Carefully check your child’s reading program during the annual review or sooner if you have concerns. Reading skills can be broken up into various components. You may hear the terms decoding, sight words, fluency, and comprehension. Decoding refers to the ability to connect the visual letter or group of letters with a sound (knowing the sound for the letter “t” or the group of letters “tion”) Sight words can not be sounded out and must be learned as a whole (e.g. “the”) Comprehension refers to how well your child understands the material on a literal level (e.g.who is the main character?) , but, more importantly how the child can read between the lines looking for symbolism and the ability to apply the story to their own lives (e.g. when in your life have you felt as the character did?).
Your child’s reading level will be defined by an assessment, typically either DRA (or Developmental Reading Assessment) or Fountas and Pinnell. DRA levels are in numbers while Fountas and Pinnell levels are given in letters. There is a correlation between each. For example, a DRA level of 14 corresponds to a Fountas and Pinnell level of H. These are first grade levels. Ask your child about the level in advance. This would be the level of books your child is choosing in the classroom. Is it at or below grade level? If below, how far below? With which issue(s) does your child need extra support? Ask. Then ask which programs are being utilized to support your child. How much time is spent in each area of need each day/each week? Can I help? Just fill out the contact form. A brief description of your questions is all that is needed.