Richard Anderson and the Commission on
learning to reason about written material using knowledge from everyday life and
from disciplined fields of study;
mastery of basic processes to the point where they are automatic so that
attention is freed for the analysis of meaning;
controlling one’s reading in relation to one’s purpose, the nature of the
material and whether one is comprehending;
able to sustain attention and learning that written material can be interesting
and informative; and
continuous practices, development, and refinement.
The U.S. Department of Education has stated that
children are expected to learn to read
in the primary grades, kindergarten through third, when most reading instruction
is given. By fourth grade, students
are expected to read to learn.
The Department continues “Over time, learning becomes more complex,
with heightened demands on students to use reading skills to analyze or to solve
problems. Good reading skills are
required to study geography, do math, use computers, and conduct experiments.
Even motivated, hard-working students are severely hampered in their
schoolwork if they cannot read well by the end of third grade.”
Students must become effective readers to meet the
demands of literacy and learning for the 21st century.
facts taken from research on reading and the sources of the information include:
development begins long before children start formal instruction in elementary
school. (Allington & Cunningham, et al)
More than four in ten
preschoolers, five in ten toddlers and six in ten babies are not read to
regularly. (National Research Council)
Children benefit from
experiences in early childhood that foster language development, cultivate a
motivation to read, and establish a link between print and spoken words.
Later, students need to develop a clear understanding of the relationship
between letters and sounds, and an ability to obtain meaning from what they
read. (National Research Council)
Reading aloud to children
helps them develop and improve literacy skills -- reading, writing, speaking,
and listening. (Trelease)
Children learn to read and
write by being read to, reading simple text, and experimenting with writing. (Fountas
Due to different brain
signature, 20-40% of the population does not acquire phonemic awareness. (Grossen)
Certain abilities must be
developed that work together to create strong reading skills (The Little Red
Reading Book). These core abilities
Spelling, vocabulary and
Learners become engaged in
literacy as they grow more strategic, motivated, knowledgeable and socially
interactive. (Alvermann &
Some researchers describe
two levels of literacy: emergent into conventional.
More traditional researchers define three levels: early reader,
transitional reader and fluent reader.
Children’s reading and
writing abilities develop together. (Tierney & Shanahan)
All children need to have high-quality children's books as a part of
their daily experience. (Burns,
Teaching with a flexible
mix of research-based instructional methods, geared toward individual students,
is more effective than strict adherence to any one approach. (National Research
comprehensive approach to the teaching of reading that includes systematic
teaching of specific reading skills produces better readers. (The Little Red
Teachers need to understand
the most up-to-date reading research and be able to implement it in their
classrooms. (National Research Council)
Teachers must be able to
identify reading difficulties in students early on and marshal appropriate
interventions in response. Young
learners need continuing encouragement and individualized instruction to
succeed. (National Research Council)
Effective lessons must
include opportunities for students to experiment, discuss, examine models,
reflect, recognize patterns and create personal explanations.
(Brooks and Brooks)
Low literacy is strongly
related to unemployment, poverty, and crime.
About 43 percent of those with the lowest literacy skills live in
poverty, and 70 percent of the prison population falls into the two lowest
levels of reading proficiency. (National
Institute for Literacy Fact Sheet)
In July 1997 the Illinois State Board of Education adopted the Illinois
Learning Standards to define what
As a result of their schooling, students will be able
analysis and vocabulary skills to comprehend selections,
strategies to improve understanding and fluency and
broad range of reading materials.
The standards have the potential to draw teachers, families and
communities together for purposes of sharing their best ideas and practices,
adapting these practices based on the conditions affecting their students, and
ensuring students can meet or exceed expectations.
In 1998 the ISBE identified the following 14 Best Practices in
provide explicit instruction, build word knowledge, and directly teach skills and strategies for word
analysis (phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition,
structural analysis, context clues, vocabulary) with and without use of text.
routinely monitor and assess the reading
levels and progress of individual students.
This ongoing evaluation directs and informs instruction.
instruction considering three phases: before, during and after
routinely self-reflect and collaborate on instructional practices and student progress
within school and/or district.
facilitate conceptual knowledge of Illinois English Language Arts learning
opportunities for sustained reading (oral and/or
silent) every day to increase fluency and vocabulary.
broad reading and writing experiences (multiple genre and styles).
opportunities to read at their instructional level every day.
extensive opportunities to read for a variety of purposes and to apply what is read every day.
Students use discussion and writing to organize their thinking, and they
reflect on what they read for specific purposes.
Students are taught and given opportunities to apply the following comprehension strategies for
constructing meaning: making and confirming predictions, visualizing,
summarizing, drawing inferences, generating questions, making connections and
Students are taught and given opportunities to use cognitive
strategies to synthesize,
analyze, evaluate and make applications to authentic situations.
