, software, Special Education, synthetic phonics, systematic phonics, teacher training in reading, teaching older children their sounds, teaching older children to read, teaching phonics, true child story, true phonics vs look/n/say story, true reading stories, true reading story, true stories about children, words with fun in them | Comments Off on It’s Second Semester, and Thousands of Older Children are Still Struggling to Read!

 

PARENTS,

Teaching your older child to read is NOT difficult! 

 

Your time in teaching, however, must include:

1)  a 20 to 30 minute, step-by-step, reading lesson each day 

2) a proven, affordable systematic 4WAY Phonics program.

Let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this page if your older child had learned to read every word on every page, and that is what every parent should desire for their child. Indeed, you might be the only one who really cares that your child is struggling to read, and that’s exactly why you need to know that your older child CAN learn to read every word on every page!

 

Very soon, in these next few months , thousands of American parents will discover that their little third or fourth grade child is struggling to read his school textbooks.

 

It is also quite possible that this is the first time these parents have become aware that their little guy or gal cannot read every word on every page. Sadly, this is because many of these parents have been led to believe that based upon a normal bell curve, their child has been doing “just fine” in reading.

 

The only problem is, NOW, these young ones are in the third or fourth grade, they are expected to read lessons from higher level textbooks and answer comprehension questions, and they are struggling to read every word on the page and to make total sense of the facts given in each paragraph.

 

You see, it’s a fact that most of our students today are learning to read using Look/n/Say, Whole Word methods, methods that are mixed with just enough phonics to make everyone believe that our students are learning to decode all the words on the page.

 

Unfortunately, what little phonics that has been presented in so many of our classrooms has given way whole-heartedly to the memorization of Whole Words printed on Word Walls and contained on the monotonous pages of easy-to-read I Can Read Books. Moms, Dads, children cannot continue to memorize or guess every whole word on the page after they’ve reached the higher grades. It just isn’t possible!

 

According to Sebastian Wren, a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas, a competent reader (and that would be a reader who has learned to decode words by sounding them out from left to right) has a reading vocabulary of around 50,000 words.

 

However, Dr. Wren goes on to tell us that children who have been taught to read using Look/n/Say, Whole Word methods are only capable of memorizing a maximum of 5,000 words. According to Rudolph Flesch, author of Why Johnny Can’t Read, that maximum number is more in the neighborhood of 2,000 words.

 

Many educators today are completely unaware of the fact that the difference between a sight-reader and an intensive 4WAY Phonics reader can be seen by the comparison of how many words each type of reader can decode at the end of his/her fourth grade school year

 

By the end of third grade, the sight reader will be able to read 1,216 words and by the end of fourth grade, 1,554 words.  In comparison, by the end of third grade, the intensive 4WAY Phonics reader will be able to read an estimated 30,000 words (approximately the same number of words that are in his spoken vocabulary) and by the end of fourth grade, 40,000 words or higher!

 

Older students struggling to read, students who are victims of Look/n/Say, Whole Word reading techniques where children are asked to memorize numerous whole words from Word Walls and to search for “clues” to “figure out” what a word “might be” are children who, as a result of WRONG reading methods, have lost their self-esteem, have developed a fear of reading, and have experienced far too many situations where reading either silently to themselves or reading aloud in front of others has made them feel “dumb.”

 

Folks, this is an appalling situation!

It shouldn’t be taking place!

Nevertheless, this reading crisis for so many of our older children is happening!

 

THE GOOD NEWS, however, is: 

a) Parents can change these outcomes for their own child.

b) Parents can teach their own children to read every word on every page, and for less than $10.

c) Parents can raise their child’s self-esteem from bad to great.

d) Parents can take away their older child’s fear of reading.

 

Bruce Price, a novelist, author, and English Literature Honors Graduate from Princeton University sums up this dreadful whole-word reading process when he states:

“For the victims of Whole Word, every word is just a pile of sticks, a random assortment of scratches going in different directions…Similarly, a person literate in English knows that “busy” is a word but “bsuy” is probably a typo. A Whole Word victim sees nothing odd about “bsuy.”

 

Bruce goes on to explain that Whole Word victims are taught to memorize words in the same way that we memorize phone number. He describes the struggle that whole-word readers experience when they often reverse letters; as a result, they are often and regrettably mislabeled as dyslexic. When speaking about whole-word learners he states:

“There’s nothing odd about 1587649 compared to 1857649. Reversals are common when humans try to memorize either Whole Numbers or Whole Words. How many people could memorize even 100 phone numbers, never mind 500? In reading, such reversals are called dyslexia, an illusory problem created by an illusory pedagogy because of the “guessing and memorization techniques” they’ve been taught in their prior reading times.”

 

Parents, here are two more pieces of great news:

1) Your older child can learn to read every word on every page!

2) It will cost you less than $10 plus your time of just 20 to 30 minutes a day.

Click here to read about TEN STEPS you can take to insure that your child, no matter how old he/she is, can learn to read every word on every page.

Sincerely,
Carol Kay, President
Candy 4WAY Phonics
www.candy4wayphonics.com

Children Often Struggle with Short Vowel Sounds

Posted in basic phonics rules, free phonics, homeschool phonics, homeschool phonics curriculum, homeschool phonics program, homeschool reading, Homeschool Reading Curriculum, homeschooling your preschooler, how do you teach a child to read?, parents resource for preschool education, phonic, phonics curriculum, phonics for english, Phonics Help for Parents, phonics lesson plans, phonics lessons, phonics rules, Phonics vs Look/Say, preschool phonics, teaching phonics, teaching your preschooler to read, your preschool child can read | Comments Off on Children Often Struggle with Short Vowel Sounds

 
When children begin writing, if they cannot hear and confidently pronounce each distinct short vowel sound, they will often leave out the vowels when writing three-letter words, or mumble the vowel sounds when sounding out  three-letter words.
 
This is tragic, because in order for children to become proficient readers, they must solidly know each of the short vowels and be able to hear the difference between each of those sounds.

At Candy 4WAY Phonics  remedy this problem at the very beginning of phonics instruction by giving children a separate multisensory vowel picture for each of the short vowel sounds.

These multisensory pictures help children to “punch” the short vowel sounds when sounding them.
 
From there, children are able to proceed into blending a beginning consonant sound with a short vowel sound.   

Hearing the individual vowel sounds and correctly pronouncing them is quite often a problem for the struggling older reader as well.

Although we highly recommend that you purchase the entire Candy 4WAY Phonics Program for just $9.97 to fill in all the phonics gaps for your older student, we would like to offer parents and teachers a FREE Short Vowel Multisensory Flashcard to help their students grasp the five short vowel sounds.  Click here for that FREE resource.  

For helps with beginning students, we highly recommend our 31 A to Z Multisensory LARGE Wall Cards for just $5.97 by which students can grasp the distinct sounds of all the alphabet letters, including both the short and long vowel sounds.   However, for just $9.97, you can purchase All 65 of our Multisensory LARGE Wall Cards to print as often as needed.   With these 65 Large Multisensory Wall Cards, your student will gain phonemic knowledge for all of the Alphabet Letter Sounds, as well as gain more and more phonics knowledge by learning every spelling for the 114 common but tricky phonogram sounds. 

At Candy 4WAY Phonics , we truly desire for children to learn to read every word on every page.

Sincerely,
Carol Kay, President
www.candy4wayphonics.com