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Reading Specialists

FAQ's

What is reading intervention?
A reading intervention program is meant to prevent or stop reading failure.  Students who are performing below grade-level in reading qualify to receive reading support services (intervention).  The Reading Team uses a variety of assessments to determine the needs of each individual student (please click on the Assessments and Interventions page for more information).

How does the Oak Grove reading team determine which intervention to use?
Intervention systems are chosen based on research-based evidence.  All interventions used at Oak Grove meet the requirements of Response to Intervention (please click on RTI and Reading page for more information).  Based on each student’s deficit(s), the grade level reading specialist selects the intervention that best suits the student’s needs (please click on Assessments and Interventions for more information).

What is the best approach to teach children how to read?
According to the National Reading Panel Report and Illinois State Standards, comprehensive reading instruction must include:  phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.

Aren’t phonemic awareness and phonics the same thing?
No!  Phonemic awareness and phonics are quite different.  Phonemic awareness is the understanding that the sounds of the spoken language work together to make words.  Phonics is understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes and graphemes (the letters that represent those sounds in written language).

What is fluency?
Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly.  Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.  Readers who are fluent do not have to concentrate on decoding words, they can focus on what the text means.

My child can recognize words automatically, does this mean he/she is a fluent reader?
Even when students recognize many words automatically, their oral reading still may be expressionless, not fluent.  To read with expression, readers must be able to divide the text into meaningful chunks.  These chunks include phrases and clauses.  Readers must also know to pause appropriately within and at the end of sentences and when to change emphasis and tone.

How can I help my child become a better reader?
Emerging Readers (ages 4-6):  Check out books on tape or CD for your child and listen to them before bed or even in the car.  Write notes to your child (in their lunch box, on the mirror, under the pillow, etc.) using simple words. Encourage your child to write, even if their spelling is invented!  Ask them to write the sounds they hear.

Developing Readers (ages 5-7):  Read different things aloud in addition to stories (recipes, letter, directions, etc.).  As you read together, ask your child to predict what might happen next or talk about how the book relates to your child’s life.  Keep a family journal of favorite books, movies, food, etc. and ask your child to write comments.

Beginning Readers (ages 6-8): Begin to read series books.  If you read a few, children will often read the rest of the series on their own.  After you have read a story, talk about the characters and events.  Point out ways to figure out unknown words (looking at the picture, breaking the word into smaller parts, etc.).  Play word games such as Junior Scrabble or Hangman.

Expanding Readers (ages 7-9):  Read and compare several versions of a story (such as a fairy tale).  Subscribe to a magazine for kids (Sports Illustrated for Kids, Time for Kids, etc.).  Encourage your child to read aloud.

Bridging Readers (ages 8-10):  Encourage new types of genres (poetry, fantasy, historical fiction, etc.).  Read aloud to your child to model fluent reading.

Fluent Readers (ages 9-11):  Read book reviews, newspapers, magazines.  Talk about interesting words you find as you read.

Proficient Readers (ages 10-13):  Read newspaper and magazines and discuss the articles together.  Collect books by a favorite author and research the author on the internet.

Connecting Readers (ages 11-14):  Acknowledge your child’s interests and help them find appropriate books.  Read the book your child is reading and have a discussion (like mini book club).

*** It is important to remember that the ages provided are only a guideline.  Some students may be below or above the stage correlated with the ages.

What if I still have questions?
Contact your child’s grade level reading specialist and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have!  (Please click on Welcome for contact information)

Information from:  Supporting Your Child’s Literacy Learning (Bonnie Campbell Hill), Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read (National Institute for Literacy)