• Instruction Woordle  
    What is Comprehension?

    Comprehension is the act of constructing meaning during reading. This is an interaction between the prior knowledge of the reader and the actual text content, to reveal a meaning of a text. Readers can read to learn, find information or be entertained.

    Comprehension requires the reader to integrate their own knowledge of the world, vocabulary and print.  Once a reader comprehends a text, their understanding of that text can be put to use or shared with others.

    What did the National Reading Panel find?

    Comprehension instruction motivates and teaches students to use comprehension strategies that benefit thier overall comprehension. This can cause standardized test score gains for individual students.  Also, comprehension instruction increases reading motivation and thus students read more.

    What are the implications for reading instruction?

    • There is a need for comprehension strategy instruction.
    • There should be multiple strategies for comprehension taught. 
    • Comprehension should be taught in multiple contexts and in the content areas.
    • Teachers should be trained in teaching comprehension strategies. 

    What is Fluency?

    Fluency is the ability to read text accurately without problems with word identification and with proper expression. Fluent readers use punctuation to determine where to place emphasis.

    Fluency is closely related with reading comprehension. The more time it takes to decode accurately, the less time there is for meaning making. Fluent readers make decoding automatic. Therefore, they have more time for meaning making.

    What did the National Reading Panel find?

    The National Reading Panel reviewed studies that measured aspects of fluency or comprehension through repeated readings. The findings indicate that repeated oral readings with feedback or guidance were the most effective way to improve fluency.

    How do you assess Fluency?

    The National Reading Panel recommends the following techniques for assessing fluency: IRI (informal reading inventory), miscue analysis, pausing indices, and reading speed calculations).

    What are the implications for reading instruction?

    • More attention is needed for direction instruction in fluency.
    • Repeated readings or other procedures where students read passages orally, multiple times are the most effective methods for improving fluency.
    • Students need feedback or guidance during repeated oral readings.

    What are Phonemes?

    Phonemes are the smallest units of spoken language.  In English, there are 41 phonemes that combine to create syllables and words.

    For example: One phoneme: a; Two phonemes: go; Three phonemes: check, etc.

    What is Phonemic Awareness?

    Phonemic Awareness is the ability to focus on and manipulate phonemes in spoken words. Some phonemic awareness tasks include isolating phonemes (the first sound in ‘dog’), identifying common features (what do these words have in common ‘mop’, ‘mat’, ‘melon’), and categorizing phonemes (what does not belong ‘run’, ‘rug’, ‘dug’).

    Phonemic Awareness and Phonics are NOT synonymous!

    • Phonics uses the grapheme*-phoneme correspondence to decode and spell
    • Phonemic Awareness teaches children to manipulate phonemes in speech
    • Phonemic Awareness can be considered Phonics instruction when it teaches to segment or blend phonemes with letters

    *Note: Graphemes are units of written language that represent phonemes in spellings of words.

    What did the National Reading Panel find?

    Some of the findings of the report include:

    • Explicit instruction in one or two Phonemic Awareness skills rather than a combination of three or more skills was more effective.
    • Phonemic Awareness instruction was more effective with a manipulation of letters.
    • Small group instruction targeting specific needs was more effective than whole group instruction.
    • Students in PreK and K showed a larger effect size as did children at risk for reading failure.

    What are the implications for reading instruction?

    • Phonemic Awareness instruction helps learners use the alphabetic system to read and write.
    • Some students will need more instruction than others.
    • Phonemic Awareness instruction is NOT a complete reading program.
    • Instruction should be engaging.
    • This research should not be used as an end all.
    • More Phonemic Awareness instruction is not necessarily better.

    What is Phonics?

    Phonics is the teaching of reading that stresses the acquisition of letter-sound correspondences and their use to reading and spelling. Generally, there is a planned, sequential set of elements that are taught explicitly and systematically.

    The National Reading Panel report acknowledged that there are many different ways to teach phonics from learning to decode isolated words to using chunking and analogy strategies. The goal for any phonics program should be to apply the phonics instruction to reading.

    What did the National Reading Panel find?

    The National Reading Panel compared Phonics and No Phonics instruction and found strong evidence substantiating the impact of Phonics instruction. Most notably was the finding that all types of phonics approaches were significant:

    • Synthetic (convert letters into sounds and blend)
    • Analysis and blending (onsets, rimes, patterns)
    • Miscellaneous phonics programs

    Also, many delivery methods were equally significant such as tutoring, small group instruction, and whole class instruction. However, Phonics instruction was more effective when taught in the earlier grades such as K and 1st.

    What are the implications for reading instruction?

    • Instruction in Phonics is BEST when it is coupled with application.
    • There is a need for Phonemic Awareness instruction as well.
    • Phonics instruction should be applied to both reading and writing.
    • There should be an integration of Phonics instruction with other reading programs.

    What is Vocabulary?

    Vocabulary is word knowledge.  When students learn to read they use their oral vocabulary to begin to develop a text or reading vocabulary.  Vocabulary knowledge is tied to comprehension, on the individual word level.

    What did the National Reading Panel find?

    The National Reading Panel found that vocabulary instruction leads to gains in comprehension.

    What are the implications for reading instruction?

    • There is a need for direct instruction of vocabulary for specific texts. 
    • There should be multiple exposures to vocabulary.
    • Vocabulary should be learned in context, in content areas and in a variety of instructional methods.
    • Computers are helpful for teaching vocabulary.


    Want to know more?

    Check out the actual report at www.nationalreadingpanel.org.