“If you don’t use it… you lose it” is a phrase we’ve all heard before. If you're a baseball player perfecting your swing and you take the summer off without practicing, your batting average is bound to be affected. It’s the same with school. If you take the summer off, your academics will surely take a hit. As educators we refer to this as the “summer slide”.
Listening is a treasured skill and can often be a forgotten skill if not practiced. Teaching children to listen and creating times when active listening happens can really help a reader’s mind grow.
Fluency is one’s ability to read a text smoothly without little to no hesitation, pausing correctly at punctuation, while reading with expression. Fluency is not something most readers just have naturally. It takes time and practice. Usually the more one reads, the more fluent they become.
Vocabulary is such an important component in becoming a successful reader. It expands our minds in more ways than one. It can help us visualize a scene in a story, feel an emotion from a main character, express our own self in our writing, and gives new meaning to many unknown words. It is the bridge between emergent readers and fluent readers. It is how we communicate.
After introducing and explicitly teaching young students phonemic awareness, phonics instruction follows naturally as the second step necessary to produce good readers. In this blog, we will continue digging deeper into our “The Big Five” blog post, focusing on the second skill - Phonics.