Those of you who have read the last few posts, know that we have been talking about the Stages of Reading Development as a type of “road map” that helps you know where your child is at any given time (Getting a Roadmap).
Understanding the Stages also helps with “next-step thinking.
Previously, we talked about Stage 0 which typically starts in preschool and ends with the child leaving kindergarten (Stage 0: Moving Down the Road).
A child is ready to leave Stage 0 when they know their letter names and the sounds of the letters automatically. The child may also know a smattering of sight words.
Stage I of reading development typically corresponds to the beginning of first grade into middle second grade.
Stage I is like learning to ride a bike. In the beginning of Stage I, the child will be shaky for quite some time and there’ll be much insecurity at the start, with more confidence developing.
Stage I is a crucial stage of reading development and it is the foundation upon which all later reading skills are supported. It is important for you to be patient and to exposure child to simple word patterns. It is also essential that you do not try and mix too many large, multisyllabic words, as these would be challenging and overwhelming for children in this stage.
It can’t be stressed enough that this is not a stage to rush through quickly. Mastering the fundamental skills before moving on to the next one is crucial.
Mastering Stage I typically occurs when the child can read “sight words” fairly automatically and is starting to show basic decoding of simple word patterns (consonant-vowel-consonant patterns, such as, set, got, fit, hat).
Following the C-V-C patterns to master in this stage, the next would be words that follow C-C-V-C (e.g., flat, trot, drip), then moving to more complex word patterns, that follow C-C-V-C-C words (e.g., stomp, flinch, trots).
When a child is showing signs of significant struggling that suggests a possible reading/learning problem, they typically stay in Stage I much longer than children who are smoothly moving through this stage.
With such children it is even more important that you do not rush things and proceed into a level that will be overwhelming and frustrating.
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