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How We Learn to Read: The Critical Role of Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness involves being able to recognize and manipulate the sounds within words. This skill is a foundation for understanding the alphabetic principle and reading success. There are several ways to effectively teach phonological awareness to prepare early readers, including: 1) teaching students to recognize and manipulate the sounds of speech, 2) teaching students letter-sound relations, and 3) teaching students to manipulate letter-sounds in print using word-building activities.

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Beginning Reading


The formal language common in books and at school that students need to understand and communicate in academic disciplines.

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Jess Surles
Jess Surles
Schools & Districts
Reading Intervention

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Doing What Works

This observation plan can be used to focus classroom observations and help content area teachers embed vocabulary strategies into regular classroom instruction. The observation tool offers guidelines for observing vocabulary lessons, discussing feedback, and planning actions for improvement.

Doing What Works

A curriculum coach may use this planning tool to facilitate a workshop with teachers. Teachers will consider how graphic organizers can help students use comprehension strategies by engaging in a self-reflection, sharing a graphic organizer, and viewing and discussing a video and slideshow.


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