If your child is reaching Stage III of reading development, congratulations, you’ve reached the Promised Land!!!
You’re in Decoding/Fluency Nirvana.
Typically, Stage III corresponds to about the middle of third grade continuing through the upper grades, when the children are putting the more mechanical aspects of reading (and spelling and writing) behind them.
For the “smooth-road” kids it isn’t that hard to get to Stage III. A couple of grades go by and you are there – no fuss, no muss – no testing, no tutoring.
But for the children of concern, those with learning disabilities, dyslexia, sprinkled in with a dose of ADHD/ADD, it’s been a much longer and bumpier road. If these children get to Stage III, often it is well beyond the expected age/grade range.
Why does Stage III represent the “Promised Land?”
Once a child reaches this stage the mechanical aspects of reading (i.e., decoding, fluency, word reading efficiency etc.) are no longer a factor.
When a child is in Stage III, the entire focus can be put on developing a child’s range of comprehension skills, such as higher-order reasoning, inferential thinking, drawing conclusions and increasing vocabulary.
As the original theorist of the Stages of Reading Development, Dr. Jean Chall, noted, within Stage III the child is no longer “learning to read, but reading to learn.”
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