Literacy-rich environments display words and print everywhere, provide opportunities and tools that
engage students in reading and writing activities, and celebrate students’
reading and writing efforts. Each
classroom has an extensive collection of reading materials with a wide range of
high-interest fiction and non-fiction books that motivate and supports reading
and writing at a variety of levels. The
room design supports whole group, small group and individual instruction.
Families, communities, and schools collaborate to support literacy development of
students at home and school.
The Little Red
use and appreciation of oral language.
use and appreciation of printed language
stories and information books read aloud daily.
manipulate the building blocks of spoken language
Learn about and
manipulate the building blocks of written language.
relationship between the sounds of spoken language and the letters of written
relate their writing to spelling and reading.
accurate and fluent reading in decodable stories.
vocabulary through wide reading and direct vocabulary instruction.
comprehend a wide assortment of books and other texts.
Learn and apply
comprehension strategies as they reflect upon and think critically about what
they have read.
Beyond the work done in
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory advises teachers to address
the literacy needs of emergent and early readers by:
developmentally appropriate literacy practices that acknowledge children’s
development, interests, and literacy knowledge.
children daily and allowing them to take turns “reading” the material to
Using a wide
range of literacy materials in class including books, magazines and newspapers.
Taking time to
listen to children to determine their interests, language skills, and areas of
children’s home cultures and languages as literacy resources.
multiple re-readings of stories for pleasure and explorations.
literacy-rich classroom environments.
the school provides appropriate writing materials for children.
children to compose stories and informational articles in emergent forms and
provide opportunities for children to read, share, and display their writing.
writing experiences that allow the flexibility to use non-conventional forms of
writing at first (invented or phonetic spelling) and over time move to
balanced reading instruction as children begin to read conventionally to teach
both skills and meaning and to meet the reading needs of individual children.
with parents and caregivers on creating an optimal environment to support young
children’s literacy development.
in professional development activities to increase the understanding of emergent
literacy and appropriate teaching practices.
The joint position (May 1998) of the International Reading Association
(IRA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
comprehensive, consistent system of early childhood professional preparation and
ongoing professional development;
resources to ensure adequate ratios of qualified teachers to children and small
groups for individualizing instruction;
resources to ensure classrooms, schools and public libraries that include a wide
range of high-quality children’s books, computer software, and multimedia
resources at various levels of difficulty and reflecting various cultural and
promote children’s continuous learning progress;
assessment strategies that promote children’s learning and development;
regular, ongoing health care for every child.
Patricia Cunningham and Richard Allington in Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write (1994), describe
these four components of a balanced reading and language arts classroom:
(30-35 minutes daily)
Reading (30-35 minutes daily)
(30-35 minutes daily)
International Reading Association has endorsed the Report on the NEA Task Force
includes the development of
language and thinking skills as well as phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding,
word recognition, comprehension, positive reading habits and attitudes,
vocabulary, and a sense of the organization of texts such as stories, articles,
and reports. All are essential to addressing all the components in the early
stages of literacy learning.
addresses reading as one of
several aspects of literacy. Others include listening, speaking, writing, using
information from text, and responding thoughtfully and critically to text.
builds on the cultural and
linguistic diversity that students bring to the classroom and enables all
students to understand and appreciate cultural diversity.
provides for the reading
success of all students, including those with special needs. Materials and
instruction are adapted to accommodate those students.
of the child's teachers, including parents, and resources in the community
providing language development and models of the importance of reading.
provides teachers with the
instructional and assessment tools to plan and deliver to each student the
instructional activities that best support that individual's achieving a high
level of reading proficiency.
aims to raise the
achievement of all students. Therefore, it must be flexible in meeting the needs
of all students.
acknowledges that reading,
like all cognitive skills, is linked to the physical well-being of children.
That well-being starts before birth with sound prenatal care and continues with
healthcare for preschoolers as well as school-aged children.
is built on a wide range of
significant research and thinking related to both the theory and practice of
reading instruction. Significant research and thinking includes experimental
studies, descriptive studies, case studies, meta-analyses of research, and
reasonable, reflective writings on theory and best practice.
incorporates findings of
research related to several factors in reading, not just a limited set of
skills. Beginning readers, for example, need to learn about the structure of
stories and sentences as well as word structure, which means that research in
those areas is important.
Bonita Grossen in 30 years of
Research: What We Now Know About How Children Learn to Read (1997) details
seven key principles of effective reading instruction.
To prevent reading problems, teachers should:
phonemic awareness directly at an early age (kindergarten);
sound-spelling correspondence explicitly;
highly regular sound-spelling relationships systematically;
exactly how to sound out words;
decodable text for children to practice the sound-spelling relationships they
stories to develop language comprehension;
At higher levels, developmental
students should be taught a strategic approach to reading according to the
following principals of reading outlined by David C. Caverly, Ph.D.
makes a contribution to the reading process.
recognition is necessary but not sufficient.
correlation exists between vocabulary development and reading comprehension.
