This section tests your knowledge on the role of phonics in promoting reading development. This includes but is not limited to:
- knowing specific teaching strategies for phonics instruction
- developing word recognition
- increasing automaticity
- knowing the relationships between decoding, fluency, and comprehension
- blending letter sounds
- knowing common patterns for single-syllable words
- differentiating phonics instruction for ELLs, struggling readers, and strong readers
Let’s look at some concepts that are guaranteed to come up on the test.
Automaticity is the ability to quickly AND accurately identify words. Automaticity develops more and more as children read. It does not include reading with expression and is not the same thing as reading fluency. Automaticity is necessary for developing fluency so that children can read with better expression and more fluidly.
Decoding versus Encoding
- Decoding is converting symbols (letters) to sounds in spoken language.
- Encoding is converting sounds to symbols (letters/words) in written language.
Decoding and encoding rely on a student’s phonological awareness which includes their understanding of sounds, letters, and how both work together to create spoken and written language.
Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between recognizing a word and comprehending the meaning and context of the word.
Here are the components of fluency:
- accuracy- reading words correctly
- automaticity- reading words quickly AND accurately
- prosody- reading words/phrases with appropriate expression
Let’s take a look at some effective strategies for fluency instruction:
- Record students reading aloud on their own.
- Ask students to track (using a ruler or finger) while you read aloud.
- Provide opportunities for students to re-read text several times.
- Pre-teach vocabulary.
- Drill sight words.
- Provide a variety of books and materials to read.
- Consistently read aloud to students.
Common Word Patterns
Word patterns are predictable patterns of sounds (consonants and vowels) that form words.
CVC- A consonant is followed by a vowel and another consonant to create a syllable, usually with a short vowel sound (bat, top, kid).
CVCe- Same as above, but a silent e is found at the end of the word. This usually makes the vowel of the word long (hike, tone, make).
CVCC- Here you have words that end with two consonants (cart, best, half).
Understanding word patterns strengthens a child’s phonological and phonemic awareness which, in turn, strengthens a child’s reading fluency.