How to Improve Student Literacy With School Reading Programs

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  • 0:01 School Reading Programs
  • 0:44 Beginning Reading Programs
  • 2:30 Upper Elementary Literacy
  • 4:09 Teaching Teachers
  • 5:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Literacy skills are some of the most important things we can teach, so knowing how to do this is important. In this lesson we are going to check out a few school reading programs and discover how to implement them for various grade levels.

School Reading Programs

Check out this school. It's a nice school. The teachers care about the students and they all work hard, but for some reason, students in this district are struggling with literacy, the ability to communicate through reading and writing. What should they do? Well, luckily, there is a specialist on the way. John Study here is a master reading teacher who is going to try and implement some new literacy instruction strategies into this school. To do this, John Study is bringing a few new school reading programs, instructional tools that provide a structured, consistent literacy curriculum. Let's follow along and see how this works.

Beginning Reading Programs

Let's start at the beginning. The beginning of literacy education, that is. Students who are in kindergarten to first grade are considered beginning readers, since they have never had any formal literacy education. Now, recent studies have found that the most successful beginning reading programs utilize a systematic, daily focus on phonics, or awareness of sounds within the English language. Basically, rather than trying to teach students to memorize whole words, beginning reading programs should teach consistent strategies for recognizing sounds and learning how to blend those into words. What sound does 'th' make? Or 'ck'? Or 'my'? The best reading programs provide daily, structured activities that reinforce students' ability to look at letters and identify the corresponding sound. Then combine those sounds into full words. This is an effective way to both build up vocabulary and teach students how to figure out new words on their own. So, master reading teacher John Study here, begins introduce school reading programs that focus on phonics and, for this school, he selects programs that include formal classroom instruction as well as daily structured activities, giving students a chance to work together on their literacy. Cooperative programs use small groups to individualize student attention and encourage students to work together to develop literacy skills. This is just one reading program that works well for beginning readers. Overall, what really matters at this age is the combination of structured, consistent education and daily reinforcement of literacy skills.

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