This post is authored by John Funk, a university clinical instructor who teaches courses in early childhood, children’s literature, classroom management and reading methods. Besides teaching K-2 himself for almost 25 years, John currently supervises and instructs pre-service teachers. He routinely teaches workshops around the country on literacy and language arts and other early childhood topics.
I often teach beginning reading strategies to pre-service teachers. One component of that instruction is the discussion about predictors of reading success. We know that becoming an on-level reader in first grade is essential for a child. There are two strong predictors to that success. “Predictors” are skills so important that we should make every effort to ensure that a child builds solid foundations in these skills during preschool and kindergarten; ultimately these skills are essential to building the reading foundation. These two predictors are phonemic awareness and alphabet letter knowledge. That fact is reiterated again on the National Reading Council website. I emphasize that if these foundation skills are not taught appropriately, the child runs the risk of becoming a struggling reader, lacking the background information for making sense of the reading process.
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