However, developing vocabulary does not necessarily improve reading
interest in, motivation for, and attitude toward reading are vital for success.
organized into super-ordinate, co-ordinate and sub-ordinate ideas.
Text has a
variety of relationships that can be taught to improve comprehension.
use metacognitive strategies to prepare for, monitor, and assess their progress.
reading must vary depending on the task demands.
In addition to the information contained in this document, the following
books, publications, web sites, and references are useful resources in
understanding the complexity of reading.
for the Improvement of Early
Every Child a Reader
Association for the Education of Young Children
Raising a Reader, Raising a
Checkpoints for Progress in
Helping Your Child Become a
On The Road to
Read*Write*Now! Poster, Tip
Sheet and Basic Kit
Simple Things You Can Do to
Help All Children Read Well and Independently by the End of Third Grade
Journals (to order visit www.reading.org)
Journal of Adolescent &
Reading Research Quarterly
Reading Online (www.readingonline.org)
Adolescent Literacy, 1999
High-Stakes Assessments in
Learning to Read and Write:
Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children, 1998
Phonemic Awareness and the
Providing Books and Other
Print Materials for Classroom and School Libraries, 2000
Teaching All Children to
Read: The Roles of the
The Role of Phonics in
Reading Instruction, 1997
Using Multiple Methods of
Beginning Reading Instruction
Books and Publications
J., Foorman, Barbara R., Lundberg, Ingvar, Beeler, Terri. Phonemic Awareness in Young Children. 1998.
Allen, Janet. It’s
Never Too Late: Leading Adolescents to Lifelong Literacy. 1995.
Allington, Richard A. Teaching
Struggling Readers: Articles from The
Allington, Richard L. &
Cunningham, Patricia M. Classrooms That
Allington, Richard L. &
Cunningham, Patricia M., Schools That
Allington, Richard &
Walmsley, Sean A.. No Quick Fix:
Rethinking Literacy Programs in
Atwell, Nancie. In
the Middle. 1998.
Bear, Donald R. et al. Words Their Way.
Beck, Isabel, L., McKeown,
Margaret, Hamilton, Rebecca. Questioning
the Author: An Approach for Enhancing Student Engagement with Text. 1997.
Beers, Kylene &
Samuels, Barbara, editors. Into Focus:
Understanding and Creating Middle School Readers. 1998.
Braunger, Jane, &
Lewis, Jan Patricia. Building a Knowledge
Cunningham, Patricia M. Phonics
They Use. 1995.
Ericson, Lita & Juliebo, Moira Fraser. The Phonological Awareness Handbook for
Kindergarten and Primary Teachers. 1998.
Jo. Phonemic Awareness. 1997.
30 Years of Research: What We Now Know about How Children Learn to Read.
Hinson, Bess. New
Directions in Reading Instruction, Revised. 2000.
Honig, Bill. Teaching
Our Children to Read: The Role of Skills in a Comprehensive
Johns, Jerry & Lenski,
Susan D. Improving
Keene, Ellin &
Zimmerman, Susan. Mosaic of Thought:
Teaching Comprehension in a Reader’s Workshop. 1997.
Learning to Read, Comprehensive
Moore, David W. et al. Struggling Adolescent Readers: A Collection of
Teaching Strategies. 2000.
Morretta, Teresa M. & Ambrosini, Michelle. Practical Approaches for
Teaching Reading and Writing in Middle Schools. 2000.
Morrow, Lesley Mandel et
al. Literacy Instruction in Half- and
Whole-Day Kindergarten: Research to Practice. 1998.
Neuman, Susan B. &
Roskos, Kathleen A.. Children Achieving:
Best Practices in Early Literacy. 1998.
Raphael, Taffy. Literature
Based Instruction: Reshaping the Curriculum. 1997.
Reading & Writing Grade by Grade: Primary
Literacy Standards for Kindergarten through Third Grade. 1999.
Schulz, Armin R. Supporting
Intermediate and Secondary Readers. 1998.
Spector, J.E., Phonemic
Awareness Training: Application of Principles of Direct Instruction. Reading
& Writing Quarterly, 1995.
Standards for Reading Professionals. 1998.
Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s
Reading Success. 1998.
Taberski, Sharon. On
Solid Ground. 2000.
Zemelman, Steven, Harvey
Daniels & Arthur Hyde. Best Practice:
New Standards for Teaching and Learning in
Best Practices in
Little Red Reading Book.
Directions in Reading Instruction, Revised. International Reading Association. 2000.
Early, Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a Reader.
(This information was assembled by an Educator in